30 de marzo de 2008


The Rio Hondo is a river of Central America, approximately 150 km (93.2 mi) in length, which flows in a northeasterly direction to discharge into Chetumal Bay on the Caribbean Sea. Most of the international border between the nations of Mexico and Belize runs along its length.
The river is formed from the confluences of several upper tributaries, such as the Río Azul (later Blue Creek in Belize) and Chanchich (Rio Bravo) which have their sources in Guatemala's Petén Basin region, and Booth's River which originates in the western Belizean district of Orange Walk. These tributaries join to form the Rio Hondo near the settlements of Blue Creek Village, on the Belizean side, and La Unión on the Mexican side. The river continues its northeastern course with few other settlements along its length until reaching its outlet in Chetumal Bay. The city of Chetumal, capital of Mexico's Quintana Roo state and the major port of the region, lies close to this outlet.
Several archaeological sites of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization are located near the river's path.
The river is mentioned in a stanza of Belize's national anthem, Land of the Free:
Our fathers, the Baymen, valiant and bold
Drove back the invader; this heritage hold
From proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon,
Through coral isle, over blue lagoon;

29 de marzo de 2008



Belize River is a 180-mile (290 km) river in Belize that drains more than one-quarter of the country as it winds along the northern edge of the Maya Mountains across the center of the country to the sea near Belize City. However the Belize River/Mopan River Catchment contains over 45 percent of the population of Belize. Also known as the Old River, the Belize River is navigable up to the Guatemalan border and served as the main artery of commerce and communication between the interior and the coast until well into the twentieth century.

The Belize River begins where the Mopan River and Macal River join just east of San Ignacio, Belize. It flows through the Belize river valley which is largely comprised of tropical rain forest. The river has long been associated with forestry, particularly of mahogany, some small stands of which still occur.

The Belize River is a vital source of drinking water and other domestic use for local people living along the river; however, water quality is degraded from sediment, nutrient loading, pesticides and other toxins. The major source of degradation is the extensive deforestation in the upper reaches of the Mopan River and non-sustainable agriculture.

Karper and Boles have asserted: "The greater Mopan/Belize River Catchment provides a prime example of a watershed under stress from extensive non-sustainable agricultural practices that have occurred within the region over the past three decades." Slash-and-burn agricultural practices by native peoples are contributing to such watershed degradation in an ongoing way.

27 de marzo de 2008


Southern Belize is for those who want to explore off the beaten track. Its small towns and villages and largely undisturbed environment make the area seem unspoiled and isolated. Although the roads are long and usually in bad condition, the scenery is spectacular and exotic, with large expanses of forests and the eastern fringe of the Mayan mountains on the horizon.
The main road into the south is the Hummingbird Highway, which begins in Belmopan and travels down to Dangriga. Although the highway is well paved up to the Caves Branch River, it degenerates with potholes and bumps as it travels further south. About 15 miles from Belmopan is the Blue Hole, a lovely, circular swimming hole surrounded by forest. The waters come from an underground river, making them unusually cool. From the Blue Hole, a trail leads off the highway to St. Herman's Cave, a large limestone cavern. After that, the highway leads to the colorful town of Dangriga, dominated by the Garifuna culture.
Encompassing 100,000 acres of lush jungle in Southern Belize, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is about an hour's drive south of Dangriga on the Southern Highway. Situated around Belize's Cockscomb Basin, a lush mountain basin full of tropical forest and jungle streams, the Sanctuary is a great place for nature lovers. In addition to the jaguar, the sanctuary's diverse ecosystem protects a sizable percentage of Belize's plant and animal species, including the endangered ocelot, margay, baird's tapir, kinkajou and scarlet macaw. There are several beautiful nature trails in the sanctuary, including Ben's Bluff Trail, from which hikers can get the best views of the basin, and a trail up to Victoria's Peak, the second highest mountain in Belize.
Further along the Southern Highway is a 26-mile long dirt road which leads to the Placencia Peninsula, a wonderful place for diving, snorkelling, fishing, and viewing wildlife. Much of the surrounding forest around the nearby Monkey River has been declared a Special Conservation Area. A slow ride up the jungle-lined river offers the opportunity to view iguanas, crocodiles, howler monkeys and a large variety of tropical birds.
Further south of Placencia is the remote Toledo District, where over half the population is Mayan. Pot-holed dirt roads lead past isolated Mayan villages, primary rain forests, monstrous caves and numerous ancient ruins returning to the forest, making Toledo a difficult but exciting destination for adventurous travellers. Punta Gorda is the southern-most town in Belize and the largest in Toledo with a population of 6,000.
Lying along the slope of the Mayan mountains in Toledo is the 92,000-acre Bladen Nature Reserve, probably Belize's most pristine protected rainforest. Largely unexplored, the reserve contains massive outcrops of limestone, sinkholes, caves waterfalls and numerous species of wildlife. Adjacent to Bladen Reserve is the 103,000 acre Columbia River Forest Reserve, which is the most biologically diverse ecosystem in Belize. The Temash and Sarstoon Delta Wildlife Sanctuary has spectacular 30-40-foot tall red mangrove trees, and abundant wildlife such as the gibnut, peccary, warrie, crocodile and jaguar. When you go to these remote reserves, it is a good idea to be totally self-sufficient in terms of equipment and food. Guides can be hired at the nearby village of San Jose for strenuous treks into the reserves.
Toledo is rich in Mayan ruins, but many of them are overgrown, with little information about them available. One of the better-maintained sites is Lubaatun, which lies on a ridge above a valley, ½ mile from the village of San Pedro Columbia. Uphill from the nearby Indian Creek village, is Nim Li Punit, an ancient ceremonial center with magnificent views and 25 stelae, types of carved stone monuments, including one of the largest stelae in Belize.
Click for attractions at and around Placencia and Dangriga. The following are those further south around Punta Gorda:-
Fajina Craft Center for handicrafts
Blue Creek Cave for path to cave, and canopy walk through rainforest
Rio Blanco Falls, guided trips of cascades in the Maya Mountains
Trekking of jungle, caves, waterfalls
Mayan ruins of Uxbenka
Agua Caliente Nature Reserve for birdwatching, hiking, hot water spring and wildlife
Barranco Village 12 miles south of Punta Gorda, reached by boat, to visit Temash River, Sarstoon Temash National Park (see above)
Kayaking ocean cayes or in rivers
Fishing for tarpon, permit and bonefish

