Sunday, November 28, 2010

REMEMBERING: HURRICANE HATTIE 49 YEARS AGO

Hurricane Hattie strikes Belize on October 31, 1961, killing more than 400 people and leaving thousands homeless. Almost half of Belize City was demolished by the storm.


The storm that would become Hattie had formed two weeks earlier in the Atlantic Ocean and then moved slowly west toward Central America. When it reached the coast of Belize, known at the time as British Honduras, it was a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour and gusts reaching 180 mph. It was the strongest storm to hit Belize to date. With accurate weather predictions still in their infancy, an attempted evacuation was only partially successful.
The barrier islands of Turneffe and Caye Caulker were totally submerged by the storm surge. Hattie then brought a 12-foot surge to the mainland, flattening all buildings near the shore. Stann Creek, a small fishing village on the coast near Belize City, was completely destroyed. Following the hurricane, a village was built on the outskirts of Belize City and named Hattieville.


Below are some amazing photos of the destruction in Belize City caused by Hurricane Hattie 49 years ago.
LOOKING BACK TO 1961
Hattie victims line up at Department of Housing and Planning: Office of Central Authority, and Department of Information and Communications.
Old Market in Downtown Belize City
The building in the center was the Royal Bank of Canada, today the Belize Bank. At the rear left of the photo you can see the Supreme Court building with its signature architecture.
The large building on the right with the sign was Belize Estate and Produce Limited.
Not sure where this building was or is in Belize City. Someone has suggested it may be the Peace Corp building... but I really can't say. Any clues anyone?

Not sure where this one is.
The panoramic scene at the Old Swing Bridge, a crossing still in action...
This building, says CBA engineers Philip Waight and Paul Satchwell, fell down off its posts and ended up partly in the street. Waight's family home also fell off its posts, he said on The Adele Ramos Show on November 2.
This photo is smack downtown in Belize City. The building to the right is Hofius Hardware - to the left is the present-day First Caribbean International Bank on Albert Street.
These men were discussing disaster relief efforts 3 days after Hattie.

On the Barracks... how our ladies did it back in the day and they looked uncomplaining!
Relief via helicopter airlifted to the Memorial Park in Belize City.

All photos and captions courtesy of Adele Ramos:  "The Adele Ramos Show" Belize City
Author: Adele Ramos - adelescribe@gmail.com 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

BELIZE IN PICTURES:ONE OF THE LAST UNSPOILED PLACES ON EARTH


Renowned for its Maya ruins, the only jaguar sanctuary in Central America and dramatic rivers, Belize is fast becoming a must see destination in Central America. With the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere hugging almost the entire coast, it’s splendid and numerous sand cayes, mangrove forests, and coastal lagoons, together earned a place on the exclusive list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Toucan:The National Bird of Belize
The Jabiru Stork in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
Hawk
Declared a  protected area in 1984 under the Wildlife Protection Act, the Crooked Tree Wildlife sanctuary is home to the famous “Jabiru Stork”, the largest bird in the Western Hemisphere. The Jabiru has a wing span of 10-12 feet and is listed as an endangered species. Around the wetlands of the sanctuary you will find many other birds feeding on the abundant food resources that the lagoons provide; the Great Egrets, Kingfishers, Ospreys, Black Hawks and many others. The entire area is a must for international birders.
Fishing at the Crooked Tree Lagoon
Climbing a Guave Tree in Lemonal Village
Iphone 3G and a Belikin-Kanantik Resort-You better Belize it!
 Relaxing at the beach! According to the Belize Tourism Board 231,439 tourists arrived by air in 2009. Book your seat now before it's overrun!!
English is the official language, but Spanish, Garifuna, Creole, Ketchi and Chinese are widely spoken.
Mayan young ladies selling their wares in Southern Belize
Making tofu dishes. Vegetarians and vegans traveling to Belize should head to the country’s deep south, Punta Gorda, and stop by Gomier’s Health is Wealth Vegetarian Restaurant. Gomier, a St. Lucian who has lived in Belize for 16 years, makes his own tofu. As if that’s not enough, he turns it into dishes even the most die-hard tofu lover probably hasn’t tried. 

