Archive for September, 2009

Vehicular traffic and access to  Tarpon Street and parts of front street were blocked on Tuesday due to work being carried out by the Town Council workers. Their new project involves installing, pianting and constructing pedestrian crossing signs for the school children. The saturation of vehicles and the growing number of people residing on the island has prompted this action by the Council. Where the signs are planted, vehicle owners and motorists are asked to respect and give way to any pedestrian trying to cross the streets, to and from school. The bright yellow and black paint is vibrant and cannot be missed, please drivers respect this new code.

New signs installed in townPedestrian Crossing

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Off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye is Belize’s oldest marine reserve,the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Hol Chan is Mayan for ‘little channel.” The entire reserve focuses on a cut through the reef (called a quebrada) which is little more than 25 yards (23 m) wide and 30 feet (9 m) deep about 4 miles southeast of San Pedro.

The reserve was formed primarily as a community-based initiative due to concern over the high level of uncontrolled, often destructive fishing and diving activities in the area. Reserve status was also called for by international organizations such as the New York Zoological Society (NYZS) and Peace Corps, due to the unique formation of the channel, the abundant fishery resources (including conch and lobster) and the feasibility of including an interlinked system of coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats in this area.

The entire reserve covers approximately three square miles (7.8 sq km) and is divided into four zones:

Zone A – The Reef

Zone B – The Seagrass Beds

Zone C – The Mangroves

Zone D – Shark Ray Alley

All four zones are clearly marked on the surface by buoys. Zone A through C each represents one of the major marine habitat types in Belize. Zone D was recently added as a location where nurse sharks and southern sting rays congregate.

Realizing the importance of the coral reef community off Ambergris Caye, Belize, the Government of Belize established the Hol Chan Marine Reserve on May 2, 1987. Shark Ray Alley was officially declared Zone “D” of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve on August 31st, 1999.

Due to its protected status, what was once a depleted fishing area has now been allowed to re-generate, providing an unparalleled diving/snorkeling experience for visitors and an important refuge for marine life along the northern section of the Belize Barrier Reef. Read more information at www.holchanbelize.org

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9 Sep 2009 By University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A team of expert divers, a geochemist and an archaeologist will be the first to explore the sacred pools of the southern Maya lowlands in rural Belize. The expedition, made possible with a grant from the National Geographic Society and led by a University of Illinois archaeologist, will investigate the cultural significance and environmental history and condition of three of the 23 pools of Cara Blanca, in central Belize.

Called cenotes (sen-OH-tays), these groundwater-filled sinkholes in the limestone bedrock were treated as sacred sites by the Maya, said University of Illinois archaeologist Lisa Lucero, who will lead the expedition next spring.

“Any openings in the earth were considered portals to the underworld, into which the ancient Maya left offerings,” said Lucero, who is a professor of anthropology at Illinois. “We know from ethnographic accounts that Maya collected sacred water from these sacred places, mostly from caves.”

Studies of shallow lakes and cenotes in Mexico and Guatemala have found that the Maya also left elaborate offerings in the sacred lakes and pools. Items found on the bottom of lakes in these regions include masks, bells, jade, human remains, figurines and ceramic vessels decorated with animals, plants and the gods of fertility and death.

“Diving the sacred pools of Cara Blanca, in central Belize, is necessary to determine if they have similar sacred qualities,” Lucero said.

Patricia Beddows, a lecturer of earth and planetary sciences at Northwestern University and an expert diver who has explored cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, will also explore the geochemistry and hydrology of the pools of central Belize. Once underwater, we will first have to cut out some of the jungle wood so that we can even reach the bottom,” Beddows said. “After mapping for fragile Maya artifacts, we will also take water data and manually drill sediment cores.”

The sediment samples will provide a record of changes in surface and water conditions, Beddows said.

“Were the Maya challenged by droughts in the area? Did the water quality suddenly go bad due to sulfur or other geologic factors? We hope these cenotes will provide a rich story of linked human and environmental conditions,” she said.

The cenotes vary in depth from 5 to more than 50 meters, Lucero said. The extraordinary depth of some of the pools, their sheer walls, the probable presence of underwater caves that may lead to other pools and the potential for encountering wildlife (a crocodile was spotted in one of the cenotes the team will explore) all add to the complexity and danger of the task, she said. But the team will include some of the most accomplished technical divers in the world and will be in radio contact with British special forces, who train in the region, to coordinate a medical evacuation in the event of a health emergency.

The divers will videotape and map the pools and any artifacts they find.

One of the three pools the researchers will explore has a substantial Maya structure on its edge, likely ceremonial. Preliminary investigations of the structure conducted by archaeologist Andrew Kinkella, of Moorpark College, turned up a lot of jars and the fragments of jars. This could indicate that the site was important for collecting sacred water, Lucero said. She plans to conduct a limited analysis of the structure while the divers explore the pools. Kinkella will join Lucero’s team, and will search the sheer walls of the cenotes for niches, like those carved by the Maya in other pools, where artifacts were deposited.