Jaguar Reef Lodge, DangrigaStann Creek area hotels

Visitor Info
In Punta Gorda, Dangriga and Placencia there are local taxis and buses, but generally we recommend you have your own 4WD rental car for greatest flexibility and mobility. Make sure you fill up with petrol as petrol stations are relatively spread out in the south. From Punta Gorda's customs docks leaves a daily ferry for Puerto Barrios, on the Caribbean coast of Guatemala.
getting thereThe drive with rental car is adventurous, as there are long stretches of gravel road down to southerly Punta Gorda (4 hours or 168 miles from Belize City, via the Western, Coastal, Hummingbird and then Southern Highways), but crosses very attractive scenery. We recommend a 4WD. En route you pass, and can stay at, Placencia and Dangriga. There are also regular domestic flights to Placencia, Dangriga and Punta Gorda with Tropic Air and Maya Airways, the flight to Punta Gorda lasting about 60 minutes.

26 de marzo de 2008


Located in western Belize, the Cayo District has a wealth of interest and activities for the visitor as well as being the gateway to Guatemala and the incredible ruins of Tikal.
Although the Mountain Pine Ridge is often considered the key attraction of the district, Cayo also encompasses some great Mayan ruins, the frontier-like towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, the border town of Benque Viejo with its Latin influence, and the lush valley between the incredibly picturesque Mopan and Macal rivers.
Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve consists of 800 sq km of beautiful, unspoiled mountain country dotted with rivers, waterfalls and caves and teeming with beautiful flora and fauna. One of the most interesting things about the reserve is that much of it is thick pine forest, one of Belize's more peculiar geological anomalies. With numerous nature trails and impressive destinations, Mountain Pine Ridge is the ideal place for hiking and horseback riding, while the many rivers that run through it are great for kayaking and canoeing. Above all, the reserve is a wonderful place to contemplate nature and view birds and other wildlife, as well as its many incredible natural wonders.
The highest waterfall in the reserve, and in fact in all of Central America, is the Hidden Valley Falls, a silver cascade which plunges almost 500 metres into a misty valley. Not to far away is Butterfly Falls, where such rare birds as the toucan, orange-breasted falcon and king vulture can be seen. Big Rock Falls and Five Sisters Falls are located a short distance from each other. Five Sisters is actually five smaller waterfalls which cascade into a large pool, an ideal place for a refreshing swim. You can also swim at Big Rock falls, which is more off the beaten path.
Rio Frio Cave, one of the most impressive river caves in Belize, is located just a short walk from the Mountain Pine Ridge's entrance. After you enter the cave's 65 foot arched entryway, you can see numerous pools and falls and large stalactites which hang all through the quarter-mile long cave. On the other side is a nature trail which leads to another cave, Cuevas Gemelas. Also close to the cave are the Rio On Pools, consisting of a number of small waterfalls and pools, another good place for swimming.
The rough roads in the reserve are often impassable during the wet season, and still not easily passable in the dry season. However, inaccessibility helps keep this beautiful land unspoilt and natural for visitors willing to see it on horseback, by foot or kayak and canoe.

Barton Creek Cave where you can take a canoe with spot-lights through this cave used by the Mayas

Belize Botanic Gardens with around 300 tree species, close to DuPlooy's Jungle Lodge

Butterfly Breeding Center for blue morpho, at Chaa Creek

Cahal Pech Mayan ruin, close to San Ignacio Hotel

Caracol Mayan ruin with tallest man-made pyramid in country

Chechem Ha Cave, which harboured Mayan pottery, reached by tough 30 minute climb

Hidden Valley Falls, Clarissa Falls and Five Sister Falls

El Pilar Mayan ruins, 12 miles north of San Ignacio

Pacbitun Mayan ruins, in San Ignacio Village, by foot or by horse

Xunantunich Mayan ruins, near Guatemala border, reached by simple ferry

Yalbac Mayan site in the Yalbac Hills, northeast of San Ignacio, reached by hiking

Green Hills Butterfly House and Botanical Collection on mile 8 of Mountain Pine Ridge Road

Flour Camp Cave, with Maya pottery, stone tools, burial chambers, and stalactites. (You need to be fit for this)

Rio Frio Cave, with attractive half-mile cave, large boulders and stalactites (see above)

Rainforest Medicinal Trail

Rio On Pools for swimming (see above)

Spanish Lookout area of Mennonite settlements, on turnoff from Western Highway just west of Belmopan

Waterhole Cavern (Bat Cave) for 45 minute hike to cavern opening, then impressive cave with lake and colossal formations. (You need to be fit for this).

Horseriding through the area, waterfalls, jungle trails, remote areas

Mountain biking

White water rafting on upper Macal River, and perhaps Vaca Falls

Tanah Mayan Art Museum in San Ignacio Village, run by Garcia sisters, with Mayan artifacts and carvings

Chiquibul Forest Reserve in the south, with scarlet macaws, keel-billed motmots, tapirs and wild pigs, Las Cuevas cave system and Puente Natural (natural bridge over a mountain). Need permit and a guide is recommended.

Visitor Info

The Cayo district, and particularly the Mountain Pine Ridge, is one of the jewels of Belize, a vast rugged forest in the low mountains. It is a great base for spending a minimum of 3 nights, and up to 10 days, exploring the many attractions of Mountain Ridge Reserve and the surrounding area of San Ignacio, Benque Viejo. There is a range of great lodges in the area, catering for all tastes and interests, each with its own personality, and most in attractive locations. Although you can rely on transfers and transport provided by the lodge, for greatest mobility and flexibility we recommend a rental car. This should be a 4WD as all the roads in the Mountain Pine Reserve are dirt.
Mountain Pine Ridge or the San Ignacio area is a popular base for a drive or day trip across the border to Tikal, just 80 miles (130 kms) to the west of the border by Flores.getting thereThe 60 mile drive west from Belize City along the Western Highway to Georgeville takes around 1 1/2 hours. There you turn south onto the dirt road into Mountain Pine Ridge. If you carried on the Western Highway, San Ignacio is a further 10 miles (ie 70 miles from Belize City). There are no regular domestic flights with Tropic Air and Maya Airways, but charters can be arranged.

