Sunday, November 2, 2014



Efforts are underway by the Taiwan government for a government led restructuring to avoid bankruptcy (Plan to stop Taiwan's high-speed rail going bust set for review). Since opening in 2007, this privately financed and operated system has been plagued with ridership well below projections. The Taiwan experience is consistent with the research showing that ridership on high-speed rail lines has been frequently over-projected.
Minister of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) Yeh Kuang-shih offered this sobering assessment:
“This is not the best time to address the financial problems, but it is the last window of opportunity. The Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp will definitely go bankrupt if the problems are not addressed by the end of the year. The only other solution would be a government takeover. If the company files for bankruptcy and the government is forced to take over operation of the system, the banks will probably collect on their loans, but neither large nor small investors will get anything back.”
Kuomintang Party legislator Lin Kuo-cheng said that the "debt" and "accumulated losses" mean that the Taiwan high speed rail line is "broke."

[Published at New Geography]

Photo by Tony Lin

Friday, September 19, 2014

Where To Find A Salon In Taipei For A Woman Of Color

I was recently in Taipei, Taiwan for an extended stay and I thought that finding a hair salon that can do my kinky natural hair would be a big challenge. Little did I know how easy it was!!  

In the states I frequented the hair salon just about every two weeks and like my skincare, healthy hair comes with good treatment and care. And with that in mind I nervously walked upstairs into a well kept salon in the upscale Da'an District of Taipei.

I did not speak Chinese, except for a few basic words, but I was lucky on that day. A nice lady was sitting waiting her turn and she was happy to interpret for me. The stylist came over and sat me down in a chair and her assistant came and started to massage my back, neck and shoulders for about 15 to 20 minutes, way longer than expected.
The real bliss started with the shampooing of my hair; it's like nothing I've ever had back in America. After the massage, the stylist came over with a small bottle of warm water and a small amount is squirted onto my hair and a bit of shampoo is worked into the hair until a rich and smooth lather is visible and the entire head is damp and smooth while sitting at the chair. Water is added bit by bit and the stylist then uses both hands to rub, massage and scrub the scalp and hair. After that is done a warm damp towel is placed around my neck and shoulders and I am taken to the sink for rinsing.
 After a thorough rinse, the hair was patiently towel dried, the ears cleaned and you were brought back to the chair where a senior stylist came over to do the blowing, drying and styling. When I first walked into this salon I was very skeptical of them doing my kinky natural hair, but at the end I was very satisfied.

Most salons in Taiwan will give you just the basic wash and conditioner, but if you want deep conditioner, color, and cut it will be extra. I have been to this salon about 6 times and I absolutely love the pampering. 

What makes Taiwanese hair salons different is the amount of time and care that goes into your day at the salon. Oh,, and US$10.00 is all it will cost you.

Where To Go For Salon Pampering: If you are ever in Taiwan, stop by Jǐn Hóng (瑾虹 - Brilliant Rainbow) for some pampering where the owner Wáng Xiùqīng (王秀卿will greet you with a friendly smile and a glass of room temperature water to drink.

Address: Taipei, Da'an District, He-ping E. Rd. Sec. 1 No. 187-7 2-F (台北市大安區和平東路一段187之7號2樓)
Phone Number: (02)2357-0186
Hours of Operation: 8:30AM-6:00PM
Number of Years in Business: 30

Monday, July 21, 2014

Credentials of New Ambassadors to Belize - Diplomacy

Ambassadors from the Philippines and the Republic of China (Taiwan) Present Credentials to the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Graduates of Crooked Tree Village Government School - 2014

The Boys - 2014
You've come so far. You've worked so hard. Your graduation is a new and open door.

Congratulations to the students, teachers and people of Crooked Tree Village on the graduation class of 2014. 

The Class of 2014 
Principal, Winnie Gillett

All photos by Amber Wade 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Central American Championships - Tegucigalpa, Honduras

 The Belizean Team
A delegation of Belizean athletes and their coaches left Belize on June  20, 2014 to participate in the 25th Central American Championship Games in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  The athletes won a total of 10 medals; 1 Gold 6 Silver and 3 Bronze.

