30 de junio de 2008


Howler Monkey Lodge is a family oriented Eco lodge offering personalized service since 1998 in Belize. Howler Monkey Lodge caters to eco travelers looking for an authentic Belize inland adventure without losing their comforts while experiencing the best inland adventures Belize has to offer with the assistance of experienced licensed local guides.
Howler Monkey Lodge is approx. 17 miles or 30mins from the int'l airport and 26 miles or 45 mins. from Belize City - all on excellent paved roads. Howler Monkey lodge sits on 20 acres of rainforest along the Banks of the Belize river- A perfect base for your Belize vacation. The best destinations like cave tubing, Lamanai, Altun ha, Zipline, Belize zoo, Xunantunich, ATM cave, Belize city diving, int'l airport are only a few minutes drive.
We are in the middle of everything! Lots of things to do within a short driv

29 de junio de 2008


P.U.C. defends their decisions on electricity rates

This morning the Public Utilities Commission held a press conference to officially release its final decision on B.E.L.’s request for a rate increase. On Monday, the P.U.C. released a forty-four page document outlining the various price hikes B.E.L. requested and the eleven decisions taken by the Commission. Among them are: a raise in the Reference Price of Power, an increase in the Rate Stabilisation Account, recovery rate and a hike in electricity rates from forty-four point one cents kWh to fifty cents.

John Avery, Chairman, P.U.C., “We feel that keeping the rates at forty-four point one cents right now, we can employ this automatic adjustment mechanism and perhaps keep the rate at a constant forty-four point one cents at least up until the end of December unless of course, our forecast proves to be considerably wrong. What happens is that starting January is when we typically enter the dry season in Belize. We get less power from hydro, we start to get more power from fossil fuels and so the cost of power starts to go up. So the point I want to make is that while we’re envisioning that we may be able to keep constant at the least up until December, if our forecast proves wrong then some upward adjustment, minor in the first instance, may be made to the rates after the new methodology is introduced. If our projections hold, certainly by January customers will have to understand that the cost of power keeps going up and at some point in time we will have to bear those costs.”

The P.U.C. promises that a new Rate Setting Methodology should be implemented in September to automatically adjust the cost of power component of rates on a monthly basis to reflect the current price of power. The R.S.M. will take the form of an account to track consumers’ monthly surpluses or deficits in the cost of power.

John Avery,“We’ve decided, and this will come as a result of the new Rate Setting Methodology that the CPRSA balance will be capped at the end of June. No other deferrals will be made to the CPRSA balance and any excess cost of power between July and August, any excess cost of power or anything that hasn’t paid down in the CPRSA balance, if it isn’t sufficiently paid down or fast enough then we will deal with those through the automatic adjustment mechanism.”

The Commission estimates that the Cost of Power Rate Stabilisation Account balance of two hundred and forty-three thousand dollars will be paid down by June thirtieth of 2009. The CPRSA was initially intended to cushion the blow to consumers against the rising cost of power. Avery says customer tariffs will remain unchanged.

John Avery,“Because we haven’t moved the Mean Electricity Rate we decided to leave these as they are. These were set up based on previous tariff studies that were done and until we do a new tariff study to suggest that perhaps different classes should be paying different rates we have no choice but to implement the same rate.”

And where the Mollejon transmission line is concerned, the report was explicit in stating that the line is a form of contributed capital to B.E.L.

John Avery“Again, we felt this line was paid for by B.E.L. at no benefit to the customers. B.E.L. promised a benefit in terms of a reduction in the rates to be paid to BECOL instead we’ve seen the rates to BECOL increased. B.E.L. already owned the line, the customers were already paying for it through the rates to BECOL. We do not feel that the customers should pay for this line a second time. We also feel that these type of things contributed significantly to the cash flow problems that B.E.L. claim they now face.”

The reaction from B.E.L. was swift and this morning the company announced that it will legally contest the final decision of the P.U.C

27 de junio de 2008


St. John Vianney inaugurates new building
The lack of classroom space is a constant battle for school administrators across the country, but come August the staff and students of St. John Vianney in Belize City will have a little more breathing room. This morning the primary school inaugurated a recently completed building valued at almost five hundred thousand dollars. Over one hundred thousand dollars was raised by the school and its parent/teachers association, while the remaining three hundred and ninety-one thousand was provided by the Social Investment Fund through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. The structure measures one hundred and ninety by thirty-five feet and will house a staff room, five classrooms and two bathrooms. For Principal Felix Sutherland, the road leading up to today’s event was rocky, but successful.
Felix Sutherland, Principal, St. John Vianney,“This building was not without struggles but with God’s help we have all to achieve. Parents you know well the struggle we had, the block drive, whatever creative ways we had to do we did it and here we are celebrating the fruits of our labour.”
Oscar Alonzo, C.E.O., Social Investment Fund,“We know that education, it provides a vehicle, the means by which to escape poverty. It is not a guarantee but it provides that vehicle because with education it doesn’t only mean coming to school and learning the basics of mathematics, science, writing and reading. It also means building those traits, those character traits that will make each and every one of you students out there a responsible citizen.”
The building is dedicated to former principal Anita Wade, who retired in 2007 after serving for twenty years in the post.

26 de junio de 2008



It’s the month of Lobster fests with Placencia, Caye Caulker and San Pedro each hosting its own celebration of seafood. But beyond the fun on the beach, the question of how we manage our valuable marine resources is never far from the minds of coastal dwelling Belizeans. And while much of the news we receive and report suggests that the culture is one of decline, there are some signs that with enlightened management our seas can survive and prosper. The conclusion is that protected areas like those in Belize, can serve as a model for the region. It’s called A Fisher’s Journey.

