Belize Public And Bank Holidays 2014

Here is the official list of Public and Bank Holidays for Belize 2014 as released by the Government of Belize on 18 September 2013 via proclamation under the hand of the Minister of National Security John Saldivar with responsibility for holidays.

It is notified for general information that public and bank holidays specified in the First and the Second Schedules to the Holidays Act, Chapter 289 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003, will be observed on the following days during the year 2014 in accordance with section 3 of the said Act

Day                        Date                        Occasion

Wednesday         January 1                   New Year’s Day
Monday               March 10                    National Heroes and Benefactors Day (in lieu of Sunday, March 9)
Friday                  April 18                       Good Friday
Saturday             April 19                        Holy Saturday
Monday              April 21                        Easter Monday
Thursday            May 1                           Labor Day
Monday              May 26                        Sovereign’s Day/Commonwealth Day (in lieu of Saturday, May 24)
Wednesday        September 10             St. George’s Caye Day
Monday              September 22             Independence Day  (in lieu of Sunday, September 21)
Monday              October 13                  Pan American Day (in lieu of Sunday, October 12)
Wednesday        November 19             Garifuna Settlement Day
Thursday            December 25             Christmas Day
Friday                  December 26             Boxing Day

September Celebrations 2013 Calendar Of Events

The 2013 Calendar of Events for the September Celebrations culminating on the 32nd Anniversary of Belize’s Independence is featured here with a listing of all public events throughout the six districts of Belize. Published every year by the September Celebrations Committee, the calendar is a colorful reference of activities with dates and time listed by municipality. Events are held in almost every population center of Belize including villages. They include sporting activities, usually football and cycling, food and culture fairs, fireworks displays, dances, music festivals, poetry nights and song competitions. The more popular events are the Carnival Road March in Orange Walk Town and in Belize City, and the public parades on Independence Day. You can do a quick view of the entire calendar on this page, open it separately in full-screen mode, or download the entire full-size PDF file (about 4 Mb size) for higher quality viewing and printing.

Download (PDF, 3.53MB)

Beelike Robots Swarm To The Rescue Of Coral Reefs

The Belize Barrier Reef is in good shape compared to others such as Australia’s Great Barrier, but it does suffer occasional damage from cruise, cargo ships and trawlers. So researchers working on ways to help repair damages to reefs half way around the world – in Scotland – are preparing to test miniature underwater reef repair robots in Belize. The United Airlines Hemispheres Magazine reports this month that:

“While trawlers can thoroughly dismantle reefs, they don’t necessarily kill the remaining bits of coral—which is where marine biologist Lea-Anne Henry of Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University comes in. She and her team (which includes a “swarm intelligence” mathematician) think they might be able to repair the reefs using robots trained to reattach broken coral the same way bees build hives. If all goes according to plan, the coralbots could start reconstructing their first test reef, in Belize, in fall 2014. ”

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How a Coralbot repairs damaged reef.

This is how the Coralbots work:

1. Thanks to Heriot-Watt’s strong undersea engineering program, the team already has a robot—Nessie IV—that might be able to do the job. However, it needs new appendages gentle enough to avoid crushing the coral. An Austrian engineering firm called FerRobotics is working on a “soft-fingered” model that should fill the bill.

2. If the robots started gluing starfish to the reef, that would be bad. So to make sure they can recognize coral, the team is showing them thousands of photos from uniform heights and multiple angles. The problem? Not enough of these photos exist. Henry has launched a Kickstarter campaign so that, among other things, her colleagues in Belize can take more.

3. Computer algorithms for bees’ hive-building have existed for decades. The scientists are modifying them to work better for reef building. They’re also using a swarm strategy called stigmergy, in which a marker (like a small block) is left behind with each piece of coral, to make sure the robots don’t try to pick up pieces that others have already attached.

Ambergris Caye Newspaper Owners Featured In Belize Retirement Story

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View from the beach at Ambergris Caye.

A Wyoming couple who moved to Belize several years ago to take over a small newspaper on Ambergris Caye Belize, has been featured in a story on the International Living website. International Living promotes retirement in exotic destinations and runs tours and sells reports and guides on retirement living.

While some commentators say International Living’s stories are firmly framed by rose-tinted glasses, the article on Ron and Tamara Sniffen who run the San Pedro Sun, is not too heavy on the fluff. In the article, Mrs. Sniffen describes in her own words how she and her family ended up living the expat life in Belize:

“What inspired us to make the move to Belize was the hope of simplifying our lives,” says Tamara. “And we wanted to give our son (13 at the time) the opportunity to live abroad like I did at that age.”