Austin Rodriguez, making drums. He has been making drums for over 35 years.
Making Cassava Bread in Hopkins Village
A Way of Life, Serre Fish and Marie Sharp Hot Sauce!
Diversity of Cultures- The Garinagu


Photos #5 & 6-Jane Crawford; Photo #3 Hamanasi Resort http://www.hamanasi.com/


Friday, November 26, 2010

COMMENTARY: HOPE AND CHANGE

Hon. Edmond Castro, junior Minister of Works: Fired on Nov 24 by Prime Minister Barrow for "engaging in behavior that is inconsistent with the high standards of propriety to which the Prime Minister seeks to hold his ministers". 

Commentary by pele

The last time I wrote about Belize, it was about the despair and anger we all felt regarding the state of affairs in our beautiful country. I am not a writer, but when inspired, I tend to go off. Our Prime Minister, Mr. Barrow, has to be commended for the decisive manner in which he handled the question of Mr. Castro. I have known Mr. Barrow for over 40 years, and have always considered him an honorable man. After the unprecedented corruption of the last administration, there is no room or leeway in the pursuit and rooting out of corruption in the present administration. The UDP ran on an anti corruption and transparency platform, and there is evidence that for the most part, they are keeping their word. I believe that Mr. Barrow is doing his best to adhere to those promises he so nobly expressed during the last campaign, and I also can imagine how hard it is to keep everyone in tow.

There will always be those who believe that they can blatantly flaunt and abuse the public trust bestowed upon them, and get away with it. I remember a couple of years ago at the Princess Hotel, I noticed a Minister in a meeting with several foreigners, they appeared to be businessmen. They were in earnest conversation and my first thought was, ‘where was his CEO, or some representative from his ministry to record the minutes of the meeting?’ This seemed inappropriate to me, and is the type of action that leads to people getting the impression of skullduggery.

Elected officials have to realize that they serve at the behest of the electorate, and not for their personal aggrandizement or enrichment, that the title "Honorable" actually means something. People selected to run for office should be totally vetted and made to pay their dues before they face the electorate. People like Mr. Barrow, Mr. Finnegan, Mr. Espat and Mr. Hyde to name a few, a tiny few, have paid their dues, and deserve to serve because we know that they have our best interests at heart. They have shown over and over, that they care, and their light have not dimmed in the shadows of defeat. We need more people like these to run for office, and not those with dishonorable intentions. After all, we the people will always be the victims of their treachery. 

To quote Lord Acton Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Commentary by Pele


This blog is not responsible for the views expressed in the commentary segment; all views expressed are the responsibility of the commentator, not the owner of this blog.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

TOMORROW IS BLACK FRIDAY: ARE YOU READY?


I would like to ask you for your help in continuing to bring our villageviewpost.com to you, my readers.


Villageviewpost.com strives to bring you news and views of Belize. To maintain my independence, I am not affiliated with any political party, nor do I accept sponsorship of any commercial concern.


It is much better in my view to continue villageviewpost.com with no strings attached. There is however a way you, the reader, can contribute to Village View Post at absolutely no extra cost to you. To this end, Village View Post has become an Amazon Associate.


Now when you visit villageviewpost.com you can make your purchases of books, toys, electronics and much more from Amazon. Simply type in your search in the Amazon widget on the right side of this Website or click on the button below the search bar. Once you have looked and decided on your item, simply place your order and you will be helping the continued publication of Village View Post.


There are many products you can purchase on Amazon. Each time you use Village View Post website to purchase any item from Amazon, I will receive a small commission which will in turn help me to improve the website!


Amazon is one of the leading retailers on the internet, and their prices are typically lower than those of other online retailers. Therefore I feel confident in urging you to use Village View Post for your holiday shopping. But remember, in order to benefit my blog, you must connect to Amazon through the widget on my right bar. Shopping in this way will add no cost to you, while supporting Village View Post!


