AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE
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Andy Carr, Dive Master Dies after unfortunate incident at the Blue Hole!
It is with deepest sympathy that we post the untimely passing of Andy Carr, long time resident of San Pedro and employee of Ramon's Dive Center. Mr. Carr was on a trip out at the Blue Hole when this accident occurred. His body was transported to Belize City by the Belize Coast Guard, where it awaits a postmortem.
Our Condolences to the Carr Family
San Pedro Sun
Honduran President Visits;
Asks For Support
Over a year ago, Honduras's leftist President Manuel Zelaya was removed from office in a coup. Constitutional order was somewhat restored to the Central American nation when Porfirio Lobo was elected President in late January. But restoring Honduras's diplomatic position has proved more difficult. As a consequence of the June 2009 coup, Honduras was kicked out of the OAS, suspended from SICA and many nations broke off relations and recalled Ambassadors.
Now, President Lobo is trying to regain support. That brought him to Belize today for a brief visit with the leaders of this country which presently holds the presidency of SICA.
The President was met at the Philip Goldson International Airport by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington and other high ranking Government officials. They then moved on to Old Belize where Prime Minister Dean Barrow introduced him to the press and Lobos said he is looking to friends like Belize which has its own friends.
"I want to introduce to you the President of Honduras, our neighboring country. A country that, we have always traditionally regarded as a good friend and a country in which we have very close relations. It a pleasure and privilege to welcome the President and his lovely wife."
Porfirio Lobo, President of Honduras
"We have a meeting this morning. We have discussed a range of issues, the most important of which is mutual interest in strengthening the relation between our countries. Sincerely for us it is very pleasant to be here and we are grateful for the hospitality and the good will of your Prime Minister our having this intention to strengthen more the relation between our countries."
Adele Ramos, Reporter
"What kind of role, what kind of assistance are you looking forward to from our Prime Minister form our country in terms of reconsolidating your relations in Central America and also the OAS?"
Porfirio Lobo, President of Honduras
"We have had the full support from the government of Belize. We are just trying to get them to help to get together with the other countries with all the friends that they might have."
Both countries signed a 7 point joint communiqué after the meeting. Centrally, It states that, quote, "Prime Minister Dean Barrow recognized the advances made by the Government of Honduras with reference to the strengthening of its democratic institutions, and offered to bring this to the attention of the other Member States of CARICOM, with a view to facilitate the return of Honduras to the Organization of American States (OAS)."
Lobo left the country after the meeting.
National Song Competition calls for talent of young singers
The National Song competition is nearing the end and so far the submissions are impressive. But while the quality good, the quantity is raising concerns. According to Jacklyn Castillo, the Industry Creative Development Officer at the Institute of Creative Arts, they would like to see more artists take up the challenge, particularly in the junior category. Castillo says ICA wants to encourage the young musicians to use the competition as a great opportunity to showcase their talents and win attractive cash prizes. There were also a few changes to the structure of the competition, on which Castillo gave us an update.
Jacklyn Castillo, Industry Creative Dev. Officer, ICA
After the national commission met, we made a decision to extend the submission date for the national song competition from July twenty-second to August seventh. We’ve also made a couple changes where we’ve dropped the semi-finals and final rounds and we’re just going to have one open competition. This allows us to get a little bit more entries because people were saying that to go through the process of having three different competitions would have been costly for some musicians. So we just decided that we’re just going to do one big bang and we’re just going to be having the one competition. This is going to be held on August twenty-first and this is going to be happening at the Memorial Park. So for all of those artists and musicians around the country that still want to submit, now is the time to submit. I must say that compared to last year, the quality of work this year is amazing. We’ve gotten some wonderful entries, both from experienced and up and coming artists and so we want to give them that exposure. So over the next couple of weeks until the competition you’re going to be hearing some of the patriotic and some of the carnival songs to get the public used to hearing the songs.
It’s good that you’re getting quality music, but are you getting as many submissions as you are hoping for?
That is one of the reasons why we extended the date because to date we’ve only gotten about twelve entries and we have not gotten any juniors, which is something we’re very concerned about because this means that for some reason our younger artists are not stepping up to the plate and making use of such a wonderful opportunity.
Castillo says they are also working on providing a live band to perform with those persons who are unable to record their music.
Hands across the Chiquibul! Belizeans and Guatemalans work for conservation
Belizeans and Guatemalans agree on the importance of the Chiquibul.
Twenty seven persons from Belize and Guatemala met in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve on July 3-4 to endorse a joint, collaborative action plan for the protection of the Chiquibul, Mopan, Macal and Belize Rivers.
This historic meeting marked the third exchange planning forum with these leaders resulting in the development of a two year work-plan containing a set of actions to be put in effect in each community for enhanced protection of the shared rivers.
Three common areas of work agreed by all leaders include: an aggressive environmental education campaign, reforestation schemes and clean-up campaigns.
The nine communities in Guatemala participating in this initiative include: Melchor de Mencos, Arenal (Guatemala), Cidabenque, Cruzadero, Salpet, Los Encuentros, La Polvora, Puertas del Cielo Chiquibul and Santa Rosa Chiquibul.
From Belize ten communities were represented. They included Benque Viejo del Carmen, Arenal (Belize), San Jose Succotz, Calla Creek, Bullet Tree, Santa Familia, San Ignacio Town, Santa Elena Town, Cristo Rey and Esperanza.
To formalize the work-plan and to strengthen the collaborative effort for the protection of the shared watersheds, community leaders from Belize and Guatemala will sign a local agreement at offices of the Organization of the American States located on the western border on Saturday, July 24.
Friends for conservation and Development (FCD), with the support from International Nature Conservation Union (IUCN), and Rare instituted this collaborative initiative in August of 2009. Since then several meetings, exchange visits and planning sessions have been held both in Belize and Guatemala.
A joint endeavor was considered necessary since the Chiquibul and Mopan rivers are shared by both countries and interconnect with the Macal and Belize watersheds downstream.
Water is one of the most significant environmental services provided by the Chiquibul forest an area co-managed by FCD. The shared watersheds cover approximately 10,500 square kilometers, where almost a third part is found in Guatemala and more than two thirds are found in Belize.
Approximately 45% of the inhabitants of Belize depend on these watersheds while approximately 100,000 inhabitants in Guatemala depend on the water resources of the Chiquibul and Mopan watersheds.
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