Tamara had been introduced to everything an overseas lifestyle has to offer at a young age. Her parents were one of the first families accepted into the Peace Corp program in the early 70s.

“The experience of living in Venezuela and Costa Rica had a huge impact on me during my impressionable early teen years,” says Tamara. “After the Peace Corp my parents began traveling to Belize and in 1981 they purchased a beach house on Ambergris Caye and the island became a second home.”

Having spent so much time in Belize over the years, the decision of where to move was easy for Tamara – San Pedro on the small island of Ambergris Caye.

“We had always wanted to live here but had not figured out how to make that happen,” Tamara explains. “But when we saw that the local newspaper, The San Pedro Sun, was for sale in 2004, we knew that was our opportunity.”

Ron was from a newspaper family and he had worked in news media since he was 14. Tamara had owned businesses previously and also had writing experience. “Buying the newspaper made living and working here possible,” says Tamara. “Belize was where our heart was. It helped that English was the main language. I do speak Spanish, but not well enough to print a paper in it!”

“Daily things are a pleasure… like riding my bike to work or driving my golf cart—the main mode of transportation here,” says Tamara. “You’re always outside in the sun and the sea breeze.”

Just about everything about life in Belize is different than their life in Wyoming. “Familiar yard critters like squirrels are replaced with iguanas,” says Tamara. “The tree-top view in my bedroom is of coconut trees.” They buy fruits and vegetables at the local markets, cook with propane and commute in a golf cart instead of a car.

“I love the water. Snorkeling the nearby Meso-American Barrier Reef is my favorite past-time without a doubt,” says Tamara. “Life is different here.”

Nine years later, Tamara, Ron and their son are still living their dream. “Living here allows me to travel extensively and write about all the adventures and cultural experiences Belize has to offer,” says Tamara. “From snorkeling, diving, birding, jungle excursions or indulging in chocolate at the annual Cacao Festival in Toledo, I have not only ‘been there, done that,’ I’ve done it again and again!”

The San Pedro Sun is based on Ambergris Caye that has a heavy concentration of expats and is one of the leading tourism destinations in Belize.

Belize Deputy Prime Minister to meet with U.S. Vice President

An official press release issued today by the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources announces that DPM Gaspar Vega left Belize today to meet with Caribbean Community Heads of Government and U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden:

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture Hon. Gaspar Vega, departed Belize on Monday 27th May 2013 to join CARICOM Heads of State and the President of Dominican Republic in Port of Spain, Trinidad for an official meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden on May 28th 2013.

During the meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, CARICOM leaders will discuss a number of issues critical to the region, including regional security, trade cooperation, fiscal and economic issues, citizen security, human and social development, information and communication technologies, and energy security. The CARICOM – US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement is a major expected outcome of the meeting between the Vice President and CARICOM Heads of State.

H.E. Mr. Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize in Washington, D.C. will be accompanying Hon. Gaspar Vega to the meeting. Minister Vega will return to Belize on the 29th May 2013.

New Flights, Cruise Ship Calls Announced For Belize

Additional cruise ship calls for Belize.

Additional cruise ship calls for Belize. Image Credit: Caitlinator

New flights and cruise calls to Belize are announced for the final quarter of the year.

Starting in November, Delta Airlines will be adding another Saturday flight from Atlanta to Belize. Delta currently deploys seven flights a week (one flight per day) to Belize, increasing its total number of flights to eight per week (twice on Saturdays). This is an additional 596 seats per month, and will be a permanent addition to Delta’s schedule to Belize.

In addition, American Airlines will be increasing its Dallas to Belize flights from three weekly flights to seven flights per week (one flight daily), providing a total of six hundred additional seats in the month of October. BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, commented, “This is fantastic news. The Tourism Industry is doing so well that even the airlines have seen a need to increase flights, and these flights are being increased during a time that was generally considered to be a slow time for travelling by air. It shows amazing growth and more opportunities for the industry and Belize.”

As the Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the Belize Tourism Board continue to invest efforts to increase cruise arrivals for Belize, the Royal Caribbean International announced that not only have they renovated their ‘Navigator of the Seas’ to include unique features such as a Flow Rider Surf Simulator and the First-Ever Virtual Balcony, but will also deploy the Navigator of the Seas year round out of Galveston, Texas, starting in Winter 2013. As a result, Belize will receive a total of thirty cruise calls during 2014.

