Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Island Academy hosts Pirate Party

With fun games, drinks, dancing and dinner for a whole fleet, The Island Academy welcomed festive attendees to their annual Pirate Party fundraiser! Featuring Poker, Roulette and Karaoke, Bingo, Chalupa, plus raffles and many other games, there was fun for everyone. Held as a fundraiser for the school, the Pirate Party was deemed a definite success.

See pictures below of some of the dressed-up pirates!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Belize Joins International Sailing Federation

The Council of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has approved for the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) to become a full Member National Authority of the world governing body for sailing. Belize has been allocated, by geographic location, to the Group O- which includes 24 countries of North and South America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Belize now has full access to all benefits of membership including the ability to participate in global sailing events and utilize all ISAF services.

In 1996 the International Yacht Racing Union changed its name to the International Sailing Federation. The ISAF is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the governing body for sailing worldwide and is responsible to promote the sport of sailing internationally. ISAF website is: www.sailing.org.

Prior to 1870 individual yacht clubs developed their own set of rules creating confusion over different measurement standards. Consequently, sail boats from different countries could not compete on equal terms. In 1881 the Yacht Racing Association developed a set of rules for British waters. In 1906 the International Yacht Racing Union (IRYU) was formed by most European countries. By 1929 the North American Yacht Racing Union equally worded its rules and reached agreement that neither would change its rules without first informing the other. In 1960 a totally universal code of racing rules was agreed and implemented.

The Belize Sailing Association was formed on 17th February 2010 with aspirations to develop sailing as a sport in Belize and partaking in international events in due course. Two core projects to provide “meaningful activity” for youth and adults has been initiated as follows: Project Optimist for 9 to 14 year old boys and girls and; Grand Fleet Sailing for young adults and older to sail the traditional crafts unique to Belize such as the sand lighters, sailing dories and sloops.
The Optimist Project will be ready for launching in June in time for a Summer Camp program on Button Wood Bay. The Optimist is an internationally recognized class of sailboat designed for children and young adults. See www.optiworld.org.
In related news: On Saturday 21st May BzSA Secretary and Public Relations member Alan Usher and Chairman (pro temp) Belize Optimist Committee Shelley Bradley hosted a representative from the Guatemalan Sailing Association (ASOVELA), Sailing Coach Ricardo Robbiano, touring the venue of the Battle of St George’s Caye Regatta for possible participation. Also visited was Buttonwood Bay and Caye Caulker as possible future sailing venues. ASOVELA was founded in the mid1970’s and has sailed in regional and international events. Coach Ricardo made a courtesy visit to BzSA Chairman C B Hyde CBE.

BzSA email contact is: belizesailingassociation@gmail.com

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Escaped Prisoner Captured

Police Press Release for 29th May, 2011

On Saturday 28th May 2011, about 8:30 pm CIU Personnel conducted a search at a residence located at the corner of Consuelo and Peter Seco Streets, where escaped prisoner FABIAN BAIN aka CARLOS ESCALANTE was being housed. BAIN was found hiding inside the rear section of a two- storey concrete house at that location. BAIN displayed no resistance at the time and was detained and escorted to the Queen Street Police Station, where he now awaits charges.

*The General Public is reminded that it is an offence to harbor any fugitive or help them escape from lawful custody. If anyone is found assisting or harboring any fugitive or escaped prisoner they will be charged for that offence. If you have any information that can assist the Police in locating fugitives or persons wanted by the Police, please call 0800922TIPS.

The Art of Life - Authenticity

“Authenticity is the only solid position in hard times”

Natural wood is an art in Belize. Logging was a major trade in the country in the past and as you travel around and see the variety of trees, it’s easy to understand why. A wood carver’s and carpenter’s haven, real wood is a great pleasure and pastime for artisans in Belize. Over time, and facing the elements, real wood gets worn looking, but internally it has a solid strength and feel that make authentic wood a pleasure to have around.

In other parts of the world it is hard to find unique wood like Belize has. You can find a lot of fake wood though. They look nice, often pressed and glossy, over time they never seem to last, often, they crumble from the inside out.

Authenticity is not as easy to find when it comes to people, what is on the surface can be very deceiving. Making good business deals is an art and you need to take time to create solid results. Often times you need to look deeper to find how it’s all going to hold together. When we meet people we can be dazzled by shiny smiles, polished words and the promise of quick results, but like pressed wood that looks good, we need to temper all in the light of scrutiny for some time to see how they really hold up.

