Friday, July 30, 2010

THE CHICLERO- CHICLE TO CHEWING GUM

The Chiclero -   once a thriving occupation  practiced by men in Crooked Tree Village and the  surrounding areas  has slowly become extinct since the early seventies.  Growing up, I can vividly remember my father took great pride in his work as a Chiclero. This line of work was done by the older generation of village men, who are accustomed to doing dangerous and arduous tasks to provide for their families.  These men were predominantly farmers,  who did not have much time for seasonal work such as this, as it would keep them away from their plantations. I grew up during the time when this occupation was phasing out, and had witnessed first hand how my father processed the milky, white sap from the sapodilla tree and transformed it into chicle, which was used as the main ingredient in chewing gum.

The sapodilla tree grows wild in the rainforests of Belize, especially around the vicinity of Crooked Tree Village.  The men would be isolated at their camp sites for weeks at a time.  This would give them enough time to harness the milky sap from the Sapodilla tree in sufficient quantity before returning home to cook the milk into chicle form.  Although, some men, like my father would prefer to 'camp-out' alone,  others would set up camp with their friend(s) for safety purposes, since the wild life lurking in the forest includes tigers (Jaguars) and poisonous snakes.

In preparation for the adventure, Chicleros would gather  their tools of the trade, which includes a sharpened machete and file, different sizes of water proof canvas bags  used to catch the milkly sap as it drains from the Sapodilla tree, specially made climbing spurs and back harnesses to facilitate  climb, camping equipments and bedding, food and water gourds (tuck- tuck) that kept the water fresh and cool, a sixteen gauge shotgun and cartridges and last, but not least, the ever present green canvas shot bag,   oil-painted,  which makes it waterproof and is kept stacked with dried tobacco leaves, and white paper for them to roll their own (cigarettes) coloduro. The shot-gun was used for self-defense from the various wildlife they encounter, and for hunting wild animals and birds for food.
Chicle trees are easily recognized in the rainforests of Belize because of the deep zig-zagged demarcations that scar the huge tree trunks. These marks are made by the Chiclero (trappers) as they harvest chicle sap; the original form of chewing gum.
Canvass bag at the root of the tree for catching the sap
After setting up camp, the Chicleros' first task is to survey the area for large enough Sapodilla trees suitable for (bleeding) harnessing sap. He would then clear the lower trunk of the tree and carefully set his smaller canvas bags to catch the sap as it drain down the tree.  Next, he straps on his pair of iron climbing spurs on both feet, fix his safety canvas harness around his back and the tree trunk to support his climb, then he skillfully precision his machete to carve out an inch-wide zigzag trail in the tree bark for the sticky sap to gently flow down into the catching bags below. The bags are left in place as the Chiclero moved on from one tree to another, repeating this same process. After enough sap is drained from the tree, the bags are removed and emptied out into larger holding bags then reused. At the end of the camping period, the holding bags which are filled to the brim with milkly sap, like a cow's udder,  is carried home for processing.
Mr. George Tillett, Chiclero of Crooked Tree Village: Cooking the sap
Checking the consistency of the sap
 Mr. Tillett's son: Apprentice to the Chiclero
My father used an open-mouthed, twenty-five gallon, round, black iron cauldron to cook the milky sap, which he processed into large fifty pound rectangular blocks of chicle. The cooking process is usually done outdoors, with the large pot resting on iron pegs firmly planted in the ground and allowing eight to ten inches for a fire to be built under the pot. The milk is poured inside the pot and has to be stirred constantly with a wooden paddle to avoid burning. As the cooking process progresses, the white milk becomes thicker, stickier and richer, and  changes to a creamish-brown in color.   At this point,  the rythmic stirring pattern changes to a regular slapping-like motion of the chicle against the side of the pot to ensure an even and uniform blend and to avoid scorching. After the cooking is completed, the packing process begins.
Mr. Tillett: Making the mold
Special molds are made from wood and leaves to facilitate the packaging process. These molds are usually rectangular in shape, approximately fourteen inches in length, twelve inches in width and ten inches in height, without a  top, but with an unattached bottom. When stuffed with the hot or warm chicle product, a block would weigh between forty-five to fifty-five pounds. The inside of the mold has to be very smooth and wet, so that after the chicle has cooled down and solidified, with  one fluid motion, it slides out easily into one block of chicle. 


