Wednesday, February 29, 2012


 Today, the people of Belize went to the polls to cast their ballots on People’s Referendum; NO, to offshore drilling in Belize. This referendum is all about whether they want exploration and drilling for oil offshore Belize.
Oceana Belize-Mrs. Audrey Matura-Shepherd
The polls opened this morning nationwide at 6:00 a.m. and will be closed at 8:00 p.m. There are 48 polling stations, two of them mobile; one in the Toledo District and the other in the Belize District. The fourteen hours time-frame will allow registered voters to participate in the first ever People’s Referendum. Those who are not registered are being asked to sign a petition against offshore drilling. There will be only one question asked in the People’s Referendum. The Yes or No question as follows: Should Belize Allow Oil Exploration and Drilling Offshore?
Oceana Belize and referendum supporter- Tessa Westby
Referendum supporter- (R) Dianne Finnegan
Referendum supporter-Nikisha Ack 
This effort by head of Oceana Belize Mrs. Audrey Matura-Shepherd and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage is as a result of monumental and unprecedented efforts to get Belize’s leaders to engage the people of this country in what Belize’s direction in offshore oil should be. “The People’s Referendum is in response to the government’s outright unwillingness to even discuss the issue, much less seek a legitimate mandate from the voting population, this is solely a people's movement initiative", explained Coalition member Audrey Matura-Shepherd.

“Besides encouraging Belizeans’ participation by voting, we also ask that they pray for God’s blessings on this great endeavor in participatory democracy. We are greatly encouraged by the support we have received and want to thank all those who have contributed in cash or kind to the effort,” Matura-Shepherd added.

Wednesday February 29, 2012, is the first ever People’s Referendum.

Source: Ambergris Today

Friday, February 24, 2012


Old Spice, the men's grooming toiletries has a new look and a new smell and as fresh as the Belize sunshine. Take a stroll though Walmart or KMart and you'll find the Belize body wash and deodorants, yes that's right, Belizean men now have their own scent: fresh air, guitar solos and triumph. And on each label of Belize Old Spice are the wonderful images of a Maya ruin and the Great Blue Hole. 

These days the airfare to Belize is sky high, but don't worry, for the cost of a bottle of body wash or a stick of deodorant you can send your body on an exciting excursion to Belize where you will smell like the swaying palm trees and the tropical sunshine.  


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


On Feb. 21 1965, one of America’s most influential revolutionary leaders was assassinated, Malcolm X

His memory lives on as one of the most prominent and controversial individuals in the Civil Rights Movement.

This is the only photo of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm. In 1964 both men went to watch the Senate filibuster of the Civil Rights Act.

Reflect on Malcolm X’s legacy and words with a rare interview from the PBS Archives

Please watch the video below:

Source: NPR

Friday, February 17, 2012


Prince Harry will set foot in Belize on March 2, 2012 and will be in the country just short of a full day – 23 ½ hours to be precise. But according to the Foreign Affairs protocol office, it should be the best stop he makes on his Caribbean Tour of the Bahamas, Jamaica and Belize in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

He is the second child of Prince Charles and Lady Diana and he is visiting Belmopan and San Ignacio during his whirlwind visit to Belize which his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II has set up for him; she picked Belize for Harry because of his free and adventurous spirit and humanitarian heart. So the government of Belize, along with the Belize Tourism Board, is organizing a packed schedule for the Prince to maximize his visit to the country. The good part is that the visit will be a less formal one which will engage him much more with the people of Belize and focusing less on a state level visit with more official ceremonial activities.

Prince Harry is scheduled to arrive in Belize on Friday, March 2, 2012, at 4:25p.m. on board a private jet at the Phillip Goldson International Airport where he will be received with a salute from the Belize Defense Force and meet officials at the VIP Lounge, including the Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca and British High Commissioner to Belize, Patrick Ashworth.

From there he departs to Belmopan where he will meet with the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, when the commemorative stamps will be unveiled to the Prince. The major event where residents of Belize will be able to get a glimpse of the Prince will be at Belmopan’s Street Festival that will be open to the public. Prince Harry will deliver a speech on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II and the Cohune Walk will be re-named in honor of the Queen.

At the festival Prince Harry will be treated with traditional foods and presentations from the Mestizo, Creole and Garifuna cultures. The Street Festival will continue after the Prince’s expected departure at 8p.m.