Regarding the Belizean females, Katy Sealy was outstanding, taking the gold in the heptathlon with a Belize national record, and in hurdles. Alexia Neal won silvers in the 100m and 400m hurdles. 

For the male athletes, Brandon Jones took silver medals in the 200m sprint, long jump and triple jump, and Kenneth Medwood took home silver in the 400meter hurdles. 

The games are sponsored by CADICA (Conferacion Athletica del Istmo Centroamericano)

Katy Sealy - Central American Heptathlon Champion 2014 
Katy Sealy's Gold Medal - Heptathlon Champion 

Alexa Neal - Silver Medalist in the 100 and 400 Hurdles  
Katy Sealy with BAAA President, Sutherland 
Team Belize's coach, Evans

Photos via Katy Sealy's on Facebook and Alexa Neal via Instagram

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Workplace Rights For Belizeans In The US

The Honorable Roland York, The Consulate General of Belize and Ruben Rosalez, Regional Administrator from the U.S Department of Labor, Wage, and Hours division (WHD) has come together today to sign a memorandum of understanding to bring awareness of workplace laws and regulations applicable to Belizeans in the U.S. The objective of this agreement is to help Belizeans understand their workplace rights, in particularly with regard to violations of the minimum wage, working overtime and not being paid, child labor, record keeping and all laws establish under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

Belizeans who have worked in the U.S and returned home and even deportees who worked and left the U.S being owed wages, can collect their back pay and benefits through this initiative. 

For more information contact the Belize consulate at (323) 634-9900 or Ralph Valles at the U.S Department of Labor, Wage, and Hour division (626) 732-4928.

The WHD is working to get Belizeans their money owed and establish a system for referring complaints about unfair Labor practices. 

Know your rights! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Crooked Tree Village Tops The Primary School Examination - Belize

Ashton Tillett, Top PSE Scorer, 2014
Ashton with family members in Crooked Tree Village
Principal of Crooked Tree Village School, Winnie Gillett
Verla Jex, PSE teacher
The Primary School Examination (PSE) results were announced this week and the Crooked Tree Village School top the nation with the highest score. A total of 19 students sat the exams and all of them were successful.

Twelve year old Ashton Tillett was the top scorer for Crooked Tree School with a score of 381 of 400. The top 5 for Crooked Tree School are Ashton Tillett, Damion Tillett, Raheema Sealy, Gabriel Crawford and Elias Flowers.

According to a release from the Belize Ministry of Education, across Belize, seven thousand two hundred and forty five students sat the exams. As has been for the past several years, the results show major weaknesses in Maths, English and Social Studies. In Maths forty seven percent of the students scored below the fifty percent of the passing grade; in English the grades improved slightly, and fifty-eight percent of the students performed at satisfactory levels in Social Sciences, which is below the level from last year. 

Ashton Tillett, the number one student in Belize along with the principal of Crooked Tree Village School Winnie Gillett were interviewed by the news media, News 5 Belize and this is what they had to say.   

“I feel totally satisfied and it is a great feeling to finally reach a goal that you have tried so hard for. It is a good feeling. I prayed to God and I asked him to be there for me. I couldn't have done this without some special teachers from school; Verla Jex and all the other teachers that supported me with additional morning classes. I think what helped me on the English is because I like to read a lot and I like to study. All were easy except for the Math Two which was a little bit challenging because I think they put a piece of high school work in it and I think that was what took me down a little. To me, the subject that was easiest was English. I am always good at English and most of the subjects.”

Principal, Winnie Gillett:

It is one of the best feelings. I can’t even explain how we felt when we got the news that we had topped the country. it is something that we've been aiming for because we are always thriving for the best. As our school motto says, “Thriving for Excellence.” So I guess we've reached excellence and we will strife harder for next year.”

Congratulations to Crooked Tree Village!!!!