And if you listened to the Radio today Lobster Fest reports coming out of Placencia is that is will the be Lobster Fest to beat all others. Unfortunately the bridge of Kendall will be keeping away a lot of people but there are still means of getting to Placencia and the faithful who go to Lobster Fest yearly will probably still attend.

Hats off the the organizers. Have a great one!

Here is a report on how it set out:

Three days of celebration featuring a favorite seafood delicacy - LOBSTER - certainly caught our attention on the local radio and newspaper ads in June. Knowing that we publish two Belizean Journeys features each month we figured it was worth a shot to convince our boss that we would be happy to collaborate on a Placencia Lobsterfest feature in return for all expenses being covered. She bought it!

After a false start on June 21 when the whole celebration had to be postponed due to rain, the three of us were on the 5:00 p.m. bus out of Dangriga on June 28th on our way to the 4th annual Placencia Lobsterfest. The Placencia branch of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) organizes the bash to showcase one of Belize's most prized natives: the delicious Caribbean lobster. The residents of Placencia Village have had a long, tumultuous history with the beloved lobster. Before tourism became the main source of revenue for the village, lobster fishing was the primary source of income for the residents. A severe decline in the lobster population led to seasonal lobster harvesting only, giving the lobster time to reproduce without interruption during the closed season. Thus, on June 15th, when the season opens, Lobsterfest follows as a celebration of the glories of the lobster.

The event also commemorates Fisherman's Day , the patron St. Paul and serves as a fundraiser for community projects of the BTIA. This year, the BTIA and villagers hope to raise enough revenue from Lobsterfest to rebuild the world's narrowest street, (it's in the Guinness Book of World Records), the Placencia sidewalk, damaged by hurricane Iris and the cleaning efforts afterwards last October. According to Elysia Dial of the Placencia Tourism Center and one of the primary organizers, the event continues to grow larger and larger each year with new events, more widespread promotions and sponsors, and exceptional community spirit and cooperation. Of course, the true motivation to have Lobsterfest is to throw one hell of a party and inspire the hips of both young and old to shake and twist to the beats of music, music, and more music. In the eloquent words of one bartender, "The purpose of Lobsterfest is to bash... plain and simple."
We arrived at our hotel at 7:30 with a thirst for a party and a hunger for revelry. One of the greatest advantages of Placencia is that you can be right on the beach and be in the center of town in the heart of the festivities at the same time. Most accommodations had been booked, though tent vendors accommodated any late-comers a few yards from a massive Belikin bottle where most of the activities would transpire.

As we strolled down the famed Placencia sidewalk, the force of an unknown magnetic pull (delicious smells hitting our noses) drew us to the immensely popular Cozy Corner Bar, Restaurant and Hotel. Witnessing the swarm of guests around Cozy's beachfront thatch bar, one would never guess that this establishment had been completely leveled by Iris just nine months earlier. We mingled and chatted with the mixed crowd about life on the beach, lobster on the menu, and cold Belikin Beer in the hand. Of course, dinner and drinks only begin a night at Lobsterfest, so with a mood to party we inquired about where we could find the marquee bash for the night.

Next stop: Sugar Reef Sunset Bar. As we headed for the lagoon side of the narrow Placencia peninsula towards Sugar Reef, the village was still and quiet. We thought we had taken a wrong turn, but just as we questioned our navigational skills, a light breeze brought a faint trace of music-we had arrived. Something about a thatch bar always puts me in the mood to revel in the glories of the Caribbean. The lagoon side of the Sugar Reef thatch encloses a multi-level dock over the water with hammocks strewn on the lower level. Boats found parking spaces around the lower dock while their drivers enjoyed the variety of rhythms served up by the DJ... reggae, Soca, Dancehall and Punta. Earlier, the fishermen planning to participate in Saturday's fishing competition had met here to discuss the rules and regulations of the upcoming tournament. Now, the dance floor only overflowed with music and the wiggling bodies of tourists, Belizeans, Belizean-Americans, and other Central Americans. Virgin Lobsterfest attendees and seasoned veterans from various Belizean villages and towns stretching from Punta Gorda through to Belize City had converged on Placencia this weekend to celebrate the lobster and support the village's sidewalk restoration effort; now the dance floor showcased the nation's best dance moves. Placencia had been transformed into a miniature representation of the extraordinarily diverse country of Belize. This particular night was still quite young and the legs of this mixed crowd would be fresh for many more hours to come.
We did not stir with the sun the following day, but the competing fishermen rose much earlier than dawn to be ready for the 5am tournament send off. On Saturday morning, Lobsterfest officially begins with the opening ceremony at 10:00am. After the village chairman, Glen Eiley, said a few words and declared Lobsterfest officially begun, the Village burst into activity. Yesterday evening may have been quiet around the Village, but this morning bubbled over with action. Food and drink vendors quickly set up their booths to accommodate lobster-hungry guests. The booths had a wide variety of lobster related foods such as lobster fritters, lobster patties, lobster quiche, lobster fajitas, lobster tails with fresh, ice cold watermelon, lime juice, beer, or soda. Of course, the standard rice and beans, barbeque chicken, panades, and garnaches were not difficult to find either.

All of the activities converged on the center of town where a variety of activities catered to every individual taste and mood. The morning's events focused on exhausting at least some of the energy of the children attendees. Exuberant children participated in a number of games including a balloon toss, dance competition, shilling walk, and sack race. Face painting and a Magic show helped to captivate them while their parents enjoyed a quick respite under the shade of a coconut tree--storing energy for the evening's activities. Other visitors strolled along the sidewalk while absorbing the laid back Placencia vibes and visiting the various food and business booths. The Placencia beach also attracted its own crowd of sun bathers, sandcastle-builders, and water acrobatics.

