Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saga Hosts Open House at Fort Dog

On Saturday Jan. 30th the Saga Humane Society hosted an open house and volunteer recruitment day. The event took place at Fort Dog where the Saga dogs are housed.

Guests and dogs enjoyed interacting with each other and free lessons on how to teach your dog to heel were offered by Pampered Paws. Many people, with pet in tow, were eager to learn this helpful practice.

Saga also recruited volunteers to help at Fort Dog and the veterinary clinic where the cats are housed. Volunteer opportunities range from dog walking, fundraising, animal socialization, running information booths and painting to writers and artists.

Saga Humane society recently celebrated its 10th year and is looking forward to the New Year filled with lots of exciting projects and events! For more information please call the clinic at 226-3266 or visit their website at

Friday, January 29, 2010

Evening fire partially destroys first floor of San Pedrito building

Fire officials are still investigating the circumstances that caused an evening fire on Thursday on the upper floor of a concrete building. Just after 6:30 yesterday evening, both Police and Fire Officials received a distress call of a fire in the San Pedrito Area of San Pedro Town. First to arrive on the scene were members of the San Pedro Police Department, who happened to be in the area at the time of the fire. They, along with neighbors, brought the fire under control until the Fire Department arrived. When Fire Officials arrived on the scene they noticed that the fire was already under control.

Fire officials fully extinguished the fire shortly after and no one was injured. Officials continue their investigation. Read more in the next week’s issue of The San Pedro Sun.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Club Latino's Celebrity Bartending Tonight Benefits the San Pedro Lion’s Club!

Club Latino will be hosting "Celebrity Bartender Night" tonight to benefit the San Pedro Lions Club.

Lion members Mel Spain, Kainie Manuel and Jorge Aldana will be tending the bar so be sure to stop by and have them mix-up your favorite cocktail!

Proceeds from every sale will go towards the San Pedro Lion’s Club, so come on out and show your community support while enjoying a fun evening!

Island entertainment for the whole family

While visiting San Pedro there are so many activities to choose from that it may seem overwhelming at first! But whatever you’re fancy, be it water sports, beach combing, high adventure or socializing you are sure to find it on La Isla Bonita. One way to enjoy and get to know the community better is to engage in some of the local activities and events that bring visitors and residents together. The opportunity allows you to experience the best in island hospitality while seeing a side of San Pedro that might not necessary be on the “must do” list of tourism activities.
Lions Friday Night Bingo & BBQ

At the heart of community fun is the Friday night Bingo and BBQ at the Lion’s Den. Most people the world over know of the Lions International volunteer community service organization and what it stands for. With 1.3 million members in 205 countries, the San Pedro Lions Club is proud to serve and is an active organization that time and time again comes to the aid of the local, as well as the global community. When enjoying the Friday Bingo and BBQ night you not only have a great meal and good fun but help the club raise funds for the community. [read more ...]

Saturday Family Fun at Mojito Bar & Grill

Established in 2008, Mojito Bar and Grill is located inside the beachside courtyard at Sunbreeze Suites just one more block north of the Lion’s Den on Barrier Reef Drive. Any day is a good day to enjoy the beach views along with a variety of Mojito’s to choose from along with menu favorites like shrimp or conch ceviche, yummy tacos, grilled meats and seafood or tasty mango chipotle skewers. [read more ...]

Wednesday Night – Chicken Drop at Pier Lounge

For over twenty years this signature event has been a crowd pleaser for thousands of visitors and locals alike. Undoubtedly the most filmed activity on the island, the Chicken Drop has become a popular feature for travel programs including the PBS Channel and Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown. Located right on the beach at Pier Lounge inside the Spindrift Hotel on Barrier Reef, the Drop usually begins around 7pm with music, beachside bar and fun. [read more ...]

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Alex Soler freed of murder charges

One year after he was accused of murder, 23-year-old Alex Soler is a free man following the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) directive that the murder charge against him be dropped. Soler was one of three accused and charged in the double murder of Eduardo “Brahlee” Gutierrez and James Swan on January 29th, 2009.
James Swan, deceased

In the DPP’s directive, it instructed the court to drop charges against Soler on the basis that there was absolutely no evidence to suggest that he [Soler] was involved in the murder. The DPP, however, instructed that the other two accused, who were jointly charged with Soler, Brionne Swift and Victor Garnett be submitted to a preliminary hearing.
Eduardo “Brahlee” Gutierrez, deceased

During the preliminary hearing, Swift’s Attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradely outlined to the court that the evidence submitted against the accused was contravening. Bradely told The San Pedro Sun that the statements given during the investigation by both witnesses, Ivan Tun and Eric Swan, totally contradict each other when it relates to the chain of events. In court proceedings, both statements are key pieces of evidence and were submitted by the prosecution in the double murder case.