All photos via 5 News

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Taiwan Gifts Millions of Dollars To Belize

The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has gifted the government of Belize the sum of US$5 million for development and infrastructure assistance.
A cheque in the amount of US$5 million was handed over to the Hon. Prime Minister, Dean Barrow  of Belize from Taiwan’s ambassador to Belize, David Wu.
According to  a government press release (pictured below), “the purpose of the grant is to help in the development of Belize” and will be used “to cover a part of the expenditures on key infrastructure projects, including the Belize City Southside Poverty Alleviation Project Phase Two, the extension of the Southern Highway to Jalacte in the Toledo District and for he new crossing of the Macal River in San Ignacio/Santa Elena.”

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah)

Today is a national holiday in Israel,  Yom HaShoah. It is a day to honor the memory of six million Jews and many millions more who died at the hands of the Nazis. 

The day is commemorated with speeches by the President of Israel, Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu at Yad Vashem, the lighting of six torches by Holocaust survivors, prayers by Israel's chief rabbis and two minutes of silence across the entire nation.

While the United States and other countries have Holocaust Memorial Days, many Jews around the world observe the day in solemn prayer at home and by visiting important historical sites.

You can learn more about the Holocaust here:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Belizeans in World War II - The British Honduras Forestry Unit in Scotland

Happy 104th Birthday, Mr. Sam Martinez, the only Belizean still living from the 800 plus Belizeans who went to Scotland during WWII. 

Mr Martinez lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is originally from Barranco, Belize. Below is a link where you can see Mr. Martinez who was featured in the UK documentary "Tree Fellers" 

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.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Manslaughter By Negligence - But No Notice Of Intended Prosecution

On Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at about 6:25 a.m. based on information received of a fatal boat accident in Crooked Tree Village, Ladyville Police visited Crooked Tree Village. About two miles from the junction with the Philip Goldson Highway, three young ladies were seen receiving medical attention; police then visited an area through a channel where two boats belonging to the Belize Coast Guard were seen tied together. Inside one of the boats was the motionless body of a male person lying face down with apparent huge chop wounds to his shoulder, under his right arm and the right side of his lower back. His was identified as 20 year old Benjamin Jerome Gentle, laborer of Crooked Tree Village.

Investigation reveals that on the said date about 05:30 a.m. the two boats belonging to the Belize Coast Guard driven by personnel of the Belize Coast Guard were assisting the Villagers of Crooked Tree Village in crossing the lagoon when they crashed into each other, resulting in the death of Benjamin Jerome Gentle. The smaller boat had in it Jerome Gentle and ten students who all suffered varying degrees of injuries and were later transported to the KHMH.

The body was transported to the K.H.M.H where it was pronounced dead at 10:25 a.m. on Jan, 31, 2014. Both boats belonging to the Belize Coast Guard were inspected by personnel from the Belize Port Authority.

Police investigations continue.

Benjamin Jerome Gentle, Jr. RIP

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Black History Month Kick-Off Today

Civil War-era abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman, marking the start of Black History Month.
Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Harriet Ross; 1820 - March 10, 1913) was an African American abolitionist, humanitarian and Union spy during the American Civil War. Once the Civil War began, she worked for the Union in many different capacities, including cook, and nurse. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made more than nineteen missions to rescue more than 300 slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. 

Harriet was often referred to as "Moses," and her track record was impeccable. She was never caught, and never failed one her "passengers." She would often disguise herself and her fellow fugitives on their journey to safety in the north.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Deadly Belize Coast Guard Boat Accident in Crooked Tree Village - Belize

Crooked Tree Village, Belize - A young man lost his life in a Belize Coast Guard boating accident on the Crooked Tree Lagoon early this morning.

A village resident I spoke with said that the teenager, Ben Gentle, Jr. died of blunt force from the collision of two coast guard boats. Five other students who were also in the smaller boat, were seriously injured.