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

Saturday, May 28, 2011

National Geographic Assists Belize

National Geographic Society funds to Develop the Santa Familia Primary School Forest Garden Känan K’aax

Strengthening our collaboration, Exploring Solutions Past: The Maya Forest Alliance of Santa Barbara California has joined with the El Pilar Forest Garden. Network of Santa Familia, Cayo, Belize to work in their beautiful and creative Maya forest garden named Känan K’aax, well tended garden in Mayan. This joint project has been enhanced this year with a grant from the National Geographic Society supporting the construction of a protective fence, outhouse, and galleria for school class assembly within the acre forest garden plot that the Santa Familia school administration set aside for the promotion of the model heritage conservation food forest.

The dream of the El Pilar Forest Garden Network began with the work on the school plot in 2008, clearing the untended bush within the school land. With their skillful eye to important trees, selecting plants and eliminating others, and considering planned reforestation, this noble group of traditional Maya forest gardeners demonstrates how they manage the forest as a garden. Their familiarity with the landscape gave them the advantage and only three years later the canopy is growing, food and herbs are flourishing, orchids are blooming, and life has thrived in the forest garden. With all this design as a hands-on teaching center, the group faced problems: horses were tromping in the garden; chickens were scavenging from the plants, while some people were throwing trash and others were plundering the garden.

Alcario Cano, the late president and true visionary of the project, lamented the lack of the fence to honor their remarkable efforts and to protect the site from marauders. He would be proud of the activity at the site now. It was on the hot afternoon of the 19th of May when President Rusel Aldana and Anabel Ford proudly signed for the first installment of the funds that will realize the group’s plan of a garden teaching center for their community school children. The dry season has prolonged, and taking advantage the team will be busy over the next 6 weeks.

The Maya forest, once home to the ancient Maya civilization, provides a source to explore solutions past. Adapting to the changing conditions and managing with designs is a crucial requirement to meet both short-term and long-term development objectives in the past as for the future.

Research on the ancient Maya landscape reveals a new interpretation: The ancient Maya creativity resulting the the Maya forest garden. This was accomplished by intensifying an essentially skill based strategy of the Milpa Cycle, clearing and planting a maize field that managed with some 30 domesticated crops and more than a hundred volunteers that build towards a food forest.

The innovations of the El Pilar Program with its integrative and interdisciplinary vision for the role of the Institute of Archaeology's El Pilar Archaeological Reserve for Maya Flora and Fauna for the Maya forest has taken the lessons learned and begun to apply it in the area.working with traditional Maya forest gardeners, we have learned together the inherent value of the time honored skills. The aim is to incorporate the forest garden practice as a landscape model for the ancient monuments of El Pilar.


Dr. Anabel Ford, a distinguished Maya archaeologist, has decoded the ancient Maya landscape. Living in the forest and relying on its bounty, Ford gained admiration for the local knowledge of the Maya forest garden. She discovered El Pilar, a major Maya city linking Belize and Guatemala, where you can see the archaeological discovery of the site and appreciate traditional knowledge of the people living in the region today. Currently she is working with the Sta Familia Primary School and the El Pilar Forest Garden Network in the development of a model Maya forest garden called Kanan Kaax with funds from National Geographic Society. She brings her extensive field experience and broad inquisitive mind to demystify the Maya. She is currently in Belize and can be contacted at BRASS Base 824-3612 or cellular number: 626-4008

Friday, May 27, 2011

Update from Ministry of Education

As a follow-up to our earlier release in light of the disruption in the transportation system, the Ministry of Education and Youth hereby updates parents, guardians, students, principals and managements of schools of the following with respect to the scheduled CXC Examinations today:

1. Students taking CXC Examinations today should make the effort to reach their examination centers without taking undue personal risks.

2. The Ministry of Education and Youth has been advised by the Caribbean Examinations Council that scheduled examinations are to begin on-time for students who arrive on time at the examination centers.

3. Students who are delayed because of the transportation disruption are to still make every effort to reach the examination center without taking undue personal risks. Once at the center, students will be allowed to start the examination late and will be given full-time to complete the examination.

