Saturday, May 30, 2009


The cycles of a Mayan long calendar.
Mayan Calendar Wheel
Mayan Calendar stone ( over 5000 year calendar of changing cycles in human affairs )


Belize took in about $680 million for 2008 in revenues. Because of the RECESSION and world wide readjustments in finances and business, the expectation had been for about $760 million. So the short fall really hurt Belize bad. We were short about $180 million below expectations. The GDP, and economy, plus government revenues, more or less rise about 10% a year with population growth and thus the market activity. 2009 was expected to be a tough year and 2010 even tougher. The GDP is shrinking.
The forecasts and expectations are for a recovery ( mostly fueled hopefully by Tourism during 2011 ) will pick up government revenues into the low $700 million range for revenues in the summer of 2011. Tourism is not really expected to have an effect on general revenues until the summer of 2012 and that 2012 Fiscal Year. By then the government revenues should reach the low $800 million mark and with a bit of luck on oil sales, tourism revenues by then and an easing on the world recession, we should be back to a growing revenue base for the economy.
If there is a dark cloud in this scenario, it is that 2012 is an election year and it is traditional for the party in power to steal a lot of money from the Government Revenues and Treasury to campaign for the election. So what should be a bumper government revenue year, will probably turn out lackluster in performance, once the corruption and stealing is factored in.

The Mayan Calendar Wheel predicts that in 2013, a great new change will occur in the affairs of Belize, both politically and economically. A new 5000 plus calendar will start and the periodic small cycles inside the great long calendar will signify a change in human and local circumstances. For us in Belize and probably the whole world, this will occur around Christmas of 2012 and be really starting to change by the New Years starting January 1st, in 2013.


CARICOM COUNTRIES ARE ROUNDING UP and DEPORTING fellow CARICOM nationals from other countries in the membership of the Caribbean area.
So much for intergration, the common CARICOM PASSPORT. Saw the report and videos on
Caribbean News Line. Not sure if it was Barbados or Trinidad deporting CARICOM NATIONALS back to their home countries?


* This is the PARTY LEADER of the UDP who controls the government of Belize. Prime Minister also of the country of Belize. As party leader of the UDP he is supposed to be making sure his Cabinet Ministers are doing their jobs. Unfortunately the man believes in total delegation of responsibility to his fellow appointed Cabinet Ministers and he doesn't give them any oversight apparently? For a guy who should be cracking the whip on his fellow party members in the Cabinet, we are suffering because he is so busy playing BIG SHOT on the international arena, that the lower echelon in his party are getting away with not doing their jobs. In this case, our particular complaint is the CABINET is not solving the problem of public bus service to the Western Border Immigration Post. This hurts an already hurting tourism business.
* Manuel Heredia is much admired out in Ambergris Caye. Not so much in Caye Caulker another tourist big destination in Belize, but out in Western Belize he is more INFAMOUS for NEGLECTING the CAYO WESTERN DISTRICT tourism needs. He has not yet worked with his CABINET colleages to see the Western Border Immigration Post is served with public bus service for both Belizeans and foreign TOURISTS. If we miss the short July August HIGH SEASON without Immigration border bus service, we plan to mount a scathing attack on the lack of work these Cabinet Ministers are doing, or not doing as the case may be. The private sector needs the government big wigs to do their jobs, to enable us to do business, so we can pay their darned taxes.
* UDP Cabinet Minister of Transportion, Melvin Hulse has not as far as Western Belizeans are concerned been doing his job. We still have no bus transportation to the Western Border of Belize Immigration Post. About 2 1/2 miles away from the nearest town, Benque Viejo. This is hurting overnight bus tourism badly. We would think he could do a better job than he is doing. Melvin Hulse has been noted as a crusty defensive character when complaints have been leveled at his Ministerial performance. The July August HIGH SEASON for bus tourism is going to miss out on bus transport at the Western border unless he does his job. We hope he can do better and we know he can if he tries.
* We were never able to find tourist stuff within the market, or town of Melchor de Menchos. We were pleasantly surprised to find this tourist 'hole in the wall' shop, right next to the Guatemalan Immigration building. Lot of construction going on and piles of materials to step around, as the Guatemalans are building a new higher more robust bridge across the Mopan River, which floods regularly, but we found this man VERY PLEASANT and the prices were better than over in Flores, or Antigua, or Panachjel on Lake Atitlan and certainly a whole lot cheaper than in Guatemala City. Right in the border zone on the Guatemalan side. Don't miss it, for souvenirs, beat the prices of everywhere else in Guatemala.
* Entering and exiting Guatemala are seperated by a bank style dividing rope. There is a toilet in this building that is FREE. Ask a security guard with a pump action shotgun.
* This is the Immigration passport section for Guatemala at the Melchor de Menchos side.
* Belize immigration frontier with Guatemala and ongoing buses.
* Immigration building at Western Border with Guatemala