The blocks of chicle are sold by weight and are exported to make chewing gum. Chicleros like my father used to add a special type of white marl (clay) to the pure chicle to increase the weight and quantity of chicle blocks. Some greedy Chicleros would sometimes add too much white marl, and the mix would crumble and become easily detected by the buyer who would reject it. The rejected chicle would have to be reworked and cooked in fresh batches. My father, a man of integrity,  always maintained the right proportions of chicle and marl so it was never necessary for him to rework his supply. 


The cooked chicle was also very tasty, and as a child, we would pinch or bite off mouthfuls from the blocks, chew on them  until our jaws are tired, and then stick them back on the blocks. The main vender who bought the chicle product from Crooked Tree Village was Mr. Mathias from Orange Walk Town, who was able to build a very good relationship with his customers because of his regular business trip to the village. 

Chicle has been trapped from the sapodilla trees since the time of the ancient Mayas. Exports declined, however, when cheaper synthetics took over the market.

The men in the village also used to prized the wood of the sapodilla tree, because of its tremendous strength and durability against the ever-present termites.


By: Winfield Tillett

Special thanks to Mrs. Dorothy Throne for the pictures. Mrs. Throne was a Wesleyan Missionary living in Crooked Tree Village for over a year in the 1970's. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

FUNDRAISER FOR BABY DANIEL

Daniel Guerrero Estell is an 8 month old baby boy who was born in Belize and desperately needs a liver transplant. Daniel is now at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles.

Baby Daniel suffers from a rare liver disease ‘Biliary Atresia’.

Biliary atresia is a blockage in the tubes (ducts) that carry a liquid called bile from the liver to the gallbladder. The condition is congenital, which means it is present from birth. The only 2 treatments for this disease are the ‘Kasai Procedure’ which
...baby Daniel has gone through already and secondly a liver transplant, which baby Daniel is in dire need in this present time. Nobody really knows what is the actual cause for Biliary Atresia the only thing we know is it can be treated. The encouraging news is that most of the babies who are treated in time grow up and live normal lives.

Presently we are in Los Angles, California where baby Daniel is being treated at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and is in a stable condition but just for a short period of time, due to his chronic and progressive liver disease. He will need a liver transplant within the next few weeks. Time is very critical in his life.
We have opened the following Pay Pal account to allow anyone that desires to make a donation, regardless of the amount to Help Save Daniel.

http://savebabydaniel.com/how-to-donate-with-paypal-to-save-baby-daniel/

oh.dannyboy@belizemail.net

Thank you so much for your support and help for spreading the word about Daniel. 

By: Freda Sideroff

Monday, July 26, 2010

VIEW FROM CROOKED TREE VILLAGE: CLEAN-UP DAY!!



Clean Up Day!!

In an effort to keep Crooked Tree Village clean for visitors and tourists, a group of concerned residents spent the day cleaning and improving the site of the police station.

You may remember that the Crooked Tree Police Station was burnt to the ground by arsonists on February 9, 2010. The center of Crooked Tree Village is now spic and span after the group joined hands and hearts, and decided to clean up the debris left behind by the destructive fire.

The group said that tourism is a great part of their lives and they have a responsibility to keep the village that they depend on clean and beautiful.

After a day of clean-up the group got together to have some cold drinks later in the evening!

You can read more about the fire here: Crooked Tree Police Station burnt down
Clean up group: Becky Crawford, Calvin Gillett Jr., Bernard Miller, George Reynolds, Alvin Crawford, Humphrey Robert Armstrong and Gary Crawford

Thursday, July 22, 2010

LIVING HEALTHY- DETOXIFICATION

By: Cherry Cadle
 In my last article, I mentioned that many of us practice some form of Alternative Medicine and don’t even realize it.  I  would like to clarify that Alternative Medicine is a broad category of different treatment systems such as Holistic Medicine, Naturopathy, homeopathy, herbal medicine, Chiropractic, and a host of others too many to mention.          