The following day, Saturday, March 3, 2012, Prince Harry will be travelling to the OAS Adjacency Zone in the morning dealing with the children both from Belize and Guatemala, who participated in the OAS cultural program. He will interact with the children involved in the program and tour the immigration facility for an art exhibition.

The highlight of this day will be a visit to the Maya ruins of Xunantunich where he will be interacting with children from the Belize Special Olympics Program, immerse in the great Maya culture, enjoy musical and dance performances from Deer Dancers. After lunch the Prince will leave to the ferry crossing where he will present a Jubilee Canoe to the Ruta Maya Organization.

For the rest of the afternoon, Prince Harry departs to the Price Barracks, meet with the Belize National Coast Guard, BDF and BATSUB members. He will lay a wreath at a monument erected for British Soldiers who have passed away while on service in Belize, after which he is expected to leave Belize at 4p.m.

Diane Locke, Chief of Protocol Prince Harry’s Visit, stated that Belize is going to be the most exciting part of Prince Harry’s tour of the region as other countries have more official itineraries. It was also mentioned that the Prince is really excited to visit Belize. From Belize, the Prince will fly to Bahamas on March third, to Jamaica on the fifth and to Brazil on the ninth.

Local media is expected to cover the Prince’s visit with over 40 international media expressing interest in following him, with the possibility of providing live international coverage. Final preparations are still taking place and the Government of Belize is encouraging all Belizeans to join the celebration at the Street Festival. Surely Prince Harry’s visit to our beautiful country will be a significant and historical one for all of us to share with the world. Ambergris Today will be present during the Prince’s visit and will bring coverage to its readers.


Thursday, February 16, 2012


Tanya Tizzle Mejia is a blogger in Belize who blogs at Tizzle Sizzles about Belizean food. She started blogging about food in Belize to show the world that there is more to Belizean food that beans and rice and stew beef and chicken. 

Now, if you have ever been to Belize you would've quickly noticed that we have cultural influences from all over. Our core group that have been here since it all began are the latin influences from our neighbors Mexico & Guatemala, and then we have our Garifuna food, our Creole foods, Maya influences (also tied in with the latin influences) and recently over the last few decades we've added to our list Indian, (belizeans actually do like a lot of curried and spicy foods), Chinese (who doesn't like it?), and even some more Caribbbean influences from our fellow caribbean islands.

So with that said I also decided that once a month I will feature a local restaurant that serves up some good food...and today I introduce to you

CHAP'S Bar & Grill... located at 1668 corner Seashore Drive & University Blvd in Belize City, their phone number is 223-1299
This funky little restaurant is now hands down my favorite in Belize city...from the fun but relaxing Mexican music playing during lunch I feel as though I really was in Mexico. The owner, Christian Riveroll, is very friendly, makes you feel welcome and has a laugh that is very intoxicating and instantly puts you in a good mood.

He greeted my friend and I with menus in hand and directed us to our seats where he offered us the infamous Margarita. Now, I do pride myself as a Tequila connoissuer, I love the stuff.  This was by far one of the BEST  Margarita's I've ever had...and strong!

After a chat and a drink we finally decided on what we were having. Rebecca went with the Arracherra with cheese and served in a whole wheat tortilla. Now I must say Christian did an excellent job on his menu. He has several vegetarian dishes, which is pretty much unheard of in Belize city, as well as health concious dishes and some not so health concious dishes...we stayed in the middle. So, for our first recipe of the day we go with...

The Arrachera Taco w/ Whole Wheat Tortilla
Now, this looks simple but if you want the Chap's Bar & Grill results it will take you about 2 days to make. Yah, nothing good ever comes easy...unless you go to Chap's and just order it :) Now I'm just gonna add one more thing...if you've been to Belize you'll know our beef isn't the best which is why it's usually served well done or stewed...occassionally you can get a good young cow but most of the time it's chewy and kinda tough. When I tried this it was like biting into a marshmellow...smooth, tender and just melted in my mouth...ok, ok now the recipe...

Arrachera Beef
1. Salt the beef, just dump tons and tons of salt on the beef and let it sit there for about 2 hrs. After that rinse it off.
2. Wrap the beef in Papaya leaf for 24 hrs of course in the refridgerator...we don't want you getting sick now.
3. After your 24 hrs wrapping is done Make a marinade. Whichever one is your favorite, Do it to your taste you'll be eating it after all. Now this is the second to last step...Marinade the beef for another 12hours...
4. Final step, (I know was taking a while huh?) Grill it. Then finally yes we get to eat this Bad little taco...from what i've tasted it's definately worth the wait if you want to make this yourself.

