New monument on North Front Street, Belize City

Heading up N. Front st..the new monument to establish the Fort George Tourism Zone is another attempt to market to the international community… the news reported the other night that over 24,000 people crossed the border over the Easter weekend. That’s millions of dollars that usually goes to the Belizean economy in places like Placencia, San Pedro and Caye Caulker, places that was not as ram jam packed as usual for Easter. .with the cost of recreation going up steadily…is Belize marketing strategy and price that is focused on targeting the international audience driving the locals and millions of dollars into the Mexico economy and other neighboring countries?…I’m sure some of those traveling just want to experience the joy of traveling to discover new cultures & activities and I’m the last person in the world to fault them for that…but I have to wonder if many locals are trying to get the best value for their hard earned money with our neighbors cheaper goods and services. ..at a minimum wage of $3.30 an hour, it would take a whole month pay for a Belizean employee to enjoy a Easter weekend at Caulker nowadays. ..what kind of strategy would you suggest to increase Belizean tourism in their own country without disturbing the needed international dollars….your thoughts?

Embarrassment at Belize National Assembly

ProfileThe events that transpired yesterday in the National Assembly, our House of Representatives was equally embarrassing as it was unnecessary.

The blame might lean more on one side than the other… but make no flippin mistake , no one in that room was blameless. The representatives and the speaker have gradually and purposefully tolerated the increasing antics in the house. Though now we are all ashamed of how it ended it, we all played a part in what transpired. First, by supporting and putting people with no behavior in positions to represent us; Second by clapping, laughing, chanting and posting when insults are thrown across the floor .

We condone this nonsense when we laughing and clambering and posting about the drug-dealer jokes, the ‘normal’ jokes, the pig jokes, the bukut jokes, the thief jokes.

I cannot speak to character of the Hon Rep from Cayo South nor can I speak to the Speaker on a personal level , because I know none of them. However, what I saw was a Speaker who selectively decides which insults, slurs and disparaging remarks he will allow in the house; and an Area Rep who has quite a temper and should have done the proper thing and left when he was named.

Julius Espat at national assembly BelizeMind you, if the Rep from Cayo South was named for the comment (I don’t think the comment was particularly kosher, but far worse language has been used in the House of late) he made to the Speaker, then certainly other members on both sides are long-overdue their suspension. The House is no place for egos and certainly no place to be ‘sucking teeth’ at Officials, or dragging, shoving and hauling grown men about. And no place for petty beefing.

Being named is nothing nice, to be suspended from the House you were duly elected to be in. To be silenced when you are speaking for your people. So I agree Mr. Espat should have taken his own bloody time to leave, law enforcement should not have dragged him out in that manner. What was the urgency really? Was there another House meeting scheduled after in that same room? Was there a bomb in the building?! Pretty sure the answer is no.

And to all the PUDP fanatics willing to throw themselves on the block for their party , let me tell you this, I hope the same way y’all willing to be grand-standing for the red and the blue…. I hope you start grand-standing for the red, blue and white!!! We arguing about the fighting inside and outside the House …..

What we should be fighting about is Guatemala and why we have not DEMANDED an apology at the regional and international level. Their officials and military carried out a malicious witch-hunt against the integrity pf our Nation and its defenders , and now their lies and misdeeds have been brought to light and we just let that slide! Protest that rass!

And in case we all forgot… September is literally around the corner, what we got fu celebrate?!

Despite all the severe issues our country is facing, there is still so much potential here, our land, our people, we have what it takes… we just need to take our flippin heads out the sand.

And if you are offended by this post…. you are probably part of the problem…. and to you I say, feel free to come let me take off your blinders and feel free to come pick up a spine, we grow them down south.

[Conversion Hulse 2 cents = BZ$1 ]

Chef Sean Kuylen at Hopkins Mango Fest 2016

You know that feeling when you are in primary school and there is a school trip leaving at 5am and you can’t sleep the night before because of pure excitement? It is hard to explain and I guess this feeling is a Belizean thing and only we would understand. However, I get this same feeling when I start to see and smell blossoms on the mango trees at the beginning of May. They line the highway, villages and river banks. The connotations of biting into that sweet yellow fruit, pulling hair out of your teeth as it run down your elbow or the incomparable tart green mango with salt and habanero pepper with lime. Fact:  you can’t read that line again without the saliva glands in your mouth going crazy….guaranteed!

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I can still remember my Grandmother Mrs Manuela Young cussing us in every language as a youth as my friends and climbed her Common Mango tree as soon as that school bell rang at Sacred Heart Primary School in Dangriga.

Fast forward to today, nothing has changed and the mango season still entice the children in uniform coming from school as they stain their white shirts from ‘stoning’ the fruit off the highest limb. you are sure to see adults alike sit on their verandah’s with buckets in-front of them as they suck on this addictive fruit. This is the way of life…

Now we have a Mango Festival in the Village of Hopkins celebrating all things mangoes. As a youth I would eat even mango because it was nice, even ones with flux! haha. Now as a chef, I carefully select green ones for pickling, chutneys and salads and the ripest, juiciest ones for sauces pairing with the traditional Darasa, or drizzled over our favorite coconut ‘tableta’, as a dipping sauce for conch fritter or in a pico de gallo with pork pibil.  The recipes using mangoes are limited only by the imagination because the properties of this fruit entice all the senses of sight, touch, taste, smell and even the hearing as they fall on those rusty zinc rooftops!

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Experience “The Real Hopkins” at Coconut Row Guest HouseBeachfront cabins and apartments in Hopkins, Belize.

Greasy Pole at Mango Fest 2016 in Hopkins, Belize

The Greasy Pole activity was the most challenging and intense sport of all the games at the 2016 Mango Fest in Hopkins village, Belize. Many groups of young men and boys made several attempts to get the prize from the top of the pole, but to no avail. Eventually, the pole was weakened, and the participants swayed the pole from left to right – round and round, until it collapsed to the ground. As a result, this created a frenzy, where the participants and the spectators struggled on the beach to snatch the prize.

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We’d like to extend our “Thank You” to Coconut Row Guesthouse, beachfront rooms and cabins in Hopkins, Belize, for accommodating us during Mango Fest 2016.

Belize Music Week 2016

Perform-at-Music-Week

The National Institute of Culture and History in collaboration with the Office of the Music Ambassador hereby invites representatives of the media to the opening of Music Week 2016 and launch of the International Jazz Festival & The National Song Competition 2016 at the Bliss Centre on Monday May 16th 2016 at 10:00am.

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event-schedule

Music Week 2016 will be held at Memorial Park and activities include:


  1. “Music in the Park” – Tuesday to Friday at 7:00 pm  By Belizean Musicians
  2. A presentation by the Vice President of Def Jam Records Steve B Carless hosted by Music Ambassador
  3. IP seminar by Marissa Longsworth
  4. Belizean Artwork – Kendoyll Simpson
  5. Panel Discussion with a Contingent from The New Orleans  Jazz Festival
  6. Seminar with Belize Association of Promoters and Producers (BAPP)
  7. Presentation of the NICH 5 year Music and Entertainment Plan

The purpose of “Music Week” is to create a space for Belizean musicians to share their music, and to highlight the important role music plays in the social and economic framework of the country’s development.  This year Music Week 2016 will include music industry development seminars, peer-to-peer sessions, media coverage and performances. A strong focus will be placed on international marketing, and exporting of the Belize Music Product.

For more information please call

Jackie Castillo
at (227- 2110)
or email:
jackie.castillo@nichbelize.org

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