The Belize side of the border with Guatemala is difficult for transportation. The Border and Immigration post has no bus service. If you are traveling by buses, you have to hike about 2 to 2 1/2 miles to the next town of Benque Viejo along a paved highway. Don't try this in the hot sun. There are some taxis, but are OVERCHARGING and they have no public transportation competition. Most of our guests hike with heavy backpacks the couple of miles to the Benque Viejo bus station. A real bummer. Neither our Head of Tourism, or the Minister of Transportation has done a darned thing about facilitating the departure, or arrivals of tourists traveling by bus at our Western Border point.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Jamaican produced Blue Hills CARDAMOM SPICE


I don’t remember who it was talking and being interviewed on Caribbean News on Channel 5 television last night. But some guy being interviewed out in the Eastern Caribbean was castigating the intellectuals and academics of CARICOM as useless as teats on a bull. ( more or less ) He went on to say in the interview that CARICOM is full of these sweet talking verbose intellectuals with all kinds of pretty studies, position papers and outlines of CARICOM progress, on paper. What he said on television in a nutshell, was it was all poppycock and show. Just paper writings, with no meaning in rhe real world of Caribbean countries. He went on to say, that unless CARICOM bureaucrats can turn paper plans and studies into real world performance, they were a waste of time and money. What he didn’t say, but I got between the lines was that their Ph’d’s, big titles and salaries and expenses were so much as worthless. These bureaucrats were non-performers.
We more or less had come to the same conclusion in Belize up in our Western rural area. We had a CARICOM SECRETARIAT out here a few months back, promising the world and dreams of opportunity and gold in the formation of CARICOM. Like the guy being interviewed on Eastern Caribbean Television, we here in Belize had come to the conclusion it was just a bunch of people currying favor and selling refrigerators to Eskimos in the Arctic frozen wastes, ( con men selling dreams ) in order to provide themselves with salaried jobs at the expense of the taxpayers of CARIBBEAN countries. The reason I formed this personal impression was because they swore up and down to assist us in Belize with any endeavors. Subsequently we emailed enquires several times to the CARICOM SECRETARIAT for information on investment banks and nobody EVER answered us. Their bureaucracy is as bad as our own in Belize. It is like dealing with a BLACK HOLE. Nobody takes responsibility for management. In the private sector based on cash flow, in and out, profit and loss, you can’t work that way. You would get fired immediately.
The Eastern Caribbean television interviewee went on to complain about the lack of transportation internally for one thing. Which brought to mind the little bit of news we turned up lately that the Blue Hills of Jamaica actually produced CARDOMOM spice and we have a photo of it. We have not been able to buy, or even find CARDOMOM spice in Belize and even though Jamaica produces it, there is none here. In fact, there is none here from Guatemala either, which is the biggest producer in the world. ( we are going to make a week trip to COBAN, GUATEMALA and see what we can buy eventually.) We want the ingredient to test for some export product we have in mind of light manufacturing. My immediate thought was on failing to buy Jamaican CARDAMOM spice here, I would hop on a plane to Jamaica and go see the producers and arrange to buy out their crop and production. Alas, as the guy in the Eastern Caribbean said on television, we have no transportation direct from Belize to Jamaica, by ship or air. No way to get there, so how can you do business? This interviewee also went on to complain about lack of an investment bank to start up businesses in the CARICOM countries. We have lamented that same lack here in Western Belize when we tried to start up CARICOM AIRLINE out of Belize as a bootstrap project. We lost $100,000 usa on the feasibility studies, wasted because we could not find investment capital from CARICOM participants. All they know is BORROWING and LOANS. They don’t have a business clue in the world.
PM BARROW and the UDP Government of Belize are misdirecting their energies into CARICOM. CARICOM is useful for International bloc voting, but otherwise useless, when it comes to economics, business and trade. Our Foreign Policy in Belize should be re-directed to the two CHINA’s. That is probably where our business and economic future lies.