Lucero has spent more than 20 years studying settlements and sacred sites that were important to the Maya in Belize, and works under the auspices of the Institute of Archeology, which is part of the National Institute of Culture and History, Government of Belize.

 Taken from the www.FirstScience.com site.

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the lime bar

the lime bar

The lime bar and grill has been the venue for food cook offs in the past and today the food mill is running again. Last time the Lime hosted its appetizer cook-off, it saw over ten chefs and food lovers dish out there best stuff. This time around the Lime is at it agein and the theme is traditional Belizean dishes! So come out and taste the best of the best. $10bz per person and all the profits this time will be going to Saga as they need just $1000.00bz more to build the isolation unit!

Also please note that it will be smoke free between 6pm and 8pm so spread the word! Date: Friday, September 25th, 2009, 6pmLocation: Lime Bar & Grill.

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Only a few units left at very affordable prices. Best location on the beachfront, stunning vistas of the Carib Sea and Coral Reef. Home to some of the world’s best diving, snorkeling and fine dining. Be one with Belize this fall! Call us or email for more information. 226-3232 or ambergrisproperty@gmail.com

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Thousands of Belizeans across the country turned out in ideal Belizean weather to witness the official ceremony and to participate in the customary Independence Parade. In San Pedro, things were no different as everyone got into the festive moods and showcased much patriotism and pride as we celebrated the 28 years of our nations Independence!

Independence Day was topped off with a parade down the main streets of San Pedro, where hundreds lined the streets to view the great floats and enjoy the great music and dancing. The parade began when the fire engine sounded its horn, signaling the commencement of the parade. Following the fire engine was a large enthusiastic bunch that featured political personalities from both sides; marching bands, scores of flags, thousands of students, and a big jump up from several businesses. A sense of unity was felt through out the festivities as revelers broke into spontaneous cheers, whilst others danced and waved their Belizean flags in one of the biggest parades in San Pedro. Let the images tell the tale!

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31 year old Robert Silva, an american National of Chicago has broken and set a new world record for the longest salt water dive. The old record was 36 hours and Robert  had to spend at least 36.5 hours continuously under water to beat it. The rules were simple, he must spend more than the 36.5 hours under saltwater continuously. In addition – he must have spent at least 20 minutes at a depth of 20 feet. Sounds simple enough and on Monday morning at 10:30, Silva headed out to the Hol chan Marine Reserve on a boat from Ramon’s Village. 48 hours later at 10:30 on Wednesday morning he surfaced.

Silva holds up 48 hour sign

Silva holds up 48 hour sign

He accomplished the record setting dive with technical help from friends and the crew at the Ramon’s Village Dive Shop. They monitored him 24 hours a day – someone was always down there with him – watching and timing his countdown – by the minutes, the seconds, and the hours to the record books. But even more important was providing him an uninterrupted supply of oxygen. In forty eight hours he went through fourteen oxygen tanks. We say kudos to Silva for accomplaishing this magnificent feat in Belize! You betta Belize it!

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Belize it!

Spectacular natural attractions and the excitement of discovering Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret draw travelers from around the globe, promising both relaxation and the richly rewarding authenticity they seek in a genuine Caribbean getaway. Nestled between Mexico and Guatemala on the Caribbean coast of Central America, Belize is one of the few remaining unspoiled places on earth.

While it is still a fairly young country, on September 21st Belize will commemorate 28 years of being a Independent nation gaining its Independence on September 21st, 1981. Every year, Belizeans show their patriotism by participating in a smogasbord of activities and events. With marching band parades, carnivals, dynamic display of fireworks at midnite, and parties all over the country, Belizean pride is highly visible.

Do enjoy this belize clip which features one of the 7 underwater wonders of the world.

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Several teams participating  in the San Pedro Basketball league made it out to the San Pedro High Auditorium for  head to head matches in the basketball competition. Teams from Belize City, San Pedro and caye Caulker brought their game faces and fighting for the number one spot in the competition was Tarpon Trappers and the jaguar’s temple Blazers. Tarpon Trappers brought their ‘A’ game and took over the competition to rank at the top of the contest. Below are some images of the games….

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With the entire town anticipating a grand day, the festivities for the September 10th celebrations lived up to its hype as hundreds of Belizeans and visitors to the island came out in full force to participate or watch from the street side the uniform parade that kicked off the celebrations. Fire engine sirens signaled the start of activities on La Isla as the parade wound down the principal streets of town. At the Old Football Field, Raquel Badillo was officially coronated and took over for Lizette Vasquez as Ambassador for San Pedro. After the parade, beach lovers flocked to the Holiday hotel beachfront for the official weigh on of the Family Fishing Tour. In the end, the results revealed that the Ramon’s Village Family Boat had the most poundage of 181Pounds. Ramon’s Boat won the first place cash prize. Let the pictures tell the tale….

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