The holiday season is upon us and you can start supporting Village View Post right away!


Feel free to call or email me with any questions. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for your continued support!!


Linda Crawford

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

JOYOUS THANKSGIVING-2010

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day, a holiday in the United States. It is a day set aside to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.


It is also known as turkey day;  a day dedicated as a feast for overeating, all day football watching , and exciting conversations with family and friends. I hope you all have a lot to say besides politics and religion.

I’ll share my Thanksgiving gratitude with you all since I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I am thankful for this time to be together with family and friends and am thankful for all of nature’s bounty.

Times are hard; people in the United States have lost a lot of jobs, but I’m especially thankful that my children have had personal successes this year. I’m thankful that I am able to pay my bills and for the shelter over my head.

Of course, I have to thank the amazing new friends I have met this year; I am grateful for all of my visitors and readers of this blog. And I can’t end without thanking my amazing contributors of posts, ideas and photos; for real guys!!

Please share what you are thankful for? Don’t be shy….I’m watching you!!!


Monday, November 22, 2010

NEW BZ$1.3 M MICHAEL FINNEGAN MARKET INAUGURATED IN BELIZE CITY

The Compound-click on photos for a better view



Belmopan, 22 November, 2010:

The new Michael Finnegan Market named in honor of Hon. Michael Finnegan, Minister of Housing and Urban Development and Area Representative for the Mesopotamia Division, for his outstanding community service contribution to Belize, was officially inaugurated today, Nov. 22nd during a ceremony at the project site in Belize City.

The Michael Finnegan Market will directly benefit over 70 vendors who use the facility on a daily basis, including vendors who come from different parts of the country to sell their produce. However, the project will benefit all Belize City residents since they will be able to buy their vegetables in a beautified and healthier environment.

The project was implemented by the Social Investment Fund and financed through a combination of a loan and grant from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) at a total cost of $1.3 Million dollars. Of this amount, the Government of Belize provided $270,000.00 in counterpart funding and residents of Belize City contributed the labor.

The project included the construction of 42 stalls. This included the replacement of the current makeshift stalls with two 10 ft by 10 ft stalls, 4 refurbished 10 ft by 10 ft stalls and the construction of 36 20 ft by 10 ft stalls. The existing bathrooms were renovated and extended. The extension will particularly accommodate the wholesalers who travel from outside of Belize City to the market. Better drainage and a proper garbage disposal system was put in place; the entire market compound was leveled and pavers were installed.
Hon. Michael Minnegan
At the official inauguration ceremony, a congratulatory message for Hon. Michael Finnegan was delivered by Mr Dean Lindo S.C. and member of the Integrity Commission. The welcome address was delivered by Her Worship Mayor of Belize City, Mrs Zenaida Moya-Flowers and the keynote address was delivered by the Hon. Michael Finnegan, Minister of Housing and Urban Development. An address was also be delivered by Mr. Daniel Cano, Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund, among other speakers. The new market was blessed by Bishop Dorrick Wright and a presentation was made by St Ignatius Primary School.
Her Worship Mayor of Belize City, Mrs Zenaida Moya-Flowers 
Mr. Dean Lindo S.C. Member of the Integrity Commission
Cutting of Symbolic Ribbon
Bishop Dorrick Wright (L) 2nd
Audience at the Ceremony
Miss St Ignatius RC School and group making presentation
Cultural presentation by student of St Ignatius School
The Social Investment Fund is the Government of Belize’s main implementing agency of projects aimed at addressing the basic needs of all Belizeans in an honest and transparent manner utilizing a community-based approach.


Established as a statutory body in l996, SIF has implemented 498 projects countrywide valued at $68.2 M dollars in the areas of Water & Sanitation, Health, Economic Infrastructure, Education, Social Services, Organizational Strengthening and Micro-credit. Since 2008 alone, SIF has implemented 102 projects worth $21.4 Million dollars benefitting over 57,000 Belizeans countrywide. The Michael Finnegan Market Project is the largest single project implemented by S.I.F. so far.