For the past two years, Belize has not had more than 10 calls per year from ‘Navigator of the Seas’; therefore this news will result in a 200% increase for this cruise ship. It is expected that this increase in cruise calls will bring over ninety thousand cruise visitors to Belize.

- Source: Belize Tourism Board

 

No More Noh Mul: Road Contractor Bulldozes Maya Temple

Nohmul Maya temple destroyed in Belize.

Caterpillar excavator tears into the Nohmul Maya Temple in northern Belize.

In one of those only-in-Belize list of blunders, a major Maya Temple, the Nohmul pyramid has been razed and plundered by bulldozers and excavators looking for road fill. The destruction of this sacred monument built by the Maya some 3,500 years ago has stirred outrage in Belize and abroad. The incident came to light on 10 May when local television station Channel 7 broke the news showing the images of a Caterpillar excavator tearing into the temple and exposing an inner chamber. The destruction was halted the following say when officers from the Belize Institute of Archaeology led by Dr. John Morris and Dr. Allan Moore arrived on the scene accompanied by the police. Nohmul is a large Maya City that had yet to be excavated by archaeologists and thus had not yet made it to the Top Ten Maya Sites In Belize List.

A stop order has been issued to the contractor who according to Channel 7, is an immigrant from Guatemala who is engaged in the road construction business for the government of Belize.

In a televised interview, the head of the Archaeology Department Dr. Jaime Awe said:


“The site of Noh Mul is located in the vicinity of the villages of San Jose-San Pablo, just north of Orange Walk Town. That site has been known archeologically for more than fifty years. In fact, in the 1980s we had some archeological research that was conducted there by people from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom as well as some work that was done by a couple of archeologists who now work at Caracol, the Chases who were then at the University of Pennsylvania. The site had been surveyed, we have several reports in our offices about the site and in fact I think there might even be a PhD dissertation, thesis that was written on the site.

“The experience of having to see the images of the destruction at Noh Mul is in many ways probably one of the worse set of blows I have felt philosophically and professionally in that regard because what happened there is both deplorable and unforgivable. When one sees the heritage of our country being purposely destroyed for no good reason and particularly when people like myself or the other archeologists at NICH have spent our careers trying to protect and preserve this archeological heritage; to see it destroyed like that it is like when the boxer throws in the towel at the ring.”

The Damage To Nohmul

In an interview on 10 May, Dr. Awe told the media, “The destruction is horrendous, its deplorable, its unforgivable. I had hoped that I could have gone in and find something that was salvageable. That we can go in and do repairs to the damages so that we could preserve some aspect of the ancient building. I completely regret that I have to say this – I think that 80% or more of this building is destroyed . There is simply no way or no hope that we could attempt any kind of preservation on this. The only thing left now is to watch the last bit of it crumble with the coming of the rainy season or to go in there and try to salvage the parts that remain that are scattered all over the site.

“I firmly believe it is important that we seek legal action otherwise we are sending a message that it is not important to preserve this heritage. A report that is being prepared by Dr. Morris is that the normal line of action is that this report gets sent to the Police Department in Orange Walk with a request from the Institute of Archaeology and that the police lay the ground works for charges to be made against those that are held responsible. In this case charges against the construction company for willfully destroying an ancient monument and the land owner who have had to give permission for the company to access the property and then allow the destruction to take place.”

Who Is Responsible For The Destruction Of Nohmul?

denny grijalva belize

Belizean politician and road contractor Denny Grijalva

A non-Belizean by birth turned politician-contractor, Denny Grijalva, has been identified as the contractor responsible for the destruction of Nohmul. Mr. Grijalva was born in neighboring Guatemala and now lives in Belize. He ran under the current ruling United Democratic Party ticket in the the 2012 General Elections Orange Walk Central division and was defeated.

According to media reports Mr. Grijalva was contracted to do road work in the area during the 2013 village council elections. Mr. Grijalva has stated to the media that he was unaware that a Mayan Temple was being destroyed by his road crew. He has declined to be interviewed by the media.