Of these systems, I personally use a variety, but my area of focus is on Holistic Medicine. Holistic medicine emphasizes the need to look at the whole person, including analysis of physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional, social, and spiritual and lifestyle values. Holistic medicine focuses on the education and responsibility involved in obtaining achievable balance and well being in one’s life. You are encouraged to research and see which one of these systems work best for you and your family.

 Although all the aforementioned systems promise to create balance and well being in the individual, I personally believe that the field of Holistic Medicine accomplishes this best.  On the road to this balanced state, Detoxification is a very important step that aids in the healing process from the many diseases that are caused by toxic buildup.  In today’s world, many of us think of Detoxification as a way to purge our bodies of trapped environmental pollutants or drug residues. But in ancient times, it was used as a way to reconnect with the divine. Detoxification is becoming valued once again as a pathway to spirituality, as well as cleansing.

 The lymphatic system which is made up of the kidneys, colon, and the skin can be considered as the body’s cleansing system and is sometimes referred to as the body’s sewer system. When the exits to the kidneys, colon and skin are blocked due to accumulated waste in our bodies, we are more prone to developing a wide array of diseases.
    
In addition, poor diet, pollution, chemicals in the food and products that we use and consume, mental, emotional and spiritual stressors such as isolation, loneliness, anger, jealousy and hostility, lack of exercise, medications, overweight, internal toxins such as bacteria, fungus and yeast inside our gut as well as hormonal and metabolic toxins, have all led to an increase of toxic build-up in our bodies.  The body tries to expel these toxins through the skin, urine and stools, but when it becomes overloaded, these toxins stay in the body and can cause serious health problems.

The reality is that many of you probably have symptoms of chronic toxicity in your daily lives, but didn’t realize it.  These are manifested as:  FATIGUE, MUSCLE ACHES, JOINT PAIN, SINUS CONGESTION, POSTNASAL DRIP, EXCESSIVE SINUS PROBLEMS, HEADACHES, BLOATING, GAS, CONSTIPATION, DIARRHEA, FOUL SMELLING STOOLS, HEARTBURN, BAD BREATH, SLEEP PROBLEMS, DIFFICULTY CONCENTRATING, FOOD CRAVINGS, WATER RETENTION, TROUBLE LOSING WEIGHT, RASHES, SKIN PROBLEMS, ECZEMA, PSORIASIS, CANKER SORES, PUFFY DARK CIRCLES UNDER THE EYES, PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME AND OTHER MENSTRUAL DISORDER.   
     
At this point you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the monumental battle your cells, tissues and organs are being faced with each day.  Look in the mirror and see the results of this war: premature aging, Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Insomnia, Heart Disease, Cancer, Arthritis, Digestive diseases such as Crohn’s disease, Ulcers, Colitis and so much more. Proper detoxification is so essential for your health; you need to start enhancing your body’s ability to detoxify TODAY.       

There are many types of detoxification programs AVAILABLE: colon and bowel cleansing, bladder and kidney cleansing, lung and chest congestion cleansing, liver and organ cleansing, lymphatic cleansing, skin cleansing, blood cleansing and the list goes on and on. I suggest starting with a simple detox plan that may be obtained at any of your neighborhood health food stores. These cleanses may incorporate raw food diets, herbs, supplements, enzymes, infrared saunas, fasting, vegetable juicesherbal teas, colonics, enemas, exercises, massage and the list can also go on. 

Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., has made it simple for you. Here are ten simple steps to Enhance Detoxification

Drink Clean- Drink plenty of clean water, at least eight to ten glasses of filtered water a day.

Eliminate Properly- Keep your bowels moving, at least once or twice a day and if you can’t get moving, then you need some help. This can include taking two tablespoons of ground flax seeds and taking acidophilus (pro-biotic) and extra magnesium citrate.
Eat Clean- You should also eat organic produce and animal products to eliminate the toxins, hormones and antibiotics in your food.

