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Nayeli Torres to represent Belize at Miss Latina America Pageant

Nayeli Torres Miss Latina America Pageant

Nayeli Torres Miss Latina America Pageant – Vivacious 18-year-old Nayeli Linnett Torres will represent Belize at the 29th Annual Miss Latina America del Mundo Pageant to be held in the Dominican Republic from May 23 – June 6, 2010. The local pageant committee announced Nayeli’s election as Belize’s delegate this week, marking Belize’s third consecutive year of participation in this prestigious and internationally acclaimed pageant, which highlights beauty, intellect and humanitarianism.

Ms. Torres is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Uval and Yvette Torres of Orange Walk.She has participated in several local pageants. She has also modelled for Telemedia’s Digicell print ads and billboards in Belize. She is currently preparing for the competition under the tutelage of former Ms. World Belize delegate Ms. Felicita Arzu and a dedicated team.

The Miss Latina America del Mundo Pageant was established in 1981 and has been prominently featured as the flagship Latina Pageant within the hemisphere. Several countries in Central and Latin America have hosted the pageant, and this year’s venue will be the fabulous resort of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Florida-based Nekton Cruises goes belly up

the Nekton Pilot

The Nekton Pilot

CDNN – Nekton Cruises announced it has terminated its liveaboard dive tour operations effective immediately. The Florida-based dive tour company operated two huge dive boats, the Nekton Pilot and the Nekton Rorqual, both designed to accommodate more than 30 scuba divers.

Despite limiting its itineraries to one-week scuba diving trips to the nearby Bahamas as well as one-week cruises in Belize, the big, boxy barge-like vessels proved too costly as reservations declined and the boats were often running half-empty.

According to a statement released by “The Former Nekton Team”, the decision to shut down the company was due to “the continually increasing cost of operations, decreased discretionary income of consumers, and overall economic difficulty”. The statement also advised customers with pre-paid reservations to contact their travel insurance agents for compensation.

Billed as “the live-aboards for folks who get seasick”, the boats utilized a SWATH twin-hull design that minimizes hull cross section area at the sea’s surface, which the owners claimed was more stable in rough seas than the conventional mono-hull dive boats of competitors.

Guatemalan group doesn’t want Belize to explore for oil

Fred Martinez, Belize Ambassador to Guatemala

Fred Martinez, Belize Ambassador to Guatemala

Channel 5 Belize – The heat from the licenses for offshore oil exploration has spilled across the border into Guatemala. On May tenth, an article printed in the Guatemalan newspaper, Prensa Libre, reported that Belize has granted drilling concessions in the territory which they are still claiming. Fred Martinez, Belize’s ambassador to Guatemala, says that the noise driven by the newspaper did not have an impact on the Guatemalan government except for one member of its congress.

Fred Martinez, Belize Ambassador to Guatemala

“That prompted one congressman to begin asking questions from the Foreign Ministry of Guatemala to tell the Congress how the Foreign Ministry was safeguarding Guatemala’s rights over a disputed territory. We understand here at the embassy that the foreign ministry of Guatemala did go to their representation of the Comision de Belice to a specific group of congressmen to explain that yes the foreign ministry obviously knows about what is happening, that the scope for action is very limited since it is a legal question and you’re dealing with Belize and that the only thing that can be done in a legal action is to have the whole settlement of the dispute done through the International Court of Justice for which a special agreement has already been signed but which the Congress of Guatemala had not yet been approved. That is where the matter stands.” (more…)

The Belize Lions Organization Delegation to the 69th Annual Isthmania Convention is back in the country

Belize Lions Organization Delegation

Belize Lions Organization Delegation

Belize Times – The Belize Zone 59 Lions Organization participated in the 69th Annual Isthmania Convention. The delegation of over 25 participated in all the activities at the convention which took place in Puerto Cortez Honduras. During the opening ceremonies, Belize Lion Zone 59 was received at the convention to a thunderous applause after being absent from the convention for a number of years.

At the strike of the Belize National Anthem, Lion Mel Spain of San Pedro Town proudly marched in with the Belizean flag as the audience stud at attention. During the opening ceremonies, International Director Carlos Ibanez explained the importance of keeping the Lionism spirit alive. In an exclusive interview with Reporter Jorge Aldana, Ibanez stated that the struggle to increase the Belize Lions membership is a direct result of the global economic conditions. He went on to explain that like the Belize Lions Organization, many other countries are facing similar struggles to increase its members.