The Belize Coast Guard boats have been in the village to shuttle high school children and villagers across the Crooked Tree Lagoon since October 31 of 2013. Crooked Tree Village has been cut off from road access due to continuous rains that caused serious flooding in and around the Belize River Valley area.

This was supposed to be a short boat ride and today was to be the last day that the coast guard were performing their duties. The village council had an award dinner planned in their honor tomorrow night in the village to thank them for their tireless work and professionalism.

It is not know what caused the accident, but poor lighting is a key point of interest as authorities look into this deadly crash. 

The names of the operators of the coast guard boats are not know at this time and the Belize Coast Guard has not yet released information on the collision.
Benjamin Gentle, Jr

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

PM Barrow of Belize Reassigns Min. Castro And Fires Director of Belize Airport Board

Press Release-Belize Press Office,January 28th
At its meeting today, Cabinet discussed thoroughly the highly publicized matter of cheques issued by the Belize Airports Authority (BAA) to politically assist Minister Hon. Edmond Castro.Cabinet was much assisted in its discussion by an informal report submitted to it by the BAA. Cabinet learned that only three cheques were issued in the personal name of Minister Castro. One of those was for per diem in the course of the Minister’s official travel on BAA business, another was for assistance in burying the Minister’s mother, and the third was to pay for assistance with sports in Belize Rural North.
Cabinet was also informed that the other cheques not in Castro’s name, but issued to help the Minister in his constituency, did not amount to even a quarter of the seventy alleged by the Opposition.
After due consideration, including hearing from Minister Castro himself, Cabinet was of the view that while there was nothing illegal in the actions of either the BAA or the Minister, there was poor judgment leading to a perception of abuse of authority on both sides. In light of this, the Prime Minister took the following decisions:
1. The portfolio of Civil Aviation, which includes the Belize Airports Authority and over which Minister Castro exercised day to day jurisdiction, will be removed from the Ministry of Transport and placed with the Ministry of Tourism.
2. The Solicitor General and the Financial Secretary will meet with all Statutory Bodies to review operational protocols and advise on proper administration.
3. The current Directors of the BAA will be asked to resign.
Cabinet also examined other areas in which it felt action was needed to combat any suggestion that theAdministration would not resolutely act to put a stop to Ministerial or official wrongdoing. Accordingly, the Prime Minister has required ex-Minister Elvin Penner to turn in the Government vehicle that he kept, after removal from Cabinet, as Chair of a House Committee. Hon. Penner will also lose the chairmanship of that House Committee on Public Utilities, Transport and Communications.
As well, the Prime Minister, as Minister of Finance, has instructed the Financial Secretary to require every Area Representative, upon pain of losing the stipend, to account for the $2,300 monthly allocation provided for constituency office rental and secretarial services.
Finally, following the consultations between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, the new Integrity Commission to be chaired by ex-FIU Director Marilyn Williams, has been agreed and will be formally constituted at next month’s sitting of the Senate.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Roadmap for the Strengthening of Bilateral Relations between Belize and Guatemala

Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala agree on “Roadmap for the Strengthening of Bilateral Relations” between Belize and Guatemala at OAS Headquarters in Washington, DC
Belmopan. January 24, 2014. 

The Honorable Wilfred Elrington, Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, His Excellency Fernando Carrera, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala and His Excellency Jose Miguel Insulza, today signed a document entitled Roadmap for Strengthening Bilateral Relations in 2014 at the headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. The signing of this important undertaking took place before Ambassadors and representatives of OAS member states.

The Roadmap identifies specific aspects of the Framework Agreement for Negotiations and Confidence Building Measures between ‪Belize‬ and‪ Guatemala‬ and other measures that the parties will focus on for implementation in 2014 with a view to promoting peace, security and cooperation and an environment conducive to the holding of the agreed simultaneous referenda that was postponed in October 2013. The Roadmap should also contribute to the management of bilateral relations between Belize and Guatemala until such time as Guatemala’s claim to Belize is finally and definitively resolved.

Some of the specific outcomes include the creation of a Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission which along with the support and participation of a representative of the OAS Secretary General, will promote and develop cooperation programmes.

