Currently Browsing: Ambergris Caye Stories
Aug 7th 10
Charlotte Observer | Kelly Kanabar, 32, was born and raised on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Her parents moved there from the United States to open a resort in the 1970s. Kanabar owns and operates three restaurants there, notably the Blue Water Grill.
Q. What’s for lunch?
Today, rice and beans, Belizean style – with red kidney beans – and stewed chicken and mashed potatoes. It’s typical Belizean food. It costs $18 Belize, which is $9 U.S. Lunch is the main meal here, so it’s common to have a hot meal at lunch and something smaller for dinner. Belize is kind of a Caribbean country in that respect.
Q. Are the tourists pretty much from North America?
Americans for the most part, with more and more Canadians. In August, there are lots of Europeans; it’s when they go on vacation. Around Easter, we get people from neighboring countries – Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. Easter is a big holiday in Central America. They come for fishing, diving and stuff like that.
Q. Do Americans prefer familiar food – or local?
The menu is more geared to American food, with one or two things being local. We’d do a local lunch because we get many Belizeans coming in for ceviche, tortilla chips and a couple beers with their friends. There’s pizza and sushi. Sushi is more for locals. The biggest sellers are lobster and fish. It’s what visitors want, and what we eat a lot of here.
Q. Is fishing a major attraction?
Our island is off the Atlantic coast and is one of about 1,000 cayes – as islands are called here. I live on the biggest of them. It’s close to a reef that’s the second-largest in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Scuba diving is huge. The Blue Hole was made famous by Jacques Cousteau. It’s a big crater in the ocean that he called a “wonder of the world.”
Deep-sea and reef fishing are big: The island is a one-minute ride from the reef, and that’s cool: In other parts of the world, you have to go a half-hour to get to the fishing spots. The reef here is 100 yards away.
There’s snapper and grouper in the shallow waters of the reef. Beyond that, the water drops 400 to 500 feet, and that’s where you find tuna, billfish, marlin and tarpon; it’s a big area for sport fishing. Fishermen regularly bring them in. Occasionally, a guy comes in with a mahi mahi or wahoo for us and we’ll serve it fresh.
There’s a fish that tastes good that’s hard to get. It’s called a hog snapper, and you can’t fish them. The shape of their mouth makes it so they won’t take a hook. You have to get into the water and spear it, so it’s difficult to catch. It has light, white meat. If you see this on a menu, try it. (more…)
Aug 6th 10
Carly Tye Byrd gives birth while on vacation in San Pedro
Ambergris Today – A newborn always brings joy, happiness and love to parents, family and friends. Ambergris Today Newspaper has shared many great moments with different families such as the first baby born for the New Year, San Pedro’s first and only set of triplets, and even a baby delivered at home by his dad. This week we have another great opportunity to share with an American family on vacation who welcomed their fourth child here in San Pedro.
Carly and Joseph Tye Byrd of Arkansas, USA came to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye on July 7, for a family vacation along with their three sons, 11-year-old Logan, 4-year-old Kaleb and 3-year-old Carlton Levi enjoying the great accommodations at Ambergris Lake Villas. Carly was visiting during her last trimester of her fourth pregnancy and was due on July 26. Her doctor in the US had told her it was safe for her to travel, so they came to San Pedro where she had regular checkups with Dr. Daniel Gonzalez.
The Byrd’s did not come prepared to welcome another family member here in San Pedro but to their surprise on Tuesday, July 27 they welcomed a bouncing baby boy to the family – Casey Wyatt Byrd. Baby Wyatt was delivered by Dr. Daniel Gonzalez at Ambergris Hopes at 12:44 p.m., weighing nine pounds.
“I was reading a copy of your newspaper, the 25 years ago column about being a true Sanpedrano and we now have our own Sanpedrano,” commented Mrs. Janet Byrd – grandmother of Wyatt, “He is an island boy and he will definitely be back to visit the island.”
Congratulations to Byrd Family on the birth of their Sanpedrano baby – Casey Wyatt Byrd!
Aug 6th 10
Save Baby Daniel Estell
Facebook – Within the next 24-hours, Baby Daniel will be flown to Columbia where his life-saving procedure will be performed!!!
