Monday, May 31, 2010


Drill, Baby, Drill! OR No, Baby, No!

BTIA invites all members to attend an oil exploration consultation to be held at Radisson Fort George on June 1, st at 9:00a.m.

Your BTIA has received an excellent opportunity to inform members and requests your attendance to offer feedback and guide the position development for your Tourism Association.


• Welcome - BTIA President
• Presentation of General Information - COLA - Geovanni Brackett
• Presentation of APAMO Position and Considerations - Yvette Alonzo
• Presentation on Legal Considerations - Audrey Matura Sheppard -- Oceana
• Presentation on the Coalition - Future Advocacy Actions - APAMO
• Questions & Answers
• Recommendations from Membership for a BTIA Direction
• Vote of Thanks - (BTIA signing on to the Coalition -- if so supported by members)


Saskia Alejos is Miss ACES 2010-2011

Vivel Rodriguez, 2008-2010 Miss ACES.
Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) held their pageant fundraiser on Saturday night at the Lions' Den, and the new Miss ACES who emerged is no other than Saskia Alejos of Standard 5! Saskia was joined onstage by Hailey Haylock (Infant 1), Emily Simoes (Std. V) and Paige Privensal (Std. III). The pageant was for two titles, Miss Popularity – which was determined by the total number of votes cast (cash = votes), and Miss ACES. Saskia swept the popularity vote by raising $1,945.80.
Hailey Haylock
Emily Simoes
Paige Privensal
After judges had tallied their votes for the second crown, the new Miss ACES was announced as Saskia Alejos once more. First runner up was Miss Hailey Haylock. Emily Simoes was second runner up, while Paige Privensal took the third runner up spot.
The audience was entertained throughout the evening with songs and dances by the various students who attend ACES. All proceeds raised via the raffles, food and drink sales go towards ACES’ fundraising efforts for their new school year. Congratulations to the lovely girls who braved the stage. You are ALL winners!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Toledo Cacao-Fest 2010

Chocolate aficionados from all corners of Belize and beyond migrated to the southern end of Belize last weekend to attend the fourth annual Toledo Cacao-Fest in Punta Gorda.
The festival, organized by a group of volunteers from the Toledo community,including Ya’axche Conservation Trust,Toledo Cacao Growers Association,BTIA Toledo,Sustainable Harvest International,Punta Gorda Town Council and with support and assistance from National Institute of Culture and History (NICH),the Institute of Creative Arts, the Institute of Archaeology, the Belize Tourism Board, Love FM, Tropic Air and BRC Printing offered a weekend full cacao celebration as well as promoting other tourism opportunities in the district.

The festival kicked off on Friday night the 21st with a Wine & Chocolate Reception. Guests tasted chocolate samples from Belizean producers Goss, Cotton Tree and San Pedro’s own Kakaw. Kakaw proprietor Chris Beaumont was on-hand to showcase a decadent chocolate fountain where guests could sample a variety of fresh tropical fruits drenched in melted chocolate, yum!
Saturday the Taste of Toledo was an all day beachside affair featuring arts,crafts, music, dance, food and more. The festival moved to the nearby Labaantun ruins on Sunday where an opening performance of the Monkey Dance was staged by the villagers of San Jose. Archaeological presentations were held throughout the day and the event ended with a concert with the “Three Kings of Belize”, Paul Nabor, Florencio Mes and Mr. Peters accompanied by Carlos Perrote

Read more in our Visitor Guide this week:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Angel y Khriz confirmed for Costa Maya 2010!!

International night welcomes Puerto Rico’s hottest reggaeton artists!
With only two months left before Costa Maya 2010, the question on everyone’s minds is: “Who will perform onstage for International Night?” Many have expressed their desire for a modern, reggaeton act, and finally, the Costa Maya Committee has delivered. For Saturday, August 7th, San Pedro can get ready to welcome dos boricuas: Angel y Khriz!

They have performed on grand Latino stages, such as Superbowl 2009, and even a couple of their hit singles (Ven Bailalo and Muevelo) have made it to video games (Grand Theft Auto) and movies (The Fast and the Furious 4). Their popularity has earned them fans worldwide, and their album collaborators have included such heavy hitters as Santana, Flo Rida and Mambo Kingz. These two long-time friends have become one of the hottest acts in the reggaeton world, and now, Costa Maya welcomes them to the 2010 festival stage.

Their latest album, called “Da’ Take Over” contains the new single Ayer La Vi, and is set to hit with their listeners as well.

In other festival related news, the committee has also been working hard to organize the other nights, and as is, Pageant night, another big draw for the crowd, is coming along with all countries confirming their participation. Last year’s winner was Nicaragua’s Maritza Rivas. Which of the seven countries will take the coveted crown this year? From the bevy of beauties who will be participating from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama, only one will emerge victorious. Be there on August 5th and witness the crowning of the new Reina de la Costa Maya 2010!
As in previous years, Costa Maya committee members are all gearing up to provide the expectant public with top notch performances and entertainment. Watch for more news and updates as they become available. Mark your calendar, the confirmed dates for Costa Maya 2010 are August 5th – 8th.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

U.S. Embassy Announces Visa Fee Increases

Press Release - U.S. Embassy in Belize - May 27, 2010 - The United States Embassy in Belmopan, Belize wishes to alert all visa applicants that the United States Government will be increasing visa fees worldwide, including Belize, effective Friday, June 4, 2010.