The Belize delegation was headed by H.E. Wilfred Elrington and included Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs H.E. Alexis Rosado, Senator Lisa Shoman, Representative of the Leader of the Opposition Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala Senior Ambassador H.E. Alfredo Martinez, Belize’s Ambassador to the US and Permanent Representative to the OAS, H.E. Nestor Mendez and Minister Counsellor Ardelle Sabido.

By Government Press Office

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Taiwan Scholarship Program 2014 - Belize

The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce that on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 at 10:30AM at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel, Belize City, this Embassy and Belize-Taiwan ICDF Alumni Society in Belize will co-host the 2014 Scholarship Program Briefings for those who are interested in this year’s Taiwan scholarships.

Started from 2002 and 2004 respectively, this Embassy has accepted and recommended numerous Belizean students to pursue their degrees from Bachelor, Master to Ph.D programs in Taiwan in various fields such as public health, agriculture, business administration, engineering and information and communication technology. Until 2013, there are totally 232 recipients are awarded and more than 100 persons had finished their study and returned to Belize to contribute their learning to Belize.

There are 21 Universities and 32 programs provided by Taiwan ICDF this year, including 11 Bachelor programs, 19 Master programs and 2 Ph.D programs. The application deadlines for Taiwan ICDF Scholarship and Taiwan Scholarship are March 14, 2014 and March 31, 2014 respectively. 

For more detailed information, please visit this Embassy’s website:, or contact by telephone: 227-8744, 223-1862 or e-mail:

Via Capital News Post FB page

Monday, January 20, 2014

Remembering Dr. King

Today we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and many across the USA paused to remember the great civil rights leader with parades, marches and community service projects.

Dr. King was born Jan. 15, 1929, and the federal holiday is commemorated on the third Monday in January.
At Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was pastor, a church service will be held. In Ann Arbor, Mich., activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte planned to deliver the keynote address for the 28th annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium on Monday morning at the University of Michigan's Hill Auditorium. 
And in Memphis, Tenn., the place where Dr. King was assassinated, an audio recording of an interview with King would be played at the National Civil Rights Museum. The recording sheds new light on a phone call President John F. Kennedy made to King's wife, Coretta Scott King more than 50 years ago.
Historians generally agree Kennedy's phone call to Coretta Scott King expressing concern over her husband's arrest in October 1960 — and Robert Kennedy's work behind the scenes to get King released — helped JFK win the White House.
Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., your dreams, words, and actions remain as inspiring today as they were 50 years ago today.

"Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase." 

~Martin Luther King Jr.~

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Public Health Awareness in Belize - Deadly Leptospirosis Virus

Michael Winston Lewis
Health authorities are investigating reports that four people may have died in recent weeks due to a bacterial infection known as leptospirosis – carried by cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, and wild animals, but most notably by rats, particularly in light of concerns that flood conditions may result in an outbreak of the potentially fatal disease.

Several cases of leptospirosis were reported in Belize City in 2000, after Hurricane Keith. In 2006, businessman Ramon “Moncho” Galvez contracted leptospirosis after eating from a loaf of bread bought at a Chinese store. He did not realize, until after having eaten some of it, that rats had bitten through the pack of bread.

Last week, on New Year’s Day 2014, a former traffic officer succumbed to the disease.
“Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be mistaken for other diseases. Some infected persons, however, may have no symptoms at all.

“Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death,” notes the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Family members confirmed today that Michael Winston Lewis, 47, who lived on Castle Street in Belize City, will be laid to rest after funeral services scheduled to take place at 1:00 p.m. at Ebenezer Methodist Church in Belize City.

Belize Public Health Alert - H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu)

The Belize Ministry of Health is monitoring cases of severe respiratory infections that could be H1N1 or the Swine Flu. Laboratory tests are being conducted to determine whether the cases being managed at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital are the H1N1 strain of the influenza virus.

H1N1 Flu In Alberta Causes 10 Deaths