Whole Wheat Tortillas
1 cup All Purpose flour
4 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/2 cup shortening
2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups boiling water
*extra flour for rolling

1. In a large mixing bowl add the whole wheat flour and the all purpose flour. Rub in the shortening by hand until the mixture looks and feels like oatmeal. Make a hole in the center and add in the boiling water and mix in the flour/shortening mixture until the water has been evenly spread. sprinkle a little bit more flour on top and knead.
2. Make small balls (about golf ball size) and put them in a tray, cover with cloth and let it sit for about 1 hour or up to 8 hours. The longer the softer.
3. Flatten one of the balls to the thickness u prefer then put it on the hot griddle/comal and cook for about 30 seconds on each side.  reapeat this step til your balls of whole wheat flour are done.

*If you go to chaps and order the arrachera tacos you have a choice between corn, whole wheat and flour tortillas... :)

Now for the next dish which is the one I chose...I like spicy, and I have a rediculous weak spoy for chipotle peppers...So I went with a  less popular choice than the taco's.

Say hello to my little friend...(and the 2nd BEST dish i ever had.)

Chipotle Chicken w/ Mexican Rice & Tostones...mmmmmmmmmmm 

This I must tell you needs to be eaten slow enough to savor and enjoy but quick enough so that you can finish before the peppers and spices kick in ;) but if you like spicy and you enjoy the burn...take your sweet time :)

Chipotle Chicken. (A lot easier than the Arrachera)

1. Take your boneless chicken breast, pound it with your meat pounder season with lime salt & pepper and Grill.

2. Make your chipotle sauce...Chap's blends Mayo and canned chipotle peppers in a blender and it's divine. That as you can see gets poured on your chicken.

3. TOSTONES!! These are my favorite now. You take a GREEN Plantain, mash it and fry it, but there is a method here. Youn only fry it half done then you take it out sprinkle salt and then throw it back in the fryer until it's finished. these are delicious you MUST try them.

4. Mexican Rice cooked with blended cilantro, garlic and a small lil bit of coconut oil, you can add green peas and some carrots if you like but that is completely up to you.

See that one was a lot more simple and equally as good. Chap's Bar & Grill is located at 1668 corner Seashore Drive & University blvd in Belize City, their phone number is 223-1299 and they are open Tuesday- Sunday from 11am-2pm for lunch and 6pm-10pm for dinner. Closed on Mondays & Open only for lunch on Sundays. On the weekends this funky little hidden gem stays open til 11:30 for dinner on Friday and on Saturdays closes at 11pm for dinner and word on the street is this little bar can get quite fun on the weekends at night. 

Rumor also has it that they have quite a fun Cinco de Mayo might want to put that one on your list.They also have delivery & pick up service as well as a nice $10bz menu for lunch. Here are a few more pictures for you to enjoy of Chap's Bar & Grill.
 Tortilla Soup...from what I've heard it's amazing.
Taco toppings: (Top) Red Tomato Salsa & Green Tomato Salsa (Bottom) Onion/ cilantro salsa & Green pepper sauce

The exchange rate in Belize is $2BzD- $1USD so if you're visiting stop by for a $5USD lunch :)

About the author: Tanya Sizzle Mejia is a blogger and Marketing Officer at Bacab Eco Park in Burrell Boom, Belize. 


Press Release – February 15, 2012

Election Day a Public and Bank Holiday
Belmopan, 14th February, 2012. Cabinet at its regular meeting today, Tuesday, 14th February, agreed that the Election Day, Wednesday, 7th March, 2012, be designated as a public and bank holiday. (END)

Office of the Prime Minister
Belmopan, Cayo District

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Cutting of the ribbon to officially inaugurarte the building

Main school building renovated 
Belmopan, Tuesday, 14th February 2012:  Over 147 students of the Cristo Rey Roman Catholic School in the Corozal District are no longer exposed to the dangers associated with asbestos thanks to a project which included the rehabilitation of two main school buildings equipped with spacious bathrooms, the supply of computers, office furniture and equipment. The refurbished facilities were officially inaugurated today, February 15, 2010 at the school premises.
Cristo Rey RC School children pose for the camera along with delegates and invited guests during the ceremony

The project was implemented by the Social Investment Fund at a total cost of $300,000 and financed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) under its Basic Needs Trust Fund 5.   BNTF is a program promoting poverty reduction through socio-economic initiatives and community empowerment and is jointly financed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and ten beneficiary governments, including Belize.

