Brion Young, assistant manager of Chaa Creek’s Belize Natural History Centre said that while the Miss Earth International Pageant may appear to be an unusual way to raise environmental awareness, Miss Earth Belize’s departure for Miami on November 9 to participate in this year’s Manila Pageant can only contribute towards spreading the message of environmental sustainability. According to Belize’s Amandala newspaper, Amber Reneé Rivero is the formal Environmental Ambassador of Belize after being crowned Miss Earth Belize on August 24, 2013, and on Saturday, November 9, she departed the country for the first leg of her journey.
Belize is the northeastern-most of all the Central American nations, making it the easiest of all to access from the U.S. You can be there in as little as two hours from Houston, or closer to three from a number of other cities in the eastern United States.Sure, expats move abroad looking for a change from their former lives and culture. But it’s still nice to be able to get back to visit friends and family without too much time or hassle. Not to mention, the shorter, less expensive flights make loved ones more likely to come visit you as well. Besides, despite its proximity, Belize offers plenty in the way of new and different experiences. However, one important factor that isn’t different from North America is the language.
Just like the Blues greats such as Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf and Buddy Guy, Paranda musicians stir something deep inside. Paul Nabor’s Naguya Ne (I am Moving On) just seems to get more poignant and soulful with each listen, and the younger Aurelio Martinez is carrying on that soulful tradition.He’s an artist that stays true to the form yet is instantly recognisable for his own distinctive style. So it was a pleasure to hear that the Belize Tourism Board, aka the BTB, selected one of his songs, “Santo Negro”, as the backing track for its promotional video. Great decision I thought, as I sat back, closed my eyes and savoured it again. Yes, this evokes Belize to someone who knows and loves it, and is a wonderful introduction to the country for others.
The owner of the Lodge at Chaa Creek said that the eco resort’s inclusion in a recent USA Today travel guide “bucket list” is good news for the nascent Belizean tourism industry, and further proves that environmentally sustainable, Green tourism can provide a high quality travel experience. Lucy Fleming, who with her husband Mick started Chaa Creek by accepting guests at their small family farm in a remote part of Belize in 1981, said that recognition such as USA Today’s provides an important boost to the Belizean tourism industry, which since it’s relatively recent inception has struggled to achieve name recognition in the highly competitive Caribbean travel industry.
The recent announcement of direct flights from Los Angeles to Belize has been hailed by Belizean resort owners as a boon for the local tourism industry. According to the Lodge at Chaa Creek’s marketing director Larry Waight, the new service, scheduled to begin December 2013, will encourage more west coast travellers to consider the Caribbean as a viable alternative to destinations like Mexico’s Pacific coast and Hawaii. The direct flights will also make it easier for members of Belize’s large diaspora, many of whom reside in California, to visit family and friends and spend holidays in their country of origin, he added. “It very good news for the entire Belize tourism industry, as it makes a Belize vacation more viable to a larger audience.
With the world’s second largest barrier reef (some say the world’s longest living barrier reef), huge tracts of unspoiled rainforests surrounding ancient Maya cities and temples, pristine rivers, waterfalls, hundreds of lovely little islands and a stunning Caribbean coast, what’s not to be happy about? Oh yes, then there’s the people. Nowhere on the planet will you find a more multicultural mix of happy souls who have long ago worked out how to live in harmony. Just about everyone who comes to Belize remarks on the natural, easy going friendliness and warmth of Belizeans. And it’s infectious – after a few days even the most harried travellers notice a spring in the step and a propensity towards smiling. It just grows on you…
Enter the Omidi brothers, Julian and his doctor sibling Michael, who have a charity known as No More Poverty. The brothers have kindly agreed to contribute to the Belize Inspiration Centre to ensure it gets off the ground, and we’d like to join in letting them know how grateful Belize is, as there are precious few opportunities for children with special needs.
In a solid step forward, The Government of Belize, with financial and technical assistance from the United Nations Development Program is working on something with implications for every Belizean. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has begun work a “Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy for the Period 2014 to 2017”.