Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Belize! Big furor between the public and Cabinet and Fisheries Department fiasco.

From Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development Facebook page (check the tax holiday -- 15 YEARS!):

Agreement with Rainforest Seafoods Ltd. (Jamaican company) and BELIZE GOVERNMENT

Here is is folks. Here's the agreement presented to Cabinet by Rainforest Seafoods/Mike Duncker.

In it, you'll see that this IS supported by the government, and that it clearly states that ALL 2,000,000 pounds of fish will be caught by non-Belizeans and exported out of the country.

Read it, weep, and then SIGN THE PETITION!!!!



The purpose of this Memorandum is to seek the approval of the Cabinet for the
construction of a state of the art fish processing plant in Independence Village, Stann Creek District by RAINFOREST SEAFOODS LTD. of Jamaica.


RAINFOREST SEAFOODS LTD. is a Jamaican company that imports over 1,000,000 lbs. of shrimp and marine fish from Belize through AQUAMAR LTD. that belongs to Mr. Mike Dunker. This company was established in 1995 and has a bonded warehouse facility that can store approximately 5 million pounds of products. It has 70% and 25% of the market share in Jamaica and nine (9) other Caribbean countries respectively. Its customer base includes major hotels, supermarkets and wholesale distributors in Jamaica.

Project Description
Rainforest Seafoods Ltd. will invest approximately US $1.5 million for the construction of a state of the art processing plant on 2 acres of land close to the deep water port at Big Creek, Independence Village in South Stann Creek. It is an export based investment that will provide direct employment for about 40 Belizeans and indirect economic opportunities to hundreds of local fishermen and their families. This proposed 10,000 sq. ft. facility will be able to process up to 2 million pounds of seafood per annum. Frozen products will be exported to the Caribbean whilst fresh produce will be sold to the US market. This means that products will not be sold in Belize to compete with fishing cooperatives.


Construction of the processing plant will commence in January, 2010 and expected finish in six months. The plant will purchase fish from local fishermen in southern Belize; however, it will also have its own fishing boats. The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) will be responsible for HACCP certification before exportation commences. It is expected that it will also meet EU standard and ISO 9000 certification to facilitate shipment of products to Jamaica and United States market.

The company is requesting the following concessions in order to proceed with the construction of the plant:

a. Assistance to obtain two (2) acres of land at Big Creek for constructing the plant
b. Duty free access for all materials to construct and outfit the plant
c. Assistance with 44ov power supply to the site
d. Tax holiday for 15 years (export incentive)


The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries supports the planned investment
by Rainforest Seafoods Ltd. with the condition that all products are exported to Jamaica and other foreign markets.


The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries requests the Cabinet to approve the investment plan submitted by Rainforest Seafoods Ltd. for the construction of a processing plant at Big Creek and development concessions


Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
December 2, 2009
The idea of this investment is tragic. It is compounded by utmost ignorance from amateur politicians of the Cabinet, and to compound the farce, by their advisers, the Fisheries Department. The Southern waters of Belize have a very, very narrow reef shelf which is the Great Barrier Reef. The inland waters are about a 100 feet deep and fairly barren. Shrimping is successful in a minor way, as the bottom in many parts is mud, and shrimp like soft mud. There are a few coastal spots close to the mainland shore, which lend themselves to lobster, conchs and fish that would sustain a couple hundred traps. Most of the fish season in Southern Belize is tied to spawning times, usually over the full moon and on 45 minutes of null tidal flows changes, at certain months of the year. My generation of older fishermen totally depleted much of the grouper and mackeral and conch fisheries in our ignorance. Those spawning areas we depleted NEVER have come back in the past forty years. Caribbean waters are devoid of nutrients and fish groupings tend to be around rock outcrops beneath the water around which underwater tidal flows sweep nutrients and the turbulance and eddies make the nutrients fall out and available to fish schools. There are no big quantities of fish within Southern Belize. Most of the bottom is unsuitable and barren. Just take scuba tanks and dive the area as I have done. You can see three dozen fish around a set of sea fans, or coral rock, but if you drop a hook 50 feet away, they will not bite. If you do it right, you can catch a half dozen fish before the word spreads and the rest of the little school will ignore you. Then you must move to another location. The resident population is easily fished out. Then it stays barren forever, is what the evidence by observation show. The idea that Jamaican fishermen can come in with fish traps ( we have used them in Belize for 45 years )and catch millions of pounds of fish, with wire fish traps is ludicrous. We introduced them to Dominica and Jamaica back in the 1970's and 1980's. They would quickly go broke! That the Fisheries Department would even recommend this to Cabinet as a proposal leaves me aghast! If true, they should fire them all for incompetence. I can believe they were pressured to approve it, by the politicians though. They know better, or should! Now if you feed fish and grow your own hatchelings in a lab and force feed them in net ponds, that would be a different story. We don't have in the Caribbean the nutrient rich waters of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Greenland. Not going to happen. You have to supply the food though. The current strip of Barrier Reef is already overloaded with Sarteneja, Belize City and Placentia fishermen. This is the stupidest idea I've heard of in a long time. The only way this makes sense is if the Jamaican investors are selling shares in the company as a scam, and the Cabinet don't care if they fail, so long as they dribble a couple of million dollars into the construction business in their plant and office building. ( retired old fisherman with experienced opinion ) When I fished using snapper reels off the outside of the reef, I called it lucky to get 1300 lbs of fish in a ten day trip, of which only three days and nights would be constant fishing. Wire traps, forget it! Price fixing for fish by the government of the day, bankrupted my operation. The nurse sharks like to tear the wire traps up and they do too. It becomes prohibitive from a financial replacement viewpoint.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Beauty Queens of Belize, 2009


Posted: 23/12/2009 - 10:17 AM
Author: Aaron Humes

The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) called a special meeting of its members at its compound on the Stann Creek Valley Road on Saturday.

After a full day of argument and discussion, four resolutions were passed, the most important of which concerned the fate of three large growers who resigned from the CGA earlier this year after defeating a plan to remove them from the board of Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL), in which they have majority shares.

Frank Redmond, Mike Duncker and Dr. Henry Canton can return to the CGA as members, but the composition of the CGA board as resolved by the members on Saturday is: 2 large growers, 2 small growers and five of any size, selected from among, and voted on by the membership.

Redmond, Duncker and Canton, it is alleged, had proposed an even division of three growers of each size, small, medium and large, but stipulated that the respective growers of that size would vote for their respective representatives; this proposal was voted down.