25 de marzo de 2008



I am hoping that the Corozal Commuinty and the Schools in the Corozal District will visit the display of my poetic ability. I have won many awards over the years and continue to win awards and have some
of my poetry published in books in the USA. Eventually I want to publish my book of poetry and hopefully use the money to help my SUPERMAMA PROJECT.

Anyone who wishes to donate to this cause for Single Mothers can do so by contacting us at brendaysaguirre@gmail.com

24 de marzo de 2008


Located on the northern tip of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve the nine-acre Tobacco Caye was used for years as a trading post and fishing camp. Now, because of its close proximity to the Barrier Reef it is a frequent destination for divers and anglers. Many rustic resorts offering diving, fishing and tours are situated here. Boats travel daily to the caye from Dangriga.

Located about 25 miles east of Belize City, the Turneffe Atoll is the largest of Belize’s three atolls. It is home to several small, pristine cayes accented with palm trees, white beaches and mangroves. Only a few hundred yards from the Barrier Reef, the islands offer excellent diving, snorkeling and fishing opportunities.
Turneffe Flats (Northern Bogue), Turneffe Island Lodge (Caye Bokel) and Blackbird Caye Resort (Blackbird Caye) all offer diving and fishing on the islands.
attractionsfishing, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, beach combing, nature.

Visitor Info

Although all cayes cater to divers, snorkelers, and beach-lovers, you can really choose the caye for you as each is different in size, depth of activities, facilities, types of lodging, night-life, and remoteness.
Transport once there is not a problem; you either walk, take a boat, or use a golf cart or bike on the larger islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye.
getting thereOf course boat is the main form of transport to and between the islands, although several of the cayes have landing strips. Only Ambergris has scheduled flights. Boats leave from Belize City, or from Dangriga for the more southerly cayes.
Turneffe Island(Brad Gerber)

23 de marzo de 2008


Located about 20 minutes by boat from Belize City, the tiny, crescent-shaped St. George’s Caye is the most historic of all the offshore cayes. It was here that the British established the territory’s first real settlement and where the Spanish made their last-ditch effort to conquer Belize on Sept. 10, 1798. Belizeans still commemorate this battle annually as St. George’s Caye Day.
St George’s Caye is a popular destination for fishing, snorkeling or just relaxing on the beach. St. Georges Lodge dive resort provides an intimate romantic setting, and Colonial-style Cottage Colony is close to the water’s edge.

22 de marzo de 2008



Located less than half an hour by boat from the town of Dangriga, South Water is one of Belize’s most idyllic cayes. The 15-acre coral island, resting right atop the barrier reef is an excellent area for diving.
Blue Marlin Lodge is a dive/fishing resort in tropical luxury, and is the only full service diving resort near Dangriga. International Zoological Expedition’s cottages and student dorms are based near the center of the island. Pelican Beach Resort offers student group facilities near the island’s center and honeymoon/family cottages on the southern end.

21 de marzo de 2008


The Placencia Peninsula is an 11-mile strip of land sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea and the Placencia Lagoon, is a place of white, sandy beaches, clear blue ocean and cooling palms. Close to several small, idyllic cayes, it is the ideal place for diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking and deep sea or reef fishing.
The mangrove habitat of Placencia Lagoon is one of the most important ecosystems in Belize. Though unpredictable, visitors can sometimes spot the endangered manatee in secluded bays or rivers emptying into the lagoon. Several species of birds, such as the snowy egret, the white ibis, frigate birds, brown boobies and pelicans nest and roost around the lagoon and the cayes. The marine life around the peninsula is equally intriguing. Coral gardens abound, around which several colorful fish and a carpet of sea grass and anemones thrive.
Placencia Town, situated on the southern tip of the peninsula, is almost as remote as an island. It is a quiet and rustic little town with no streets, just a concrete footpath around which wooden houses on stilts rest underneath palms. A trip to nearby Seine Bight, a traditional Garifuna village a few miles north of Placencia Town, provides a chance to sample Garifuna cooking and music.
Placencia Village, creole fishing village with swimming beaches, bars, restaurants
Placencia Lagoon with manatees, mangrove swamps, birding by canoe or kayak (most resorts can rent)
Seine Bight, a traditional Garifuna village a few miles north of Placencia Town (see above)
Diving and snorkeling, off beaches and to nearby cayes such as Silk Cayes, barrier reefs, Scipio Caye, Bird Caye, French Louie and Lark cayes
Maya Beach, with white sandy beaches, seaside bars, 3 miles north of Seine Bight
Kayaking including tours of cayes and campout
Laughing Bird Caye National Park, a World Heritage Site 13 miles from Placencia, for swimming, snorkeling and diving
Monkey River Village, a small creole village on mouth of Monkey River
Fishing for bonefish, permit and tarpon, and deep-sea fishing off boats
Mayan ruins of Nim Li Punit and Lubantuum
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (with its associated Maya Centre Village and 12 self-guided trails, or guided tour with river tubing), a 100,000 acre forest recognized as the only jaguar preserve in the world, great wildlife, and nearly 300 bird species
Birding on the peninsula, where over 54 species have been recorded
Mayflower Archaeological Reserve, in the Maya Mountains foothills, with 3 post-classic Maya ruins (Mayflower, T'au Witz and Maintzunun) and waterfalls Antelope Falls and Three Sisters Fall
Bladden River Reserve for walk on jungle trails and boat tour through mangroves.

18 de marzo de 2008


Located 50 miles southeast of Belize City, Lighthouse Reef is a panorama of swaying palms, powdery white beaches, striking coral formations and turquoise waters. It is the only atoll with a private airstrip and the nearest atoll to the Blue Hole. Looking from the air like a dark blue cavity in a field of turquoise, this almost perfectly circular underwater cave is Lighthouse Reef’s most spectacular natural wonder. The cave measures 1,000 feet in diameter and 480 feet deep, and was made famous by Jacques Cousteau, who explored the fascinating site in 1972.

