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Bone Fishing in Belize featured on the Sportsman Channel

Fisherman and tour guide Abner Marin is on the international spotlight once again as he joins country music star and outdoorsman/sports fishing enthusiast Daniel Lee Martin bone fishing in Ambergris Caye. The footage was filmed for the TV Show “Backstage & Backroads with Daniel Lee Martin” which aired on Direct TV’s Channel 605 Sportsman Channel and is now available online. Click on images below to see Part I and II of Daniel’s bone fishing adventure in Belize with expert fishing guide Abner Marin of Go Fish Belize. Source: Ambergris Today

Part I

Part II

Why Kraft must keep organic cacao farmers sweet

Belize Cacao Farmers

Long before Kraft came to own Green & Black’s by buying Cadbury this week, I founded the company in 1991 along with my wife Jo Fairley. We had total and undemocratic control of the brand; all the major decisions were the result of pillow talk – we’d agree policy and strategy and didn’t have to consult with anyone else.

When we decided to pay fair prices and offer long-term guarantees to cacao farmers in Belize we didn’t have to justify our actions to shareholders or even to the rest of the team at our office. Getting the Soil Association and the Fairtrade Foundation to approve our products was easy – we more than complied with their requirements.

So today, looking at Kraft’s track record, what can we expect its takeover to mean for the commitment of Cadbury and Green & Black’s to socially and environmentally-progressive policies such as Fairtrade and organic ingredients?

In 2005, we sold the business to Cadbury.The press was full of speculation as to what would happen with the brand and journalists asked me if it would go on being organic and whether Cadbury would continue to follow our collaborative relationships with cacao growers. Some of our customers flipped completely and vowed never to eat Green & Black’s again. (more…)

More Belizean Aid for Haiti

Joe Habet, General Manager – Sol Belize

The Sagicor Insurance Group will be making a contribution of US$250,000.00 to the relief efforts for Haiti. The PUP has also committed $10,000 for donation to the Red Cross. Sol Belize also gave a donation to the Red Cross today and that gave us a chance to catch up on the drive to raise funds for relief efforts.

It is now believed that in excess of two hundred thousand people perished in the 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti as thousands worldwide come to the aid of this stricken Caribbean nation. Six days after the catastrophic quake relief efforts continue pour into Haiti to rescue those who are still trapped, in need of medical aid, water, food supplies and shelter.

Today the Belize Red Cross received yet another financial donation. It came in the form of a cheque from Symposium Oil Limited, the parent company of Shell Gas Station. According to Sol Belize General Manager Joe Habet the company does have operations in Haiti and while there was some damage to their headquarters luckily all of their staff has been accounted. The financial donation is just a first to come but as explained by Joe Habet whatever monies collected will depend largely on the public’s generosity. (more…)

Earthquake in Cayemen Islands

At approximately 9:23 am on Tuesday, an earth tremor was felt in Grand Cayman. According to the US National Earthquake Information Center in Denver, Colorado, the movement took place at a depth of 13.0 miles some 30 miles east southeast of Bodden Town, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8. No damage or injuries have yet been reported.

This event follows the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred in Haiti last Tuesday afternoon but there is currently no information as to whether Tuesday morning’s tremor felt in Cayman could be an aftershock from the Haiti quake.

However, two fault lines run east and west along the north and south borders of Haiti and part of Hispaniola, the island that includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

“The Haitian quake occurred along the major fault line on the southern edge – it’s called the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault System. The northern fault line runs along the southern edge of Cuba to the Cayman Islands and on to Guatemala, Belize and Honduras,” USGS geophysicist John Bellini said last week.

Guatemala Earthquake – January 18, 2010

The United States Geological Service recorded an earthquake in Guatemala that measures 6.0 on the Richter scale on January 18, 2010, six days after the Haiti earthquake.

Earthquake activity in Central America and the Caribbean increased sharply in January 2010, as a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 and the United States Geological Service (USGS) released data that shows a 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Central American nation of Guatemala at approximately 10:40am eastern standard time on Monday, January 18, 2010.

According to the USGS, the earthquake was centered approximately 60 miles south-southeast of Guatemala City and 65 miles west of San Salvador, El Salvador. The epicenter was located 64.2 miles deep, 24 miles west-southwest of Ahuachapin, El Salvador. No injuries or fatalities have been reported, although shaking could be felt by residents in both countries. (more…)

Using NASA technology to solve disaster, environmental conditions

In 2007, the SERVIR system was utilized to assess the damage and chart forest fires in Belize and flooding in Mexico due to Hurricane Dean.

Daniel Irwin is a research scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), but unlike colleagues involved in interplanetary exploration, his work is focused on Earth. Irwin heads a NASA program known as SERVIR. Using satellite technology, SERVIR helps officials in Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Africa understand and respond to natural disasters, combat environmental problems, improve agricultural practices and monitor air quality.

Irwin describes his program — which means “to serve” in Spanish — as “a space-to-village relationship” that employs “eyes in the sky” and uses it for societal benefit. “When people think of NASA, they think of Mars Exploration Rovers or finding water on the moon, but a big part of our mission is to study earth from space, to advance scientific understanding and meet societal needs,” Irwin said.