By Ray Auxillou

In his round of diplomatic and political speeches, we saw some of it on Cable television in Belize. The President of Taiwan came across as sincere, well meaning, in his personal speeches on the relationship between Belize and other allies of Taiwan.
In a nutshell, he said that Taiwan was suffering from the World Recession and loss of exports just like everybody else and Taiwan had to cut back on foreign dollar diplomacy assistance. He did say that the 26 countries or so, that are Taiwan’s closest international political supporters, would continue to receive assistance in one form or another from Taiwan. He qualified this by saying, that this meant they in Taiwan, would have to prioritize requests for assistance. He would do his best to continue programs of technical assistance to places like Belize. Perhaps even expanding them, depending on the mission goals for development. What he didn’t say but was implied, was that probably he was going to cut back on GRANTS and LOANS. Taiwan is currently suing some country in the Caribbean for a loan left unpaid, with interest mounting. Whichever country it is, had switched it’s political assistance from Taiwan to Mainland China.
One got the impression that President Ma of Taiwan expressed himself very well, in an articulate, friendly and sincere manner to the people of Belize. I liked the guy and what he said and the way he said it. Belize definitely has a close friend with Taiwan in our corner.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Taiwan Presidential plane comes to Belize with big entourage on official visit.
Taiwan President Ma


By Ray Auxillou, May, 2009

President of Taiwan is visiting Belize and takes up most of the old Fort George Hotel, now called the Radisson Hotel. Supposed to be a security entourage of 60 persons or so. Plus several hundred in the party for this state visit. Taiwan has been for the past 20 years, the best friend of Belize and the best foreign aid assistance provider for development.
Taiwan is a FIRST WORLD COUNTRY, unlike the USA which has slipped into SECOND WORLD STATUS with huge debts in the TRILLIONS upon TRILLIONS. Taiwan by comparison, has + $350 BILLION usa in foreign reserves. Belize has nothing in foreign reserves by comparison and a debt of over a BILLION usa.
Mainland China has re-approached with TAIWAN and while they remain separate political entities, their economies are joining. Taiwan has about 22 countries that support their independent political aspirations and Belize is one of them, a very strong supporter of TAIWAN, with which we identify as a small country.
The airplane for the Presidential party from TAIWAN looks similar to the USA Air Force One. Big fancy airplane.
Taiwan has something to teach us. This is that manufacturing is fiscally rewarding. At the moment the population of Belize is still small and very young. This is changing rapidly and the hope is; that various training and visitation visits to Taiwan will give many ideas to a new generation of young Belizeans in entrepreneurship for light manufacturing ideas. We are going to make more money from light manufacturing than from agriculture in the economy of Belize as our population grows.