By noon when the fishermen returned from their exploits, the festivities were in full swing. As the 1:00pm deadline to weigh the catch of the day approached, the hoards of people swallowed each boat in their curiosity. The many "ohs" and "ahs" over the size of the barracudas, king mackerel ("kingfish") and six pound lobster brought to shore could have been heard in Mexico. Each catch was officially weighed and recorded by the designated committee member through the shouts and boasts of the participants. The goal of the tournament is to accumulate the most points via the weight and variety of fish caught. The more weight and the rarer the fish, the more money awarded. The grand slam prize ($1,000) is awarded to the boat that catches at least one kingfish, barracuda, and jack of qualifying weight. No one was awarded this prestigious prize this year, but each fisherman appreciated his moment in the spotlight. Of course "the water was rough", "the bait wasn't right", or "the fish just weren't biting"... competition brings out the best excuses.
As the sun started its final descent, the tunes of the World Culture Band started to fill the air. A swelling crowd formed to see this Cayo district based-band perform in the main tent. Reggae rocked the crowd until the World Cup Championship match finally took over to captivate the crowd into the wee hours of the night and cap off a day of glorious gluttony. The exhaustion from the previous 48 hours must have finally kicked in as Sunday morning started quietly and unhurriedly. Movement could be detected by 11:00am as red-eyed lobster fans lined up for a final plate of lobster before heading back to a rice and beans world. Suddenly we found ourselves at the end of our treacherous assignment; the warm sun and cool breezes would have to wait for our next trip to beautiful Placencia. The word quickly spread that the goal amount of money had been reached this weekend for the sidewalk restoration efforts. Even with a smaller turnout, Lobsterfest 2002 raised $5000 more than the previous year. Talk of a four-day fest next year sent our minds scheming once again how we could convince our boss of the necessity of a follow-up report. Unfortunately for the lobster, it's a tasty delicacy hungrily sought after around the world; at least we honor it with a party fit for the king of the sea.
And, by the way, boss, if we hadn't been to Placencia before, we wouldn't have known there had been a hurricane last October.

25 de junio de 2008


New D.P.P. has hands full
On Tuesday Cheryl-Lynn Branker-Taitt was approved by the Senate as Acting Director of Public Prosecutions but the number of cases and the imminent departure of two attorneys from her office, are already posing challenges to the new D.P.P. Today Branker-Taitt refuted a report that twenty-six cases for the June Session were struck out because the indictments were not properly filed. She did admit to the flaws in the indictments, saying that it was because there was no D.P.P. in office, but said that all the cases are still before the court and the defendants will be taken to court on proper indictments. At the time when the indictments were filed, her predecessor Lutchman Sooknandan had already demitted office.Eighty-one cases are before the June court session, which opened on the seventeenth of this month, twenty are new and fifty-two are old cases. According to the D.P.P., none of the cases have concluded because the first case of the session was an old one in which the three defendants are charged with Murder and Robbery and the Crown was awaiting a ruling from the Belize Court of Appeal that would have impacted the case. The cases will be shared in the courts of Justices Herbert Lord, Adolph Lucas and Michelle Arana when she returns from study leave next month.

24 de junio de 2008


Pictures tell all the eyes can see and the heart can appreciate. SIGHT IS AN ASSET TO HUMAN EXISTANCE. Brenda A. Ysaguirre

Clouds over a Belizean Jungle Moon, Jupiter and Venus in belizean skies
Total Lunar Eclipse on Feb 20, 2008

23 de junio de 2008


The pride of a nation is in its people and the way they think, act and re-act. Brenda A. Ysaguirre

I was out in Chetumal, Mexico on Sunday night when my friend and I stopped to purchase something. He asked the vendor how the Belize- Mexico game went because we had been busy all day and had not seen the game. We were informed that it went in favour of Mexico 7-0.

My reaction will probably be the way every Belizean felt after the game.





22 de junio de 2008

Mexico destroys Belize to book spot in CONCACAF third round WCup qualifying

MONTERREY, Mexico: Double strikes from from Fernando Arce and Jared Borgetti helped Mexico cruise to a 7-0 win over Belize in Saturday's second leg of their second-round World Cup qualifier, securing a place in the third round.
In Mexico's final match before Sven Goran Eriksson officially takes over as coach, Mexico completed a 9-0 aggregate win over two legs in the CONCACAF regional qualifier.
The result put Mexico into the final 12 of regional qualifying, where its third-round group opponents will be Canada, Jamaica and Honduras, with the round-robin play to begin in August. The top two teams will progress to the final round of qualifying.
Arsenal striker Carlos Vela opened the scoring for Mexico in the eighth minute, but a mixture of Mexican profligacy and good saves from Belize goalkeeper Shane Orio meant the home side had to wait until Andres Guardado's deflected shot on 34 minutes to double the lead.
A neat interchange between Vela and Cesar Villaluz created Arce's first goal in first half stoppage time. Within two minutes of the restart the Santos Laguna forward was on the spot to tap home his second from a cross by Oscar Rojas.
Veteran Jared Borgetti extended his record as Mexico' all-time leading scorer with a trademark header after 62 minutes before two late goals added gloss to the scoreline. Belize defender Trevor Lennen put through his own net in injury time for the sixth goal, before Borgetti added his second, and Mexico's seventh.
Former England coach Eriksson will now take over the team from interim coach Jesus Ramirez.