Eat Detoxifying Food- You should eat 8-10 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables a day, particularly the family of the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, collards, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, ) and the garlic family ( garlic and onions), which help increase sulfur in the body and help detoxification. Note 1 serving is equivalent to ½ cup.
Minimize Drugs- Avoid stimulants, sedatives, and drugs, such as caffeine and nicotine, and try      to reduce alcohol intake.

Get Moving- Exercise five days a week with focus on conditioning your cardiovascular system (Heart), strengthening exercises, and stretching exercises.

Avoid the White Menace- This includes white flour and white sugar.

Sweat profusely at least three times a week, using a sauna, steam, or a detox bath (add about 2 quarts of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to a tub of warm water).

Supplement- Take a high quality multivitamin and mineral supplement. Try to find one that is food based.
Relax- Relax deeply every day to get your nervous system in a state of calm, rest, and relaxation. 

IF YOU HAVE ANY CHRONIC DISEASES OR PROBLEMS, YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT TAKING SUPPLEMENTS AND SHOULD CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.

A detox plan cleans out waste deposits, so you aren’t running with a dirty engine or driving with the brakes on. After a cleanse, the body starts rebalancing, energy levels rise physically, psychologically and sexually, and creativity begins to expand. Soon you'll start feeling like a different person. 


Sources:
Healthy Healing by Linda Page, Ph.D.
www.drhyman.com , Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D.
Getting Healthy Through Detoxification by Robert Morse, N.D., D.Sc., M.H.
Positive Change, A Healthy Lifestyle Magazine.
Toxic Relief by Don Colbert, M.D

Monday, July 19, 2010

BELIZEAN SPOTLIGHT- JULY

This is a segment to honor and recognize outstanding Belizeans and their descendants for their accomplishment and contributions to life.  As a proud Belizean, I believe it is imperative that we support and promote Belizeans both at home and abroad. You are an important part of our community. We hope we can inspire our children to reach for the stars.

You can nominate a candidate for Belizean Spotlight that you believe has excelled or contributed to our life. 


Previous “Spotlight of the Month” can be found in the archives.
Her name is Felicia Hernandez and she is a Belizean from the town of  Dangriga, where she was born approximately seventy-six years ago. She attended Sacred Heart School and started her teaching career there. Dangriga was also the place where she met her husband and began raising her family of seven children and one adopted son. She and her husband taught in several villages and towns in Belize before migrating to the United States, where their last daughter was born. 


While she was always interested in creative writing, her interest peeked in the US. Even though she was working, she did not give up her interest in reminiscing and eventually putting on paper accounts of her Dangriga childhood to adulthood experiences; parts of which she mentioned in her writings. She is presently working on a fuller account in her current novel “Gaddie Fil:  A Child Grows Up”. 


She was always fascinated with literature and writing. As a child, she loved to listen to stories her mother read to or told them. She was just as excited when her older brother and sister read stories from their school books. After these reading and story-telling sessions, she was anxious to get hold of these books. She would play-read or look at the pictures, so she could get the gist of the stories that were illustrated in the pictures.  These early exposures gave her some advantage over her peers. She also increased her communication skills which drew her much praise from her teachers. This created enjoyment of drama and a love for the expressive reading of stories and poetry.  It brings out the beauty and richness of the writing which greatly inspires her. 


As Sybil Seaforth expressed it in “Writing About Fiction”, in Caribbean Women Writers, in 1990, and she quote, “Sentences strung together so eloquently that they fall like muse on a reader’s ear”. It reminded her of her Standard One teacher, whom she will refer to as V.L.D., when he read Longsworth’s “The Children Hour”, it sounded like music to her ears. 


As she grew older, she wanted to address many issues that she was concerned about. Unfortunately due to societal pressures, she found herself shying away from being as articulate as she knew she was capable of.  Growing up in Dangriga, the unspoken sentiment of the day was that Belizean women should be seen and not heard.  She resorted to keeping a journal. In this way she could express her thoughts and feelings without reservation. 