Ministry Of Tourism Comments

After a few days of silence, Belize’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture issued a a tepid statement:

13 May  2013: The Ministry of Tourism & Culture, along with its line agencies, the National Institute of Culture and History and the Belize Tourism Board, expresses its outrage on the destruction of the Noh Mul Mayan Archaeological Site. This total disregard for Belize’s cultural heritage and national patrimony is callous, ignorant and unforgivable. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture, along with relevant agencies, has commissioned a vigorous investigation to determine all the facts in this case. Cultural landmarks such as Noh Mul are sacred artifacts of Belizean history and should be protected at all costs. This expressed disdain for our laws and policies is incomprehensible.

The Ministry of Tourism & Culture, the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture & History remain committed to its mandate for the sustainable use and protection of Belize’s natural and cultural resources. News coverage of the Nohmul Maya Temple destruction.

On 14 May after more public pressure and coverage by the international media,  Ministry of Tourism CEO Tracey Panton finally spoke to the media apologizing for government’s delay in making a public statement on the Nohmul destruction. Answering criticism that the foot-dragging may be due to the political connections of Mr. Grijalva and his company D-Mars Construction, Ms. Panton said that government wanted time to be sure of the facts before making a statement based on emotions. “We wanted to be fair to all concerned. Now we are making a full investigation to see what can be done. However, the maximum fine that can be sought is U.S. $5,000. This incident is entirely regrettable.”

Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega Condemns Destruction of Nohmul

In a statement issued 14 May by the Ministry of Natural Resources Deputy P.M. Gaspar Vega throws Mr. Denny Grijalva under the proverbial bus and condemns the razing of Noh Mul:

“Hon. Gaspar Vega, the area representative of Orange Walk North constituency, condemns in the strongest possible terms the destruction of any archeology site in Belize. Minister Vega also emphatically repudiates the allegation and or perception that he was involved in any way with the destruction of the Noh Mul.

“Like all Belizeans, Minister Vega is deeply committed to protecting and preserving our national heritage and patrimony for the benefit of present and future generations. As such, he is outraged by the wanton destruction of the Noh Mul archaeological site. Furthermore, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture who has responsibilities for issuing mining permits did not issue any such permits to mine materials from Noh Mul archeological site.

“Along with the Cabinet, Minister Vega calls for a full investigation into this incident to determine the circumstances that led to the destruction if this site. Subsequently, all those found responsible for the destruction of this site should be persecuted to the full extent of the law.”

About The Nohmul (Big Hill) Archaeological Site

The site of Noh Mul is a major Maya ceremonial center located in the Orange Walk-Corozal area of Belize. Twin ceremonial groups contain ten plazas and are connected by a sacbe or raised causeway. Those groups are surrounded by other plazas and temples and at least one ball court, and was once the center for a polity covering nearly 20 square kilometers.

Built at a vantage point on the Hondo River to control the region’s trade routes, the site had a long history. Structures of this northern Yucatán type were built over those erected in the Classic period. Some of these new constructions covered the front of older stairways and resemble the Caracol in Chichén Itzá, southern Mexico. These later constructions support the theory that outsiders from the Yucatán settled in Noh Mul.

This important monument was first investigated in 1897 by Thomas Gann, who returned to it several times until the 1930s. Thomas Gann was a medical doctor and amateur archaeologist from Ireland. Gann was appointed district medical officer in British Honduras (Belize) in 1894. He spent the next quarter century exploring Maya runs in Belize and the Yucatan and discovered Lubaantun in the Toledo District. He investigated and wrote the first detailed descriptions of the Maya sites at Xunantunich and Lamanai, and of Tulum in Mexico.

John Carr Reflects On Ranching, Taxes, Business and Life In Belize

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John Carr is a farmer, rancher and tourism resort operator.

John Carr is a cowboy from Montana who emigrated to Belize and with his wife runs a cattle ranch and a resort near the City of Belmopan. He shared some of his thoughts on living and doing business here when he spoke at the opening of the National Agriculture and Trade Show.  Acting Prime Minister Mr. Gaspar Vega was sitting right next to him. As is his norm, John was frank and not afraid to speak his mind.  His address received more applause than any of the politicians and functionaries who also took to the stage to speak. Here are some of his comments.

