Posts Tagged ‘ambergris caye’

“Turtle steak” – it’s considered a delicacy in Belize but one that’s increasingly hard to find, first, because it’s illegal and second, because the population of hawksbill turtles is on the decline. Well, that’s true all over the region and that’s why a group called the Consultative Committee of Experts on Sea Turtles Conservation is meeting in Belize. They’re here to discuss the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, evaluating the region’s performance in the last 10 years. Two of the experts told us that there are encouraging developments.

Sea turtle is considered a delicacy

Paul Hoetjes, Netherlands

“Basically that is all what this whole Inter-American Sea Turtle Convention is all about, trying to protect the remaining sea turtles so that we will have them for our children. The Hawksbill Turtle is critically endangered, that means it has been reduced in numbers more than 90% over the last say 50 years and there is real cause for concern that they could actually go extinct if we don’t do something.”

Veronica Caceres, Secretary

“We need to work on regional cooperation to be able to better protect them. Conservation measures that we only in one country or two countries won’t cover the whole wide range of the migratory path so what happens is it is not enough to only protect them in one place, we have to think of a regional approach to protect this migratory species so we could actually be effective in protecting them.”

Jules Vasquez,

“You can’t foresee the future but will our children see or know these magnificent animals in their natural wild environment?”

Paul Hoetjes,

“There is a good chance they will because we are actually seeing progress and in some places the numbers are increasing so there is a lot of hope.”

The Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the legal framework for countries in the American Continent to take actions that benefit sea turtles. Belize has been a part since 2003.

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The enacted Sport Fishing Law has stirred quite a controversy in the past few weeks nationwide. From North to South, people have voiced their concerns about the Law. In San Pedro Town, the San Pedro Tour Guide Association has taken a stand, in conjunction with other related agencies countrywide, and circulated a petition which will be delivered to the Ministry of Fisheries. Signatures were requested up to March 10th and according to Billy Leslie, President, over 1,000 people placed their names on the dotted lines. Strong voices that are standing together for one purpose which will be made clear in a draft of suggested amendments which will be presented to Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI).

A press release issued by CZMAI has recognized the fact that amendments need to be made. A press release was issued on Thursday, March 11th stating the following: The Coastal Zone Management Authority wishes to inform the public about certain changes that will soon be made to the new Sport Fishing legislation, S.I 115 of 2009.

The term ‘Sport Fishing’ will now be amended to define in more detail what sport fishing is and those groups that will be required to hold sport fishing licenses.

A Sport Fishing license will now be needed by two main groups of fishermen. Visitors (non-Belizeans, non-permanent residents), and Sport fishermen (Belizean or otherwise) who are looking to target the main Sport Fish species as listed in the Fisheries legislation (S.I.114 of 2009).

Exemptions are now being granted to all tour guides of Belize who possess a valid tour guide license upon application to the CZMA. Consideration is now being taken for full exemption for these tour guides.

In an effort to stimulate the love of fishing in our young people children under the age of 16 and ease the burden on elderly persons over the age of 65, exemptions for these two groups of anglers will also now be granted.

Exemptions will also now be granted to anglers who are simply fishing from a dock or pier as well as those who are fishing from the sea shore.

Another amendment to S.I. 115 of 2009 will only require the angler that is fishing to hold a sport fishing license. Other passengers who are not fishing will not need a sport fishing license.

The CZMAI remains committed to working closely with all stakeholders to allow for a smooth implementation of the new regulations.

Any questions about these new changes can be forwarded to the CZMA offices on Princess Margaret Dr. in Belize City or telephones: 501-223-0719, 501-223-5739 or 501-223-2616.

San Pedro Sun

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Plane crash wreckage

Sir Barry Bowen, well- known Belize business magnate died today in an airplane crash just short of the runway at San Pedro Ambergris Caye according to radio and T.V. news reports monitored here. It is reported that Sir Barry was piloting his Cessna 206 when the aircraft experienced difficulties on landing approach, clipped the roof of a building with its landing gear,and then crashed into a building at a boatyard adjacent to the San Pedro Town municipal airport.

Barry Bowen, 64, deceased

Five other persons were in the aircraft including two children who also perished in the accident which happened at about 5:30 p.m. local time (Belize is minus -6 G.M.T). Sir Barry headed the Bowen group of companies that includes the Belize Coca Cola franchise, the Belikin Brewery (the only brewery in Belize) the Ford Automobile Distributorship, the Chan Chic Tourism Lodge and Belize Aquaculture Ltd. one of the largest shrimp farms in Belize. Sir Barry resided on San Pedro Ambergris Caye and commuted to work in Belize city on his private aircraft. This is a breaking story. The names of the passengers who are believed to be the managers of Chan Chich Lodge are being withheld pending notice to next of kin.