As part of the project a two-classroom building (60 ft by 37 ft)  and a one-classroom pre-school building (30 ft by 27 ft)  were rehabilitated.  These included replacement of the asbestos roof, including the roof sheeting and frames, installation of new doors and windows, new partitions, new ceilings and painting of walls and electrical wiring. Additional works for the pre-school included the repairing of damaged walls and columns, additional purlins for roof expansion and installation of water gutters.

The work scope for the bathroom block included construction of bathroom space for male and females along with shower stall, urinals, toilets and wash basins, septic tank and soak-a-ways.
Cristo Rey Pre-school renovated as part of the project

The project also included the provision of furniture, including teacher’s desks, computer desks, book shelves, 8 computers, photo copier, projector, two digital cameras among others.  In addition, SIF donated the construction materials, including tiles, light fixtures, sheet rock, AC Unit, windows and doors for the rehabilitation of a third building.  The community of Cristo Rey provided labor for the installation of these materials.

Prior to the project, students were housed in three school buildings with asbestos roofing, which posed a health hazard to both the teachers and students.  After  consultations and collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health has recommended the removal of all asbestos roofs on school buildings countrywide since asbestos has been known to cause lung cancer.
Cultural presentations included a Jarana Dance during the official ceremony

Cristo Rey Village is located some 11 miles from Corozal Town; 2 miles from the cutoff of the northern highway or some 10 miles from the Santa Elena border. Most of the villagers rely on sugar cane farming and papaya cultivation for a living.

The guest speaker for the occasion will be Hon. Nemencio Acosta, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, representatives of the Ministry of Education, the Social Investment Fund and Management of the Roman Catholic Schools for the Corozal District among others.

For further information please contact Mr Mike Hernandez Jr. (Sr. J.P.) Director of Public Relations for the Social Investment Fund at Tel: 822-0239 or via email at or Cell No. 634-4002.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


A round-up of the Hebrew newspapers in Israel; covering the major events happening in Israel and the Middle East. Haaretz-Maariv-Yedioth Ahronoth-Israel Hayom-The Jerusalem Post-Ynet-Arutz 7 News-Army Radio-and Israel Radio  

The main story in Israeli newspapers on Tuesday is the double terror attack against Israeli targets in India and Georgia, in which one woman; the wife of a military attaché at the embassy in New Delhi was moderately wounded. The second device, attached to an Israeli embassy vehicle in Tbilisi, was spotted and safely neutralized.
Israel was quick to blame Iran and Hizbollah for Monday’s attacks. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Tehran “the biggest exporter of terror in the world,” while Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that “Iran and Hizbollah are determined to sabotage the Israeli lifestyle and act against Israelis everywhere.”

Iran was just as quick to deny any involvement. The Foreign Ministry in Tehran called the accusations “psychological warfare” by Israel and even went as far as to accuse Israel of attacking its own embassy officials as part of a propaganda campaign against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The United States denounced what it called the “cowardly” attacks, though the White House reserved judgment on who was responsible. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement that she condemned the attacks in the “strongest terms.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called on authorities in India and Georgia to conduct a full investigation and bring those responsible to justice. Responding to reporters, the UN chief said that in the past he has condemned attacks on diplomats and diplomatic missions around the world. Earlier, Israel's envoy at the UN, Ron Prosor protested the UN silence on the terror attacks.

And before the lessons of Monday’s attacks had been learned, news came through on Tuesday of another attack in Bangkok. According to Israeli news websites, two explosions rocked the Thai capital and at least one Iranian apparently was involved and was wounded, eyewitnesses said.

No fatalities were reported in the blasts near a school in the capital, where the government has been worried over Muslim rebels who previously have targeted civilians in the southern part of the country. Thai media reported that an identification card of a wounded man who was seen carrying explosives revealed he apparently was of Iranian descent. The Associated Press said the report has not yet been verified. It said a photo sent through Twitter showed the man lying on a sidewalk and that the blast ripped off his legs.

Last month, Thai police caught a suspected Hizbollah operative who was allegedly trying to smuggle material for explosives out of the country to an unknown destination. The arrest came shortly after Israel and American intelligence officials warned Thailand of an imminent terrorist threat.