When she and her family migrated to the United States, she was able to gain wide exposure to all types of literary works, especially the works of black women writers such as Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston. She also became aware of Caribbean writers such as V. S. Naipaul and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Naipaul and Marquez wrote about situations similar to those in Belize. She was greatly inspired by these new exposures. During this period, she also subscribed to and read magazines like Essence, Redbook, and Ladies Home Journal. The stories and essays in these publications were so similar to her stories and essays that it evoked in her the impetus to write about situations and experiences that were bothering her. 


Then one day she shared her work with an acquaintance, then a student at Xavier University in New Orleans.  He encouraged her to submit a piece to the “Aftermath of Invisibility”, a publication by students of the University. Her piece was entitled, “That’s The Way It Was”. It was about adjusting to life in the United States as a pregnant mother with six children, and a husband who was only earning six hundred dollars a month. She wrote several pieces after that, mostly autobiographical. She was always shy about her writing until she read Maya Angelou’s, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”. 


Among other things, she thinks her interest in writing and publishing was spurred when she bought a program entitled “Writing for Children" from the Writer’s Digest. She regretted that purchase, because it was not worth the price she paid. This was in 1972; but it spurred her to enroll in a creative writing class at the University of Santa Clara. The professor was excellent and taught her a lot of the basics of creative writing. 


Towards the end of that same year she took a job with the San Jose Sun as a columnist reporting on the San Jose School District and community activities. Her salary was twenty five dollars per weekly submission.  During that same period she started working on her first novel entitled, “She Don’t Know You, But she Love You”, published by Shameless Hussy Press of Berkeley, California. This is a collection of the thoughts, emotional responses and expressions of young people in Santa Clara Juvenile Hall where she worked part-time. For this publication, she received an award from the Founders’ Day Association of Alum Rock School District in San Jose. For two years she searched for a publisher with very little success.  So her next publication entitled, “Those Ridiculous Years”, was self-published. It is a collection of short stories depicting school-age days and her working experiences and associations in Belize.  


She has great interest in writing essays. She has a few unfinished pieces, which she had put aside in order to complete a children’s language book written in Garifuna and English, entitled “Nerenga”. She received a grant from UNESCO to complete this work. Nerenga was published in 1993 by Chanti Publication. The book was intended for use in early childhood education and in the home. The accompanying CD facilitates clarity and accuracy of pronunciation. 
She retired from teaching in 1991 and moved with her husband to New York in the early 90’s which allowed her to continue her writing education career. She enrolled in, and later graduated from Suny Empire State UniversityNew York offered so many opportunities in the Arts. While there, she was able to attend Caribbean Women Writers’ International Conferences at Wellesley College in Boston and in Florida, where she was inspired by diverse groups of women writers from the French, Dutch and English-speaking Caribbean. She participated and presented a paper in Garifuna at a Conference of Caribbean Women Writers in Miami, Florida in the summer of 1995. Since returning back to Belize around 1999, she has participated in a conference in Santo Domingo and completed one publication entitled “Reflections”, which is a collection of essays. 


Belizean Women Authors
New Book launched in Belize City 



I would like to thank Angela Palacio for allowing me access to her article on Felicia Hernandez. You may visit Angela at her Website dedicated to all things Belize and Garifuna. Come by and visit if you are from Belize, Garifuna, friends of Belize or from anywhere in the world. http://www.apalacioexchange.com/