We were woke up at 2:30 a.m. this morning by an earthquake. In our ground floor house it sounded like a strong windstorm, with vibrations of the walls and bed. The three story annex building, third story made of wood, made the most noises. The metal roofing and wooden trusses were groaning and popping nails. The metal sheeting rattling like a ghost with chains. We could hear the tinkling of broken glass.
This morning a survey showed that the third floor wooden building had lost plates, bowls and glasses off the shelves in the apartment kitchen and about $20 worth had broken from the earthquake vibrations. We are around 200 miles from the epicenter, which is the seismic fault that runs parallel deep in the ocean off the Northern Honduras coast. The epicenter was between Roatan island and the mainland coastal mountain range.
A cable television station in Spain, on channel 51 gave the first news of the epicenter and 7.1 Earthquake about 20 minutes later. Followed about two hours later by International CNN in the USA. Nobody else was reporting on the earthquake until daylight.
The land ripples were small in wave length and more or less indicated the seismic fault had the two sides slipping and grinding in opposite directions, very slowly. The quake lasted about 5 minutes. There were no after tremors.
Early morning reports in Belize are of a couple of house collapses and structural damage in the Southern area of Belize, mostly around Monkey river, Placentia and Punta Gorda. A water tower collapsed and a fuel station sank into the sea. Some small shallow sink holes. Houses and concrete beams effected here and there.
We get an earthquake effects about every ten years in Belize. Usually from this Northern Honduras ocean fault, or over in Mexico or Guatemala far away on the Pacific side. The worst I have experience occurred in the 1970’s.
When it comes to catastrophe and disasters, it is more dangerous driving to work on the FREEWAY in Miami, 1 ½ hours each way in rush hour traffic, than taking natural disasters in Belize. That’s my opinion anyway.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

3 wheel Piaggio 400 cc scooter coming to Belize?

I want one of these.
three wheel scooter for stability has hot sales in Paris

The problem with my Honda scooter, is that the small wheels, put the center of gravity up high on the seat and when you skid on wet road, or gravel, you take a tumble out of control. I have longed for a three wheel scooter for a long time. I sure would like one of these. The two wheels are in front for stability. They are being sold in France, by a company based in Boulogne Billancourt. This is a Piaggio 400 cc, quite powerful and being used for long distance scooter taxis around Paris in heavy traffic and to the airport and so forth. Waiting for them to arrive in Belize. My Honda Scooter is for sale in Belize for $1800 Bz anybody interested?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Old fashioned Mennonites in the market selling produce in our twin towns. They leave home in the pocket valleys of Barton Creek area about 4 a.m. and arrive here four hours later to sell. They don't believe in television, radio, automobiles and even have some gringo neighbors from different countries that are also survivalist types living back there in our version of Appalachia.
The finished product. A bronco tossing his cowboy at the Belmopan Rodeo last year in Belize.
Second attempt at painting a watercolor piece of art.
Ray Auxillou painting in his underwear shorts in tropical Western Belize


In my case for the past three years, we have been building a HOSTEL, called Falconview Backpackers Adventure Hostel as a security blanket and doing vegetable experiments to initiate change in Agriculture in Belize. Both are finished now and so this year I took up pencil sketching, learning using a book from the USA on how to draw. Now I've moved into water colors. Still learning that. After that, will try acrylics. Only spend 2 hours in the morning dabbling. The goal is to build enough historical paintings, to make a good collection, that will be famous and EXPENSIVE after I'm long dead. ( grin! ) I mean, think about it for a bit. What do you do if you have been an outdoorsman all your life, with adventures galore, a life of excitement and exploration and daring do, then find yourself 72 years old and can't do all those physical things you want to, anymore? You have to have challenges to keep the juices flowing. Right?


href="">Hubble telescope circling our spaceship, planet Earth
slice of universe

ORIENTATED TO CROPS, LEISURE AND DRINKING RUM. THEY ARE NOT FAR WRONG. As a rum drinking, rural, tropical country bumpkin, I put this piece on here to show you we think about more serious stuff too! ( grin! )