The beauty and natural attractions of Belize

Belize – there is no place like it in the world. Some say because it is a rather long, narrow slip of land – shaped a lot like Israel – that both countries are very special to God and that His hand is upon them in a very special way. First He created a beautiful shoreline, sprinkled it with Caribbean islands and then put up a very productive and protective barrier reef. Then He created an interior of mountains, flood plains with rolling hills and rivers that was a perfect place for farming and the raising of livestock. Then He implemented perfect varieties of climates from north to south to grow mahogany trees, sugar cane, corn, Citrus, bananas, rice, beans, vegetables, fruits and livestock to name some of the Ag crop products. Imagine a year round climate that passes through 80º everyday of the year and then adds 50 to 150 inches of rain to fit the different cropping areas.

The people of Belize

God started adding people, beginning with the Mayas, British, African American and Spanish. He then mixed in Chinese, Lebanese, Indians, Mennonites and even some North American Gringos and all of that in some only 300,000 plus people. We have to believe that there is much more to the plan, than for us to just sit here and enjoy it. We must set standards, increase science and provide education and productive businesses that other countries and peoples will look on with respect and yes, even envy.

Taxes and the business climate in Belize

It is not meant to be pointed towards the UDP, PUP or any other kind of P (political parties). There is a rule throughout that says “if you want to increase something you subsidize or help pave the way” if you want to decrease something you tax it and regulate it. There are two very American tongue-in-cheek sayings “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you “and the other one is “The cheque is in the mail”. We all know that tax collection is important. It is a privilege to pay taxes as long as everyone pays their fair share.  It’s also important to tax payers that they believe the government gets fair value for the tax money spent. When either of the above are not adhered to, investors and their investments suffer.  Sometimes the investor sees that his only choice is to lobby his way to achievement.

The Belizean “Mordida”

It takes two to play the game and some investors say “It’s not what you know- It’s who you know” Sometimes a private investor offers someone in government a few dollars or a few tens of thousands of dollars to expedite or make possible a deal. The culprit in this case is really the private sector investor because he is making the offer. There is a difference between a tip and a bribe – if someone like a waitress gives you good service, a tip is very appropriate however , if she is doing the invoice on a large deal and she says she will change the amount owed if you will give her a bribe – in that case the owner of the business looses. Whenever business deals between public and private sector are done that way the nation and honest people lose. I feel so good when I hear about someone that has been arrested for trying to buy an officer and the officer charges the person for trying to institute a bribe. Businessmen, if you want a business friendly government you must be business friendly as well.

Urgent needs in Belize right now

a.    Divine guidance and dealing with crime, justice and moral issues.
b.    We need to find solutions concerning our long term national debt – no solutions, no long term progress
c.    A small farmers canning factory in the Cayo District to process excess fruits and vegetable products.
d.    We need to seek more value added products – something like what Marie Sharp has done for Belize.
e.    Find a lender to provide longer term credit at reasonable interest for export farmers – maybe 20 or 30 million could be used.
f.    Rebuild and improve the road from Belmopan to Cayo.
g.    Clean and define the Belize/ Guatemala border (possibly by using prison labour.)

John McAfee Reveals More About Crazy Central America Adventures

John McAfee and Samantha Vanegas

John McAfee and Belizean girlfriend Sam

Five months after successfully eluding a nation-wide manhunt in Belize where the police wanted him for questioning in connection with an unsolved murder, software pioneer John McAfee has revealed new details on that episode of his outrageous lifestyle. From his digs in Portland, Oregon, McAfee answered questions submitted by readers of the online tech news blog Slashdot.

He describes in vivid detail, a wide gamut of subjects of his personal life and hair-raising adventures; from his past as a drug user, his distaste for coding, his upcoming biography and movie depicting his life.

McAfee clarifies details an incident where the exim data on a photograph taken in Guatemala was published online by VICE magazine and almost had him apprehended by the Guatemala military. For the first time McAfee reveals the exact reason he landed in hot water with the Belize political apparatus and the Belize Police Department.

A Slashdot reader asked “If I understand correctly, this whole episode began because a local politician visited you in your home and he had the expectation (for whatever reason) that you would pay him U.S. $30,000 as some kind of protection money for his campaign and your expectation was that politicians are supposed to work for people and not the other way around. Is this a reasonable characterization? ”

And John responds: “Had it been $30,000 I would have paid it in an instant, ushered him out…”

“However it was not. It was $2 million. I am not naive and I expect politicians and public servants, in all countries, to do one thing only – everything in their power to annoy, delay and inconvenience me. At least that has been my experience with public servants. Perhaps yours is different. In any case, two million was not even in a negotiating arena and, not being someone prone to wasting time, I told him to fly off and not to come back.”