Saturday’s special meeting, according to the Association’s CEO Henry Anderson, was to seek the advice of growers on what to do about the trio and CPBL. A lawsuit has been filed in the Supreme Court by CGA, represented by Courtenay, Coye and Company. Ashanti Arthurs-Martin, an attorney in that company, represented on their behalf at Saturday’s meeting and revised resolutions brought by some members.

Canton was reportedly named managing director of CPBL rather than CEO, which, it is said, entitles him to twelve months’ salary in lieu of termination.

The trio was reportedly backed by the other large shareholder, Banks Holdings of Barbados, which blocked the move and in so doing, in the CGA’s view, breached the 2007 investment agreement in which each side has control over their respective directors – 5 to CGA, 4 to Banks.

A series of resignations followed and in an attempt to cross the divide, Prime Minister Dean Barrow appointed Alan Slusher to mediate. Slusher, in turn, asked the CGA to meet and state their position.

But before that, other matters of interest were discussed. These are good times for Belize citrus, with prices high and competitors in Florida reeling from citrus greening and other ailments. Belize has its own citrus greening problems to deal with, but the industry is handling the situation.

Dr. Stephen Williams of the Research Unit of the CGA told growers that a study of 2,177 trees by the Citrus Research and Education Institute (CREI), Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and the regional agricultural authority OIRSA this year found 376 trees positive for greening: 145 in the groves, 213 in the back-yards, concentrated mostly in the Hopkins area.

A deadline of February 1, 2010, has been set to have nurseries screened to prevent greening and growers have been asked to scout for the disease and bring in trees they suspect are contaminated to be tested.

But there is also good news. CEO Anderson reported that the new price submission for oranges and grapefruit is about $9.00 a box and may go higher. The CGA’s headquarters building got a facelift and the company is even selling fuel to growers at around $7.50 a gallon.

But the shadow of the trio and CPBL’s defection dominated the afternoon session.

The CGA Committee of Management was authorized to protect the 51% of shares in CPBL held by the CGA’s investment company (Investment Company Limited, ICL) and to get 2/3 majority of the full membership at a special meeting to dispose of it. These and two other resolutions were passed unanimously.

CEO Anderson had informed the growers that a $15 million loan made to purchase the 10% CPBL shares held by Del Oro Enterprises was soon coming due. It is thought that a default on that loan might switch control to Banks, giving them 59% of shares to a possible 41% for CGA-ICL.

In discussions, several growers made it clear that to them, Canton, Redmond and Duncker were little more than traitors for signing the investment agreement and saddling the CGA with the burden.

Eugene Zabaneh told his compatriots that he would be willing to meet the trio on public television and expose them as having “hijacked” the company, and berated the CGA’s committee of management for trying to “appease” them instead of securing the 51% of shares and controlling processing through the two factories, both owned by CPBL.

Anthony Chanona reminded the group that all three were members of the Committee of Management that pushed the document and kept the unwanted details from the public eye, a “betrayal of trust” in his view. The shares were gotten in the name of the growers, so the growers should own them, he concluded.

But Chanona was turned down by CGA committee chair Bryon Bowman, who informed that any movement in the shares would have to have the agreement of the Banks group, and that Belize could not afford the stigma of being anti-foreign investment. Nonetheless, he averred that Banks was aided and abetted by our locals.

Stann Creek West representative Hon. Melvin Hulse, who was present, reminded the gathering that the trio’s suggestion was just that, and would be brought to the larger group. He reiterated that GOB was not seeking to interfere, but would not be hesitant to legislate if no compromise was reached.

Nevertheless, it appears Canton, Redmond and Duncker are being accused of having designs on leadership in the CGA and CPBL and controlling the industry, blocking out other large growers like Eugene Zabaneh and walking all over the small farmers.

That would not be countenanced, said the growers; neither, the audience made it clear, would a rival association be tolerated.

The meeting adjourned around 3:00 p.m. and the next move is that of Canton, Redmond and Duncker – if it is their move to make.

We say that because, according to Redmond in a telephone interview this afternoon, neither he nor Canton nor Duncker have personally made any proposals to change the CGA, particularly the Committee of Management. Redmond said he had resigned from the Committee, on which he had served as chairman for six years, but had not resigned – yet – from the CGA, and declined a response at this time when we asked if he would.

Redmond further told us that there is a group of “dissatisfied” growers that is behind the proposal discussed at Saturday’s meeting, but said he was not sure of who led the group and denied that he, Canton, or Duncker were part of it. He had proposed, as chair of CGA, that the ICL shares be put in trust for future generations of citrus growers, but it was turned down.

According to Redmond, the current direction the CGA is taking, is leading to the growers being “misled,” and that if it continues, the industry will sink into further chaos and the small growers will suffer.

Duncker was a little more optimistic, telling us via telephone that while he has resigned from the CGA, he is putting his faith in Slusher and the negotiations, and that getting the two sides to agree to changes in structure and legislation would be “difficult, but not impossible.” He added that Saturday’s meeting proved a divide within the CGA that needs to be bridged, and that “we would love to see one CGA, not two.”

We left a message for Dr. Canton at his CPBL office, but he has not responded at press time.

Citrus production news. Citrus Growers Association breaking up?

I can only tell you my opinion from what happened forty years ago in my experience with the Northern Fisherman's Cooperative. The big lobster producers were not satisfied with their profits being looted by the majority small producers. So they split and eventually formed their own Co-operative, which became the National Fisherman's Cooperative. Decades later there are a number of Fishing Cooperatives in Belize, catering to distance, production costs, profits and time constraints on delivery. The Citrus Growers are going through a shakeout of the industry and in the end, it is better to let things shake out, than try to force solutions, by government officials. That is my opinion based on experience!

The statement above in that article that, there will not be permitted more than one citrus association is counter productive to an economic and management shakeout. Government interference is neither warranted, nor desirable. The world is changing and the private sector must find their own solutions without government interference. You never know what will happen, or improve the status of the industry.
The idea that the government should step in and reinforce a MONOPOLY, in only allowing one Association, is ignoring possible future developments that can happen with entrepreneurs and innovation in expanding markets and products. An Association is a FREE grouping and can be dismembered at any time by those participating. Shades of LORD ASHCROFT and the NOVELLO BROTHERS, what can the Prime Minister be thinking threatening legislation? What happens in the private sector is none of his business! In the end it is all about PROFITS and that is the law of business that will prevail.

Ray Auxillou

Tuesday, December 22, 2009



UDP government under Barrow and Cabinet ignores regional tourism. UDP strangle tourist sector in Belize and chokes the economy.