Saw a TV show the other night that discussed latest findings and speculations on the nature of our Universe. It would seem that our reality, and state of physics, which includes basic macro physics, quantum physics and planck physics, are probably not going to get us out to the other stars in our Spiral Galaxy. We cannot go faster than light, unless some bright young spark figures out how to manipulate TIME.
Forget the numbers, but apparently about 70% of the mass of the Universe is unknown, called DARK ENERGY. Of this, new computations put about 40% of that as DARK ENERGY and the other 30% nobody has put a name to it yet, or figured it out. There is certainly scope out there and careers for physics and star travel for the bright new minds and engineers of the future. Seems like a good career move?
That said, some new information has come to light. We knew the Universe was expanding. The long study of the HUBBLE telescope into the depths of a slice of the Universe, show TRILLIONS upon TRILLIONS of galaxies out there. When you have an explosion, the presumption is that the PRESSURE and BIG BANG is fastest at the moment of explosion. After that the concussion, starts to slow down as the Universe in this case expands. New HUBBLE data, however contradict that assumption. The EXPANSION of the Universe, or the speed of the spreading apart of the galaxies is INCREASING. Which is leaving everybody flabbergasted and looking for new theories to explain the data. I will repeat, the data shows the Universe is showing, that the Universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate of speed.
In other words, we know basically nothing about anything much!
DARK ENERGY is the future for OLYMPIC QUALITY physicists to go into. Though TIME and GRAVITY also have important roles in current physics. We are still basically pygmies in darkest Africa of the CONGO, using a TV set we don’t know how it works, or watching a jet plane pass overhead and wondering what it is? What we don’t know is greater than what we do know. Of course humans have only being making headway in this sort of thing for about 80 years out of the past 10,000 or so.



The G7 and later the G 20 seem to be manipulating the financial currency markets? The idea of the industrialized FIRST WORLD countries, is to take advantage of the second and third world developing countries. Stripping them of their foreign exchange and leaving them subservient to the G 7 and G 20. The BILDEBERG annual conferences had outlined a plan over the past five years, of economic crisis, which has just passed, and an international currency replacing main currencies and a war of some kind. The USA Military- Industrial complex want a new war it is said, all over the internet websites. For small Belize, trying to anticipate the elephants fighting is kind of difficult. We lack the expertise.
China is reported in the media of being open to an international currency. The United Nations wants to be
the owner of the world currency. Russia has changed their international reserves from the usa dollar to the Euro. ( they sell oil and gas to Europe ) The usa dollar is expected to be devalued according to some websites. The Bilderberg Group annual secret conferences were discussing scrapping the existing financial system and building something new, as a more controlled world economic system and internet websites discuss the means to do this, which seem to be taking place, over a 10 year time frame? We are about year 4 right now. None of this is going to be good for Belize.
The world seems to be topsy turvy, but you can bet your bottom dollar, that small countries like Belize are going to be ruined and enslaved, in one form or another, as a matter of normal G 7 type manipulative economic domination. As the Chinese like to say, “may you live in interesting times”.
Belize is currently indebted to the tune of a BILLION USA, or more. For a population of 300,000. We can’t blame the ROBBER BARONS, or the so-called foreign banks, it was our own stupid politicians that created our mess. Their greed and amateurishness got us where we are today. Mind you they have been manipulated by expert sales pitches of GDP encouraged sales pitch loans from G 7 controlled banks.
The Prime Minister who is also the Finance Minister, is answering media enquiries with an enigmatic reply, that all options are on the table. He is saying this about our financial situation, which is rapidly entering a crisis leap. About his dealings with our electric utility and our telecommunications monopoly. Our Finance Minister is keeping his cards close to his chest. So far in the short year and a bit, he has been in office, we can only hope he has more financial smarts than he has shown so far. The rumor mill though is very active. I’ve heard all kinds of rumors. The best one is that the Foreign BOND HOLDERS of Belize Bonds will be getting notice about the time of the lowest stock market ( October –September this year ) that the Belize Bonds will be re-financed in line with the lower G 7 and G 20 interest rates. This is being debated, at 1 ¾% interest rate, flat rate. Coming in line with the changes of the USA Federal Reserve bank rate and other international ( mostly European ) interest rates, that dropped drastically 7 months ago thereabouts. Leaving third world countries like Belize with outstanding debts at what are now ruinous interest rates, but advantageous to the financial buyers from the G 7 countries.
What those concerned with Belize financial circumstances, is the question, of our being a perpetual submissive VICTIM, in a manipulated international financial market. We may not know what is going on with the G 7 planning, or the Bilderberg Group of international countries, but we can match them reasonably well, move for move, if we were pugnacious enough. Can Belize be reactive?
That is a good question? Nothing with the UDP financial matters so far, lends any support, or faith that they can do this sort of thing. The PUP at least tried and were willing to learn. Can the UDP fight? Will they fight back? We need a CABINET with the temperament of a PEKINESE dog and the guts of an Argentinean DOGO fighting pit bull. Or the smarts of the world’s smartest currency trader.
The way I am hearing things, I kind of go along with the debate that we refinance the Belize Bonds at 1 ¾ % flat interest rate, and that our GOB offers to buy back ALL the Belize Bonds that are offered for sale, by bond holders, at .20 cents on the dollar, or up to .25 cents on the dollar in the case of the Eastern Caribbean bond holders. Either that or default in 2010 -2011?
I guess before Xmas we should know the mettle and ability of this UDP Cabinet. They have some serious decisions to make. Time is running out.