4. Where a student is unable to reach his/her examination centre because of the transportation disruption they are advised to go to the nearest examination centre with their registration information/documentation and where arrangements can be made for them to sit the examination at that center.

The Ministry will remain in contact with the Caribbean Examinations Council to inform them of any further developments and to get further guidance from them. We will advise students sitting examinations and schools accordingly.


Notice from Ministry of Education - Re: Transport System Disruption

Press Release - Belmopan, Ministry of Education - May 27, 2011 - In light of the disruption in the transportation system the Ministry of Education and Youth hereby informs parents, guardians, students, principals and managements of schools of the following:

1. Parents and guardians are advised that, while classes have not been called off, they are to take into due consideration the safety of their children in making a decision whether or not to send their children to school today under the circumstances.

2. Schools and managing authorities are to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of their students and members of staff present at school.

3. The Ministry of Education and Youth is seeking the advice of the Caribbean Examinations Council on how to proceed with respect to the CXC Examination that is scheduled today. Pending such advice from the Caribbean Examinations Council, students taking CXC Examinations today should make the effort to reach their examination centers without taking undue risks. As we get such feedback from CXC we will be making a public announcement via the radio stations. Parents, guardians and students are asked to listen to their radio stations for updated information on this.


ACES at Isla Bonita

Cherie and Vince Rose of ACES (American Crocodile Education Sanctuary) were back at it on Thursday May 19th, imparting information about the American Crocodiles. This time around, the students of Isla Bonita Elementary School received the opportunity to acquire education, ask questions, and even touch one of the oldest animals in the world, dating back to the Dinosaur Age.
ACES is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of Belize's critical wetland habitats and protected species, specifically Crocodilians, through scientific research and education in order to preserve Belize’s wildlife for future generations.

Further information about ACES may be found at their website http://www.americancrocodilesanctuary.org/, via email at acesnpo@hughes.net or by calling 011-501-631-6366.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cricel Castillo to represent Belize in Miss America Latina 2011

Press Release - Miss America Latina Belize - May 25, 2011 - On behalf of Miss America Latina of the World Franchise for the Country of Belize, we hereby congratulate 22 year-old Miss Cricel Castillo, who recently traveled to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. She is the Belize representative for Belize at this prestigious event.

Miss Castillo will be competing with 27 other countries' Latina delegates for the title/crown of Miss America Latina 2011-2012. Miss Colombia is the current Miss America Latina 2010-2011.

The Miss America Latina event has been in existence since 1981. This is the fourth consecutive year that Belize has been invited to participate.
The Barcelo Hotel Group, is one of 30 largest chain of hotels in the world, and is one of the major sponsors and host of Miss America Latina over the recent years. This year's event will be held at one of their newest Beach Resort facilities in the Dominican Republic.

Miss Castillo's formal application and all others that were sent to our email address was reviewed and approved by our panel of Judges. Miss Castillo has been selected due to her excellent credentials to proudly represent the community of Belize. Miss Castillo has studied at Galen University in Belize and the University of Indianapolis, USA. Her profession is marketing and tourism, and her ambition is to pursue a Master's Degree in journalism, law and psychology.

We thank all sponsors and person who assisted to make this event possible.

For more information please visit Miss America Latina del Mundo or Miss Latina America of the World on Facebook to place your comments and view the photo galleries.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New immigration law takes effect in Mexico

MAY 25, 2011

A new immigration law took effect in Mexico on Tuesday aimed at better protection of undocumented migrants passing through Mexican territory on their way to the United States.
The new law will permit undocumented migrants to obtain a special visa when entering Mexico from either Guatemala or Belize and tries to enact reforms in the country's immigration ministry, which has been implicated as complicit in criminal acts such as kidnapping migrants.

"Today, Mexico is doing its part to improve the immigration system in North America," President Felipe Calderon said during a ceremony in which he signed the law. "This, without doubt, is advanced legislation, bold legislation, immigration legislation with few precedents in the world," he said.

Migrants have been attacked and kidnapped in increasing numbers in Mexico. The National Human Rights Commission has reported that 11,333 migrants were abducted by criminal groups, including Los Zetas, during a six-month survey period in 2010.

Measles Outbreak Prevention in Belize

Press Release – Ministry of Health, Belmopan - May 25, 2011 - The Ministry of Health notifies the general public that an outbreak of Measles is ongoing in 33 different countries in Europe and transmission has been reported in 5 countries in the Americas. The last cases of measles in Belize were reported in 1991.

