Monday, February 28, 2011

Paving of the Southern Highway

Press Release - Belmopan - February 28th 2011 - A contract signing agreement was signed between the Government of Belize and the Contractor Cisco Construction Ltd at a cost of BZ $47,995,867.50 for the upgrading of the road from Big Falls Village (Dump) to the Belize/Guatemala Border. Funds for the implementation of this projects were sourced from a loan to the Belize Government from the Kuwait Fund for the Arab Economic Development and AFID (OPEC Fund for the International Development)including the Central American Bank for the Economic Integration (CABEI), and counterpart funding contributed by the Government of Belize.

The works consist of upgrading approximately 34KM (23 Miles) to paved standards, the existing road embankment from Big Falls Village –mile 14 (Dump) to a point 1.5km south of Jalacte Village, following the current alignment, which passes through the villages of Mafredi, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Santa Elena and Pueblo Viejo. The road cross section will comprise of two 3.25 meters of wide lanes with 1 meter wide paved shoulders; this is a total of 8.5 meters surfaced roadway width. All major existing drainage structures (box culverts) and concrete bridges will be rehabilitated to ensure continued service life.

When completed, the highway will serve several objectives and will allow Villages located in the Western part of Toledo District improved access to Punta Gorda and the rest of the country. It will enhance our capacity for commerce and trade from our Central American neighbours and encourages the formal establishments of a second border crossing with Guatemala.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

San Pedro RC School celebrates Belize's many cultures

Culture day is always a fascinating way to see children's perceptions of the cultures in their country. With a great mix of Maya, Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, Mennonite, East Indian, Chinese and a growing number of North American residents, Belize is a glorious mix of peoples. San Pedro RC School held an open/culture day on Friday, February 25 to showcase what children have learned about the cultures they were assigned, and below are some photos of the results.

The Creole

The Mestizo

The Garifuna

The North Americans


East Indian


Ketchi Maya


The Art of Life - The Jewel Stand

By Christopher Emmanuel
“We are all diamonds seeking to be polished”

Selling jewelry on the beach all depends on the weather for her. On cloudy days I pass by the makeshift stand-an oil drum with plywood on it empty. Today she is carefully placing her jewels on a cloth. “A wan sell today have to mine me picne.” “Me man done gwane an lef we.” She says as I pass by. She polishes the jewels with a loving touch every day to keep the shine. Later as the sun sets she will pack the jewels taking the table cloth leaving the stand behind.

We could all learn from the lady at the jewel stand. In each of us is a jewel we take with us when we pass on. This is the essence we are without bodies. This essence belongs to the Divine source energy we are. This jewel is all we can take with us. The stand is the body we leave behind to decay back into the dust it came from.

Some people worship the body and its desires so much that they struggle to let go of people, places and things. The now pleasures can be intoxicating and make addicts of us all. School prepared us for life, but preparation for passing on we are not taught. Nature walks, Church songs, your child’s stare, your favorite creative sport or activity, any and everything that connects us to this expanded nature teaches us our essence. Once we know our true essence and work towards polishing it. Death is no longer a bother but just a passage to go home to love.

Books by Christopher Emmanuel can be purchased at his Art Gallery in The Sun breeze Hotel, Art of Touch, Pages Book Store, Black orchid Spa and Sol Spa.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Island Academy & La Isla Bonita remember Sir Barry Bowen

Today, February 26, 2011 marks one year since a tragic plane crash claimed the life of Sir Barry Bowen and his four passengers, Jillian, Mike, Makayla and Bryce Casey.
Students at the Island Academy, along with parents, teachers, staff and Lady Dixie Bowen held a very touching tribute to Barry on Friday, February 25th.
Students sang a sweet lullaby...
Children brought flowers...
and the flag was flown at half mast.
Mr. Eddie Halliday Sr. led the group gathered under the palapa at the Island Academy in prayer.
Students then sang the Island Academy Anthem.
After which, a procession was led by Lady Dixie to the end of the Bowen pier.
The flowers that had been brought by the students were released into the ocean, a place that Barry absolutely loved.
Barry Bowen was larger than life. He was a husband, father, friend and business man. He was an unforgettable man, someone who will remain imprinted in our memories.

Similarly, we remember the Casey family, who devoted their time and energy to their students and the community at Gallon Jug. May their names and memories never be forgotten.

A Letter from the Bowen Family

Dear All:

We are sadly aware that the anniversary of our father’s death will be on the 26th of February. While alive, Sir Barry thought very little about death, instead he celebrated life to the fullest. Therefore, we have chosen to celebrate his legacy in September, at the Sir Barry Belikin Bash, around the time of his birthday. He loved this event because it stemmed from his competitive nature and determination to make Belikin “The Beer of Belize”. We will always celebrate his life and his legacy at a time of year that he loved, not at the time of his untimely death, and we hope you will join us then to raise a cold Belikin in his honour.