Last weekend I received a call from a Bogota group wanting to scuba dive the Blue Hole and see the ruins and ATM cave. I'm out of the tourist business, but they were saying they were not sure they were coming, because the tourist visa is so stringent. They are saying it still takes 3 or 4 months through the British Embassy, in Colombia, you have to provide things like a Bank Statement, proof of property ownership, a Police check and an Interpol report among other things. They gave me a list of obstructions, but I forget them.
Most of their group were disgusted with the whole roadblock of tourism by Belize. They can travel to the USA a whole lot easier.
This was a subject under discussion last year on here, and by now I had thought that BTB and the BTIA and the Foreign Minister and the Immigration Minister and the Tourist Minister had resolved this visa thingy. Apparently not?
I know they the Cabinet Ministers had not done anything about it for last summer tourist high season, but I thought they would have done it by now, for the winter High season starting this week and running out for the next 8 months into 2010.
I'm disappointed that the UDP Cabinet are not doing their jobs for regional tourism. We have 34 countries in the American continent and ALL of them should be able to come in on a 30 day tourist visa without strings.
We are lopping off 10 points from the UDP Report Card from 47 points to 37 points, for incompetence, lethargy, failure to tend to the business of the country.


Saturday, December 19, 2009



A set to debate; in this past week parliament between the past ex-Prime Minister, Said Musa acting in the role of Leader of the Opposition and the current reigning Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, both economically, intellectually, disadvantaged lawyers by profession, highlighted the problems our political pirate, two party system of crooks and opportunists has led us into. We are said to owe more than we earn as a nation!
The Belize National Debt cycle goes on. Following political expediency, rather than logical self sustainable financial practices, the current Prime Minister ( PM’s usually are also Finance Minister as well ) has continued the practice of debt economics. Borrowing the future, to pay for the political present. The arguments are that we must maintain our infra-structure and the World Recession slashed economies around the world. Belize was no different and our economy crashed to minus 3.5% GDP the newspapers say. We have negative growth if such a thing is possible? The situation is getting worse and the debt lag is now running out about 40 years current estimates say. Biting the financial bullet is not in the interest of any political party, even if it does make good economics for self sustainability. Outside of a change in our political system, there is no real solution.
In the Parliament debate between the past Prime Minister and the present Prime Minister, some home truths were stated in the newspaper reports. We do not as of yet know our current National Debt to GDP ratio, but it is running between 82% and 120% of GDP. The borrowing has not stopped one iota under the new political administration. To be said in favor of the administration; is that our recession has not adversely effected the civil service, or the private sector too much. Growth continues in the private sector, albeit at a slower rate. Unemployment is manageable and even reasonable, fed both by FOREIGN LOANS and GRANTS for various departmental services. The most useful being; that in the field of agricultural research and teaching. We badly need some GRANTS in the fields of light manufacturing technology learning, food processing for exports and in the field of teaching marketing to our young people, to diverse areas of the world. Most of this is Private Sector led and until we get high speed DSL internet throughout the productive nationwide rural areas, to enable entrepreneurs and innovators; not much change is going to take place. To make a change in the economy you must enable the private sector to do research and development through nationwide internet availability. Our people are smart enough, but lack the basic tool to make a difference. Grant money fed to the bureaucracy is usually squandered and wasted on administrative bureaucratic limited costs. Grant money fed directly into the PRIVATE SECTOR is proving the most productive and useful.
In the raucous debate between the Parliament Prime Ministers, both old and new, it was pointed out that the current government, operating on a tax base around $650 million a year, will have to find over $200 million a year between 2019 and 2029 to pay off current past debts. The government is running costs around $500 million a year and has been able to expand this past year due to the infusion of GRANT monies for special projects. Annual interest payments on our National Debt are running $65 million a year and will jump to $92 million a year in interest by 2012, or in around 18 months. The previous 1 BILLION in debt incurred under the past PUP administration under former Prime Minister, Said Musa; is projected to pay back under the Bond restructuring about $3 BILLION in costs over TIME. The two term past PUP administration saw a free-for-all of greed and incompetence. Secret deals, shady practices, outright larceny, corrupt deals, plain outright theft and embezzlements were the perceived norm for that PUP administration. The criminal atmosphere and wild west atmosphere practically destroyed public patriotism. Perhaps these are the perks expected under our parliamentary two party system, which finds piratical opportunists and criminals running for political office? The current administration of UDP have mostly had minor scams and con games, but for the most part can be attributed to ordinary human nature in a political system of piracy based, on self interest from opportunists and crooks that run for political office. Outside of the current Prime Minister loading his nepotistic government, with family, relatives and party hacks; control of the corruption that ran totally wild and unchecked under the past PUP administration has been reasonably effective. There is a general sense of public approval that the worst of the perceived criminality of the past administration is meeting with checks and balances. For want of any organized third party, it is most likely the current UDP administration will get re-elected.
Somehow we need to free up the PRIVATE SECTOR to grow and export. Government services are currently inadequate in certain departments and wasteful in others. There is an inordinate amount of government money resources spent on the political base of one port town, the seat of most area representatives, tax revenue trough, gold mine 5 year earning term. The electoral divisions have been designed not to be representative on an equal population distributed basis, but to suit the aspirations of political opportunists from this hotbed of greed and crime in artificial electoral vote numbered divisions. We simply have too many politicians feeding off the tax trough, particularly in the coastal port, the old colonial capital.
All that said; the policy of the current UDP administration is holding at bay the worst of the effects of the World Recession. We approve of the GRANTS coming in, but deplore the further FOREIGN LOAN borrowing. My approval doesn’t mean anything to anybody, one way or the other. Here in Western Belize, the Cayo District, the productive PRIVATE SECTOR, business is pretty much going on as usual. What we want has already been mentioned. Internet service to rural parts, whatever incentives can be generated to encourage business growth for new entrepreneurs and innovators, and for the government to encourage exporting and manufacturing by a “hands off” policy. Leave us the private sector alone and we can build this country. Quit trying to squeeze taxes, permit fees and licenses, out of things not yet developed properly. Encourage us, not thwart development with too much bureaucratic red tape. The administrative attitude has to change to SERVICE, SERVICE, SERVICE. Resolve the problems being bureaucratically encountered by innovators and the public citizen in general Remember this is a partnership, if we the public sector succeed, then you get to keep your job in the public service. You don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