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by an infection with the measles virus. Transmission of the virus occurs through unprotected coughing and sneezing of an infected person. A single case of this virus can cause an epidemic among unvaccinated persons. Signs and symptoms of Measles infection include:

- Fever - Rash - Cough - Runny nose (coryza) OR - Red eyes (conjunctivitis)

All persons, especially young children, who have not been vaccinated against measles are asked to contact the nearest public health center during normal working hours.

Travelers going to or coming from Europe, North, Central and South America are advised to review their immunization status and to seek measles vaccine if unvaccinated.

The general public is urged to immediately report signs and symptoms of this disease to community health nurses in the districts or to public health personnel at the Ministry of Health.

Fabian Bain aka Carlos Escalante, escapes from Prison

The Belize Police Department and Kolbe Foundation are seeking the assistance of the Public in locating Escaped Prisoner FABIAN BAIN, aka CARLOS ESCALANTE, 31yrs of last known address Junesville Area, Lake Independence, Belize City, who escaped from Authorities at 11:45am on Tuesday, 24th May, 2011 whilst being escorted to Kolbe Foundation at the junction of Belize Hattieville / Boom Road. Fabian Bain was on remand since November, 2006 for Murder. Bain should be considered dangerous. If seen, please contact the nearest Police Station, or call 0-800-922-TIPS (0-800-922-8477).

Treasure Island Academy invites you!!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum & Coca Cola! The Island Academy boldly invites all lads, lasses, families, and visitors to the "TREASURE ISLAND ACADEMY PIRATE PARTY 2011" on Friday, May 27, from 7 pm - 11 pm. There will be games, drinks, dancing and dinner for a whole fleet! Featuring Poker, Roulette and Karaoke for adults, with Bingo, Limbo, Chalupa, and more. Mariano's Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt arcade will be inflating the "Treasure Island Bouncy Castle" to keep kids buoyant. Dress to Plunder! All ashore who like fun galore!
The booty keeps coming! Generous donors include: Seaduced by Belize, San Pedro Woodworks, Pages Bookstore, Lourdes Hardware, Lynn's Boutique, The Train Station, Estel's by the Sea, El Divino Steakhouse at Banana Beach, S.P.O.G.-San Pedro Online Grocery, Kakaw Chocolate, Sarai's Boutique, Black Orchid Management Tours, Hugh Parkey Dive Team, Eye Candy Boutique, DandE's Custard, Belize Surf Shop, Nautica Seafood Restaurant, with grand awards from Cayo Espanto, El Pescador Lodge, and Chan Chich Eco-resort!

Everyone is invited to don pirate costumes and enjoy drinks, dinner, and dancing from 7 pm - 11 pm. Island Academy teachers will be leading the games. Admission is $10 Adults, $5 kids under 18. Join the lads and lasses who are done with classes!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Caye Caulker Sewage Needs Assessment

Press Release – Belize Press Office –May 24, 2011 – The Department of the Environment will be hosting another public consultation this Thursday, May 26, 2010 at the Caye Caulker Community Centre starting at 7:00 pm.

The primary objectives of the project are:

1. To investigate the waste management practices of the residents of Caye Caulker for the collection and treatment of sewage in Caye Caulker within the framework of the Land Based Sources of Marine Pollution Protocol of the Cartagena Convention (LBS Protocol).
2. To investigate the possible contamination of Caye Caulker’s ground and surface waters resulting from the current sewage waste management practices by undertaking an in depth water quality monitoring programme.
3. To investigate the current use of ground water resources in Caye Caulker to determine the potential impacts to human health.
4. To consolidate the recommendations of prior studies conducted in Caye Caulker and formulate new recommendations taking into account the realities of Caye Caulker, the new information collected and noting the recent passage of Effluent Limitations (Amendment) Regulations in line with the LBS Protocol.

Over the past year, the DOE has been sending out personnel to Caye Caulker on a regular basis to conduct water quality monitoring of both groundwater and sea water at pre-established monitoring sites. The DOE has conducted a public consultation as well as a survey to further the overall goal of the project in working towards recommendations for proper waste management in Caye Caulker.