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Jah most high

From 8am until …. at Central Park San Pedro Town

Live music and entertainment, Paintings, Arts & Crafts, Carvings, lots to eat and drink!

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El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro is a unique tradition to this island and one that has been passed down from generation to generation. Although, it seems that with time, some of these wonderful customs are slowly disappearing, many people are striving to keep our traditions alive. Let us travel back to a time when long-time residents of San Pedro, Felipe Paz Sr. (Tio Pil) and Lucio Guerrero (Don Lucito) celebrated this event. The following is what was learned as they reminisced and recalled their fondest memories of carnaval.

In the early 1940s, El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro was one of the most anticipated events of the year. It was a time when Sosimo Rodriguez, Pepe Cardenez, Asita Lopez de Aguilar, “Chequete,” Isabel Reyes, Luis Aguilar, and others were the “Kings” and “Queens” of carnaval. They were the most well-known “carnavalistas” (carnaval organizers) of the village, responsible for writing and composing comparsas, and getting everyone in a festive mood.

Carnaval is celebrated annually, on the three days before Ash Wednesday (miercoles de senisa) when Catholics begin the forty-day season of lent. In the early days of carnaval, the program for the grand event was officially announced on Saturday, known as “sabado de bando.” In those days, there was very few means of entertainment. Carnaval organizers would paint their faces and/or wear colorful costumes and then stand on different corners of the village accompanied by musicians. They would announce the schedule of events to passers-by using cardboard megaphones, as no electronic amplifiers were available then. Carnaval was basically divided into two activities – comparsas (street dancing) and painting.

Comparsas, in those days, was a very special part of the celebration and it was taken quite seriously. The entire process of planning the comparsa was, in itself, a big deal. First the words of the song were written, next the music composed and finally the costumes created. Then the practicing commenced and continued for the next two to three weeks prior to the beginning of carnaval. The comparsas usually depicted an ethnic group such as Negritos, Gringos, Chinitos, Cubanitos, Inditos and so on. But it would not be carnaval if one of the comparsas groups did not perform the always-entertaining “Torito” (bull fight dance) and La Estudiantina, a village favorite. La Estudiantina was a potpourri of songs and dances that included the Waltz, Danza, Shotish, Zapateado, Danzon and Corrido. Providing the rhythm for the comparsas were many talented musicians who were always willing to perform lively music with their violins, trumpets or harmonicas.

Those who did not own an instrument were satisfied to be part of the “band” by beating a steel pan or tin can. Since vehicles, in those days, were almost non-existent, the entertainers had the streets to themselves as they made their way around the village performing from house to house. To show support for those participating, the villagers would rise early during the three days of carnaval, do their household chores and patiently await the comparsas. The villagers would join and follow the first three to four comparsas who came out. Those who were a little more shy opted to stay home but supported the “carna-valistas” by using their hard-earned money to pay a whopping 25 to 50 cents as a tip for the entertainment provided by the comparsas. For three days the streets of San Pedro were filled with fun, wonderful music and colorful costumes.

Taken and republished from The San pedro Sun Newspaper back  issues…

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Tropic Air will soon be offering flights to La Ceiba, Honduras 3 times week sometime in the next month. They will also begin offering direct flights to Belmopan starting next week. These flights will fly on Mondays and Wednesdays, leaving at 8:30 am and 12:30 pm, returning at 5:00 pm. In related news, the word on the street is that TACA Airlines is interested in buying Tropic and has approached with an offer.


TACA Airlines flies to 39 destinations in 22 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, including daily flights to 9 major U.S. cities, as well as to Toronto, Canada. TACA unites the three Americas with flights to destinations such as New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Sao Paulo, Lima, Quito, Bogota, Caracas and Santo Domingo.

Tropic Air was founded in 1979 by Johnny Greif III with just a single airplane and 2 employees, and now employs over 200 people and offer over 180 daily scheduled flights throughout Belize and Flores, Guatemala!

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Liquor License Committee

In the General meeting of the San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board held on January 11th and 12th, 2010 the following number of applications were approved.