Both Eduardo Gutierrez and James Swan were found murdered in a shallow grave in the Rocky Point area of Ambergris Caye on February 1st, 2009. Police, at the time, said that investigations revealed that both men were murder since January 29th, 2009. The double murder, it was suspected, was related to another murder which took place that same week; all murders were suspected to have been drugs related.

Presiding Magistrate Emerson Banner reserved his decision until February 8th. Soler was represented in court by Senior Crown Council Simeon Sampson.

"Catch of the Day" is 2010 Wahoo Tournament winner

This past Saturday, the San Pedro Wahoo Challenge took place. Anglers were ready for a day of sun and fishing. The Wahoo did not disappoint, with 30 Wahoos being brought to shore. Weigh in took place at Captain Morgan’s Retreat. After all fish were weighed the award ceremony revealed the winners as follows:

*First Place was won by the “Catch of the Day” captained by Ivan Staines. The boat took home $3,000 and a trophy with 340 pounds of Wahoo.

*Biggest Wahoo was reeled in by Charlie Reed on board “Catch of the Day.” His 50 pound Wahoo garnered him a $1,000 cash prize.*Second Place was taken by “Contender,” captained by Andy Nuñez who won $1,500 with their four Wahoo weighting 128 pounds.

*Top Female Angler honor was taken by Stacy Bove on board “Contender.” For her 35 pound Wahoo Bove won $250 and a trophy.

Other winners included: *Top Junior Angler which was won by Jules Guerrero on board “Sly Dog” and he took a $250 plus trophy for his 40 pound Wahoo.

Pictures courtesy of Mary Hawthorne

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Retire in Belize - the time is now

The Belizean government's expat retiree incentive programme is being scaled down due to its own success. New retirees wanting to settle in Belize from Canada, United States and United Kingdom are advised to apply now to take advantage of the generous current programme before new rules are announced in early 2010.

Belize now has 20,000 new residents thanks to the Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) programme introduced by the Tourist Board of Belize in 1999. The QRP program asked for applicants to be over the age of 45 with a minimum monthly income of US$2,000 in exchange for permanent residency in this frost-free affordable country with a population in 2008 of 310,000.
In the current programme, a new retiree in Belize can import household goods worth up to US$15,000, a vehicle, a boat and a lightweight aircraft duty free and gain permanent residency.

Currently 1 in 15 of the population of Belize settled in the country through the QRP programme, which amongst its benefits does not require expat retirees to pay tax on income derived from outside of Belize. Applicants are encouraged to start their own business if they desire extra income beyond the US$2,000, which has to be deposited each month into a Belizean bank account. New retirees are also entitled to own rental property and to operate as a 'sleeping' or 'silent' partner in a Belizean business. The monthly deposit of US$2,000 can be used for one person or a couple.
Wini Dean, real estate consultant at Caribbean Land and Property commented on the current Belizean real estate situation: “We are seeing increased interest from all walks of life for Belize. For those looking for alternative living situations, a self sufficient lifestyle is possible in places like these. For those who want to live 'closer to the earth' but still maintain a bit of luxury and a sense of security, there are wonderful new development projects that are now available”.

Internet search engine giant Google has 27,500 searches per month from internet users looking for information on the term Belize real estate.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Alta Mar Neighbourhood Watch Meet and Greet – All Welcome

17 January 2010
Press Release

Alta Mar Neighbourhood Watch would like to invite all residents to a Meet & Greet at El Divino Martini bar at Banana Beach Resort on Tuesday the 26th of January at 7:00pm. This is a casual get together so that neighbours can get to know one another and look towards building up our neighbourhood network to improve the quality of life and security for everyone in the area.

Alta Mar Neighbourhood Watch starts at the southern wall of The Mansions, runs south to Escalante Subdivision and West to The Pink Motel/Hideaway Bar. If you live in this area, please come along and bring your neighbours. This will be a fun evening and everyone is welcome.