21 de junio de 2008


The Mennonites of Belize are a working class of German background. This year they celebrated being in belize for 50 years. These pictures include that day's festivity.

19 de junio de 2008


Gov’t negotiator gets C.F.E. to sell cheaper power to B.E.L.
One of the last things you wanted to hear today was that the world price of petroleum shot up again. Oil is now retailing for a one hundred and thirty-six U.S. a barrel, up two bucks from last night. The trickle down effect is of course higher prices, in fuel in the first instance, which would then trigger higher costs in everything else. One sector that feels the petroleum pinch right off is Belize Electricity Limited which is presently awaiting the final decision of the Public Utilities Commission on a rate increase request. Reaction to the proposed price hike has been negative from the public and in response, the Government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has undertaken several initiatives in an attempt to give consumers a break. One of those efforts included a visit to Mexican power company Comision Federal de Electricidad by Government’s Chief Financial Advisor Manuel Esquivel and electrical engineering consultant John Mencias. Those meetings took place on June fifth and as Esquivel pointed out to the press this afternoon, the timing is crucial because B.E.L. is currently in contract negotiations with C.F.E.

According to Esquivel, “while C.F.E. could not commit to reducing the energy charge per kilowatt hour for power supplied to B.E.L., they have agreed to consider a reduction in a number of other charges” that make up the “total cost of the supply”.

So how much are we talking about?

Manuel Esquivel, Financial Advisor, G.O.B., “If everything went smoothly and well, it could result in about seven million a year. So it could be a considerable amount. They made it clear that they really couldn’t do much about the actual kilowatt cost of the energy because they are operating under very strict national regulations with regards to their own domestic cost of power. They are saying we are here for Mexicans. What we do for Belize—and we try to do what we can do—we can’t offer you what we’re not offering Mexicans. The Mexican Government as well as C.F.E. are very keen to seeing themselves becoming more involved with Belize and energy. They are urging, which we have already started to put in place, that Belize should have control of energy policy and energy planning. Right now, in the case of electricity, it’s B.E.L. that does those things and we and the people tend to react to it. That’s upside down. The Government has the obligation to make sure people get affordable power so the government must be the one that does the planning and sets the policies. And as I said, even before going I discussed with the prime minister the need for us to have, as it were, an Energy Planning Department within the government itself.”

Janelle Chanona, “And as far as when the new prices would take effect that C.F.E. is negotiating with B.E.L.?”

Manuel Esquivel, “Well, that would be the first of August. So there’s not a lot of time but it’s a good time to do it before that date comes.”

This afternoon B.E.L.’s Chief Executive Officer Lynn Young told News Five that the company welcomed Government’s efforts and referred to the negotiated agreement as an “improvement in negotiations with C.F.E.”. But Young maintains that he is cautiously optimistic because the end savings to the public will depend heavily on fuel prices as the cost of power is indexed to the cost of oil. That hesitation was shared by the Public Utilities Commission as Chairman John Avery maintained to us today that the P.U.C. is taking the still escalating price of petroleum into consideration as it prepares to release its final decision on B.E.L.’s rates. Those prices will be announced no later than June twenty-sixth.