Belize says most bondholders accept debt restructuring plan

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

by Lester Pimentel

USA (Bloomberg), NEW YORK: Belize said most of the country's bondholders have accepted a restructuring offer.

Holders of 93 percent of Belize's debt agreed to exchange their bonds for securities that mature in 2029, according to a press release. The bonds will pay an interest rate of 4.25 percent in the first three years, 6 percent in the fourth and fifth years and 8.5 percent thereafter, Belize said in the statement.

"The level of debt relief requested by Belize was necessary and proportionate to the financial situation facing the country," National Development Minister Mark Espat said in the statement.

Belize said on August 2 it would seek to restructure its $960 million of international bonds. Belize spends more than 27 percent of government revenue on servicing its debt, according to Standard & Poor's.

The yield on the country's benchmark 9.5 percent bonds due 2012 was unchanged at 19.12 percent in New York last week, according Royal Bank of Canada. The bond's price, which moves inversely to the yield, was 68 cents.

On December 7, Belize's foreign currency rating was lowered to selective default by Standard & Poor's after the government proposed the bond exchange. S&P lowered Belize's long-term foreign currency rating to SD from CC and reduced the rating on the bonds in the proposed exchange to D from CC because the exchange would cease interest payments on the bonds.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

$3 million USA loan to assist poor women be entrepreneurs ( hic ! )


The government of Belize, the UDP have successfully BORROWED another loan. This loan is for $3 million USA dollars, or $6 million dollars Bz., Loaned to our UDP government ( that is the first mistake ) by the International Fund for Agricultural Development. The alleged MISSION GOAL is to enable rural poor women in a sort of RURAL FINANCE PROGRAM. The usual (BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!) accompanies the news blurbs on this loan. If you figure 10,000 poor women who will borrow money, then that works out to $600 Bz each. Of course, being a government administered loan program, only 5% of the money is actually expected to reach any poverty needing women. These in turn will have to be UDP voters. Such loans disappear in bureaucratic overhead costs.
If given to the CREDIT UNIONS to administer, it might work out? But not administered by any of our government departments. Our bureaucrats cannot even handle the work loads they have now. With diminishing finances to fund civil servants, the situation is slated to get a lot worse too.
The blah, blah, blah mission goals of this program are worthy enough, as all such foreign aided money is, but only if administered by a Credit Union, or NGO and NOT by anybody in our government political, or bureaucracy. Just my thoughts on the subject, by a professional cynic. Otherwise the stated goals sound excellent!


President Colom and First Lady of Guatemala in Rural Development Bank embezzlement swindles and three murders.