All persons with interviews on or after June 4, 2010 must pay the new fees. Applicants with appointments after June 4 who have already paid the old fee must pay the additional amount at the Embassy’s consular cashier on the day of their appointment in order to be interviewed.

New fee schedule:
• Visitor and Transit (B1/B2, C1) - BZ$280
• Crewmember (C1/D) - BZ$280
• Student visas (F1, M1, J1) - BZ$280
• Temporary workers (H-1B, H-2B) - BZ$300
• Intra-company transferees (L1) - BZ$300
• Performers (O and P) - BZ$300
• Fiancé-based visas (K) – BZ$700
• Treaty Trader/Investor (E1 or E2) - BZ$780

The Department of State is required by law to recover the cost of processing nonimmigrant visas through the collection of visa fees. Periodically, independent contractors conduct a Cost of Service Study to determine direct and indirect costs to the U.S. Government of providing consular services, such as nonimmigrant visa processing. Such a study was completed in June 2009 using an activity-based costing model, which is standard for estimating the cost of government services.

The study determined that the cost of accepting, adjudicating, and issuing nonimmigrant visas will be greater than US$131 in Fiscal Year 2010, which began October 1, 2009. Also, since the last fee increase in 2008, there have been new security-related costs, new IT systems have been put in place, and there is a new mandate from Congress to charge nonimmigrant visa applicants $1 to support programs to combat trafficking in persons.
Although the treaty trader (E1) and treaty investor (E2) visa classes are not petition-based, they will now be set at US$390 to reflect the real cost of processing document-intensive visa categories.

For more information please visit the US Embassy website at

Gun Shots Echoed in San Pedro.

At around 4:00am this morning, echoes of gunshots were heard through the central park area of San Pedro Town. Claims are that roughly five shots were fired. A conversation with the OIC - San Pedro Dept., confirmed that the reports are true. The incident is currently being investigated. We will keep you posted on this matter.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

San Pedro Town Public Library hosts Reading Competition

Students from six schools in San Pedro, today competed in San Pedro Town Public Library's Essay reading competition. Find full story in this week's

Blue Hole Featured on Bing

The Microsoft search engine Bing's front page features one of Belize's landmark locations on it's front page today: the Blue Hole!
Bing features a different image on their homepage every day, with four 'hotspots' of information on the image. Just another little boost for Belize!!
According to Bing, if you miss the previous day's image or wish to see it again and again, click on the arrows next to the Copyright (©) symbol to scroll through the past 7 days of homepages. Interaction is the same as when it was the feature page!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reel Deal takes top prize in Dorado Tournament

Saturday's fishing tournament brought in some Dorado and Tuna at the beach of the Holiday Hotel where spectators lined up to check out the catch. The largest catch was brought in by Hillyboo Lara and company from the Reel Deal. Their largest Dorado, caught by Hillyboo's son Byron, weighed in at 22lbs. Closing in on second place was the boat "The Contender", and rounding out the top three, "Da Next Lady".

Top female Angler was Kathy White, while Top Junior Angler was Byron Lara with his large Dorado catch. Biggest tuna was brought in by Enrique Marin Jr.
Dinner and prizes were handed out at the Holiday Hotel deck Saturday night.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dorado Tournament TODAY!!

Today Saturday at the Holiday Hotel!! Come check out the boats as they come in with their catch, and enjoy libations from the Hangover Sportsbar, plus great music and ambiance!!


8am - Yard Sale at Central Park - Proceeds benefit SAGA Humane Society

10am - 5pm - Escalante Neighborhood Watch Family Fun Day - Come enjoy games, prizes & surprises. There will be lots to eat (hot dogs, bbq, rice & beans, ceviche, cookies and yummy desserts) & drink. It will also be the official inauguration of street names (Cor. Rosewood & Zericote St.). See you there!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

SPTC unveils Vision for La Isla Bonita

The Vision of the San Pedro Town Council
To achieve autonomy and provide improvement in the quality of life of all the residents of San Pedro Town by promoting sustainable growth and development and protecting our Tourism Industry.
The San Pedro Town Council will work under the principles of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness and honesty in order to obtain the necessary infrastructure, establish systems, to promote the growth of the Tourism Industry in Belize and the San Pedro Community. All services provided, will aim to improve the quality of life of the residents of San Pedro Town, without prejudice to Gender, Ethnicity, Religious, or Political Party affiliation.
Designed and developed the Mayor and her team, the vision & mission were officially unveiled and mounted on the wall of the San Pedro Town Council office on Thursday, March 20, 2010. It was indeed a historic moment, as it acknowledges the fact that San Pedro is a municipality that continues to grow and evolve, and it is their promise to the island to work for the residents’ betterment.
Also unveiled was the official chain of command at the SPTC, with the Mayor as the leader. The Town Council also adopted a 16-point Code of Ethics, one which is adopted in all Town and City Councils in Belize, and is based on a Fair, Ethical, Transparent and Accountable local government.
Congratulations to the Mayor and her team for taking on the initiative and first step in what is expected to be a new era of governance.