Thank you.
The Bowen Family

Friday, February 25, 2011

Children's Dance at the Park tonight!!

ACES PTA President ACES is sponsoring a children's dance (primary school students only) on Friday, February 25th in central park from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Admission is $5, and there will be refreshments for sale. Good music and plenty of adult supervision. Come one, come all!

Huge Gallery Sale This Saturday!

Tacklebox hosts second SAGA cook-off

Tacklebox Bar & Grill did it again with their second SAGA cook-off! This month’s theme was Asian Food, and the tables were laden with fabulous dishes like Shrimp Lo-Mein, Asian Pork Sliders, Chicken Spinach fritters with Mango Chutney and the ever delightful Sake, there was much to feast on.

At only $10 for a plate laden with samples of each of the dishes entered for the cook-off, one could enjoy a taste of everything. The seven entries all looked delightful, and it was certainly a hard task to pick the winner. Diners got to cast their vote for their favorite, and at the end, Laura Sutton won first place with her Asian Pork Sliders. Kevin Urbina of Tacklebox won second place with his Shrimp Lo-Mein

A raffle was also held, and winning a gift certificate for DandE’s Frozen Custard was Alex, and Orlando Baptist took the grand prize: a Blue Hole Trip.

Since 1999, the San Pedro Saga Humane Society has been promoting kindness, making it its mission to prevent cruelty to all domestic and wild animals, while sheltering stray animals. As a non-profit organization, SAGA depends on kind donations and fundraisers, including these monthly cook-offs! Support Saga and help promote kindness and prevent cruelty to all domestic and wild animals. Care to make a donation or adopt a pet visit SAGA on Sea Star Street from Tuesday to Friday: 1 pm to 5 pm, Saturday: 9 am to 12 noon. You can call 226-3266 Email: or visit their website at for more information!!

Introducing the Miss Carnaval 2011 Contestants

The Miss Carnaval competition is a popularity contest held yearly as part of the Carnaval festivities. The winner of the popularity contest will be granted to the participant that raises the most funds at the end of the evening of the competition. In the capacity of Miss Carnaval, the winner will represent the Town Council and San Pedro Town in various activities throughout the year.

The popularity contest is scheduled for March 5th 2011 and will run from 6:00pm – 11:00pm. All are invited to make it a date and come out and support our tradition as well as the young ladies.

Vying for the title of Miss Carnaval 2011 are three beautiful young ladies:
Kaysha Martin is a 13 year old student of St. Peter’s Elementary aspiring to become a Movie Star. Kaysha sees this as an opportunity to interact with the public and expand on her interpersonal skills, public presentation and is confident that she will do extremely well in the popularity contest.
Delmi Joana Caliz is a 16 year old student of San Pedro High School. She is excited about the 1st time experience and wanted to try something different, new and feels that this experience will help to prepare her for bigger things to come. A lover of animals, Delmi aspires to become a Veterinarian.
Ileny Aguilar is 15 years old and attending the San Pedro High School. She is looking forward to this fun activity and ready for the competition. Ileny hopes to become a Lawyer.

The current Miss Carnaval is Vicky Balam.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BAHA Press Release: Vesicular Stomatitis

●Phone: 822-0094 or 0092 ●Fax: 822-2671 ● website:

Vesicular Stomatitis

Belmopan, 24th February, 2011. The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) highly suspects that cattle in the Cayo District and pigs in the Stann Creek District are infected with Vesicular Stomatitis, a disease known as “sore mouth” in Belize.

Tissue from vesicles of the infected cattle and pigs were submitted to the regional reference laboratory “Laboratorio de Diagnostico de Enfermedades Vesiculares” (LADIVES) in Panama. BAHA awaits confirmation of Vesicular Stomatitis. Farmers first reported the disease on the 22nd February and there have been three (3) reports from different villages in the Cayo District and one (1) report from the Stann Creek District.

This disease causes vesicles in the mouth, teat and feet of infected animals and primarily affects horses, cattle and pigs but may also affect humans. Affected animals show excessive salivation, mastitis and lameness. Human infection may develop from exposure to infected animals when proper precautions are not taken; the disease in humans is influenza-like with fever, headache and muscular ache; and it rarely results in vesicles. The white tailed deer and various species of small mammals may be infected in the wild.

The disease may be transmitted by mosquitoes, contact with infected animals and movement of people, animals, plants, vehicles and equipment. There is no vaccine available for Vesicular Stomatitis and control is obtained through quarantine of affected farms and movement restrictions. Livestock owners may treat their infected animals with mild antiseptic mouthwashes as this tends to bring comfort to the animal and allows for more rapid recovery.