Sunday, July 18, 2010

Garifuna Religious Sisters Honored In Los Angeles


By Deacon Nieves Hernandez

About six months ago, after a visit to the Mother House of the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans, Louisiana,  Mrs. Anita Martinez conceived the idea of bringing all the Garifuna religious sisters to Los Angeles to recognize, honor, and celebrate them for their great service to God, our church and humanity.  The first thing that Mrs. Martinez did was form a committee of twenty-two talented individuals.  She then divided the committee into several sub-committees, and went about the arduous task of identifying and locating the sisters.  When it was all over, they had located fifteen sisters – ten from Belize:  Sr. Joan Flores, Sr. Evelyn Estrada, Sr.Josita Ogaldez, Sr. Esther Marie Estero, Sr. Mary Rebecca Carlos Castillo, Sr. Jean Martinez and Sr. Veronica Ruth Lambey, all Sisters of the Holy Family; Sr. Mary Avila Avila and Sr. Mary Julia Apolonio, both Oblate Sisters of Providence and Sr. Barbara Flores, a Sister of Charity of Nazareth. Four of the sisters hail from Honduras.  They are: Sr. Mary Felicia Avila, an Oblate Sister of Providence, Hermana Nolvia Manaiza from the Missionares de Nuestra Senora de la Presentacion; Hermana Maria Euzebia Chebita Avila Benedith, from the Missionara Claretina Religiosos Maria Imaculada, and Hermana Leonarda Martinez Lalin belonging to Hermanas Oblatas al Divino Amor. The only Guatemalan in the group is Hermana Flory Leiva from Livingston, serving in the Hermanas Escolares de San Francisco order. “At first it was difficult rounding up all these sisters because initially I was told that there were no Garifuna religious sisters in Honduras,”said Mrs. Martinez, chair of the committee. “This was hard to accept so I kept asking around until I got the names of Sister Leonarda Lalin and later Sister Nolvia Manaiza and made contact with them,” she concluded.

The celebration began with a welcome reception at the home of Mrs. Anita Martinez, where all the sisters had gathered on Friday afternoon, to meet and greet each other, and members of the committee. “It was a joy meeting and reconnecting with my fellow Garifuna Sisters,” said Sister Mary Avila Avila. “Having also celebrated two weeks ago in New York City - a celebration given by my cousin, Claudette Sacasa, and her committee, and surrounded by family and friends, I can truthfully say that this recognition of the Garifuna Sisters here in Los Angeles filled my cup to overflow. What an awesome way to conclude my 50th anniversary. I give thanks to God for all who have supported me in my religious life,” said Sister Avila. At the welcome reception the sisters were treated to a variety of Garifuna and Belizean dishes and delicacies. 

The next day, Saturday, the community gathered at Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Church for a Thanksgiving Mass.  The celebrant was Father Vincent Musaby'Imana, a priest from Uganda, Africa.  He was assisted by three Garifuna deacons - Deacon Alvin Lambey, from the Diocese of Belize, Deacon Harold Sampson, from the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, and yours truly, Deacon Nieves Hernandez, from the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona. I was also the Homilist. In my homily, I acknowledged each of the sisters individually and shared personal stories and anecdotes about them.  I told the approximately three hundred or so well wishers how wonderful it was for a change to honor and celebrate people deserving of recognition, honor and celebrity like our sisters – people who had dedicated their lives in serving God, his church and his people; instead of honoring and celebrating people like movie stars, athletes, musicians and politicians, who were not always worthy to be honored and celebrated. Following the Mass, everyone proceeded to the church’s parish hall where a dinner reception and awards program had been planned for the sisters. 


The program consisted of performances by local Garifuna artists, and a keynote address given by Deacon Alvin Lambey, who had traveled all the way from Belize with his wife, Eleanor, to attend the celebrations.  In his keynote address, Deacon Lambey made the point that although the sisters may not have educated and interacted with all Belizeans, including himself, that their goodness, contributions and hard work had in some way benefited those they did not touch directly through those they were able to touch.  He concluded his remarks by thanking the sisters for their hard work and contributions, and wished all of them well.  The evening concluded with each of the sisters being awarded a plaque from the committee and each giving a speech.  They each expressed their gratitude to the committee for bringing them to Los Angeles to be honored in such a beautiful and meaningful way. 