18 de junio de 2008


COLA organises downtown march against Michael Ashcroft
It was not the biggest demonstration to ever hit the streets of Belize City but today’s protest had significant implications because it was against the country’s most powerful businessman. News Five’s Marion Ali reports on the war that has been declared against Michael Ashcroft.Marion Ali, ReportingThis afternoon an estimated three hundred people took part in a march in downtown Belize City against banking and business mogul Michael Ashcroft. Protestors moved off from Battlefield Park around noon and demonstrated around Market Square for approximately two hours. The event was coordinated by COLA, Citizens Organised for Liberty through Action, previously known as the Committee to Oust Lord Ashcroft.
Evan “Mose” Hyde, Member, COLA, “This is about getting back the interest of the Belizean people, getting back the money that belongs to the people of Belize. That is the point of this.”
Marion Ali, “You’re going up against a giant...”
Mose Hyde, “No, no. We noh deh gainst wah giant. Wah giant deh gainst di real giant, the people ah Belize da di sleeping giant. Dat da di real giant.”
Marion Ali, “Are you satisfied with the turnout today?”
Elena Smith, Interim President, COLA, “Yes we are. If we had five persons it would have been good for us because we are here for a cause and so we will stand out here for that cause. Anybody can only take so many licks. After a while you have to bow down. In 2005 we almost brought the government down. So if you can sustain your actions eventually they will have to bow down and we will get our victory.”
Participants in today’s march represented a wide cross-section of society, with politicians all sectors interspersed in the crowd.
Michael Finnegan, Minister of Housing, “I am not here to say anything negative about anybody but we ask for respect and I want to send a message to the business community that when you come here to do business you are not allowed to stand or to go behind closed doors with a politician or two and sign deals that are not in the interest of the people of this country.”
Mark Espat, Albert Area Representative, “I think the Belizean people have gotten enough of the parasitical approach of certain business groups and we’re out here to say that enough is enough. The clamor of the people is to get back the money that was intended for housing and for the relevant companies to pay the taxes that they’re supposed to pay.”
Cordel Hyde, Area Rep., Lake Independence, “When this man doesn’t pay his taxes it is all people in this country who are deprived, whether it be victims of the storm Arthur or whether it be the persons who need their roofs fixed, whether they need better housing, whether they need education, that is what we use our taxes for and it is also important that we get our twenty million dollars. At the end of the day wi need wi ting man.”
Patrick Rogers, Member, V.I.P., “I guess ih tek wah organisation weh have wah lot ah fight eena deh fi start lead the charge. Having said that, I guess I’m out here in solidarity with COLA and everybody else who woulda want see deh tyrants flee noh?”
Marion Ali, “You think they have what it takes to sustain this planned series of events against Mister Ashcroft and if things don’t go their way, if they don’t get what they want then what next?”
Patrick Rogers, “I believe as long as we commit into doing something and noh leave up to no one individual it will get done.”
Dickie Bradley, Attorney, “The thousand of marchers who are out here only represent a bigger amount of Belizeans who are seriously concerned that the new boss of Channel Five is now considered to represent a very serious danger, a clear and present danger to the country of Belize. So I’m showing solidarity with the aims and objectives of the march.”
Marion Ali, “Mister Ashcroft is a known sympathiser of the same administration, past government of which you are a member. How does this look for you being of the same party that he supports?”
Mark Espat, “Well I think my position has been clear from day, if you recall, Marion. In the House of Representatives I voted against the re-acquisition sale and resale of B.T.L., I left the Cabinet over the matter of U.H.S. and the unjustified debt and my position remains the same. We do not need another King Leopold in Belize.”
Wilfred Sedi” Elrington, Attorney General, “We are very upset with the performance and behaviour of the entire Ashcroft group of companies. I certainly have long held the view that it has been a very one-sided, exploited relationship, which of course has been facilitated by people who we elected to office. That is unfortunate. Of course most people view the overt acquisition by him of Channel Five as an ill omen for the country because we are of the view now that he is going to use that medium to try to further influence and indoctrinate people.”
George Frazer, Executive Secretary, B.N.T.U., “We want genuine investors. Mister Ashcroft has invested many of his funds but again playing games and being accommodated by politicians doesn’t always benefit the Belizean people. We also want to send the message to the politicians and others that all these kinda secret deals and thing cannot and will not be entertained.”
Kenroy Young, U.N. Youth Ambassador for Belize, “We are here today fighting for what youths might not understand so much as fighting for a cause that will help benefit our country because we have a man that is here buying out half of our country and leaving us as Belizeans to not voice our opinions and he’s casting down on us a great burden as such, high rates in B.T.L., now he’s bought over the Channel Five broadcasting industry. He’s trying to shut the Belizeans up and we will not stand for that as youths.”
And while today’s protest only lasted a couple hours, organisers plan to carry out a sustained attack against Michael Ashcroft.
Mose Hyde, “If wi want righteousness, if we want justice da Belize we gotta get up and fight for it. Dat dah di point ah dis. Michael Ashcroft I noh give a damn bout. We dah like wah stain. We noh gwein no way. We dah like old time bad card. We noh wah stop draw. We eena dis to di full.”
Elena Smith, “The group that we have is a group of warriors, as Mose said, we are a group of warriors. So we are willing to fight to the bitter end. We are not going to give up until we have achieved our goal and our goal is to get back all the money that is owing to this country of Belize and to eventually get him outta here.”
News Five understands that following this first demonstration of its intentions, COLA will now call on Belizeans to boycott the use of cell phones for an entire weekend next month. Reporting for News Five, Marion Ali.
Our attempts to solicit a reaction from Mister Ashcroft today were unsuccessful.

17 de junio de 2008


The King Vulture Sarcoramphis papa

In the world of Avian there is an order known as Falconiformes; they are birds of prey, hunters of meat. Within this order is a family called the Cathartidae or Vultures and of the Vultures there is a species called Sarcoramphis papa, loosely translated this means Òfather of the coffinÓ. He is indisputably ÒThe King of VulturesÓ.In the whole of Belize four species of vulture can be found. They are the Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Savanna Vulture, and The King Vulture.

16 de junio de 2008


Mexico squad defeats Belize 2-0 in World Cup qualifying match
HOUSTON — Jared Borgetti scored on a penalty kick during stoppage time to help Mexico outlast Belize 2-0 in the second round of World Cup qualifying Sunday.
Carlos Vela took a deflection off a missed shot by Luis Perez and kicked it in from two yards out for the game's first goal in the 66th minute.
The final game of the two-game aggregate series will be played in Monterrey, Mexico, on Saturday.
Belize, ranked No. 172 in the world, was a huge underdog to 14th-ranked Mexico. But Belize didn't play that way the first half, with its defence consistently turning back Mexico's surges en route to a scoreless tie at the break.
Belize goalkeeper Shane Orio blocked three shots the first 25 minutes, including a leaping block of a power shot up the middle by Andres Guardado. Orio also stopped a close-in shot from the right side by Fernando Arce in the 39th minute.
Still Mexico was dominant in controlling the game, taking 12 shots the first half to only one by Belize. Mexico also had 11 corner kicks to one by Belize the first half.
Belize, playing in the second round of qualifying for the first time ever, got another dramatic save in the 71st minute when Orio was taken out of the play and Trevor Lennen went into the goal to kick out a short shot at the last second.
But Belize had almost no offence as it managed only three shots on goal the entire game.