By Ray Auxillou, Dec. 16, 2009

Belize is a very small country, with a land mass of around 6000 square miles. Half of which is in so-called protected areas for wild life and natural pristine conditions.
Tourism inflows and their foreign exchange are a big supplier of jobs, mostly at the family level. The rest of the economy comes from exports. In the past; exports of bananas, sugar and citrus have dominated the economy of Belize. In the past recent years, the export of small pockets of crude oil, and fish products, both from very limited natural stocks and later from fish farming and shrimp farming. In agriculture, both corn and beans are becoming important export items. There are smaller endeavors just developing in niche products, like export of papaya and habenero peppers and FAIR TRADE jungle grown cacao. There is just now in 2010, the tipping over from a bulk commodity exporter economy situation, to the point of value added processing economy, as in light manufacturing. Mostly in food processed products. This is still all cottage industry, very small scale, considering the whole population is only 300,000 people. Of this, the adults are about 60,000 both men and women. If you assign most women to the traditional role of looking after the family and home, then the productive labor and man power of this small country is about 30,000 adult male persons.
Our GDP is around half a billion usa CURRENCY.
Our national debt runs on estimates somewhere between 80% of GDP and 120% of GDP. All the governments since colonial times have pursued a development foreign loan policy of running our small government. Inadequate as it is, this government of ours in size, the Belize government is still far more expensive than we can afford. Yet any country to develop requires constant infra-structure inputs and maintenance. The last two decades have seen a switch from foreign contractors working as a requirement of foreign loan borrowing, to build our infra-structure; to local engineers and the private sector in building roads, bridges, school buildings, water towers for villages, the health system and so on, replacing foreign contractors.
The skill level is steadily rising with population growth and better orientated education systems.
It is crucial for the immediate next ten years, that our small country and even smaller population concentrate on exporting. Most of the technology, machinery and other equipments needed in any modern government and country, require importing from the more advanced countries. We badly need the foreign exchange to purchase these imports, to increase our private sector exports and foreign exchange earnings. To get foreign exchange we need to export and sell the outside world.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT are important factors in developing our small country and enabling self sustainability. For the most part, this has been a function of the PRIVATE SECTOR. What was in the past, an insurmountable task, has become easier with the advent of the internet. We still cannot get decent DSL internet speeds in most of the rural areas where the private sector are struggling to improve their own lives and which incidentally at the same time, increase our foreign exchange earnings. I can remember it taking anywhere from two to three years to explore a new idea, in research and development, by slow mail; which today is done in as many weeks via the internet world wide communication system where it is available in the countryside.
Probably the most important factor in RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT is the availability of high speed DSL internet. We are still a long way from achieving this. At the moment, internet is confined primarily to the nine towns scattered throughout Belize and in some cases, only in narrow sections of those towns. We have hopes that the next ten years will see DSL internet become available nationwide. The contradictory factor here, is that ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT relies on knowledge, the knowledge is coming from the internet and the nation is divided between producers and the bureaucrats. The bureaucrats have DSL internet, but the PRODUCERS for the most part do not have DSL internet, if they have internet at all. The economic growth of the nation relies on the PRODUCERS.
Business opportunities abound. Mostly orientated to exporting and nowadays that exporting is at the threshold of changing over from bulk commodities to value added, process packaged products. The population of Belize is expected to double in the next 12 years. Jobs must be created and it is the PRIVATE SECTOR that will have to create those jobs. For the immediate near future, those jobs undoubtedly will be cottage industry, small scale food processing, this is the most likely direction. We can import our own bulk commodities from places like Mexico and Guatemala and process and package them and re-export. This is foreign as of yet to the thinking of the education establishment in their business courses and teaching, but certainly uppermost in the very small number of private sector ambitious entrepreneurs. Bamboo furniture manufacturing exports is one such success story.
None of the business envisaged developing in Belize over the next dozen years are going to be big businesses. We are talking only between $1 million and $10 million USA in foreign exchange earnings each. Yet there is a whole raft of small scale niche ideas.
The past governments have been heavily monopoly orientated. Political greed has been the biggest obstacle faced by the nation, as the PRIVATE SECTOR tries to grow. It is only with the current administration that competition is being encouraged. One good example has been the provision of electricity. Our only sugar mill will be producing electricity for the national grid in another month. Another bottling businessman imported a WARTSILA crude oil diesel plant and is making money selling electricity to our national grid. PRIVATE SECTOR, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT is looking to get some factual statistics on consumption projections for the electricity market. At the moment we still rely heavily on importing electricity from Mexico. Rough projections estimate we will use three times the current amount of electricity consumed in the country in twelve more years as our population doubles and our entrepreneur base explodes. So electricity production is another private sector good investment.
Our educational establishment lack the skills currently, to advise our PRIVATE SECTOR on marketing and opportunities for whatever export products we can produce and sell around the world. There is practically no knowledge available of the PERSIAN GULF, Arabian markets and needs for example. There is no knowledge of food and raw material timber products we could sell to Japan, Korea, or China. Traditionally there is a fixation on marketing to the United Kingdom and the United States of America. This is broadening somewhat a little bit, to include other European Union marketing chain store wholesale suppliers.
The FINANCIAL SECTOR in Belize is doing as well as can be expected. Unfortunately the European Union countries and the United States of America are fighting to control and stop upstart small countries like Belize from competing for world market share. They are doing this in a sophisticated manner beyond the abilities, most of the time, for our small rural population to understand. They use controls and paperwork bureaucratic weapons, with which we are unfamiliar and which our politicians are easily bribed, or seduced by skilful arguments against our own interest. The desire of some private sector machinists and inventors to enter into the supply of security guard shotguns for local Central America export market, was killed outright by our last Prime Minister, the local media hint, at the pressure from the USA. This Prime Minister even passed laws to forbid, research and development such entrepreneurship light manufacturing exports might develop in any kind of export military orientated hardware. Hardly an enlightened political leadership policy.
Technologically in our nine small towns, the young adults are managing to stay up on developments. Mostly to do with telecommunications fields. I’m constantly surprised at how well they are doing.
Where we are going economically in the private sector in Belize, is an international presence, in trading of all kinds. So far, our government sector has not yet caught up to this. If the government goes one way, in restrictive philosophy and the private sector is thwarted by lack of government encouragement and support, then economic growth of Belize generally suffers.
A fast growing middle class in both our neighbors, of Mexico and Guatemala are changing the dynamics of both countries. They are in their own way becoming world competitors. Mexico is expected to surpass the United Kingdom for exports within the next 25 years. Mexico has more free trade agreements with other countries than any other country in the world. Their light manufacturing base is quite sophisticated, equal to anything coming out of Europe. Monterrey and Guadalajara in Mexico are dynamos of innovation. Monterrey is the huge area based on knowledge and the production of engineers, technology and technicians. Guadalajara is known for food, electronics, drink and other creative type industries. There are clusters of global orientated economic industries designed to compete and capture world market share here. You can learn more from Mexico than from the U.K. The U.K. is the past, Mexico is the present and future in exporting products.
DEVELOPMENT in Belize is reliant on population growth. This in turn relies on more focused education than presently available. Much of development will come from immigrants and investment projects, not so much from our small entrepreneurial base. It is the exposure of immigrants to their economies of country origin ( such as China, Arabia, or India ) that leave them better skilled in adapting to opportunities for export from Belize. Much of agriculture development in Belize has come from USA immigrant pioneers for example.
Research and Development in Belize takes on many different aspects. There is no narrow focus appropriate. You never know where the next successful business is going to come from. An open mind is needed all the time. Can the government of Belize help with Research and Development? Certainly they are in the field of agriculture. Can they do it in foreign marketing? Unlikely, though we are hopeful. In marketing, the supply of DSL internet, to producers in rural areas is probably the most significant encouragement government could do at the present time. Tax breaks for companies exporting, is probably one area which the government could provide incentives. Making land titles quickly available for new investment is probably another. The slow uncertainties involved with immigration visas, residencies and citizenship are drawbacks to people immigrating to Belize.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009