In other news reported on Haaretz website,  it said that the U.S. budget proposed by the Obama administration for 2013 would cut the funding for Israeli missile defense programs by $6 million. The cut would affect the development of Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense program and Arrow System Improvement Program. The $3 billion annual military assistance to Israel, within the framework of the 10 years memorandum of understanding, will remain unchanged. U.S. officials told Haaretz that the Israeli side knew of the cuts in advance.

Concurrently, Ynet reports that, according to the IDF website, a new Arrow missile defense battery will become operational in 2012. The battery is to be stationed in central Israel, where most of Israel's population is concentrated. The new battery is designed to intercept long-range surface-to-surface missiles with an upgraded version of the Arrow missile. The IDF website says that the system will use advanced interceptors, which include a number of sensors to identify and intercept the incoming missiles in a precise manner. The battery will be integrated with the newly installed “Super Green Pine” radar system, which is able to detect missiles at a longer range with greater accuracy.
The Arrow system, Israel's defense system against long-range missile threats, can intercept missiles when they are still above the atmosphere, thus preventing collateral damage from the interception. The Defense Ministry announced on Friday that it conducted a successful test on the system. The experiment tested the system’s enhanced capabilities of dealing with ballistic missiles such as the Scud and the Iranian Shihab. As part of the test, an F-15 Israel Air Force fighter jet launched a Blue Sparrow, a missile developed by Rafael, to impersonate long-range Iranian ballistic missiles. The Arrow system was able to identify the missile and home in on it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


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.
I am a Garifuna from beautiful Belize by the sea. I migrated to Los Angeles in my late teens and, along the way, met my beautiful wife. I am also the proud parent of two college aged young people, a son and a daughter. I teach middle school and I am a third generation teacher.

I am a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles. I obtained a teaching credential and a master's degree in education from Chapman University. In 2005, I was one of a select group of teachers chosen to attend the UCLA Writing Project as a fellow.

I have always had a love and appreciation for the English language even at a young age in elementary school. I guess this is what led me down the path of becoming a published author and poet. I also enjoy reading for pleasure; this helped me acquire an extensive vocabulary and so it gave me another excuse to begin writing stories.

I remember telling a friend who was a Caucasian American about twenty-five years ago that I wanted to write a book one day. His response was, “Why would you want to do that, what do you have to write about?” These words along with his look of disbelief hurt at the time because it seemed he had judged me as not being writer material. Now, twenty years later, I have achieved my dream as a result of hard work and lots of sacrifice. I learned a valuable lesson from that friend. We must not let others determine what we can and cannot accomplish in life.

The road that led to me becoming a writer has been a long one filled with co- incidences that I would prefer to label as divine intervention. When I enrolled in college, I was set on majoring in criminal justice with an eye toward going to law school. I took an English class in my second year of college and the professor did such a fine job that I decided to change my major to English. I didn’t know then, but God had steered me into becoming an English major so that I could become a writer.

I enrolled in law school after receiving my bachelors in English. I found that Law School although rigorous and exciting was probably not the best career for me. I decided to become a teacher instead, like my father and grandfather. My first five years as a teacher were very rocky. I felt like quitting several times, especially after working at one of the most challenging inner city schools in the City of Los Angeles. Unbeknown to me, teaching was a career with a high turn over and burn out rate. I was unhappy because I was not used to the lack of discipline that I encountered in some of my students.

It was around this time that I met a fellow teacher, Paul Rallion, and we became great friends. I shared with Paul my desire to write a book, and he told me that he had the same dream! What amazing timing! We decided to pool resources and write a book about education. Notice that I had been led to change careers. As a result of some of my experiences in the classroom, which scarred me first then inspired me, I decided to write to inform people and to encourage and support teachers. I was able to tap into my unforgettable experiences in the classroom to launch my first book, “Middle Schoolin': 50 Stories About the Challenges, Humor and Rewards of Teaching.” Paul and I were able to share the work as well as the cost of this project.

My career as an English teacher helped my writing skills tremendously. I had to teach grammar, punctuation, writing and literature etc. In the process I learned from reading the works of writers like Maya Angelou, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and James Baldwin to mention a few, etc. I attended dozens of workshops and seminars over a 10 year career, so all of this was serving as preparation for me to write my own material. This had to be more than co-incidence!