15 de junio de 2008


The 21 players of the Belize national football selection left Belize today, for Houston, Texas USA, to take on football powerhouse Mexico, in round two of the qualifying games for the 2010 FIFA World Cup scheduled in South Africa.
These young sports ambassadors are undaunted by their David vs. Goliath confrontation with Mexico, and rightly so, they have taken Belize past the first round, for the first time ever, by winning the two game series against St. Kitts/Nevis in February.
Their spirits were high when they boarded a direct flight to Houston this morning, because they know they have put in the physical training, studied the tapes of their opponents in action, and discovered what strategies they will have to use to overcome the giant called Mexico.
The months of training at the Football Federation of Belize’s (F.F.B.) Institute outside Belmopan are about to pay off and all eyes will be on Houston, where the game is expected to start sometime after 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 15.
F.F.B. president, Dr. Bertie Chimilio, leads the Belize delegation, but the real leader on the field is their seasoned goalkeeper, 27-year-old Shane Orio, who won several semi-pro championships in Belize with Kulture Yabra, and now plays for Puntarenas, in Costa Rica’s professional league. He helped Puntarenas win as sub-champions in last year’s competition.
Alternate goalkeeper, Charley Slusher, at 35 is the oldest player on the team, and he is a veteran of the Belize selection, which lost by an aggregate of 8-0 in their two games of the first qualifying round against Canada for the 2006 World Cup in Seoul.
Most recently, he successfully defended his goal to help semipro rookies B.D.F. win the Belize Premier League’s sub-championship this year.
Belize’s other professionals who are playing in the region include 24-year-old striker Harrison “Kafu” Roches, and 26-year-old midfielder, Elroy Smith; both play with Deportes Sabio, in Honduras.
Ryan Simpson, 22, also had professional experience with Atletico Chiriqui in Panama, but returned home to play last season with Georgetown Ibayani.
What the selection lacks in experience, they make up for with youthful energy and enthusiasm. Belizean fans can also expect exciting action from 19-year-old Deon Macaulay of the B.D.F. team, the BPFL’s top goal-scorer a year ago, and 27-year-old Jerome James, of F.C. Belize, who won the BPFL’s Most Goals award this past season.
The 2008 MVP of the BPFL, Daniel Jimenez, 19, is the youngest player on the selection, but he too is confident that Belize will get some goals.
Their strategy is simple: lock up shop to keep the Mexicans out of their backfield and goal area, and forward the ball to the midfield and strikers to get a goal.
Midfield general Deris Benavides, 30, of the San Pedro Dolphins will be creating the plays for the strikers, with the support of Bernard Linarez, 22, of Georgetown Ibayani, David Trapp, 26, of the Revolutionary Conquerors, and Cristobal Gilharry, 27, of F.C. Belize.
Coach Ian Mork replaced Jose Palmiro Salas as technical director at the beginning of May, and with the help of physical trainer, Luis Cabrera, has been preparing the selection for their historic confrontation.
In recent friendly practice matches, Team Belize lost 2-0 to Honduras, but scored 3 goals against Costa Rica in a 120-minute match that ended 4-3 in Cost Rica’s favor. The match was played in four 30-minute quarters, and ‘ticos’ were up 2-0 before Harrison Roches scored the first goal for Belize in the first quarter, and Dion Macaulay equalized the score at 2-2 in the second quarter.
The ‘ticos’ gained a 3-2 advantage, and Belize was denied a penalty when Macaulay was taken down inside the 18-yard box in the third quarter, but again Roches equalized the score in the fourth quarter. It was not until the last five minutes that the host team was able to score a fourth goal for the win.

14 de junio de 2008

Scenes Of Belizean Heritage

A Freighter in Belizean Waters
The Belize Barrier Reef

Pottery in Cave

These are photos by Tony Rath and thanks to him the Belizean heritage is kept forever in photgraphs.

13 de junio de 2008


Fuel Prices Up Again; Diesel now at $11.04
I was driving to work this morning at mid-day and had the radio on in my van. I wish I didn't because the news that came oVer the radio is another nightmare and proof that political promises are idle talk to win elections. The politician will tell you that this is a global thing and one they have no control over. I know that to be true so then maybe it is time for us to stop promising that cost of things will not go up when we know that we will have no control over prices anyway.

Jumps in the cost of fuel are becoming so regular, consumers have gone from saying “Again!” to “how much now?” But the prices in effect as of today are startlingly reflective of a disturbing new reality. Premium gasoline will sell for eleven dollars and seventeen cents, up thirty-five cents. Regular jumped twenty-six cents to ten dollars and ninety-four cents a gallon. And diesel, often referred to as the lifeblood of the economy, is now a whopping eleven dollars and four cents, up forty-nine cents from the old price of ten fifty-five.

12 de junio de 2008


This weekend classical ballet will take centre stage at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts as the Ballet Art School presents its 2008 show, “Forever Dancing”. According to Director Mamie Martinez, the event will highlight the strict intricacies of classical ballet.Mamie Martinez, Director, Ballet Arts School“We have students ranging from the age four to teenagers of eighteen and they will be doing classical ballet; beautiful dancing in lovely costumes. It’s really exciting so I’d like to encourage everyone to come out and join us at the Bliss on Saturday, the fourteenth of June at seven p.m. and on Sunday evening at five p.m. So please join us we’re very excited about this show and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you come out.”Tickets are available at the Bliss box office. Reserve is twenty dollars while general admission is ten. Saturday’s show starts at seven while the dancing will begin at five on Sunday.

11 de junio de 2008


Second place goes to Holy Redeemer
Second place honours went to Denesha Grant with a score of three hundred and eighty-one. For Denesha, her classmates and staff at Holy Redeemer, the success represented the culmination of years of effort.Denesha Grant, 2nd Place P.S.E. StudentI didn’t think I would do this well on the P.S.E. I was doubting myself. I wasn’t sure I would do so good. I though I did good but not so good.”Ann-Marie Williams“How hard you studied?”Denesha Grant“I took all the classes that my school was offering’ Saturday classes, evening and morning classes and I also did summer classes so I studied extremely hard for this examination.”Molly Hulett, Principal, Holy Redeemer Primary School“Well, I’m happy, I’m excited. It’s something that I was expecting because Denesha has always been consistent. She has maintained that throughout her school years here so I’m really happy for her and she made our school very proud.”Ann-Marie Williams“Holy Redeemer has not been second in a long time right?”Molly Hulett“Yes, for a very long time indeed. We’ve always been placed in the top twenty-five though every year.”As top performer Shaneice Lord receives the Jane and Michael Nembhard Award which includes a computer as well as financial aid to attend high school. Both Shaneice and Denesha will be attending Saint Catherine Academy. All the top students will be honoured at a national awards ceremony later this month.

