The US Ambassador, Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally and his wife Mrs. Barbara Thummalapally, along with Consul Tom Wallis, Ashley C. Barriner – Byrd, Manager, American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit and her assistant Ms. Anna McFadsen, were present at the June 24th Chamber of Commerce meeting held at the Blue Water Grill.
The meeting was attended by members of the Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce and approximately 20 US Citizens presently residing on Ambergris Caye who had a chance to meet and greet the Ambassador and his wife, ask questions and receive answers.The meeting was opened by Mr.Tom Wallis, US Consul, who proceeded to present the Ambassador and his wife. After his presentation, Ambassador Thummalapally shared a little in regards to his political as well as occupational background, information about his family and gave an overview of his functions at the US Embassy.
A major area of concern for members of the US Embassy was the importance of US Citizens to register with the Embassy. Ashley explained to the guests that the reason for the registration is not because the Embassy is seeking to keep track of its Citizens, but rather that they may be better prepared in times of emergency when the Embassy will be expected to mobilize and provide assistance on a mass level to all citizens presently residing in the country.Also mentioned was a notable change of procedures within the Embassy. It is now necessary for patrons to make appointments to meet with the staff of the US embassy for services. Appointments may be made online at www.belize.usembassy.gov.
The remainder of the one hour meeting was opened to the attendees for question and answer session which the participants took much advantage of. While the meeting was called to an end at 1:00 pm, the Ambassador and his entourage remained at the Blue Water Grill until around 2:30 pm where they were available for questions and answers as well.