Night Club License – 3

Publican General License – 4

Publican Special Licenses – 92

Restaurant License – 24

Beer License – 19

Malt License – 4

Shop License – 26

New Liquor Licenses Publican’s Special – 1

Shop License – 5

Beer License – 3

Malt – 1

Two Beer Licenses were denied The Ambergris Caye Trade License Committee has a new board active for the period 2010-2011.

Sitting as Chairman of the committee is her Worship Mayor Elsa Paz. In her team, is Vice Chair Flora Ancona, members: Avelina Heredia, Cecilia Lara and Santiago Vasquez. Ex-officio member of the board is Public Health Officer Godwell Flores. The Committee will have its first scheduled meeting tonight, Thursday, January 21st, 2010.

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Amber is a very busy business woman from San Diego who is looking for a second home in Belize, Central America. She had traveled to Ambergris Caye in the past, and knew she wanted her first vacation home to be on the island and turn-key. The three condos that Amber has chosen to view are at Sueno del Mar, Brahma Blue Island Oasis, and Coco Beach, all located within Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

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Tia Chocolate (The First Time – Republished from AmbergrisCaye.com)

Six years ago, I read of a national story writing competition in the newspaper. I always walked around with a notebook and pens to keep me occupied. Every time I travelled by bus for over half an hour, I had books to keep me occupied, observing and reporting on the passengers. So, I thought, why not? I certainly had a host of topics I could expound on. I noted the deadline, jotted down the methods of delivery, and promptly forgot about it.

 This weekend, I heard a friend say, “God told Belizeans, ‘go forth and procrastinate’.” It was perhaps the funniest and truest comment I’d heard, and reminded me so much of exactly what happened. I didn’t write anything for the month leading up to the deadline. Instead, I talked about how I would write something brilliant. I worked myself into a frenzy, but had nothing to show for it.

Exactly one day before deadline, I decided to write something up. I took my red, hardcover notebook, with unlined fresh white pages, stared for a moment, and started to scribble. This is what I wrote:

The thirteenth baby

They say that for every tear shed, a joy is celebrated elsewhere. In the Mai family, every tear was followed by another. Due to circumstances too difficult to comprehend, from her horrendous wedding night onwards, Ana’s life was eternal damnation and tears.

It was three o’clock in a Wednesday in 1968. The sun shone directly through the window of the makeshift kitchen. The rolling smoke from the firehearth danced around in the sunlight, making shapes and shadows wherever light hit. Silhouetted against this backdrop was Ana. She moved carefully around the hearth, stirring a big pot of beans that simmered on the crackling fire. With her free hand, she rolled an habanero pepper on some hot coals.

Every so often, she would arch her back slightly and groan softly. She was nine months pregnant and due anytime. Thus, she hurried with the evening meal, lest she risked going into labor and leaving her husband and other children hungry.

As she arched again, she felt a sharp pain and she knew that her time had come. After sending her oldest son, Henry, to fetch the midwife Luisa, she tried her best to hurry to the big house, to her room where she gave birth to all her children. Preoccupied with her contractions, and thoughts of her oldest daughter gone to help her father in the milpa, she failed to notice Irma, her other daughter, as she came out of the bushes by the toilet.

She failed to notice how pale and sweaty Irma was. She didn’t notice how she dragged her feet and hunched forward. She didn’t notice the thick braid of hair that trailed down her back. She didn’t notice how, occasionally, Irma would tug at the braid in vain, trying to loosen it, but lacking the energy or the patience to persevere.

She failed to notice anything. She was conscious only of her oncoming child. By five-thirty, Ana was through with her labor. As the child squalled in her arms, she joined him silently. Luisa, the midwife, had tears in her eyes too. For women of this small village, another child was just an extra mouth to feed. To stop having them would be wrong, for God, provider for all, deemed it so. There was no choice.

“Wa nex one Ana. Baroncito. Weh name yu wan give ah?” Luisa spoke more Creole than Ana, but Ana understood.

“Eluterio, como su abuelo,” she replied, her tears flowing freely.

“Numba thirteen. Eluterio Mai, su number.” She wiped Ana’s brow gently and prepared to leave. She wanted to tell her to stay in bed and rest for a few days, but she knew she would be wasting her breath. She left knowing that Ana would be up the next day, somehow caring for her brood and enduring another beating from her husband before nightfall, when another, different assault would be made on her body. She left thinking it strange that Paula, Ana’s eldest daughter, wasn’t around. Neither was Ana’s husband.