At the southeast corner of Lighthouse Reef is the 45-acre Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, the country’s first national park (1982). It is home to reptiles, turtles and a large diversity of birds, including thousands of red-footed boobies. The only other similar booby colony is on an island near Tobago.

Lighthouse Reef Resort is an upscale beachfront dive resort located on Northern Caye and includes 11 villas, suites, mini-suites and cabanas.



The unexpected has finally come to past. The day when someone will look me in the face and say on of my blogs is an abuse of my position. People, the last time I checked I lived in a free society in a free world and I was allowed freedom by the blogspot on the internet to voice my opinions and to try to help others to learn. I pray the readers out there will see what I am saying and tell me if there has been anything on these blogs of mine that has misled anyone. I am a teacher by profession and director of the school in which I teach and one I am ashamed of my profession at the moment. You will ask why I am ashamed. My answer is because if a colleague can look me in the face and write on paper that I am abusing my position with the use of these or any of my blogs or website when all I set out to do was to help my students and to give some colour to their little Corozal Town lives, then there is something wrong with the educational system in which I live. Either it will have to go or I will.

This is the why wars begin. People misunderstand things because they are told a lot of rubbish and ideas are pushed into their already packed brain. I urge each and everyone to stop and think before they listen to others. Ask yourself why is this person doing this and what is the hidden agenda? People do things for different reasons. Think. Why would someone who is supposed to be a friend or was a friend at one time, of another person, suddenly turn on him or her?

I will tell you right now if I am told that this entry was wrong to write there will be a lot of changes in Belize very soon. My democratic right as a citizen in a free country must never be taken for granted. I may be a lot of things to different people, but I am a caring, honest teacher and Director. I fight for the right to learn and to have choices that will assist students to become strong men and women of Belize. It was my hope that one day someone out there would see these blogs and want to assist the school or students. THAT WAS MY HOPE. IT IS STILL MY HOPE AND I WILL TRY MY BEST TO SEE SOMETHING POSTIVE IN REGARDS TO THE BLOGS so they are not WRITTEN IN VAIN.

If you asked me why I began the blogs I would have to honestly say because Mr. Abel Lopez Rodriquez showed me how to do them. Abel is a person who sees the good in everything and everyone. I have had to tell him more than once that there are people who are around who are dangerous, conniving and just plain mean. All that sea breeze must be getting to the brain and causing a deficiency called “deception”. Trust me there will be no forgiving from now on.

Write me at http://cccandcjc-ace.blogspot.com and visit my website http://brendaysaguirre.galeon.com and tell me if I am abusing my connections with my school. I am calling on all bloggers to give me a hand on this. Give me the ammunition I need to fight back to save my blogs and myself. Today it is me, but tomorrow it can be YOU.

Thank you,
Brenda A. Ysaguirre
Director, ACE

17 de marzo de 2008


Caye Chapel Island Resort, Belize
Caye Chapel Island Resort, two hundred and sixty-five acres of Caribbean “PARADISE”. Truly a unique property, developed for those seeking the ultimate in seclusion, personal safety, and luxurious lifestyle within a getaway vacation.
Located just twelve miles off the coast of Belize, in the western Caribbean, a comfortable two-hour flight from the US mainland and a 10-minute flight from Belize City, Caye Chapel Island has been developed as a personal playground for the discriminating elite.
Operating as a very exclusive destination, this tropical island offers stunning seaside estate villas enhanced by the Caribbean Sea on its eastern shores and a spectacular 18-hole, Par 72 championship golf course (USGA rated) along its western edge. Featuring a deep-water marina welcoming yachts up to 140 feet, private airstrip, and 25,000 square foot clubhouse with a magnificent custom designed bar and restaurant, conference facilities, large swimming pool complex with bar, and over 2 miles of pristine sandy beaches.
Picturesque inland ponds, exotic wildlife, and abundant vegetation including several thousand coconut palm trees, enhance the magnificent views of the Caribbean Sea and Belize Barrier Reef. The entire property has been developed at the highest possible standards and is meticulously maintained.
Your private island retreat can be available to you for as reasonably as $200 per night for Jr. Suite accommodations. These casitas units are fully air-conditioned, finely furnished and outfitted with satellite television and DVD players. Measuring 750 square feet and overlooking a picturesque marina, the casita is ideal for hosting a romantic vacation for two.
The luxury villas have been designed with the discerning client in mind. No expense was spared when selecting the posh furnishings that emphasize the objective of total comfort, relaxation and privacy. Only steps away from the Caribbean Sea, these 3500 square foot homes offer either 2 or 3-bedroom floor plans with additional adjoining rooms equipped with bunk beds, twin size beds, or cribs which can be arranged to accommodate families of all sizes. Several televisions with satellite television and DVD players are available within all villas. Each master bath boasts Jacuzzi-style tubs and dual-sink vanity areas. Enormous walk-in closets may tempt you to pack for more than a typical 7-day getaway. Villa rates range from $800 to $1,500 per night based on four-person occupancy, proving that extravagance can be truly affordable.
For those with more discriminating taste and a need for the utmost level of privacy and seclusion, the entire island may be yours for $15,600 daily inclusive of meals. This rate guarantees exclusive rights to the entire property, closing the marina and golf course to all but your invited guests. Caye Chapel is able to comfortably accommodate 40 or more of your friends, family or employees, providing you with absolute reign of six oceanfront villas and eleven marina-view casitas. Superior service is offered at Caye Chapel affording your friends and family the ultimate in personal satisfaction.
On-island: Unlimited golfing on our 18-hole championship golf course, Snorkelling, Pier Fishing, Shore walkout, Bone Fishing, Island Lake Tarpon Fishing, Paddle Boats, Kayaking, Bicycles, Volleyball court, Basketball court, 4 miles of jogging paths, Horseshoe pits, Coconut bowling, Crocodile and Bird watching, Spa treatments, Fine Dining.
Off-island: Diving, Mayan Ruins, Cave Tubing, Parasailing, Water-skiing, Belize Zoo, Belize City tours, Jungle Tours, River Tours, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Museums, Rafting, and much more.