The government failed last summer to implement licenses for bus services to end their Western routes at the BORDER of Belize and Guatemala. This damaged the overland tourist business, particularly for the Twin Towns, Cayo District. A trip to TIKAL today, December 15th, 2009, just as the new HIGH TOURIST SEASON revealed no buses yet at the Western Border and there is no tourist public transportation service to the border between Belize and Guatemala. Tourists have to walk about 2 1/4 miles.
There was a re-licensing exercise in October for bus transportation services on the Western Highway, but apparently neither the Tourist Minister, or the Minister of Transport seem to have any interest, or inclination in doing their jobs they hold assigned by the party leader, Dean Barrow, who is the Prime Minister under our system of government? The licenses renewals did not insist that public service on the Western routes, be extended to finish at the border immigration crossover terminal. This obviously is not going to help the winter tourist high season. The lack of leadership and implementation of basic services shows the arrogance and lack of concern about public service and infra-structure capability by this UDP government.
Therefore the deduction of the 20 points from their UDP managment approval rating report card drops to 47%.

You can stay cheaper in THAILAND than Belize says Austrian Tourist.

Austrian Tourist claims he can stay cheaper on beaches in Thailand than on the islands of Belize. That is probably true! I wouldn't know.

What I do know is that Guatemala is the same price for food and lodging as in Belize for low budget bus travelers. The cost in Mexico is slightly higher than in Belize for low budget travelers, though if you go on the back streets away from tourist areas, you can get prices similar to low budget places in Belize.

In the high end tourism, full service tourist facilities are very expensive. That is what quality and full service is about, with 3 or so, staff tending to each guest. This is just an expensive tourist niche, special catering to the wealthy.


Guatemala teachers strike road block.
** The alleged Mafiaso couple ruling Guatemala. President Alvaro Colom and wife.


Roads are blocked ALL OVER GUATEMALA and the economy is at a standstill. Blockades by teachers are because the government has not paid their salaries for 6 months. Protests are wide spread.
On the local scene the road is blocked BY STRIKERS, about 2 miles outside of the Central Peten, twin towns of Santa Elena Town and Flores, Peten, Guatemala, going to TIKAL and to Melchor de Menchos on the frontier with Belize.
TIKAL is cut off for tourists coming East by road, when they get to Flores/Santa Elena in the central Peten.

President Alvaro Colom of Guatemala, has the reputation of being a murderous Mafioso according to Guatemala media and is alleged to be stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the government during his term in office.

TIKAL RUINS, GUATEMALA park entry fees raised to $20 usa for 2010

TIKAL - GUATEMALA entry fees raised by Government

Entry fees to TIKAL ruins, Guatemala in the Central Peten have been raised from $5 usa to $20 usa for foreign tourists, including us from Belize, for the 2010 tourist year. Guatemalans pay $3 usa.
Food at the restaurants, or comedors at the park entrance, have cheapest rice and beans starting at $5 Bz or $2.50 usa and food prices escalate for anything else at high prices. Belize tourists are complaining TIKAL is a TOURIST TRAP
From the top of the highest temple, you can see the tops of six temple pyramids sticking up around the surrounding jungle trees. To walk around is about 3 miles and needs about 4 hours of your time. The second highest temple has an almost vertical wooden ladder with no protection to climb to the top. About 120 feet. Some tourists have died having fallen off this temple. It is very steep.

Monday, December 14, 2009



Apparently the old local owners have retired, or sold out, or something? There is a new Board of Trustees and new CHIEF HONCHO of Galen University.

Started by locals in partnership with a Greek Galen University financing, back in 2003, the University is still going strong and growing with the country and population. It is a long term investment of course, but a good one. Education is a solid business.
Dr. Louis Zabaneh is the head honcho now. 75% of the local University courses are to do with business. They are not apparently doing that well with this education from the pragmatic local view. One doesn't read of any list of successful business entrepreneurs coming out of our local education system, by any University, or College. Yet the current economic situation in Belize, is loaded with business opportunities and more arise all the time. I wish I was a younger man and an octopus so I had more hands to do so many of the business ventures I see available.
New Board of Directors are Senator Godwin Hulse, Dr. Aaron Lewis Phd in physics, Dr. John McAfee Phd in mathematics, Mr. Caltan McKoy a mid level Social Security bureaucrat, Ms Marian McNab former CEO of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Valentino Shal graduate of the London School of Economics and former banker Ms. Shelly Usher.
Their website is: The University has an email at: and a local phone number of: 824 3226
Dr. Zabaneh has the goal of increasing business real life learning with practicum placements and internships.
The big thing Galen University of Belize has to offer, are English as a second language for foreign students and also a deal with the University in Indianapolis to offer USA recognized degrees in seven accredited undergraduate programs, that eliminate the expense and difficulties of attaining US paperwork. These are Anthropology, Archaeology, Environmental Science, Economics, International Business, Marketing and Business Administration. All of these degrees educate people to be salaried workers in a bureaucratic milieu.
The University is located in Western Belize and about 5 miles East of Santa Elena Town, and next door to the government Tropical Agriculture College and Ministry of Natural Resources, Agriculture Research Teaching Station.