Investigative journalism by Guardian newspaper reporters, have indicated that a Belizean is the FIRST LADY of GUATEMALA our neighbor, this weekend. (* see clarification in postscript ) Sandra Garcia it is claimed in the newspaper from Belize City is the wife of President Colom, currently under investigation as a MAFIA DON in Guatemalan political circles, says the Guardian newspaper in Belize. Guatemalan President Colom is being investigated in three murders and looting of the Guatemalan Rural Development Bank. Similar to the scandals in Belize of the other Garcia sister under the PUP government. The President’s wife, Mrs. Sandra de Colom is allegedly the GUARDIAN says; is also the sister of our infamous Nadia Garcia of PUP looting and plundering fame, of the DFC and Intelco in Belize, during the financially crippling financial stripping of the DFC and future Belize government earnings, for the next 30 years and maybe longer, using government credit and foreign loans which disappeared offshore someplace. Currently one quarter of Belize government revenues is used to pay just the interest ( not the debt incurred by the PUP crooks ) on what escalated to a national debt of $2 Billion Bz, or $1 Billion USA, every year. Unless re-financing is implemented in this time of low interest rates, the PUP debt of which Nadia Garcia played a senior part in her role of running the Development Finance Corporation, in which in Senate Hearings, she admitted to signing off on FRAUDULENT PAPERS, but for which she was NEVER prosecuted ( why? ) by either political party in Belize The interest payments in Belize on the National Bond Debt are due to progressively escalate to 65% of Government annual revenues in 2012, or two years time, making governing in Belize impossible. The future has been allegedly stolen by the PUP and is currently being plundered by the UDP on a much lesser scale.
While the PUP looting and plundering of Belize’s money and future earning capacity was originally estimated around $140 million under the PUP, that disappeared offshore, the ripple effects and law of unintended consequences, quickly ran the financial raiding during the previous PUP two terms up to a BILLION USA dollars. In a country of 300,000 people. Slightly less than 100% of GDP, but which at one time was 127% of GDP. The GUARDIAN newspaper alleges that Mrs. Colom, First Lady of Guatemala, is also duplicating Nadia Garcia, her alleged sister in Belize City performance with the Development Finance Corporation, some seven years ago in Belmopan the capital. One has to presume that sisters communicate and have heart to heart talks with each other about life in general. It does seem coincidental that the same modus operendi is allegedly taking place in Guatemala, with alleged MAFIA DON, President Colom, President Colom’s wife being accused of duplicating today, the events of the looting and plundering done in Belmopan the capital of Belize, when her sister Nadia Garcia was in the upper echelons of administrative power at the DFC here. At any rate the GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER is alleging Mrs. Colom, is First Lady of Guatemala, is also the sister of our infamous NADIA GARCIA, in Belize, and in Guatemala is part of the CABAL of her suspected alleged murdering MAFIOSO DON husband, who is President of that country and is supposed to be part of embezzlement and swindles to do with the Guatemalan equivalent of what was our Development Finance Corporation, called in Guatemala, the RURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK. Paper corporations, money laundering, deviation of public funds to non-existent programs, all are copy cat, looting and plundering that occurred in Belize some 7 years ago and is now being alleged in Guatemala today by our local newspapers in Belize. With 12 million people in Guatemala versus only 300,000 in Belize, the money stealing opportunities must be close to a BILLION dollars of disappearing Guatemalan funds during a Presidential term of office? We now have that sort of experience after the PUP in Belize, to judge such matters.
While we have a NEW government in Belize over a year old, called the UDP political party, this weekend newspapers are hinting that our own Prime Minister is feeding his divorced ex-wife an average of a MILLION DOLLARS a month of our tax money, to act as a government contract lawyer, doing nonsensical legal battles. Louis Young ( lawyer ) the newspapers this weekend, allege; she has earned about $12 million dollars since her ex-husband came to power in Belize as the Prime Minister. This must be newspaper guesswork, but probably not too far wrong? Our opinions are formed by the newspapers and television news stories in Belize. This is an opinion piece.
Belizean voters and citizens are well aware now, that politics is big money business for those who run for political office and the real hard workers seem few and far between, with honesty as their credo, who enter the political fray. Rene Montero our area representative seems to be doing a good job as Minister of Agriculture for our voting district. There are obviously a lot of -wanna be - crooks in the UDP as well, now running our country. The story seems to be repeated ad finitum throughout history, in all countries of the world. Self enrichment and corruption seem to be human nature at work, particularly by those who run for political office. Unfortunately, YOU and I, have to pay the increased taxes to pay for the political stealing. Our police are helpless, being neither educated, nor allowed by our Constitutional system to act independently with an ELECTED Commissioner. They are only bully boys for the political party in power and for handling ordinary street low level crime only. We have no effective police system in Belize to hinder the many political criminals. Interesting to read today, that the same story is occurring in the United Kingdom and our forecasts of 3 years ago are coming true, as the National Debt of the United Kingdom is now greater than that of Belize. The UK National Debt is being reported at 100% of GDP, whereas the Belize National Debt is 78% of GDP and growing. Strange to say, the European Union was denying, or evicting Eastern European members who let their Debt to GDP ratio exceeded 3% of GDP a couple of years back, yet inexplicably the United Kingdom with a reported debt ratio of 100% of GDP is still an active member. Which just goes to show the Europeans are not to be trusted and are pirates using DOUBLE SPEAK in all their dealings. Politician, party leader and larcenous criminals seem to be synonyms? I suppose each new generation of humans have to learn these basic truths?
This is just a cynical opinion look at the newspaper and television news reporting lately. Life goes on, despite the politicians anywhere.