16 de marzo de 2008


White sand beaches predominate the palm-fringed Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, a World Heritage site. Once the base of pirate John Glover, now boaters, divers and anglers flock to this isolated island. The most remote of the atolls, Glover’s Reef is about 70 miles southeast of Belize City. The far-out location makes this one of the most pristine areas in Belize. Brilliant blue waters in the 80-square-mile lagoon are dotted with some 700 coral patches and surrounded by 50 miles of sheer drop-offs ranging from 40 to 2,600 feet long. Excellent scuba diving, snorkeling, fly-fishing, kayaking and camping are all available here.
On Northeast Caye, Glovers Atoll Resort has cabins, camping, scuba diving, snorkeling, fly-fishing and marine instruction. Sea kayakers can explore patch reefs and the vertical wall surrounding the atoll through Slickrock Adventures, based on Long Caye. Their Water Sports Center resort features scuba diving, windsurfing and kayak surfing. There is also the chance for scenic camping on Long Caye.
Southwest Cayes consists of two islands. Kayaking can be done on the northernmost of the two islands. Manta Resort features thatched-roof cabanas, diving, snorkeling and fishing on the 14-acre southernmost island.

Wildlife Conservation Society at the forefront of Marine Conservation in Belize

Glovers Reef Marine Research Station WCS saves wildlife and wildlands by understanding and resolving critical problems that threaten key species and large, wild ecosystems around the world. As a leader in science-based conservation of marine wildlife for nearly a century, WCS’s Marine Program continues to promote conservation in the world’s oceans, seas and rivers. In over 20 countries, the WCS Marine Program develops innovative and constructive approaches to conserving marine biodiversity.
Located off the coast of Belize, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the Western Hemisphere. WCS’s Glovers Reef Marine Research Station, situated approximately 28 miles (45 kilometers) offshore, offers scientists throughout the world an opportunity to conduct high quality research focused on conserving marine wildlife at one of the Caribbean’s most complex and important coral reef systems.
The Glovers Reef Marine Research Station’s mission is to promote the long-term conservation and management of the Belize Barrier Reef through in-situ research, cooperative management, training, and education. The station successfully promotes the combination of both research and policy by serving as a scientific research station, a marine park headquarters for the Government of Belize and a location for students and local public to be educated and trained about the reef system and conservation.
Getting to Know Glovers ReefThe Belize Barrier reef is one of the world’s outstanding barrier reef systems, containing a necklace of three offshore atolls, hundreds of sand cays and patch reefs, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons, estuaries and a thriving ecosystem comprised of approximately 500 species of fish, 134 bird species, three varieties of nesting sea turtles, and one of the largest populations of West Indian Manatees.
One of the three off-shore atolls within the Belize barrier reef section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is Glover’s Reef Atoll, approximately 45 km off the coast of Belize. It is located at the southern most end of the Belize Barrier reef and is an oval-shaped atoll measuring 32km long and 12km wide. At a glance, Glovers Reef is composed of a deep lagoon studded with about 850 patch reefs and pinnacles rising to the surface, six sand cays located on the reef crest along the southern edge, and a peripheral reef broken in only three places by deep channels. Glovers Reef has three main habitats; the lagoon floor, the peripheral reefs and the patch reefs, and is recognized as the most biologically developed atoll within the Belize Barrier Reef. The extraordinary biodiversity found at Glovers Reef makes it an important area for conservation currently as well as an economically important area for locals. Some key economically important species that are found within the atoll are the spiny lobster, queen conch, Nassau grouper, black grouper, hogfish, mutton fish, and queen triggerfish. Of these, the Nassau grouper is listed as an endangered species on IUCN’s Red list. The atoll is also home to three endangered species of turtles. Glovers Reef is also renowned for containing the greatest diversity of coral reef types.
Each of the six sand cays within the atoll is privately owned, except for the southern portion of Southwest Cay, where the lighthouse is located. WCS owns Middle Cay, one of the six sand cays and uses it as a home for Glovers Reef Marine Research Station. The atoll is located in a sub tropical climate, with average temperatures between 24C and 27C. During November to February it is slightly colder due to northern winds and the likelihood for stormy weather and frequent rain is higher. Since located in the hurricane belt, during the months of June to November there is also the potential threat for Glovers to be subject to hurricanes. For more detailed information regarding Belize's weather please visit the Belize National Meteorological Service Website.
Glovers Reef Marine Research StationWCS began its involvement in Belize during the late 1980’s when it initiated the planning and creation of Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve. Finally in 1993, Glover’s reef was declared a Marine Reserve by the government of Belize. The reserve was established to maintain ecological processes, preserve genetic diversity, achieve sustainable yields through informed management of species and their habitats, maintain natural areas for education and research, and provide social and economic benefits through ecologically sensitive tourism and recreation (For more information see Marine Reserve).WCS, recognizing that declaring Glovers Reef as a marine reserve was not enough to protect and conserve the amazing habitats and species found there, made a commitment to the region by purchasing Middle Cay and opening a research station. The intention of Glovers Reef Marine Research Station is to provide both a platform for scientists to conduct cutting edge research to ensure effective conservation management, as well as provide a home for the marine reserve head quarters. Annually the research station serves as a platform for over 45 researchers and since opening in 1997, the station has hosted more than 100 scientific expeditions and served as a platform for 400 researchers and students. The research station is also used regularly for meetings concerning the management of the atoll. (See Facilities for more information)
Research at Glovers ReefTo accomplish WCS’ mission of long term conservation of Glover’s reef and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, GRMRS promotes and supports research primarily focused on management related issues which can be applied to developing effective management strategies. Past research as well as current research has focused on investigating the trends and status of important species within the atoll, evaluating the effectiveness of marine reserves as a conservation strategy and the importance of the atoll for a variety of different marine species. With low levels of human intervention, coral communities with intact trophic structuring, and several different management zones within the atoll, Glover’s reef is a prime location for researchers to conduct their investigations (See Research and Publications for more information) Discovering Coral ReefsCoral reef ecology is a large part of the research being conducted at Glover’s Reef. Researchers are working to uncover the ecological relationships that exist among the fish, coral and algal communities at the atoll and even how larger fish, including several shark species use the atoll. Like other coral reef ecosystems around the world, Glover's Reef Atoll faces increasing pressure from humans. Locally and regionally, overfishing along with pollution from shipping, tourism and deforestation are significant threats to the ecologically fragile reef system.
At the same time, Glover's has been affected by the global problem of coral bleaching, the process in which stressed coral polyps discharge their symbiotic algae. The 1998 worldwide bleaching event, intensified by El Niño, caused a 20 percent mortality rate at Glover's. Also in 1998, Hurricane Mitch, which stalled off the coast of Belize for several days, caused major damage to vast areas of the reef. How these collective factors will affect Glover's Reef over both the short and long term will be the subject of extensive studies of WCS scientists. It has been found that within Glover’s reef, coral loss and loss of previous coral zonation patterns is occurring. Researchers are looking to discover more answers, but have determined that in addition to coral bleaching and hurricanes, increased algae growth, lower abundance of reef fish, and reduced herbivory seem to impact the survival and abundance of certain coral types. The research has started to uncover some of the intricate trophic interactions at the reef among the coral and other species, but much more research is needed to fully understand and protect this precious environment from the threats it is facing (McClanahan and Muthiga 1998, McClanahan 1999, 2000, 2001).Designing Effective Marine ReservesGlovers Reef was chosen as an ideal site for a marine reserve in the 1970’s due to the complex and diverse reef system. In1993, Glovers Reef marine reserve was established and became the platform for future studies investigating the efficiency of marine reserves. The reserve has four management zones, the general use zone, the conservation zone, the seasonal closure zone and the wilderness zone (For more information see Marine reserve). Guidelines have been developed for each zone to regulate the entry and use of each area by people. The unique opportunity Glovers Reef marine reserve provides has resulted in research projects investigating the effect of marine reserves on commercially important species like the spiny lobster and Nassau grouper, as well as the structuring of the fish-coral interactions within the reef systems. Research has suggested that conservation of multiple habitat types is essential for maintaining species richness and has emphasized a need for scale-dependent planning in marine reserves. The research occurring at Glovers Reef has also resulted in a major accomplishment for WCS’s goal in developing effective policies. With the necessary scientific research, WCS, with the help of many in Belize, were successful in getting legislation passed to close Nassau Grouper spawning sites to fishing year round as well as establish a period of closed season on fishing. This was a major step towards ensuring survival and conservation of this species and only highlights one of the many accomplishments of WCS staff and researchers at Glovers Reef. Looking forward to the future, WCS plans to continue researching the effectiveness of Glovers Reef marine reserve and plans to use cutting edge technology including telemetry, remote sensing/GIS, and genetics, to overcome some of the potential conservation gaps in the design of marine reserves. Management Training and EducationA vital component of WCS’s involvement in Belize is its strong ties with the Government of Belize. Apart from just generating scientific data, it is the goal of WCS to share the marine conservation work that occurs at the station with government officials, students, as well as the public. One aspect of WCS’ contribution to Belize is to provide data relevant to the policy and decision making processes for the marine reserve and conservation in general. In addition, another approach WCS takes is providing marine ecology classes and training in marine protected area management to government officials and local or foreign students.