9 de junio de 2008


Shaneice Lord, Top P.S.E. Student, “I feel very happy because I worked very hard to get where I am right now. I worked very hard. My teacher drilled and tested us very hard. We did evening classes, Saturday classes. I was pretty sure I was going to come in the top twenty-five.”

Sherry Ali, Principal, Bernice Yorke School, “I’m overwhelmed and overjoyed right now. We expected at least two or three to come in the top twenty-five so we’re overjoyed and elated right now.”

Ann-Marie Williams,“How hard you drilled your class?”

Sherry Ali, “Well, every year we do the same thing. We work hard. We work hard early. The positive thing about this class is that they’ve been with us since pre-school so they have been molded into our way.”

Ann-Marie Williams, “A small class helps?”

Sherry Ali, “Yes, a small class does help. It’s a total of twelve students that took the exam.”

8 de junio de 2008


The results of the annual Primary School Examination are in and, unlike some years in the past, there is reason to celebrate. Mean scores were up in all four categories, with major improvement in three. Let’s shine a spotlight on the nation’s top achievers. From out of six thousand three hundred and sixty-six students who sat the exam, Shaneice Lord of Bernice Yorke School attained the highest score: three hundred eighty-eight points out of a possible four hundred. Shaneice and her classmates received the good news this morning.

7 de junio de 2008


Flash floods caused by tropical storm Arthur have killed at least five people in southeastern Belize, including a toddler, the government of the tiny Central American country said.
Arthur, the first storm of the year in the Atlantic, dumped over 28cm of rain across Belize this week as it moved inland, also drenching southern Mexican states.

The body of a 2-year-old boy was found on Tuesday evening. His father had struggled for half an hour in turbulent floodwaters before the infant was washed away.

Two people from the southeastern district of Stann Creek were still missing on Wednesday.
Belize, wedged between Mexico and Guatemala with a population of just 300,000, is best known for its laid-back atmosphere, palm-fringed islands and coral reefs.

Torrential rains from Arthur – which have also left swathes of southern Mexico waterlogged – swelled rivers in Belize and wiped away two bridges in the south, severing key transport arteries for Belize's farming and fishing industries.

"This was really a kind of freak occurrence that with the best will in the world, and all the resources in the world, we could not have anticipated," Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who became Belize's first black leader on taking office in February, said this week.

Authorities estimated that 13,000 people across the country were affected by Arthur.

6 de junio de 2008


Parents should make sure children can swim like Riley!!!

This young lad of three survived the flooding because he was able to swim.

It is fortunate for three years old, Riley Rubio that his mother had taught him to swim from a very young age because when the flooding started he was being transported by dory ( a dugged out canoe) when his ability came into play.

The canoe capsized and when he was found later, Riley was on land.

Riley Rubio is from Mullins River. This commuinity suffered greatly from the flood that came when Tropical Depression Arthur caused four days of countinuous rain on Belize.

5 de junio de 2008



When we think of Belize we think of the cayes, our mayan monuments and our cultural dances and youth. but there is more to Belize than meets the eyes. We are a people who are strong and proud and free. An outside to this beautiful jewel may think we are not smart enough but that it thier opinion because the educationl system in Belize is stronger and more rigid than that of the good old USA. Belizean excel in schools all over the USA but often times when students come from th USA they can't meet the requirements in our high schools.

So while we eat our plates of rice and bean, stewed chicken and potato salad let us smile with pride for WE ARE BELIZEANS AND WE ARE FREE.

4 de junio de 2008


I recieved a e-mail from a friend and she was welcoming me to the hurricane season. I had to laugh because we both have to share the hardships of hurricanes. She lives in Florida and every year they too have to worry and some times more than we, Belizeans do, about hurricanes. I know I should not be laughing as it is not funny but the bottom dollar is, we get nervous when we hear the word hurricane mentioned. I don't like them at all and since the last one I have yet to finish repairing my house and now with the rising cost of things in Belize and the world at large, I doubt very much if I can afford a hurricane. I am all for packing up and giving in so this could be the beginning of a change for me. But not very one can just pack up and leave so we have to think positively and prepare for these darn storms!

So with the hurricane season officially here I guess it is time to look at what we have and reassess our priorities.

What Is A Tropical Depression, Tropical Storm Or A Hurricane:
Tropical Depression

A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained wind speed is 38 mph or less ( less than 33 kt or 17 m/s). Depressions have a closed circulation.
Tropical StormA tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained wind speed ranges from 39 mph (34 kt or 18 m/s) to 73 mph (63 kt or 33 m/s). The convection in tropical storms is usually more concentrated near the center with outer rainfall organizing into distinct bands.


When winds in a tropical cyclone equal or exceed 74 mph (64 kt or 34 m/s) it is called a hurricane. Hurricanes are further designated by categories on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Hurricanes in categories 3, 4, 5 are known as Major Hurricanes or Intense Hurricanes.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale:
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a 1-5 rating based on the hurricane's present intensity. This is used to give an estimate of the potential property damage and flooding expected along the coast from a hurricane landfall. Wind speed is the determining factor in the scale, as storm surge values are highly dependent on the slope of the continental shelf in the landfall region. Note that all winds are using the U.S. 1-minute average.