Whether it is a Co-operative, or an Association, the personal vendettas and groupings of minority members wage war with each other from time to time! Usually the majority membership give in to the most voluble and lower class, most vindictive element. Old beefs interfere with the running of such organizations and these can financially ruin and destroy them. I've seen them do it in pig cooperatives and truck cooperatives in Belize. Groupings of one element, fighting another element, usually to gain some small myopic advantage. It really gets sad, when such fights and quarrels start costing the membership, huge bucks in debts and loans. They say you get the management you deserve and sometimes you do, when these feuds go on. All reason and logic thrown to the wind. A complacent membership, or a sense of apathy destroys what was once a good thing, or could still be MAYBE?
The CITRUS GROWERS ASSOCIATION of Belize has been around for 30 years tending to the best interests of over 1000 small citrus growers. Now the Association is down to 400 members. Partially, but not entirely due to feuds going on in the Association. Denkins and Bowman are maybe the leading lights destroying the Association in this latest era, but they couldn't do it without the apathy and complacency of the other members. Jealousy, envy, greed and some sort of power struggle are the usual culprits, when common sense and good business practices are ignored to spite your enemies. Sad to see, but it is looking doubtful that the debts being incurred over the latest round of feuding will allow this Citrus Growers Association to recover it's former glory. TIME WILL TELL!
The Citrus Industry is shaking out it's weaker members and only the strong will survive financially. The growers need more options, more processing factories, more diversification, so all the glory hounds can do their own thing and form their own groups, along with like minded others.
It will be interesting to see how the dust settles in the Citrus Industry over the next five years. Wonder what it will look like then?

Sunday, December 13, 2009


** Moringa Plan

Moringa Plants are on sale in Belize

Plants are being offered at $10 bz ( $5 usa ) each by Dr. Chriss Bennett
tel: 223 0404 e-mail:

If you always complain of body pains, bowel disorder, headaches, fever, fluctuating body temperature, skin infections or diseases, as well as other ailments, then there is good news for you. Also, if you are the type that so much believe in foreign products especially drugs, and who does not believe that anything good can come out of Africa, as it is the attitude and belief of many people, then you need to have a rethink. However, for the benefit of those who have great delight and likeness for natural therapies especially what some people call alternative medicine, then you need to add this vital information to your knowledge. The news is that there is a plant which you might have been seeing either in your immediate environment or in your neighbour’s compound, but which you never given serious attention or probably, you always over-look, thinking it is irrelevant.That plants is known as Moringa oleifera — a shrub which our forefathers knew its worth and numerous benefits especially in the treatment of animal health, but which many of them did not document its nutritional and medicinal advantages for generation to come.

Every part of moringa oleifera plant, including the seeds and roots, are very useful in tackling many diseases like hypertension, chest infections, lung diseases, pains as well as skin infections. This is in addition to many other nutritional and medicinal usefulness. For instance, moringa seeds which have now become a “hot cake” in many African countries as well as USA and other Asian countries according to reports, sell for ten pounds for just ten seeds. The plant has many domestic names depending on the region or continent. Among the Yorubas, it is called Ewe-Igbale, while the Hausas refer to it as Sogele. The Ibos have their own name for the plant, just as it commands different names among different tribes. It is generally known as “drum stick,” and this is what the Asian as well as the Indians call it.

Even the World Health Organisation (WHO) has undertaken scientific researches on moringa plant, and has come to a conclusion that it is extremely nutritional and medicinal. The benefits have also been documented in some medical and nutritional journals, little wonder many pharmaceutical companies all over the world are seriously working on the plant to make a fortune from it by extracting its active ingredients to produce drugs for both human and animal benefit. Speaking with Chief (Mrs.) Grace Oluwatoye, a trained nurse, who is also a lover of traditional/natural therapy and a specialist in Moringa plant, she told Natural Health that the seeds of the plant are being used for water purification in some African countries like Zambia, Kenya, Malawi as well as in some developed nations of the world like China, Japan, Malaysia, USA and India.



Banana Bank has a nursing home with capacity for six persons. This is an assisted living facility with dietary and medicines specific to the individual residents. The service is 24/7.
The setting is a subsidiary of the RANCH OPERATION and located on the side of the jungle river setting. Wheel chairs and Alzheimer's dementia is ok!

The price starts at: $750 usa to $1500 usa per month.

Contact: John Carr 820 2020, or Jane Lorenzo at 669 0244 The email is:



Belize Botanical Gardens email:

If you are interested in native plants, then this is the place to visit. You can enjoy lunch, cold drinks and swim in the river.

You need a shuttle trip, phone 824 3101 from San Ignacio, or Santa Elena Town.

There are plants for sale as well.

Belize pretty girl!

Got to stick a local pretty girl in here on the blog once in a while. Otherwise it gets boring reading.

Ray Auxillou
tel: 663 5580
email: ( Cayo District )

John and Beth Roberson old colonial expats from the USA in Belize for 49 years.

As EXPATS go, the Roberson's are old timers from the Colonial era. Into horses. I believe I bought a lot of lumber from their old lumber mill operation. I've been around from British Honduras days myself, since 1960 and the Robersons were always a fixture in the Western Cayo District. It was definitely more primitive that long ago. I spent my own life on the Barrier Reef Islands, Caye Caulker in particular and my four daughters deal in real estate and the tourist business today. The Robersons were always in the Cayo District. I remember him riding fancy BIG quarter Western Horses, imported from the USA, when most local horses were short runty things. He loved all those saddles and Western attire and set the mark back then, for the future.

A native of Massachusetts, I arrived in British Honduras as a Peace Corps Volunteer 36 years ago - the tail end of the colonial era. Husband John, of Wilmington, N.C., and I are both dual citizens (USA/Bze). We have raised our family here, and worked in a few fields - timber, ranching, a dabble of tourism - guest house and 1st horseback tours to Caracol. Over the years, we've assisted friends to find the right properties and make successful transitions to the New World tropics.

Working from our home office at Cedar Bluff Ranch, on the Macal River, you will find us about 5 minutes from San Ignacio. We love these rivers, creeks, and cenotes - and the superb habitat they create for the wildlife, birds and amazing flora. Waking up to the gentle calls of the mot-mot, later on the chachalacas, and the gritty calls of the ubiquitous toucans, on lucky days the zany serenade of the aurapendula..........don't expect life here to be perfect - but it is usually interesting, sometimes fascinating.

BETH ROBERSON ( Editor of the Belize Ag Report publication )

The office is my domain, while John locates elusive boundaries, suggests logical solutions for roads/electricity/water and generally keeps things going. He would much rather talk livestock with you, or show you his prize Nelore cattle and Quarter Horses.

John advertises Nelore Bulls for sale and also provides a Stallion Breeding Service. They both have about 49 years with livestock experience in the Cayo District.