The next day Sunday, the sisters were treated to a brunch at Shanghai Red’s Restaurant in Marina Del Rey, California, and then taken on a limousine tour where they visited several historical landmarks in Los Angeles.  Following the tour, the sisters were treated to dinner at Mar’s Caribbean Gardens Restaurant in Gardena, California. “The sisters had a wonderful time this weekend,” said Ms. Helen Laurie, a member of the committee, who was responsible for producing the beautiful Thanksgiving Mass Booklets and the Commemorative Brochures. “I am delighted to have been part of the preparations to celebrate these awe-inspiring women of God.  It is a blessing to have made their acquaintance and be spiritually inspired by their love and commitment to God and humanity,” she concluded.
           
 From the looks of everything the weekend was a success, thanks to Mrs. Anita Martinez and the Garifuna Sisters Recognition Committee, and to all those who in some way, contributed to the success of the celebrations.
           
 "Following the Mass, everyone proceeded to the church’s parish hall where a dinner reception and awards program had been planned for the sisters."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

FROM BELIZE TO SCOTLAND IN 1941

I thought this short documentary to be really interesting and enlightening!

Using historical materials and personal interviews, the documentary tells the story of some of the over 800 men who traveled from British Honduras (now Belize) to Scotland in 1941 to work as foresters. Their stories and the stories of other Black men and women from the commonwealth can be seen at the Imperial War Museum in London.

Approximately 16,000 men from the West Indies volunteered to fight for Britain in the First World War, and over 10,000 servicemen and women answered the call of the "Mother Country" during the Second World War. Thousands more served as merchant seamen. From "War to Windrush" is an exhibit that explores how, despite facing discrimination during their service, many former Black West Indian servicemen and women and civilian war workers returned to settle in Britain after the Second World War.

Imperial War Museum London
Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ
10.00am – 6.00pm
Enquiries 020 7416 5320/5321
www.iwm.org.uk
From the archives courtesy of Chris Slight -- the Ship that brought the first Forestry workers (also known as the Treefellers) to Scotland.




Wednesday, July 7, 2010

ALOHA TOURS OF CROOKED TREE VILLAGE

Your road to an adventurous boat tour begins with Aloha!!
Aloha is a local Crooked Tree Village tour company, owned and operated by Humphrey Robert Armstrong.  Mr. Armstrong has made Crooked Tree Village his home for over twenty years.

Crooked Tree Village was established around 1750 during the logwood period, and is perhaps one of the earliest inland European settlement in Belize. This island consisting of about 16,400 acres of wetlands was the first wildlife sanctuary declared by the Government of Belize in 1984.   It is managed by the Belize Audubon Society.

A trip out and around the Crooked Tree Wetlands with Aloha Tours is an exciting adventure for the avid birdwatcher and novices alike. It will afford you a chance to witness some of the hundreds of migrating birds joining the numerous resident species. Tropical species includes the famous jabiru stork, found only in the network of lagoons around Crooked Tree Village, snowy egrets, ibis, kingfishers and many more. On Aloha’s boat tour you can also see the Central American River Turtle (locally known as Hickatee), Morelet's Crocodile, Mexican Black Howler Monkey, and the Yellow-headed Parrot.
Jabiru Stork
Aloha Tours knows that the best way to enjoy the natural beauty, and culture is to experience it up-close and personal. He has dedicated his time to being one of the best tour guides.

To experience the wild side, strap on your hiking boots, grab a paddle and join Aloha Tours for an adventure of a lifetime.

Come and explore some of the most beautiful wetlands in Belize!! Aloha Tours top priority is to ensure that your adventure is fun and safe!
Aloha Tours can also take you on a striking and pleasant trip down Spanish Creek, up the Belize River and into the Haulover Creek. The entrance to the Haulover Creek is actually the end of the Belize River, before it disgorges into the Caribbean Sea at Belize City. 
The Haulover Bridge
The Haulover Bridge spans the Northern Highway at the mouth of the Belize River. 
The Haulover Creek 
In the early days, most of Belize was navigable only by boats. Today, with the network of roads in Belize, the Haulover Creek is not used as often. As a result, the flora and fauna and the wild life is well preserved, and the ride on Aloha through the Haulover Creek can only be described as heavenly.




Click on photos for a closer view
Aloha Tours can be reached at: e-mail: alohatoursct@gmail.com
011-501-660-9338