Copyright 2007 by Wildlife Conservation Society

15 de marzo de 2008


Caye Caulker is the place to be laid back. Most eloquent of the caye's spirit is the sign on the main road exhorting "Go Slow". Hammocks, sandy streets, and cool Caribbean breezes greet arrivals. If you catch a taxi, a golf cart is what you'll get. From the asphalt landing strip lead just a handful of streets through the small village of seaside restaurants, lodges, pubs, shops and clapboard houses in bright colors. The barrier reef can be seen from the main road.
Caye Caulker is relatively small, at five miles long by one half mile wide. Of this, only the southern end is inhabited by villagers and visitors; the wet northern section is a mangrove and forest reserve, the abode of mangroves, nesting birds, and palm trees, with trails for visitors. The two sections are separated by a narrow water passage, the Split, created by Hurricane Hattie in 1961 and which has become popular with snorkelers, boaters, swimmers and sunbathers.
It is thought Caye Caulker's name came from pirates caulking their ships, although another possibility is from the Spanish name "Cayo Hicaco" for the island, so named after the cocoplum tree found abundantly in the island's reserve.
Caye Caulker's 1,000 residents are a mix of Belizean and foreigners who have settled to enjoy the unique atmosphere.
Apart from the pleasures of taking it easy and enjoying life on the island, the caye has the widest range of watersports and is well-positioned for day trips to many attractions in the area:-
Snorkeling at the Split, or excursions to Goff's Caye, Sergeants Caye, Half Moon and Long Caye.
Diving, with over 20 dive sites within a 5 minute boat ride, and with the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the Blue Hole, Pyramid Flats, Long Caye, Coral Caverns, Turneffe and St George's Caye all within easy boat distance.
Fishing on flats, reefs, or offshore for bonefish, permit, snapper, tarpon, kingfish, wahoo etc.
There are many sportfishing boats available for half- or full-day trips.
Windsurfing and kayaking (both available for rental, and lessons)
Birding as the caye offers more than 150 species including the rufous-necked woodrail, mangrove warbler and black catbird.
Mainland trips to Mayan ruins and other attractions

There are plenty of lodges and inns on the caye, typically budget to mid-range. Dress is extremely casual, shorts and T-shirt being the norm, often without shoes. The caye has plenty of small restaurants, offering Belizean and seafood fare, often at good prices.

Caye Caulker is reached by water taxi from Belize City (6 scheduled trips per weekday, 7 per weekend day), or by plane with Tropic Air and Maya Airways from Belize Municipal. The caye is 21 miles northeast of Belize City, so the boat trip takes around 45 minutes and the flight 15 minutes.