It is DIRECTLY because of the collective effort of every single person in this group, and the effort of all of the others who are not a part of this group that have worked so tirelessly to raise the funds needed for Daniel’s transplant.
The people of Belize pounding the pavement to collect money, the news organizations spreading the word, holding and supporting fundraisers, people tweeting and face-booking and talking about Daniel to everyone we met, soliciting donations, finding connections, following up on leads . . . all of this has paid off!
Baby Daniel is going to live a happy, healthy life! YOU were a part of making that happen, and we will be eternally grateful. Funds will still need to be raised for the follow-up care, but we’ve cleared the first hurdle! Please take a moment to celebrate yourself, and our magnificent accomplishment! A million thanks.
With much love,
Daniel, Ilda, Daniela, Delores, Melissa, Leigh, and Marissa
Aug 6th 10
San Pedro Sun – News has reached The San Pedro Sun office that former San Pedro businessman Mario Varacalli, owner of Hungry Monkey Sub Shop was found dead this morning. Reports are that employees found him inside The Hungry Monkey Shop located on North Front Street Belize City.
Although cause of death is unconfirmed at this time, reports are that he had told many people that he intended to end his life. The San Pedro Sun extends condolences to his family and friends.
Aug 5th 10
Editors Note: Reports of irregularities at the San Pedro Immigration and Customs office have reached Ambergris Daily. The following letter was written by two tourists about their experience a few days ago. A formal report is being prepared by the BTB on the situation. Minister Heredia is in contact with the Immigration Department and will make a formal complaint to Cabinet on Tuesday.
Report for the incident at the customs and immigration at San Pedro’s office on 3rd of August 2010
We, Matti R. and Linda B. from Germany, chartered a boat in Xcalak, Mexico, to go to San Pedro, Belize. On board of the little vessel were only 4 persons, the captain Gabrino Patto, his Mechanic, Matti and Linda. When we arrived in San Pedro, our captain took us immediately to the immigration office.
The door to the immigration office was closed, so our captain went into the customs office, which was not closed. A lady (which later appeared to be the immigration officer on duty) came and said, that they are closed but she will open up for us. That’s friendly, we thought, and went into the immigration office. The lady (alone in the office) took our passports and asked where we’d come from. Then she demanded 40 USD from us as a boarding fee. As we had no USD and she didn’t accept Pesos, she told us the Belize equivalence, 80 Belize Dollars. Before withdrawing money, we asked how much Belize Dollars we would need for the whole immigration and customs process and she told us that apart from the 80 BZD for immigration, we would have to pay the same amount next door to customs. Hence, Linda went down to the Scotiabank and withdrew 300 Belize Dollars. Back in the office we paid 80 Belize Dollars and asked for a receipt. We were told by the immigration lady, that this is not necessary and that we won’t get one.
Then she wanted us to move into the customs office, where our captain was already talking to the customs lady. We handed the customs lady the customs declaration documents (one Linda filled out in Mexico and one Matti filled out right in the office before handing in to the customs lady) and she was busy on her computer. Then she asked for 20 USD and as we had no USD she wanted 40 BZD. Linda gave her a 50 BZD bill and she said that she didn’t have change. She asked the immigration lady, who sat next to her on a chair, weather she could change the 50 BZD bill. The immigration lady said yes, changed the 50 BZD bill with 5 BZD bills from her bra and told she customs lady that she owes her now 10 BZD. We got our change and stood in the office, waiting and asking for any documents we might get now. But she gave us neither a receipt nor any other document. So we paid 120 BZD in total, 80 at the immigration office and 40 at the customs office. The ladies made us a sign to say that we are finished here and we went out of the office and headed to Pedro’s Inn where we planned to stay for the night.