Vesicular Stomatitis is known to occur in the Americas and is frequently reported throughout Central America. Belize frequently reports the disease at the start of the dry period. When the disease is reported it is usually reported in the Cayo District. The Belize and Stann Creek District have reported the disease during major outbreaks, the last major outbreak having occurred in 1997. In 2004, Belize reported the disease for the first time in the Orange Walk District. This report was due to the improved surveillance implemented by BAHA and not due to the disease occurring for the first time. Farmers tend not to report the disease as it is self-limiting with infected animals showing rapid improvement within 3 days and full recovery by 2 weeks.

Vesicular Stomatitis, though it is a relatively mild disease, is important because it cannot be differentiated in the field from Foot and Mouth Disease. Thus the disease is notifiable in Belize, meaning that anyone who suspects the disease because of excessive salivation, lameness or presence of blisters in mouth, teat or feet must report it immediately. Reports can be submitted to any office of BAHA or the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Further information can be obtained from BAHA offices in Orange Walk, Belize City and Central Farm or with any registered veterinary surgeon.
Attention Editors:
For more detailed information, please contact the Belize Agricultural Health Authority at
501-824-4899 or 501-824-4872; ask for Dr. Miguel Depaz, Technical Director of the Animal Health Department.

VIP Vision Inspired by the People - promoting Unity Initiative

Chairman of the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) party, Mr. Robert “Bobby” Lopez is requesting that all Town Boards and City Councils make public their financial statements as well as their proposed budgets for the upcoming fiscal year 2011-2012. “Bobby Lopez” hand delivered the letter to the San Pedro Town Council’s office on Monday February 21st and met with The San Pedro Sun to enlighten us about his party.

The VIP party started in 2000 in Belmopan with two members and grew to four in 2003, graduating to a full slate in 2006 and in 2009 garnered more votes than the
People’s United Party (PUP) in that election, and as such is considered the second party in Belmopan. Bobby commented, “In 2012 we are now gearing up for full participation across the country in all the town boards and two city councils that will have elections in 2012”.

The party aims to contact voters that have realized that they are totally fed up and are at the point of absenting themselves from participating in the elections. The VIP hopes to provide a third option. Lopez stated, “San Pedro is the most receptive so far, San Pedro actually did this in 1984 when they became a township- a group got together and formed the San Pedro United Movement (SPUM).”

Mr. Lopez informed us that prior to Monday’s meeting, the VIP party’s executives met with a fairly large group of islanders known to be active supporters from both major political parties where the Unity Alliance (UA) initiative was introduced. The UA initiative is an initiative of the people and encompasses bringing individuals form the community onboard to run the affairs of the people and taking partisanship out of the communities. The VIP sees transformation starting at the community level. This movement hopes to organize a non-partisan slate to contest the Municipal Elections in 2012.

Mr. Lopez explained that in an effort to be better prepared for the upcoming elections; “We are requesting disclosure of their finances and also a copy of their proposed budget for the last fiscal year 2011 - 2012 which goes into effect April 1st. We feel it is important that any slate wanting to run in a Town or City election know what the finances would look like so that that slate can start planning their campaign around that budget, with an idea of what the income and expenses will look like. Furthermore, we feel that towns and cities run the business of the people. They are our servants. We put them there to serve us and as such in keeping with the commitment to transparency and accountability to the people, and also in keeping in accordance with the freedom of information act, this information should be public knowledge and readily available.”

VIP works with an attitude to “TEK POLITICS OUT AND PUT PEOPLE FIRST”. VIP sees this UA initiative as a precursor to eventually having proportional representation in place. Proportional representation simply means that if a party has achieved a certain threshold of voters’ support then those voters receive proper representation all City Council or Town Boards. VIP hopes to provide the Belizean Public with cross the board representation, committing to transparency and complete accountability to all Belizeans. For more information about the VIP party please contact Mr. Lopez at 602-5885, 226-2960 or

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Strengthening Coral Reef resilience to Climate Change Impacts!

Reminder: Public consultation in San Pedro takes place today Wednesday February 23rd, 2011, at 7pm at the Lions Den!

An outline of the night's talk/discussion is below:

Strengthening Coral reef resilience to climate change impacts, year 2:

Why are we doing this?

What are we doing?

What are other folks doing?

Review of previous results

Latest results

Lessons learned/next steps

Two short videos

Logistics for field days!!

The General Public is invited to attend and submit your input as this is an issue that affects us all.

Decades Party at the Holiday Hotel

The San Pedro Holiday Hotel was grooving on Saturday night as guests enjoyed a flashback to the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s. With totally ‘rad’ music by DJ Busch and DJ Julian, costumed party revelers danced the night away. There were prize giveaways for some of the best outfits of the night, as well as snacks and free Jell-O shots for everyone in attendance. Dance of the Decades is an annual event, so don’t miss the next one!