He however congratulated the Belize Lions Organization for being instrumental in bring help and service to its various communities in times of need. In conclusion, Ibanez explained that Belizeans should be grateful to the Lions Organization and he took the opportunity to encourage the leaders and decision makers to continue their support to the organization in Belize.

During the convention, the President of the Republic of Honduras Porferio “Pepe” Lobo Sosa visited the conventioneers. In his address to the delegations, President Sosa stated that the work of Lionism has impacted all the countries in Central America. President Sosa further explained that his government has a lot of respect for the work that the Lions organization has shown to his country. (more…)

International Funding For Social Projects in Belize

7 News Belize – The Organization of American States signed three funding partnership agreements for the National Committee for Families and Children, the Ya’axche Conservation Trust and the Belize Tourism Board.

Lisel Alamilla – Ya’axche Conservation Trust: “People have not really gone in to understand what we are doing in the communities that we are working with and the impact, the positive contribution that we’re making.”

Kim Osbourne – OAS Belize Representative: “For example Ya’axche in the south, it will be amazing to see the new green house, because we are encouraging farmers to grow and control the environment. The drying facility that will go up at Ya’axche and some of the very good work that has been done under this project. The solar panels that were put up to pump water into the community of Medina Bank. These are some very important good things that are happening within the community. This office does constant monitoring for compliance. We visit the projects and make sure that they are doing what they say they are doing, if we need to redirect.

One of the very good things about this particular funding mechanism unlike others is that it’s very flexible. As we go through implementation, if we realize that we are not achieving the objectives, that things have changed, you may have a flooding for example, a hurricane, or something may have changed within the country or within the community we can redirect. This allows us to do that. So there is constant monitoring, evaluation of the projects. At the end of each project cycle we will do the formal evaluation, not necessary to penalized but to see how we could better and improve projects coming from that particular entity or from the country.”

The projects are:

  • NCFC “Building Capacity of Disadvantaged Communities in Belize for Income Generation and Job Creation.
  • Ya’axche Conservation Trust: “Building Sustainable Community Enterprise Development Capacity for Poverty Alleviation among Indigenous Communities in Southern Belize.”
  • Belize Tourism Board: “Capacity Building Tourism Training and Certification Project.”

Belizeans invited to apply for Mexican Scholarship

LoveFM – The National College of Professional Technical Education (CONALEP) is offering young Belizeans an opportunity to further their studies in Mexico. CONALEP offers more than 40 degree programs in seven areas at different campuses in Mexico. For the academic year 2010/2011, which begins on August ninth, the university is offering 15 spaces to fourth form students from Belize scheduled to graduate in June. Marcelino Miranda is the Head of the Press and Border Section at the Mexican Embassy.

Marcelino Miranda; Head of the Press and Border Section, Mexican Embassy

“The Embassy of Mexico is encouraging Belizeans who are interested in this scholarship because it will allow them to study at the technical professional level in Mexico. All Belizean Nationals can apply if they are at least 17 years old, they must reside in Belize and they need a certified high school transcript. They just need the high school level and they can apply for these scholarships. They will also need some intermediate level of the Spanish language and they will also need to provide some other documents. This is a very good opportunity, the deadline is going to be the 28th of May so there is still time to apply for these scholarships. Please contact the Embassy of Mexico at the Institute of Mexico in Belize at 223-1408. There will be personalized attention provided at the institute for those applicants who are interested in the scholarships. The application forms have been distributed by the Ministry of Education and they are also available at the Institute of Mexico in Belize.”

Applicants will be interviewed by CONALEP examiners on June ten and eleven and they will also be required to sit and exam on the eleventh of June. Again, the deadline for sending in applications is May twenty eighth.

EU and Caribbean countries agree to stage climate summit

Earth Times – Madrid – The European Union and Caribbean countries will hold their own climate summit ahead of the global climate summit in November and December in Cancun, Mexico, the EU announced Monday. The summit will be staged in the second half of 2010, EU president Herman Van Rompuy said following a meeting between the EU and the Caribbean countries’ organization Cariforum ahead of an EU-Latin America summit in Madrid.