For more information contact Alta Mar Neighbourhood Watch on 226-4366.

BTIA highlights advocacy for tourism


BTIA in celebrating its 25th Anniversary will be centering its focus on a series of issues with the hopes to reinforce its message of celebrating diversity while advocating for responsible tourism development. The past year was by all means a challenging one for Belize's economy. Tourism, Belize's major service industry experienced declines in revenue collection from hotel taxes, decline in airport arrivals for international tourists and the operators and BTIA members in the sector reported several business challenges ranging from longer low season hotel closures, cutting and rearranging employee work hours and schedules so as not to lay off workers, ownership and management changes for hotels, reduced vibrancy in tours, reduce spending from tourists across the board in areas affecting arts and craft and restaurant services.

Having observed the early signs and hearing the call from membership, early in 2009 BTIA undertook a strategic planning exercise. This exercise took stock not only of the organization 25 years after but assessed its role in the development of tourism for Belize. It was clear that while the partnership with tourism public sector is important and needs reinforcement, BTIA had to remain a strong advocacy voice for the industry and the operators. The emerging focus for advocacy was rightfully then determined to be:
  • Increased advocacy on safety and security in general - Crime has well established negative impact on the quality of life in general as well as economic processes and operations. Tourism is no exception. The negative effect of the sensational criminal activity on daily life and business operations prompts concern and requires the assistance of all. In conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism, BTB and the public sector security agencies, BTIA kicked off a series of safety and security consultations in the tourism destinations across Belize in September of 2009 and intends to continue with the activity. The early successes of the closer collaboration and partnership with public sector security agencies have fostered improved dialogue and a direct line of assistance to the security agencies. The continued high profile criminal activity requires continued action and vigilance, stemming any possibility for negative international press and travel advisories. (Read more ...)
    As part of this venture, BTIA hosted Juvil Eliahou from Guatemala and representing Maritime Security as their consultant. The meeting which took place at Banyan Bay, dealt with public security system which are hoped to be implemented on Ambergris Caye. Read more in this week's issue of The San Pedro Sun.

Boat accident in San Pedro Town

Authorities in San Pedro Town are still investigating the circumstances that led to a boat accident that occurred sometime after 7 on Saturday night. According to authorities, the boats involved are vessels belonging to Amigos del Mar Dive Shop captained at the time by Andre Paz and the vessel named Dito 2 belonging to Island Ferry and captained at the time 21 year Juanelo Kumul both of San Pedro Town. While four people were injured, none received serious wounds and were all treated and released except for a female seeking further medical attention. Read more in this week’s issue of The San Pedro Sun.

Valentine Poetry Contest!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wild Recon features Belize on Animal Planet

(l-r:Vince Rose, Donald Schultz, ACES Intern Marisa Tellez)

Belize has been in the spotlight in many international and well viewed programs. On Tuesday, January 19th, Belize was once again featured on The Animal Planet. As part of his ten episode animal adventure, South African Donald Schultz filmed his third episode of his Wild Recon show in two main areas of the country.

In Belize, Schultz set out on a dramatic search for deadly animals like crocodiles, howler monkeys, hawksbill turtles, sharks and rays, boa constrictors, rattle snakes and even tarantulas. In some instances blood or venom samples were retrieved from the animals. Schultz main purpose was to collect blood and tissue samples needed for research before these endangered animals disappear. Some of the animals were fitted with tracking devices which will alert Schultz headquarters in the case of poaching.

First Schultz headed into the dense rain forest canopy to track down one of the loudest animals in the world, the howler monkey which he described as “a critically endangered primate that is falling prey to poachers.” While in the deep forest of Toledo, Schultz stumbled upon a tarantula spider which was almost as big his hand. He proceeded to anesthetize the spider and with a tiny electric shocking device, Schultz managed to draw the spider’s rare and understudied venom. While Schultz came across and attempted to extract venom from a rattle snake, he was not as lucky it proved to be dry of venom.

His trip to Belize also took Schultz to Belize’s Barrier Reef. Along with his team, Schultz collected blood and tissue from nurse sharks, rays and even a juvenile hawksbill turtle (he was fitted with a tracking device). After days of several attempts, he finally got the opportunity to capture an American Crocodile. While in southern Belize, Schultz and his production team were hosted by the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) in the Toledo District.