What I like about writing is that it is a great way to relieve stress! It is a way to express what is on your mind and in your heart. About a year ago, I lost a cousin rather unexpectedly. I had seen this young lady grow up from a baby, to a teenager, to marriage and to motherhood. To express my sorrow over her death, I wrote a poem and titled it “Arlene Sleep Sleep Sleep.” Like many people today, I am shocked by the large numbers of today’s youths who wear their pants sagging down to below waist level many times exposing their underpants for the world to see. I wrote a poem about this pathetic societal problem and called it, “Young Man Don’t Let Your Pants Sag.”

My new book, “Facebook Education: From Middle School to Old School and From the USA to Belize” chronicles the time that I spend on Facebook, the people that I have met, and their thoughts and perspectives. This book is a solo effort and tells of the impact and influence of this new social medium. I believe if you are on Facebook you will like this book. If you are not on Facebook, you will still like this book because you will get a better idea about the love and obsession that some people have for it.

When I am not writing, I am involved with the Garifuna Choir of Los Angeles. In addition to singing at mass every Sunday, we are committed to helping the Belizean community by doing fundraising and singing at weddings, funerals and other special occasions. Our mission is to help our Belize and Garifuna communities to draw closer to God.

I would like to thank Ms. Linda Crawford, a dear friend, for the opportunity to share my story about the path I took to realize my dream of becoming an author. I am a big fan of the work that Linda does in promoting Belize and in doing fund raisers to help Belizeans. I admire her compassion, dedication, and love for our beloved Belize.

I would also like to thank the people in my life, especially my wife of twenty-five years, Glendarice, who has stuck by my side and encouraged me to follow my dreams. I am also thankful to the almighty who has planned my life better than I could have imagined it. Finally, I believe that we are here on this earth for a reason and a purpose. It is our job to use our gifts and talents and our time, like Linda has discovered, to leave this place a better world than how we found it.

Great reading for parents with children in elementary school. You will learn about the challenges, humor, and rewards of teaching, as well as classroom tragedies and successes, that take place in inner city public schools. These 50 vignettes describe human-interest, and middle school events. 

For a personalized autographed copy of Frank's books and delivery within a week, please E-mail him at or visit his Website at
And both can be purchased at,, and also at Angulus Press locations in Belize.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


March 7, is elections day in Belize and what an interesting year of politics this is. The two major parties (People's United Party and United Democratic Party) have been out slinging mud at each other on TV and radios all over Belize. On Facebook yesterday, you were being suffocated with comments about these political ads.

In my opinion, all these ads do is cater to the party faithfuls; the die-hards. The ads are distasteful, but not worse that in previous elections or for that matter, ads that I've seen in the state of Florida recently. The PUP have called for the removal of one of their own ads depicting the prime minister as a dancer, stripping down to his underpants to get things accomplished for his family.  The next ad is by the UDP,  showing a "shit" bucket, and trashing the PUP for being nothing more than human waste.

In the US there is a relationship between candidates and super-PACs; they spend millions of dollars attacking each other. These ads allow the  super-PACs to attack other political candidates without blaming the particular politician supported by the ad for the attack. It is definitely nasty and sneaky, but it keeps the candidates' hands clean. Nonetheless, it still causes a controversy and they most definitely are been created in poor taste. 

There are only few positive ads, and as the political race becomes more heated the ads get more negative. It would be nice if advertisements were about the candidates and what they can do for you; instead they focus more on talking badly about the other candidates. 

Three other small political parties (PNP, VIP and IDP) are joining together to form a new party, Belize Unity Alliance. Let's hope that they will uphold a higher standard. 

Regarding the ads in Belize, both parties are guilty of these nasty attacks. All they do is encourage their party faithfuls to disrespect each other. And distasteful ads can hurt your image or your brand. 

Monday, February 6, 2012


Queen Elizabeth II

Official portrait of The Queen and The Duke of Edingburgh taken in the Center Room at Buckingham Palace in December 2010. Royal Household/John Swannell
Today common wealth countries all over the world are celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, a holiday in some countries which marks 60 years since Her Majesty ascended the throne.

On Wednesday, 6 February 1952, Princess Elizabeth received the news of her father King George VI's death and her own accession to the throne, while staying in a remote part of Kenya.
The tour had to be abandoned, and the young Princess flew back to Britain as Queen. She was greeted by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other officials at the airport.

Read Winston Churchill's tribute to the late King:

Diamond Jubilee message
To mark the beginning of a year of celebration and reflection, Her Majesty released a message thanking those who had sent messages of support and looking forward to 2012:

'Today, as I mark 60 years as your Queen, I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Philip over these years and to tell you how deeply moved we have been to receive so many kind messages about the Diamond Jubilee.