13 de marzo de 2008




25 miles long, Ambergris Caye is the largest and most developed of about 200 small islands off the coastline of Belize, and is connected to Mexico on its northern side. Most of the island's 7,000 inhabitants live in the town of San Pedro, located in the southern part of the caye. San Pedro has the cosy, laid-back atmosphere of a small village with its wooden houses and sand streets.
Transport is by walking, bicycling, and riding by golf cart. The town is small and easy to explore. One place worth visiting in the town is the new Ambergris Caye Museum and Cultural Center, which exhibits the island's history from the ancient Mayans to today's inhabitants. A number of lively restaurants and bars in the town provide entertainment for their customers with bands, solo performers featuring country and rock as well as local "Punta" music, a unique drumbeat from the Garifuna culture.
Ambergris Caye is most famous for its spectacular diving and snorkeling. Just off Belize's Barrier Reef, which is clearly visible from many resorts, numerous diving sites can be found here such as the Hol Chan Reserve and Shark Ray Alley where visitors can see several types of coral and incredible marine life. The caye also has excellent fishing opportunities with several lodges and hotels that offer deep-sea fishing. Sailing tours, which usually last the entire day and tour around Ambergris as well as other near-by cayes, can be arranged with local guides. Kayaks are also available for rent.
If you are interested in wildlife, you can visit Little Iguana and Rosario Caye, two small mangrove island reserves just off of Ambergris. These two cayes are great places to spot blue herons, roseate spoonbills, frigate birds, reddish egrets and other coastal zone birds. Tours can be arranged through local guides. The San Pedro Lagoon is a good place to spot crocodiles, raccoons and countless magnificent bird species. And the small Lalas Bird Sanctuary, located just a few miles south of San Pedro, is a great place to see several native bird species.
Since Ambergris was once greatly populated by the Mayans, there are many small Mayan sites on the island. Unfortunately, many of these sites have been greatly eroded away by the sea and wind, and are located in hard to reach places. If you are interested in visiting any of these sites, such as Marco, Chac, Balam, San Juan, San Carlos and Gonzalez, you should acquire a guide that knows the locations.

Apart from the pleasures of taking it easy and enjoying life on Ambergris, the caye has the widest range of watersports and is well-positioned for day trips to many attractions in the area:-
Snorkeling along the beach, or excursions to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and to Shark Ray Alley.
Diving, by boat along the barrier reef, and at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the Blue Hole, Shark Ray Alley, and the offshore atolls.
Fishing on the reefs or offshore for snapper, grouper, bonito, dolphin, wahoo and blue marlin etc.
There are many sportfishing boats up to 57 feet available for half- or full-day trips.
Windsurfing and sailing (both available for rental, and lessons at many resorts). Even bareboat catamaran hire is available.
Biking on the caye
Santa Cruz visit (a Mayan ruin 15 miles north of San Pedro)
Cruises at sunset, for dinner, or sightseeing
Airboat tours through the mangrove forests on the leeward of the island to see wildlife
Manatee watching by boat to scenic cayes
Birding at Bird Caye and the new national park in the north, Bacalar Chico
Mainland trips to Mayan ruins and other attractions
Yours in Belize,
Brenda A. Ysaguirre

9 de marzo de 2008


O, land of the free by the Carib Sea, our manhood we pledge to thy liberty!
No tyrants here linger, despots must flee
This tranquil haven of democracy
The blood of our sires which hallows the sod,
Brought freedom from slavery oppression's rod,
By the might of truth and the grace of God
No longer shall we be hewers of wood.

Chorus: Arise! ye sons of the Baymen's clan,
put on your armour, clear the land!
Drive back the tyrants, let despots flee-
Land of the Free by the Carib Sea!

Nature has blessed thee with wealth untold,
O'er mountains and valleys where praries roll;
Our fathers, the Baymen, valiant and bold
Drove back the invader; this heritage hold
From proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon,
Through coral isle, over blue lagoon;
Keep watch with the angels, the stars and moon;
For freedom comes tomorrow's noon.


8 de marzo de 2008


National Prayer of Belize
Almighty and Eternal God, who through Jesus Christ has revealed your glory to all nations, please protect and preserve Belize, our beloved country.
God of might, wisdom and justice, please assist our Belizean government and people with your Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude.
Let the light of your divine wisdom direct their plans and endeavors so that with your help we may attain our just objectives. With your guidance, may all our endeavors tend to peace, social justice, liberty, national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety and useful knowledge.
We pray, O God of Mercy, for all of us that we may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of your most holy law, that we may be preserved in union and in that peace which the world itself cannot give. And, after enjoying the blessings of this life, please admit us, dear Lord, to that eternal reward that you have prepared for those who love you, Amen.
Happy International Day of the Woman to all the women in this world. May you take control of yourself and do that which is most important: to love yourself and to share that love with others, work hard for your satisfation, enjoy the goodness of life and have peace in your heart at all time.
Life is a battle that can only be overcomed if you truly believe you can overcome it.
(Brenda A. Ysaguirre)

7 de marzo de 2008


The National Flower - The Black Orchid
The Black Orchid (Encyclia Cochieatum) is the national flower of Belize. This orchid grows in the damp areas of Belize and flowers nearly all year round. It grows on trees in clustered, bulblike stems varying in size up to six inches long and carrying two to three leaves. The Black Orchid flower has greenish-yellow petals and sepals with purple blotches near the base.The "lip" (one petal of the special construction, which is the showiest flower) is shaped like a valve of a clam shell; and is deep purple-brown, almost black, with conspicuous radiating purple veins.

6 de marzo de 2008


The Keel Billed Toucan (Ramphastos Solfurantus) is the National Bird of Belize. It is noted for its great, canoe-shaped bill, brightly colored green, blue, red and orange feathers The bird is about 20 inches in overall length. It is mostly black with bright yellow cheeks and chest, red under the tail and a distinctive white patch at the base of the tail.Toucans are found in open areas of the country with large trees. They make a monotonous frog-like croak. Toucans like fruits, and eat by cutting with the serrated edge of their bills.Toucans nest in holes in trees, using natural holes or holes made by woodpeckers, often enlarging the cavity by removing soft, rotten wood. They lay two to four eggs which are incubated by both parents. The nesting stage lasts from six to seven weeks.