Category One Hurricane:

Winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt or 119-153 km/hr). Barometric Pressure Above 980 mb (Above 28.94 in) Storm surge generally 4-5 ft above normal. No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. Also, some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage.

Category Two Hurricane:

Winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt or 154-177 km/hr). Barometric Pressure 965-980 mb (28.50-28.94 in) Storm surge generally 6-8 feet above normal. Some roofing material, door, and window damage of buildings. Considerable damage to shrubbery and trees with some trees blown down. Considerable damage to mobile homes, poorly constructed signs, and piers. Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings.

Category Three Hurricane:

Winds 111-130 mph (96-113 kt or 178-209 km/hr). Barometric Pressure 945-965 mb (27.91-28.50 in) Storm surge generally 9-12 ft above normal. Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall failures. Damage to shrubbery and trees with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly constructed signs are destroyed. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by battering from floating debris. Terrain continuously lower than 5 ft above mean sea level may be flooded inland 8 miles (13 km) or more. Evacuation of low-lying residences with several blocks of the shoreline may be required.

Category Four Hurricane:

Winds 131-155 mph (114-135 kt or 210-249 km/hr). Barometric Pressure 920-945 mb (27.17-27.91 in) Storm surge generally 13-18 ft above normal. More extensive curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failures on small residences. Shrubs, trees, and all signs are blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Extensive damage to doors and windows. Low-lying escape routes may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore. Terrain lower than 10 ft above sea level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas as far inland as 6 miles (10 km).

Category Five:

Winds greater than 155 mph (greater than 135 kt or 249 km/hr). Barometric Pressure Below 920 mb (Below 27.17 in) Storm surge generally greater than 18 ft above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. All shrubs, trees, and signs blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5-10 miles (8-16 km) of the shoreline may be required.

( H for hit, T for light touch.)
1945 - 2 un-named
1950 - 1953 None
1954 - Gilda (T)
1955 - 1959 none
1960 - Abby (TS)
1961 - Anna (H), Hattie (H)
1962 - 1968 none
1969 - Francelia (H) Barely touching the southern tip of Belize
1970 - none
1971 - Chloe (T), Edith (H), Laura (T)
1972 - 1973 None
1974 - Fifi (H), Carmen (H) Barely touching the northern Tip of Belize
1975 - 1976 None
1977 - Freida (T)
1978 - Greta (H)
1979 None
1980 - Hermine (T)
1981 - 1992 None
1993 - Gert (T)
1994 - 1999 None
2000 - Keith (H)
2001 - Iris (H), Chantal (T) Barely touching the northern tip of Belize
2005 - Emily (T), Wilma (T)

Hurricanes with direct impact since 1951

1961 = 2
1971 = 1
1974 = 1
1978 = 1
2000 = 1
2001 = 1

3 de junio de 2008


The success of a people is in its YOUTH. Brenda A. Ysaguirre

After waiting for over two hours for Min. Maichael Faber to arrive at CCC last Friday, the students and teachers finally got the long awaited event and the following photos were taken to show that CCC knows how to welcome a distinguished guest. In the audience were also the Chairlady of the Board of Governors at CCC, Mrs. Elda Alonzo; Mr. Jose Mai, Dean of CJC Day Division; Mr. Miguel Montero, Assistant Dean of CJC Day Division; and Ms. Brenda A. Ysaguirre, Director of CCC Adult and Continuing Division.

Hats off to the dancers and the Marching Band for excellent performances and to Dalila's group for their poem. You all did a spendid job and Corozal is proud of you all!
Brenda A. Ysaguirre

CCC Dancers on Day of Minister Of Education, Hon. Michael Faber's Visit Vice President of Student Council, Miss Aguilar
Teacher Dalila Tillett's Group with the poem, Little Fairies

Master of Ceremony and Vice Principal Mr. Guadalupe Cima

Hon. Michael Faber, Minister of Education addressin students and teachers

CCC Dancers perform under the guidance of Mrs. Ugarte
Music Teacher Mr. Pitts and the CCC Marching Band

1 de junio de 2008


Rice Scarce as Farmers Hold out for Higher Prices
A trip to many of Belize City’s most popular supermarkets has confirmed what shoppers have been saying for several days. No rice no deh. The problem apparently lies in that by now familiar phenomenon of skyrocketing prices for diesel fuel and other agricultural inputs. The mechanised farmers of Blue Creek say they approached government three weeks ago, saying that in addition to higher fuel prices, the cost of fertilizer has more than doubled, along with other agro-chemicals. They are seeking a new price for producers, said to be in the vicinity of one-fifteen per pound. According to Chief Agricultural Officer Eugene Waight, the problem is not production, as the ministry estimates there is enough paddy to supply the nation well into the next crop in September. It appears, however, that Blue Creek growers, who market under the Circle R label, are reluctant to sell at present prices which they say are below their costs of production. They are awaiting a decision from Belmopan … which may come as early as Tuesday’s Cabinet session. Until then Belizeans may have to get by with potatoes, ground food and tortillas. When rice does come back on the market the suggested retail price may hit a dollar thirty—still lower than the prevailing rates in Mexico and Guatemala.And if the price of rice is not enough to get you down, try the new fuel prices which will take effect at midnight tonight. Premium is up twenty-three cents to ten-eighty-two, regular has risen the same amount to ten-sixty-eight, diesel is up a whopping ninety-four cents coming in at ten-fifty-five and kerosene has come to rest seventy-eight cents higher at ten dollars and fifty cents per gallon.