The Caribbean was “especially vulnerable” to global warming, Van Rompuy said. The Cancun summit will seek to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on emission cuts, which expires in 2012.

Cariforum includes Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba.

Belize to open Centrobasket vs Trinidad & Tobago

Guardian TT – T&T’s senior men’s basketball team is expected to open its 2010 Centrobasket Championship campaign from July 5-9 against Belize in a Group B fixture in the Dominican Republic, when the tournament bounces off.

The twin-island Republic will also take on Puerto Rico, Mexico and Cuba in the five-team group. The championship draw took place at the Dominican Olympic Committee in Santo Domingo last Wednesday. owever, the women’s draw is yet to take place. In the preliminary round, each team plays against the other four in its group.

The top two teams then advance to face the top two from Group A which consist of the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Panama, Jamaica and the host. The 2010 Centrobasket Championship qualifies the top four teams for the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship (Pre-Olympic), the top eight for the 2010 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Mayagez, Puerto Rico, and the top three for the 2011 Pan-American Games scheduled for Guadalajara, Mexico.

Archaeologists: Mayans were green builders

Topography map of Caracol Maya Ruin

Topography map of Caracol created with LiDAR data. (Credit: Caracol Archaeological Project)

CNET – Archeologists and NASA scientists have “unearthed” a complete ancient Mayan city that employed a system of green urban architecture, the group announced Tuesday.

“The NASA technology aboard the Cessna saw beyond the rain forest and detected thousands of new structures, 11 new causeways, tens of thousands of agricultural terraces and many hidden caves–results beyond anyone’s imagination,” the group said in a statement.

The project was led by a husband and wife archaeological team from the University of Central Florida who have been in Belize manually excavating the ancient Mayan city of Caracol out from under dense jungle overgrowth and earth for more than 25 years.

Diane Chase, vice provost and a Pegasus Professor at UNC , and her husband, Arlen Chase, chair of the Department of Anthropology at UNC, are co-directors of the Caracol Archeological Project. In their 25 years of research, along with the help of various assistants and machetes, they had managed to map out about nine miles of the city. But using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology in conjunction with NASA, they have now mapped about 77 miles of the ancient Mayan city of Caracol in about four weeks.

The LiDAR discoveries are a major breakthrough for the Caracol Archaeological Project The urban center of Caracol is believed to have supported a population of about 140,000 people during the Maya Classic era (A.D. 250 to 950) through elaborate city planning and urban farming. (more…)

Mapping Ancient Civilization, in a Matter of Days

Maya Ruins of Caracol in Belize

A plaza in Caracol, a Maya city in Belize. Jungles surrounding it were penetrated using a new method.

NY Times – For a quarter of a century, two archaeologists and their team slogged through wild tropical vegetation to investigate and map the remains of one of the largest Maya cities, in Central America. Slow, sweaty hacking with machetes seemed to be the only way to discover the breadth of an ancient urban landscape now hidden beneath a dense forest canopy.

Even the new remote-sensing technologies, so effective in recent decades at surveying other archaeological sites, were no help. Imaging radar and multispectral surveys by air and from space could not “see” through the trees.

Then, in the dry spring season a year ago, the husband-and-wife team of Arlen F. Chase and Diane Z. Chase tried a new approach using airborne laser signals that penetrate the jungle cover and are reflected from the ground below. They yielded 3-D images of the site of ancient Caracol, in Belize, one of the great cities of the Maya lowlands.

In only four days, a twin-engine aircraft equipped with an advanced version of lidar (light detection and ranging) flew back and forth over the jungle and collected data surpassing the results of two and a half decades of on-the-ground mapping, the archaeologists said. After three weeks of laboratory processing, the almost 10 hours of laser measurements showed topographic detail over an area of 80 square miles, notably settlement patterns of grand architecture and modest house mounds, roadways and agricultural terraces.

“We were blown away,” Dr. Diane Chase said recently, recalling their first examination of the images. “We believe that lidar will help transform Maya archaeology much in the same way that radiocarbon dating did in the 1950s and interpretations of Maya hieroglyphs did in the 1980s and ’90s.” (more…)

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