Asked by another Slashdot reader if he could go back and do anything differently, McAfee says “Absolutely nothing. Everything that has happened has brought me to this present moment – and not a bad moment at all. You may view my life as chaotic, tragic, comical, whatever. From where I sit it’s a great adventure and an unending mystery. I have no complaints.”

Read the full interview at Slashdot.

National Agriculture And Trade Show

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Belizean cowgirl at the National Agriculture and Trade Show.

The National Agriculture and Trade Show is the single largest public event in Belize attracting more than 30,000 visitors over three days. Usually held over the Labor Day weekend in May, this year it hopped over to the 3-5th of May as the holiday fell midweek. All roads lead to the City of Belmopan for this event, regretfully the only thing Belmopan is known for. Well not really if you count the occasional meetings of parliament that are broadcast live and make for public entertainment with politicians trash-talking each other and coming close to blows amidst encouraging catcalls from a raucous public gallery.

The Agriculture Showgrounds spread over 60 acres on the banks of the Roaring Creek at the entrance to the City Of Belmopan are where everyone in Belize wants to be for this weekend. The local saying is if you are not there you are nowhere.

Since its establishment in 1970, the NATS has deteriorated to being more of a party and rumfest than a showcase for Belizean agriculture. But this year efforts have been made to build a few new structures and divide the showgrounds into three zones. One strictly for agriculture and no alcohol consumption. Another strictly for family, kids and mechanical rides with no alcohol consumption. And another free-for-all-commercial and rumfest zone.

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Gilharry 7 band vocalist at NATS 2013.

The attractions of the show this year include:

Judging of Crops and Livestock displays; Judging of Commercial and Industrial display booths; Tractor operation contest; Too many eating contests of all descriptions from the usual watermelon to who can consume the most pepper before becoming ill.
Aerial fumigation display; Selection of Miss Agriculture; Musical Entertainment by local musicians; Horse riding; Honoring of Farmers of Year, Junior, Senior and Female; Rodeo, Dog and Pony Show; Canoe Race; Motocross Show, and – hundreds of entrepreneurs smoking out the fair visitors with Barbeque fires.

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The new City of Belmopan made its first appearance at the National Agriculture and Trade Show.

Belize’s leading band the Giharry 7 (G7) from Corozal Town were the featured performing band this year and they christened  the new main stage at NATS. The main stage is a nice ferro-concrete structure with a large dance floor and a well-elevated main stage for performers. All events from the main stage were broadcast live by LOVE FM this year. The new main stage replaces a sorry pimento thatched structure that has been taken down.

Saturday, the first day of the show was mild by Belizean summer standards. Sunday was hot but with some breeze the NATS tour was tolerable. Part of the showground renovations include a few benches and a kiddie park with slides and swings and picnic tables and this and other changes have helped bring the show to a new level.

Figures released by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture Gaspar Vega in a televised interview on 7 May indicate that a record number of visitors, 42,000, attended this year’s NATS generating a profit of $200,00., double that of the previous year.

Belize National Agriculture and Trade Show Farmers Of The Year Awards

Every year awards are given out for the best farmer in Belize in various categories. This year’s winners:

Senior Farmer – Mr. George Choj.  Mr. Choj is 30 years old of Cristo Rey Road in the Cayo District.  He owns 25 acres of land of which 12 acres are developed into crop and livestock.  Mr. Choj’s farm is diversified and mostly based on the Integrated Farming System Concept.  His activities involve both Crop (Periurban) and Livestock production through which he maximizes the by-products of each activity to generate income, reduce cost and improve product quality.

Woman Farmer – Mrs. Sharon Moody.  Mrs. Moody is from Scotland Half-moon in the Belize District and is 28. Mrs. Moody is a dedicated farmer who has been involved in mixed farming activities for the past seventeen years. Her farm consists of a combination of agricultural activities which include crop and livestock production.  Her farm produces an assortment livestock for consumption and for the local market. She is also involved in the agro processing of diverse products including goat cheese, jams, jellies, pine apple, cashew, coconut oil and cohune oil for income generation.

Junior Farmer – Mr Nelson Burgos.  Mr Burgos is 18 year old from Fresh Water Creek in the Corozal District.  Mr. Burgos farms a 15 acre plot which consists of fruit trees, vegetables and small livestock production.  He is also engaged in coconut oil production and ground pepper processing.