In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighbourliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth.

I hope also that this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart as we join together in our celebrations.

I send my sincere good wishes to you all.



Rev. Dr. Elmer Gillett-(R)
The 6th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Prayer Breakfast, held Jan. 16, featured speaker Dr. Elmer Gillett, with remarks from community leaders including Rev. Bobby Love, Rev. Carl Patillo, and Olathe Mayor Mike Copeland. Dr. Gillett accepted the Martin Luther King Jr. Living Legacy award from MNU interim president Dr. Jim Diehl for his career-long servant leadership in the African-American community and for the Church of the Nazarene. Dr. Gillett is the pastor of Brooklyn Community Worship Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and also serves as the director of Black Ministries for the Church of the Nazarene.

Featured Speaker and 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Living Legacy Award Recipient

Dr. Elmer L. Gillett, senior pastor of Community Worship Center, Brooklyn, NY, and director of Black Ministries for the Church of the Nazarene.

Award Recipient and Speaker Bio:

Elmer Gillett, D.Min, was born in Belize in Central America. Mentored by a Nazarene missionary, Richard Cornelius, Gillett sensed a call to preach the Gospel, earning a bachelor's degree in English and religion from MNU in 1979. Gillett also holds a Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., and a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. He also completed study in preaching at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Ministering in California and serving in various administrative positions, Gillett took the helm of Brooklyn’s Community Worship Center in 1994. With a vibrant ministry in the Brooklyn community, the church has an attendance of 450 with two Sunday services.

Gillett also teaches at the Metro New York School of Ministry and serves on its Credential's Board.
 He is the director of Black Ministries for the Church of the Nazarene in U.S.A. and Canada.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


This picture was taken at the "Lets Talk Cancer" event
In pursuit of her continual advocacy for women and children and breast cancer awareness, Ms. Simplis Barrow attended the “Let's Talk Cancer” event last Thursday night, February 2, at the Bliss. It is her hope that more people will become aware of the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Many of us facing such changes in our life would panic, become depressed, and eventually give up. But here you have Mrs. Simplis Barrow beaming with the most radiant smiles and looking as healthy as ever. She is an excellent example of health benefits through smiles and laughter.  A good doctor once told me that laughter and humor in your everyday life can bring you joy and empower you to a positive outcome. Our life is full of choices and challenges, but here we see Mrs. Barrow choosing to meet her challenges head-on through laughter and smiles.

To quote Mark Twain, "The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter."

Despite the debilitating effects of her treatment, she still manages to remain savvy and active in the face of adversity.  

Simply inspiring! Let us continue to keep her in our prayers.

Friday, February 3, 2012



Last night I informed my PUP Lake I committee that I will not be contesting the upcoming general elections mainly because of a sudden illness in my immediate family.

My son Khalid was diagnosed in New York Monday night with a cancer called Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is curable, but he will need the full support of his immediate family.

To say this was not an easy decision for me would be an understatement. I have given 18 years of my life to politics. For all of my adult life I gave it all I had. But there comes a time when a man must face up to certain realities.  For me, that time is now.

Admittedly, the relationship with my party’s leadership over the years has not been the best. Sometimes the internal tension spilled over into the public’s domain with me not attending some party and parliamentary events, but never with me publicly commenting or condemning.

People around the table will know that I agitated mightily inside for the party at its every turn to do what I thought was right for the people and country of Belize. It is no secret: I lost many of those battles. My absences were oftentimes my desperate but sincere attempts at getting the party to see the error of its ways, to return to its social justice roots.

I did not win three straight general elections on my own. I came here on the backs of the hardworking men and women of Lake Independence – my constituents, my committee members, they who believe in me and what I stand for.  I will be eternally grateful for the privilege of service they made possible.

To my people: You stood with me through thick and thin, when I resigned, when I was fired, when I had nothing. You gave me strength when I had none. You gave me hope when I had little. But most of all, you gave me your hearts. I have tried not to embarrass you. I pray I haven’t.

I hope that someday, long after the euphoria of elections have passed, and our names are forgotten, you will look back and say, we did it our way – the Lake I way. We did not yield; we never gave in. May it be said that we never lost our way, that in the days when hope unborn had died we stood strong; together we made the ultimate sacrifices.

Scripture says there is a time for everything under the sun. I believe my time has come. For me, this campaign has come to an end.