Luisa had left perhaps ten minutes when Emilio, Ana’s husband came in.

“Aha! Un baron. Que bueno.” He looked at his wife and smiled. “Māālo,” he told her in Mayan. “Xipal. Winik.” Good. A boy. A man. Taking the baby from her, he rudely pulled down its napkin and fondled his testicles. “Nohoch. Māālo winik.” Nohoch. Big. “Y mi comida?” (And where’s my food?)

Ana sighed and took the baby from his father. “En la cocina. Digale a Paula que te de la comida y que le de a los demas.”

Emilio nodded and left for the kitchen, hollering for Paula. Ana lay back hoping some food would be left for her.

After dinner was over, Paula came in to give her a small bowl of beans and some tortillas. Ana was horrified to see an ugly bruise on her eldest’s cheek. There were other marks and bruises over her skinny arms and legs. Looking into her child’s eyes, Ana saw despair and lost innocence.

“Irma esta enferma, Ma,” Paula said, averting her eyes quickly. (Irma is ill).

“¿Que tiene?” (What does she have?)

“No se. Tiene fiebre. Y un tejido duro.” (Don’t know. Fever. Tough braid.)

“¿Un tejido? ¿Adonde estaba?” Ana knew that if she panicked, she’d never recover.

“No se. La voy a buscar.” While Paula went to fetch her sister, Ana prayed. She knew that many people didn’t believe what she believed, and she hoped for once that they were right. She’d already lost one baby over it. “It” wasn’t worth it, whatever “It” was.

“¡Mama!” Irma came in, looking feverish, and her eyes wild.

“Bāāx uchi? Tūūx binech?” (What happened? Where did you go?)

“Monte. Bush, Mama.”

“¿Con quien?” Who with.

“Lee man. Viejito con sombrero.” Irma looked at the bundle in her mother’s arms, not seeing Ana’s look of horror. “Baby! Nene Ma!!” Suddenly, she was focused.

“Si Irma. Pretty baby.” Ana touched her daughter’s burning forehead and felt her heart sink. “¿Que te hizo el viejito?” (What did the old man do to you?)

“no se.” Irma shrugged and looked down. “Mama, soy mala? You vex?” (Am I bad? Are you mad?)

“No nene, no. Pero digame que hizo el viejito” (I am not mad baby, but tell me, what did the old man do to you”

“Tejido.” Irma turned to show her braid. “Mañana me va llevar a jugar con el.” (Tomorrow he’ll take me to play with him.)

“¿Te toco?” (Did he touch you?)

“No, solo mi pelo. Pero mañana dijo que vamos a jugar. I want to play Mama.” Irma shivered as if cold. “Frio.”

Ana felt a wail rise in her. The Tata Duende did exist, and not only in her mind. It had tainted her family. As if her curse wasn’t enough.

As Paula had been listening, her eyes widened with every word Irma said, and she unconsciously trailed her hands over the bruises on her legs and face and arms. She felt so dirty. Irma seemed so dirty. She wanted to bathe.


“¿Si Mama?”

“Bathe she. Ojas de oregano y ojas de rosas en agua caliente*. Chocó. Hot, hot. ¿Me oyes?”

“Si Mama.”

“Tu bañas con aceite y ojas de rosa.”

“Por que?”

“Te vas a sentir major.” (You will feel better)

Ana wanted to hug Paula like she held her baby. She knew that no amount of hot water and oil and rose leaves would cleanse her mind, or wash away the sorrow coming their way. Nothing would make it better.

As her two babies left to bathe, she held her thirteenth baby close. Maybe he would replace a mouth instead of becoming another one to feed. Talvez. Dios trabaja en maneras muy misteriosos. (God works in mysterious ways)

*Not an actual remedy.

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Residents of Ambergris Caye came out enmasse to witness the 4th Annual Boat Parade over the night black carpet of the Caribbean Sea. Donned with xmas lights and decorations, and even Santa Claus, the event drew hundreds of people excited to see the floatilla of brightly colored boats and yachts. Geared at spreading holiday cheer into the homes of residents, it definately brought the christmas spirit out of most that stood and watched in awe.

This years boat parade saw the participation of about 8 to 10 boats, some more visible than others. Kudos to the organizers and supporters for yet another magical night of christmas cheer! Happy holiday everyone! Images were taken by Ambergris Property. Look out for our Boat Parade video, to be posted shortly!

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