4 de marzo de 2008


The Mahogany Tree (Swietenia Macrophilla) is one of the Belize’s magnificent giants of the forest. Rising straight and tall to over a hundred feet from great buttresses at the roots, it emerges above the canopy of the surrounding trees with a crown of large, shining green leaves. In the early months of the year, when the leaves fall and new red-brown growth appears, the tree can be spotted from a great distance.The tree puts out a great flush of small whitish flowers - the blossom for dark fruits, which are pear-shaped capsules about six inches long. When the fruits mature they split into five valves, freeing large winged seeds which are carried away by the wind. They fall on the shaded protection of the forest floor and germinate to begin a new life cycle. The mahogany tree matures in 60 to 80 years.British settlers exploited the forest for mahogany, beginning around the middle of the 17th century. It was originally exported to the United Kingdom in the form of squared logs, but shipment now consists mainly of sawn lumber. The mahogany tree forms part of Belize's Coat of Arms. The motto "Sub Umbra Florero" means: Under the shade (of the mahogany tree) I flourish.

3 de marzo de 2008


Description of the Belize Coat of Arms: .
Embellished in the center of the Belize flag is the coat of arms: a white, filled in circle bordered by a green, circular, garland flowing in a clockwise direction.
The coat of arms features:
1. A mahogany tree: the first European settlers in Belize became mahogany traders and the mahogany trade was once the economical backbone of the colony.
2. Two woodcutters, the one on the left holding an axe and the one on the right holding a paddle (rivers were the mode of transportation for getting cut logwood back to the settlement; the logwood cutters found themselves paddling further up stream to find fresh logwood areas).
3. A shield showing the tools of the mahogany trade including a paddle, squaring axe, beating axe, saw and ship (Most of the Mahogany was shipped to Great Britain where it was in much demand for creating fine furniture and creating dyes in the textile industry).
4. A flowing scroll bearing the Latin motto "sub umbra floreo", meaning "under the shade we flourish", or/and implying "under the shade of the mahogany tree we flourish".

2 de marzo de 2008


The tapir, known as the "mountain cow" in Belize, are forest dwellers, active mostly at night as they forage along river banks and forest clearings. They feed on grasses, aquatic vegetation, leaves, buds, and fruits of the low-growing shrubs. They sometime run afoul of man when they cause damage to corn fields and other crops.
Tapirs are usually solitary except when mothers have young. they range over large territories and are excellent swimmers spending a fair amount of time in forest rivers. They are also agile climbers, crashing up steep hillsides and river banks with apparent ease. When surprised, tapirs generally head for water, but will sometimes stamp their feet loudly and sometimes whistle.
The Bairds Tapir ranges from Southern Mexico to Northern Columbia and are endangered throughout their range. The main threats to the tapir survival is hunting and deforestation.
SIZELength: 6 feetWeight: 300 - 500 lbs.
BREEDINGReach Maturity: 3 YearsMating: Non-seasonalGestation: 13 monthsNo. of Young:1
LIFESTYLEHabitat: Riverine forestFood: Riparian vegetationLifespan: 22 years

1 de marzo de 2008


Description of the Belize Flag:
Royal blue background with two red horizontal borders; one top border runs horizontally across the top from left to right and one bottom border runs across the bottom (baseline ) from left to right. Embellished in the center of the flag is the coat of arms: a white, filled in circle bordered by a green, circular, garland flowing in a clockwise direction.
The coat of arms features:
1. A mahogany tree: the first European settlers in Belize became mahogany traders and the mahogany trade was once the economical backbone of the colony.
2. Two woodcutters, the one on the left holding an axe and the one on the right holding a paddle (rivers were the mode of transportation for getting cut logwood back to the settlement; the logwood cutters found themselves paddling further up stream to find fresh logwood areas).
3. A shield showing the tools of the mahogany trade including a paddle, squaring axe, beating axe, saw and ship (Most of the Mahogany was shipped to Great Britain where it was in much demand for creating fine furniture).
4. A flowing scroll bearing the Latin motto "sub umbra floreo", meaning "under the shade I flourish", or/and implying "under the shade of the mahogany tree we flourish".

The Blue is the dominant party colour for the People's United Party (PUP)
The Red is the dominant party colour for the United Democratic Party (UDP). The PUP was in power at the time of independence (Sept 21st 1981) and naturally their colours would dominate. However, a bi-partisan committee for the designation of the official flag of Belize, which included representatives of the UDP agreed to or rather compromised to include the red horizontal stripes (red being the dominant party color for the UDP). This in my opinion was a fair and sensible inclusion, since upon election, any self respecting UDP majority government's first order of the day would have been to change the flag to reflect their party colours. Thankfully the flag has been accepted and embraced by all Belizeans and remains the National Flag of Belize.

Description of the Belize Flag: Royal blue background with two red horizontal borders; one top border runs horizontally across the top from left to right and one bottom border runs across the bottom (baseline ) from left to right. Embellished in the center of the flag is the coat of arms: a white, filled in circle bordered by a green, circular, garland flowing in a clockwise direction.
The coat of arms features:
1. A mahogany tree: the first European settlers in Belize became mahogany traders and the mahogany trade was once the economical backbone of the colony.
2. Two woodcutters, the one on the left holding an axe and the one on the right holding a paddle (rivers were the mode of transportation for getting cut logwood back to the settlement; the logwood cutters found themselves paddling further up stream to find fresh logwood areas).
3. A shield showing the tools of the mahogany trade including a paddle, squaring axe, beating axe, saw and ship (Most of the Mahogany was shipped to Great Britain where it was in much demand for creating fine furniture).
4. A flowing scroll bearing the Latin motto "sub umbra floreo", meaning "under the shade I flourish", or/and implying "under the shade of the mahogany tree we flourish".

The Blue is the dominant party colour for the People's United Party (PUP)
The Red is the dominant party colour for the United Democratic Party (UDP). The PUP was in power at the time of independence (Sept 21st 1981) and naturally their colours would dominate. However, a bi-partisan committee for the designation of the official flag of Belize, which included representatives of the UDP agreed to or rather compromised to include the red horizontal stripes (red being the dominant party color for the UDP). This in my opinion was a fair and sensible inclusion, since upon election, any self respecting UDP majority government's first order of the day would have been to change the flag to reflect their party colours. Thankfully the flag has been accepted and embraced by all Belizeans and remains the National Flag of Belize.

Pre Independence Flag also known as the PUP Flag:

The People's United Party (PUP) would rally under these colours (pre-independence). Nowadays the PUP would just as soon rally under the colours of the Official flag of Belize.