In July 2009, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, through the Department of the Environment (DOE), embarked on a Sewage Needs Assessment Project for Caye Caulker to investigate the waste management practices of the residents of Caye Caulker and determine the extent of contamination of ground and surface waters from these waste disposal practices. All residents of Caye Caulker are invited to come out and learn more about the project.

Art of life: Is it worth it?

By Chris Emmanuel

“Circumstances in the right hands can become a great motivator.” – Emmanuel

We create our own traps in life. We suffer in occupations we don t like, incompatible friendships, places we don’t want to be in. We can suffer in abusive relationships wishing that the abuser will change. “if only he stopped drinking, if only she would do as I say, I will leave once the children grows up, I can’t survive without his money,” and on and on.. The excuses continue. It sometimes takes drastic measures for people to wake up and take charge of their lives. It takes courage to strike out on your own-you might fail, but you can also make a better life for yourself. Either way you will gain new experiences.

When you are not happy with your life, it’s important to take steps to correct the situation. It might not happen quickly but it’s well worth the effort. By just striving we become happier than if we had made no attempt at all. Making changes for a healthier life for ourselves and the ones we care for, is not always easy. But when we are suffering in a household of unhappiness it’s time to ask the question, “Is it worth it?” the days are long but the years are short. Life is happening now. When you plan to make changes now for your happiness you don’t need to count on happiness that is (or isn’t) waiting in your future.

Never overestimate your ability to change people and never underestimate your ability to change yourself for the better.

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

Monday, May 23, 2011

Brandi Mermaid at Capricorn Resort

“Brandi Mermaid, Belize’s First Real Mermaid” was at Capricorn on Friday May 13th and The San Pedro Sun was invited to view her in action.

Dressed in her very realistic mermaid tail, Brandi became the serving platter for countless sushi rolls. Visitors were invited to sip of some wine as they enjoyed sushi off the mermaid’s body. She informs that she has been training for over two years now, practicing breath hold, yoga, and free diving with her tail.
Brandi hopes to soon offer the following services all over the Caribbean as a mermaid:- Underwater Photography/Modeling, Mermaid Nyotaimori catering, Underwater Marriage Proposals, Films/Documentaries/ Commercials, Event Promotions, Advertising, Acting, Singing/Playing guitar (can provide music for events as well),Entertainment at Pool Parties/ Hotels/ Resorts, Adult Parties.

Brandi may be reached for private parties and events by contacting her at 630-3048 or via email brandimermaid@yahoo.com.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Education Period celebrated

Education Period 2011 was observed across the country from May 3rd through May 15, 2011. Throughout the two-week span, several activities were organized across the country under the theme “Education empowers: Creating change, nurturing minds, embracing the future."

During that period, the Ministry of Education (MOE) conducted several activities to highlight some of its accomplishments and the accomplishments of teachers. This year, the MOE focused on increasing public awareness as it relates to such issues as quality child friendly schools, secondary school refinancing reform and teacher education to name a few.

In San Pedro, there were a couple of activities which included an Ecumenical service held on Tuesday, May 3rd. After the service, it was time for sports. For this event, two locations hosted: San Pedro High School (SPHS) and the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS). On Thursday May 5th, all Ministry officials went into schools in their respective areas and taught lessons, in an effort to connect directly with teachers and students. Ministry officials visited three schools here in San Pedro; New Horizon SDA, St. Peter’s Elementary and San Pedro High School.

On Wednesday, May 11th, a Festival of Arts was held at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium (Read more on Page 1 & 4). The following day, teachers along with nurses were invited to enjoy the annual party hosted for them by the San Pedro Town Council and Area Representative.

Friday May 13, 2011, was a day to celebrate Teachers’ Day. On this day, activities, trips, fun events take place that help to build staff relations. All across the country, teachers enjoy a day of fun. We join the rest of the community and country in saying Happy Teachers’ Day, and thank you for all you do!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rachelle Wintzen gives Modern Hip Hop Dance Classes

On Wednesday May 18th, Rachelle Wintzen was at the Train Station, where she presented two classes to students of various ages in the art of modern hip hop dances.

All attendants were dressed for the occasion, each individually expressing themselves through fashion and dance.

This is the first in a series of classes that Ms. Wintzen hopes to be giving on the island. Look in next week's paper for a full introduction as well as availability and classes that she hopes to provide.

Enjoy photos and the video from Wednesday's classes.