SERVIR team members gather and process satellite data, combine it with ground observations, analyze results and quickly pass along the resulting information to assist scientists, educators and foreign government leaders. The SERVIR team is currently assisting the rescue effort in Haiti, using NASA and commercial satellite data to create maps of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. The data pinpoints the building-by-building damage caused by last week’s massive earthquake. (more…)

Belize at Ministers of Tourism Council Meeting for the Caribbean

Caribbean Tourism Organization

Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. traveled to San Juan Puerto Rico last weekend to attend the regional Ministers of Tourism Council Meeting for the Caribbean. The meeting had participation from Caribbean destinations such as Jamaica, Barbados, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Grenada, St. Maarten, St. Martin, Antigua, Bermuda, to name a few.

Some of the main matters discussed included the future of the Caribbean Tourism Development Company and the Caribbean’s involvement in the process as the value of regional destination marketing is considered. Also discussed was an agreement proposed by Puerto Rico Tourism Company to have Caribbean destinations support them in their efforts to increase cruise ship visitation and airlift to the region.

Attending the meetings on behalf of Belize were Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia and Shakira Tsai, Ag. Director of Tourism and Director of Marketing & P.R. for the Belize Tourism Board. The meeting was hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). Belize Tourism Board

Deep Into Darkness

ATM Cave Belize courtesy of

I don’t think of myself a troglodyte or spelunker, but caves have fascinated me all my life. Visiting the ones near Mumbai like Elephanta, Ajanta or Ellora as a child, one thought of caves as museums of art where peaceful monks played with pigment and chisel transforming stones into history. I have, riding into the red deserts of Wadi Rum in Jordan, clambered into sandstone caves mottled with petroglyphs that prehistoric cultures chalked on the walls. I haven’t seen the art of Dragon’s Lair or Lascaux caves in Europe, but the thought of being where cavemen once breathed and slept is fascinating.

Ones like the awe-inspiring Mammoth Cave hold a sinister power to completely shut out sunlight, revealing how it feels to be in total darkness. Tucked away in Kentucky, this cave system is like a bowl of spaghetti 400 miles long and counting. Caves like Carlsbad Caverns put up a spectacle for the unsuspecting adventurer. They sparkle with intricate calcite columns and stone curtains with a thousand delicate folds glimmering in the light from your headlamp.

Caves aren’t always lonesome places. Unbeknownst to us they abound with a thriving ecosystem. Fruit bats that communicate through echolocation coexist with creepy crawlies like the scorpion or the wolf spider. There are eyeless species, like the blind cave fish and salamanders that have discarded useless sight in favour of other senses. (more…)

Belize help for Haiti

Haiti Earthquake Relief

Hours after a powerful earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale devastated the Caribbean island nation of Haiti, Belize is joining in the worldwide humanitarian efforts.

NEMO working with CDEMA

NEMO is making preparations to assist the people of Haiti as they endure the catastrophic devastation brought on by the earthquake. Search, rescue, medical and other skilled personnel to assist Haiti will be coordinated by NEMO and channeled through CARICOM’s Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

NEMO, on behalf of the Government and people of Belize, appeal to the public for help for the millions of people suffering in Haiti due to the earthquake.Cash assistance can be sent to: NEMO Scotia Bank Relief Account # 193-48-10

At this stage, CASH is the quickest means of initial assistance due to the logistics and costs associated with transporting bulky relief items. NEMO Belize is in constant communication with Belize’s Hon. Consul in Haiti, Dider Gardere, who along with CDEMA will conduct the initial assessment and then inform on the best manner in which Belize will be able to assist the people of Haiti.

Reef Radio'Radiothon'

San Pedro Steps up through Reef Radio

Reef Radio in San Pedro, in collaboration with the San Pedro Red Cross, conducted a Radiothon yesterday morning, asking island residents to extend their kind monetary donations.

“$50,103 has been raised for Haiti earthquake victims,” states Eiden Salazar of the Reef Radio at 5:00p.m. “Thanks San Pedro, and God bless everyone for your contributions. More donations are still coming in!” says Salazar. (more…)

Belize Partakes in FCCA Poster Competition 2010


Belizean Students Participate In The Foundation Children’s Environmental Poster Competition

Aleyda Alamina FCCA junior first place winner Belize City, Belize, January 14th, 2010- In an effort to heighten awareness about the environment and the importance of protecting it, the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) is encouraging local primary and secondary school students to participate in its 2010 Foundation Children’s Environmental poster contest.

The competition is conducted throughout the region in two categories: the Junior and Senior Divisions. Participants for the junior division must be 12 years of age and under. In the senior division, students should be between 13 and 16.

Students submitted one poster each and selected a topic of their choice that promotes environmental awareness. Their individual posters depicted at least three ways in which the destination chosen could make a difference in preserving the environment, a summary description and a title. Twelve year old Aleyda Alamina of Holy Redeemer school’s poster entitled “A Better Belize for Everyone” was chosen to represent Belize in this year’s junior competition category, while 16 year old Alex He of Edward P. Yorke High School’s “Air, Land and Sea Belize Pollution Free”poster will represent Belize in the senior category. (more…)

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