In an exclusive interview with The San Pedro Sun, ACES Founder and Crocodile Behaviorist Vince Rose explained that he was extremely pleased with the episode. “While the episode was not about ACES, I am happy that ACES got the exposure to help educate the world about American crocodiles and for that we are extremely pleased,” explained Rose. He added that, “a source of education is television through educational program such as Animal Planet. Donald Schultz’s Wild Recon episode definitely educated millions of people in the world about endangered animals and at the same time giving Belize a positive exposure.”

The episode was filmed in late July and early August mainly along Belize’s Barrier Reef and in the Toledo District. Rose concluded that Schultz expressed that not only was he satisfied and pleased about Belize, but is considering returning in the future.

Samples taken have been studied: the monkey turned out to be disease free, the shark and ray samples are now part of a global database that will be used to enforce anti-poaching laws, the spider turned out to be Citharacanthus meermani a newly described species of tarantula spiders and its venom is being analyzed by a Swiss pharmaceutical laboratory, while the croc remains safe at ACES and is being used for educational purposes.

ACES Intern Marisa Tellez assists Donald Shultz while taking a blood sample from an American Crocodile.

San Pedro Lions fundraise for Haiti today!

The San Pedro Lions Club invites the general public to a fundraiser to be held on Sunday, January 24th starting at 11AM. The fundraiser will take place at the San Pedro Lions Club and will include a food and drink sale, Jumbo sale of clothes, shoes and other items, games such as Bingo as well as the delightful music of Rompe Raja.

The fundraiser is being held in honor of the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Please purchase your lunch and drinks from the den.

Come over and have a wonderful family Sunday. Come over and help!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Four Injured in Boat Accident

The San Pedro Sun has been on the scene of a boat accident that occurred this evening around 7PM.

Reports are that the accident happened around the Captain Morgan’s area and involved boats from Island Ferry and Amigos del Mar. According to authorities four people sustained injuries but are in stable condition.

The Belize Port Authority is investigating the accident and The Sun will be posting photos and follow-up information as soon as it becomes available.

Fundraiser organized for cancer patient

"Wings" with his son Tristian

Cancer patient Edwin "Wings" Gamez was recently diagnosed with cancer. After assessing the medical situation, Edwin and his family were informed that chemotherapy treatment was immediately required. This is set to commence shortly; financial assistance is therefore required. It is with this in mind that Edwin’s family has organized and will host a fundraiser this Saturday, January 23rd at the San Pedro Lions Den. Each plate of food purchased will give the buyer an opportunity to participate in a raffle to win many fabulous prizes all night long. Come out and show your love and community support to Edwin and all others battling with cancer.

Many surprises to auction and raffle through out the evening! There
will be Bar Tabs, Spa Treatments, lunches, dinners, salon services, diving trips, sailing trips, cave tubing and other fun items.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bingo night at Lions - Today

The biggest winners of the night .... the pot grew and grew to $300, and each won $100.
Delicious Barbecue for sale.
Be a winner at Lions Bingo night.
Much fun is had by all, and everyone sits eagerly waiting for the last letter and number to be called.
It is a great night for friends and family.
Lion President Melanie Paz welcomes and invites you.
Come over starting at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Relax and Glo at Sol Spa

La Isla Bonita caters relaxation and pure enjoyment of a tranquil Caribbean island, and whether you are on vacation or have been here a while, pampering oneself is most definitely an option. There is a wide variety of activities to keep the mind and body active, and at the end of the day, winding down and soothing those tired muscles call for a delicious massage, and for an amazing and relaxing experience, definitely head on over to Sol Spa. Now located at The Phoenix resort, Sol Spa caters deep relaxation and fabulous pampering within one of the most modern and luxurious places on the island. Bliss begins with your surroundings, and Sol Spa couldn’t have provided a better spot with their new location.

Sol Spa takes the entire body into consideration and offers fantastic treatments for every inch. Facials, manicures, pedicures, reflexology, hair braiding and even waxing; at Sol Spa your every need is taken care of. Sol Spa is a getaway, where the spirit, mind and body can reconnect. Open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sol Spa is located at The Phoenix. Reservations are not required but it is preferred in order to guarantee your time of choice. Carrie, Char, Heather, Jennifer and Angie will gladly accommodate you as best as possible, so give them a call at 226-2410.

Click here to read more

Are you ready to win some prizes? Submit your poems today.