For further information, please contact Mr. Mike Hernandez Jr. J.P., Director of Public
Relations, Social Investment Fund, Tel: 822-0239, Cell. No. 602-6491 or via email at
mike.hernandez@sifbelize.org Press Release No. 33 - 2010



Photos by Mike Hernandez Jr. J.P.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY VILLAGE VIEW POST!!



On November 22, Village View Post will be two years old!! 

It amazes me every time I think about how far this blog has come in such a short amount of time. What started off as encouragements from a very good friend to share my writings with others has become an entire community.   

Celebrating this birthday is also a milestone in my own life. As I struggle to write, it has been difficult to stick with a schedule and even more difficult to find time to write. This blog helps me to overcome some of my fear of writing and the difficulty I have in finishing writing projects.

This blog has grown from a few readers to over 4000 page views a month within the first year and a half of its existence. I have you, my reader, and my contributors to thank for that. You are the reason this blog has been so successful.
I’m reaching out to you, and asking that you share this blog with your friends. And, as always, thank you so much for reading; I could not have done it without you.
Linda Crawford


Photo courtesy of Dr. Jane Crawford at Animal Medical Center, Belize City

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NEW BUILDING TO GULISI PRIMARY SCHOOL IN DANGRIGA-BELIZE

A new school building project that will alleviate the overcrowded situation at the Gulisi Primary School was officially launched on Wednesday morning, November 17th at the school compound near the Garifuna Monument site in Dangriga Town.

The project will benefit over 140 students and will be implemented by the Social Investment Fund. It will be financed by the Government of Belize at a total cost of $415,000.00 through the Commonwealth Debt Initiative (CDI).

The project scope includes the construction of a one storey reinforced-concrete building measuring 121 feet long by 30 ft wide with a 6 ft verandah. The building will include four classrooms (24 ft by 25 ft) with two movable partitions and a male and female bathroom block. The building’s foundation will be designed to accommodate future expansion and the new school will be able to withstand up to category 5 hurricane winds as well as earthquakes and therefore will also serve as a shelter in the event of an emergency. All doors will be of solid timber and aluminum storm guard windows will be installed. Provisions for the installation of electricity, water supply, and waste water systems will also be made while the community of Dangriga will provide the furniture and labor as part of their contribution.
The Gulisi Community Primary School, which is managed by a Board of Directors in collaboration with the National Garifuna Council, came about as a result of the overcrowding of other elementary schools and the distance of the growing and expansion of residential areas and population growth in Dangriga Town. The Primary School is located some 1 1/2 miles north of Dangriga Town at the Garifuna Monument Site and Museum. But the Gulisi Primary School has also overgrown its space due to a rapid growth in student population.

Hon. Arthur Roches delivering the opening address
 Established in April 2007, the school has students up to standard 3 but classroom space is needed for the upcoming standard 4, and in the near future for standards 5 and 6. Due to the overcrowded situation, the upcoming standard 4 students will have to be accommodated in the Museum for the new school year. The school is presently using a room from the Garifuna Museum to house the standard 3 students. The Gulisi Community Primary School also operates a pre-school, which is housed in a rented building adjacent to the main school building.

The Gulisi Community Primary School is very unique among other schools in Belize and the Caribbean in that it is the only school that teaches three languages – English, Spanish and Garifuna - as part of its curriculum.

The keynote speaker at the official launching of the project was the Hon. Arthur Roches, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Area Representative for Dangriga. Addresses were also delivered by Mr. Aaron Gongora, Mayor of Dangriga, and officials of the Social Investment Fund and members of the Gulisi School Management and P.T.A.

For further information please contact Mr. Mike Hernandez Jr. J.P., Director of Public Relations, Social Investment Fund at Tel: 822-0239 or via email at
mike.hernandez@sifbelize.org



All photos by Mr. Mike Hernandez Jr. J.P