At Peter Lawrence’s office (owner of Pedro’s Inn) we asked curiously how much one has to pay when entering Belize, because after having paid 120 BZD, we felt that this was just too much. Peter said that nobody has to pay when coming into Belize and that, in fact, it was wrong that we have been charged 120 BZD. Immediately, he made some phone calls to immigration and other officials and together with a journalist, Dennis Craft, we went back to the immigration and customs office. Our objective was to get our money back or at least a reasonable explanation why we had to pay 120 BZD and the appropriate receipts. (more…)
Aug 5th 10
IR Satellite Photo
General Situation: Conditions gradually become more moist and unstable. 24hr Forecast: Cloudy at times today and tonight; a few showers and thunderstorms may occur, mostly in coastal and southern areas. Winds: East to Northeast at 5 to 15 knots. Sea State: Choppy. Outlook: Through Saturday: Partly cloudy with a few showers and thunderstorms. Highs: 32°C/89°F Lows: 25°C/77°F.
Tropical Weather Outlook: A tropical wave is producing cloudiness and thunderstorms over the western Caribbean. There is a low chance of this system becoming a tropical cyclone during the next day or two. The remnant of tropical storm Colin is gradually becoming better organized and has the potential to regain tropical storm status today or Friday. Elsewhere in the North Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 48 hours.
Aug 5th 10
San Pedro Library Adult Computer Classes
Ambergris Today – The first adult group to finish the first computer course sponsored by the San Pedro Public Library received their certificates this past week. Six adults started and four completed a 12-week course on typing, MS Word, MS Excel and web browsing. Facilitator for the course is Ms. Dianeli Medina who is a volunteer at the San Pedro Town Library. Iracela Acosta, Librarian, congratulates the group for their achievement and wishes them the best in their future; she also extends thanks to Ms. Dianeli Medina for volunteering her time.
(At this time the SP Library is looking for a facilitator to volunteer for the Adult Computer Course. They would like to continue offering computer classes for adults. Please call or stop by the Library if interested. Phone: 206-2028). (left to right) Facilitator Dianeli Medina, Graduates- Gladys Ramirez, Rene Vasquez, Regina Salazar. Miriam Zaldivar (not present)
Aug 4th 10
Power Outage on Ambergris Caye
PR – Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) advises customers on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye that the Company is working to restore power supply to the northernmost portion of the island. At 9:15 a.m. today, power supply was lost to the entire area North of Boca del Rio due to a burnt main pole in the area, which resulted in significant damages to equipment and infrastructure. The cause of the burnt pole is still being investigated.
Power supply was restored to some customers in the area at 9:27 a.m. Most customers in the area, however, remain without power. BEL work crews have been dispatched and working to repair damages, which are estimated for completion at about 8:00 p.m. tonight. BEL apologizes for the inconvenience caused by this outage.
Aug 4th 10
San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board
San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board – August 3rd , 2010 – The San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board will like to inform all establishments with extensions that their extension form should be presented at the office of the San Pedro Town Council no later than 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday of every week.
Failure to present extension form before deadline day will result in extension not being granted. The attention of all businesses is called to this notice.
Aug 4th 10
Channel 5 Belize – An employee of Ramon’s Dive Shop in San Pedro drowned while on a tour with tourists at sea. Twenty-seven year old Andy Carr had been living in San Pedro for the past ten years since moving from Hopkins. Carr was on a boat at the Blue Hole when he decided to dive into the waters without a tank. According to his brother, who also resides on the island, despite all the help he received, his brother did not survive.
Michael Carr, brother of drowning victim
“I’m working in San Pedro at Ramon’s Dive Shop along with my brother Andy Carr. He passed away yesterday about eleven-thirty a.m. in the morning. He was actually on a Blue Hole trip and then he was a snorkeling guide and he snorkeled the Blue Hole and on the second stop, which was he Half Moon Caye wall, the snorkelers decided not to go in the water and he was there in the boat and decided to take a swim. He was over the divers; they were about forty feet in depth. He decided to free dive down to the bottom with one of his buddy, Rolandito and Will, and he went down there with them and he was sucking from one of the octopus. He decided to return to the surface and he did not release the air out of his lungs and it expanded so he actually shoot out of the water and I guess he ruptured his lung. The captain was on board and assisted him with the CPR and he had all the oxygen unit but there was no way they could have revived him back. They rushed him to Long Caye and they rendered assistance there from the Coast Guard and there was nothing they could do about it.” (more…)