Contact: John C. Roberson, tel: 664 7272, or email:

Beth and John Roberson Sr.
P.O. Box 150 San Ignacio, Belize
011-501-664-7272 or 663-6777

BELIZE FARRIER SERVICES and specialized horse training.

Horse Adventure in Belize.


M.O. Henley has 20 years in shoeing experience, and 36 years as a professional horse trainer. He can teach and run clinics and seminars. As an experience Farrier he offers different services to do with horses.

Contact him in the Cayo District at:, or local phone: 663 4609
He will take a day or two to get back to you, as he is busy.


MENNONITE WOMEN OF SPANISH LOOKOUT have a QUILTING GROUP. They are making quilts for sale. To contact them: email:


** Yellow Dragon Fruit
** Red Dragon fruit


There is a new association, called the Belize Pitahya Growers Association in Belize. This address is: Box 365, Belmopan, Cayo District.

They are claiming that 8000 to 10,000 lbs of Pitahya can be produced per acre. At the moment I'm not aware of more than a few acres in Belize. The plant produces a very nice fruit, called the DRAGON FRUIT. You simply cut it in half and spoon out the desert like interior. It is a very attractive fruit, with horn like leaves, hence the name DRAGON FRUIT. Healthy too! You can find a breakdown of the health aspects in an earlier article on here at: Western Belize Happenings.

The original impetus was fabulous prices ( $10 a pound ) on the world market sheets, found in New York and Montreal. Locally it is a new fruit, but catching on rapidly. The fruit comes from a climbing cactus. An airborne type feeder. Suitable for the Northern districts of Belize that have little rainfall. They weigh about one or two pounds each. They are growing a few acres in the Cayo District for the local market.



There had been some isolated private sector experimental shaded nurseries and greenhouse type structures in Belize over the past 30 years. It was the Belize Development Trust, three year VEGETABLE growing project ( now finished ) that provided the impetus to the CABINET and the government bureaucracy to seek assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Now the FAO have financed the local agriculture research unit at Central Farm with some greenhouse structures for data finding and experimentation.
Coming on board, it is now announced that the TAIWANESE AGRICULTURE MISSION research program in Belize is also financing TEN such greenhouse covered structures for growing vegetables, scattered around the Corozal District, the Orange Walk District and the Cayo District. It will be Xmas 2010 before we get any useful data on the performance.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

BELIZE - Taiwanese assisted RICE PRODUCTION information!

** staple food in Belize is rice and beans, with chicken and for breakfast add a couple of avocado slices, or cream cheese.
** Eating rice dishes
*** rice growing in Belize


The Rice seed mission in Belize by Taiwan had stopped when it ran out of money back in 2006. It re-started again in 2008. The biggest deal is in the Toledo District.
The Poppy Show Farm grows rice seed with irrigation. They have 25 acres producing 100,000 lbs of seed. Mayan farmers complain the MISSION keeps changing the seed types, which does not lower their costs. The complaint is; they are not making more money.
The plan next year is to produce 160,000 rice seeds. This translates roughly to the capacity of growing 1600 acres of rice. This in turn should produce about 5 million pounds of rice earning $3,600,000 Bz currency. The rice is used locally for self sustainability food supply. The current plan is to increase rice seed acreage to 600 acres in the Toledo District. The Taiwanese Mission is also assisting with some extension work in Mango Creek and Mango Walk, which is growing 200 acres of rice production. The Taiwanese Mission is planning to cooperate with the Grain Growers Association to increase acreage to 600 acres.
The Chinese of course have a reputation to do with rice production, the staple food in Asia. So the Taiwanese Mission at the Ministry of Agriculture in Central Farm in the Cayo District are planning to develop STANDARDS OF PROCEDURE for cultivation techniques and purification of rice seeds. It is guessed and hoped, that Chinese management techniques will raise local Belizean paddy rice production, quantity and quality. So far this hasn't worked out for some reason?
The goal is to reduce production costs to small Mayan farmers and increase farmer income and stabilize the rice price. So far this hasn't been successful, the small Mayan farmers complain. We are though producing more rice in the country of Belize, for our own use, to offset imports and foreign exchange costs.


** Skyservice Airline to make weekly flight to Belize.
*** Practicing swimming in Canada for January vacation in Belize.
** Canadians practice swimming for trip to Caye Caulker, Belize, Central America.


*** Apparently phone checks to Toronto, show that this local news report is erroneous and no direct charter flight exists from Toronto to Belize! Dec. 14, 09



Greenland ice cores long ago, have revealed the cycles of climate on Earth. If my memory serves me right. The 300 and 700 year cycles are the smallest ones. I would guess within the 300 year cycle you are going to get even more mini-cycles.
The last big drought in our area was like 400 years ago if I remember rightly? Have to look it up on the internet ( FREE ) in my book again - EARLY HISTORY OF BELIZE. There is a cycle for locusts in our area as well. Forget the date of the last big one? We certainly get locusts here in Hillview, Santa Elena Town in Western Belize, a half a dozen about the size of pigeons each year. Usually around the Spring. I cannot even imagine one with millions of locusts. As I recollect the locust cycle, lasts for 3 years.

Friday, December 11, 2009


*** The Taiwanese most famous project in Belize is their CHINESE VARIETIES OF VEGETABLES they experiment with. Good project and they now have a worm farm demonstration for making worm fertilizer from compost, to overcome the clay in the local Cayo District soils.
** Taiwanese Mission test products in Belize



In 2009, the Taiwanese President visited Belize and reported that the Economic World Crisis had effected Taiwan as well. He was not going to quit aiding Belize, but money would not be available for expanding any new projects in Belize.
That said, the existing Chinese Taiwanese Mission here is trying to get some assistance from International organizations, such as; UNDP and BRDP to upgrade the food processing technology. What they have in a demo warehouse facility is not very impressive. Two or three small food processing machines, but nothing that one could really use, or visualize as a starter food processing project. Our own Agriculture Research Station technical personnel don't know enough about the subject and lack their own budgets to find the time to figure out what processing food is all about anyway.
It has been pretty much a TEACH YOURSELF PROPOSITION with using the internet to figure things out for individuals in our private sector. The Chinese mean well, indeed they have a successful dehydrated fruit project were they package in plastic bags, reject fruits from the export processing factories. This has been successful in a school feeding program for dry fruit snacks. They have prepared over 300,000 dehydrated fruit packages of 60 grams and distributed them regularly to over 5000 needy school children. This assistance is nothing to sneeze at. It sure beats anything the USA, or the United Kingdom, or the European Union have done for practical results. The private sector though, figure the cost of electricity makes the dehydrator impractical from a money making commercial sense. Don't know if that is true or not, nobody in the private sector has bothered to try a pilot project to find out costs and the Chinese haven't itemized production costs, to let us know what a finished product costs in man hours, wages and utilities. Buying the machinery is the easy part. Running it profitably is a different story.
They are talking now about preparing a community college practical course for the ITVET students in agro food processing. This is a pay as you go, pick your own subject type College system we have in Belize. Kind of small and mostly they get customer students to pay for auto mechanics, air conditioning, refrigeration, electrician stuff, specialized technical knowledge courses. It is a good idea though.
With the new cement boat going back every second week to Jamaica empty. This does open a lot of possibilities to ship food to Jamaica. Jamaica is a big market, though known as HARD PAY. We do get preferential tariffs as well being a part of CARICOM. About a 5 day transportation handling deal. Nobody is shipping sausages to Jamaica for instance. Nor special products like hot pepperoni smoked sausages and beef jerky, for example. Can we plastic wrap in lard, salty bacon, that we used to one time import from the Netherlands? We should be able to compete with these European countries on a lot of products these days. Making herbal tea bags is another product we could ship out of Belize. Plastic containers and packaging has changed the dynamics of the previous colonial, tin and canned products that the Europeans specialized in.
The TAIWANESE MISSION STATEMENT says they are going into developing processed food products with market potential. We sure could use it and appreciate such assistance. That is certainly the NEXT STAGE in our development here as our skills and population expands. My own talk with the Chinese technicians was not so enamored of their abilities to turn dreams into reality. They came across as the usual bureaucrats, skilled in talking, but we will wait and see if they can walk the walk, as good as they talk. Admittedly the cash shortage from TAIWAN is going to cramp their style and capabilities, lets see what happens over the next two years? I certainly wish them the best! Belize needs it! Practical stuff that makes money and well thought out as to HOW TO DO IT on a low budget operation. Everybody in Belize has to start cottage industry scale size. We will grow slowly over ten years or so.


** Lots of cultural festivals in Belize for the kids and young people.
** Garifuna culture down on the coast is vibrant and strong. Their traditional music is drumming. You have small communities of coastal people. They are strong on farming and fishing. Some of them have actually immigrated to the USA and become famous scientists in prestigious Universities up there.
** Party time for high school age girls is a big thing in Belize.
*** We tend to have a lot of holidays in Belize and festivals of one kind or another. We like to live a bit and these things are for the youngsters, as part of their youth and growing up.


Whats it like living in Western Belize? We are a young country. Went INDEPENDENT in 1982. The government has been broke ever since. In the Cayo District, the population over 50 years ago, was less than 5000 people. Today that population is 140,000 and people are all immigrants from some place else in the world mostly. You have a pioneer, frontier attitude of make do. Everybody of course is struggling to survive and grow with the country. Things you take for granted in industrialized Western countries in temperate zones, we either don't have these things, or are trying to figure out how to do them here. This is a tropical paradise. The climate is ETERNAL SPRING. Our summer is May, June and July basically. You can grow food year round. We are just starting to figure that out actually and is still a work in progress.
If you like CHALLENGES and are a pioneer, then Western Belize is the place for you. Opportunities abound to start new businesses. The drawback is the local market is small. So you have to figure on exporting whatever you make, or produce. That is where the current small population is at. We just tipped over from the subsistance style living, to making processed ADDED VALUE things to export to other countries. We are not exporting sausages for instance, as of yet, but are exporting processed meat to Mexico. Until this year we only sold them live cattle. Jamaica is crying for all our foods, but transportation is the challenge and getting paid are the problems to be solved here. Several airplanes have been built in the country, so it is not like we are dumb or anything. We may be country bumpkins, mostly because the type of person living here, likes to walk down the street and have people smile and wave and call them by name. We are pioneers and frontier type people, living for challenges to be solved and taking pride in DEVELOPING this small young nation.
We like to play too, so FESTIVALS are big around here. Lots of government holidays.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Belize dance groups!

Corozal High School students learn their heritage, in a Mexican Folk Dance. Northern border with Mexico and Belize. Most people are descendants of ancestors who fled the WAR OF THE CASTES over in the Yucatan Peninsular and the Indian raids of 1886 to around 1940's. They call High Schools - Junior Colleges in Belize.
Mayan Deer Dance. You find this one in the remote jungle hill villages along the Toledo District Western border with Guatemala.


Running W Brand Meats on Western Highway, heading for Santa Elena Town. ( Weell! We call it a town, the mile along the Western Highway. We have two gas stations, half dozen Chinese supermarkets and several restaurants. The FIRST STOP Chinese Restaurant the through TRUCKERS like to stop at. No Town Council though, but we have a public library that always need donations of books, if you have any? )


Running W Brand Meats can be found on the Western Highway just past the Department of Natural Resources, Central Farm Agriculture Research and teaching station.

For the first time this past week, I bought some of their sausages. Darned if I didn't like them! Tasted just like in the USA, when you stick them in a skillet and brown them, bit of salt. Add a fried egg and I felt like I was in Mississipi without the grits. They are producing a number of processed meats for the local market. Far as I know, they are the ONLY producer of processed meats in the country at this early stage of development? I really want some HOT pepperoni sausage, like that BRIDGEPORT PEPPERONI they sell in supermarkets in the USA. Have never found any yet. I produce my own small scale kitchen BEEF JERKY slices in the micro-wave oven after letting them marianate in a ZIP LOCK plastic sandwich bag, using salt, Soy Sauce, black pepper, and various spices. I can't duplicate that commercial beef jerky, they sell in USA supermarkets though. Good enough to chew on, when I am trying to avoid eating, to control my weight. Ah well! This is pioneer frontier country. We learn to do without, or make substitutes.

Jaguar roaming around ranches and farms in Western Belize

** Jaguar yawning.

There has been a report of a jaguar roaming around the area of the joining of the Western Highway and the paved road into Spanish Lookout. Preying on small farm animals. Not this one though!

BANANA BANK, Belize holds first horse and bull sale!

**Main Lodge at Banana Bank
** This is a ranch, so horse back riding is the way you get around.
*** Banana Bank dormitories
** Banana Bank cabana


Back on October 3rd, 2009, Banana Bank held it's horse and bull sale. The auctioneer was Isaac Wolfe. About a 150 people showed up. The bidding was very active and 33 horses and 3 simbrah bulls were sold. The top selling mare went for $5,200 Bz. ( $1 usa = $2 Bz ) The other horses ran mostly from $650 to $1200. There were not many BULL bidders and they brought $1400, weighing in around 1000 pounds. Both buyers and sellers seemed happy, with the first sale of this type in this area.