*Clarification: Wife says the local newspaper article I was making my Belizean assumptions from, with a Belizean bias are wrong. That the wife of President Colom could have been born in Guatemala, or Belize, or naturalized and born in Belize, or her sister Nadia could have been naturalized in Belize and born in Guatemala. I apologize for my intrepretive bias and assumptions.

St Ignatius High School in Santa Elena Town gets GRANT provided three more classrooms

Rene Montero the political area representative opens Cristo Rey computer center under new program.


As aid goes, this is a good one! Mainly because it is a GRANT from the Social Investment Fund and not a loan. The GRANT comes through a government owned institution under the Commonwealth Debt Initiative Program. It is said, that the Social Investment Fund provided $175,000 and the High School Board along with the Parent Teachers Association, provided $7,500.
The money paid for the construction of three new classrooms, capable of withstanding hurricane winds up to Force 2 in the high school.
The population of Belize is growing exponentially, much like the rest of the world, which now has 6 ½ billion people on this planet. Our area representative Hon. Rene Montero and another Cayo West area representative, Hon. Erwin Contreras did the honors of opening the three new classrooms.
It is said statistically, that 70% of our Belizean population do not have, or finish PRIMARY SCHOOL, which is Standard 6 here and called Grade 8 in either Canada, or the USA. High Schools are important, but only serve 30% of our population. About 90,000 youngsters have gone on to High School in our population through the years and our funds are inadequate to pay for the growth and need in education. 210,000 of our population do not finish PRIMARY SCHOOL and are left to fend for themselves. Most are illiterate, or partially so and only the quick and smart succeed in teaching themselves anything better. The population of Belize is guessed at 300,000 but may be 311,000 persons.
The real education problem in Belize is funding primary schools, building such schools and training of teachers. The Government of Belize simply does not have the financial resources. 26% of our annual government revenues are wasted on servicing past debt interest payments and due to escalate in two years to 65% of our annual government revenues, shrinking available funds more and more. Anybody can start a school. The education system will recognize such private built and organized schools after three years and pay about 80% of the needed teacher salaries. Primary schools are mostly built by various religious cults, to indoctrinate young minds into their particular religion and create a life long financial and power base. It is a bad system, but since we cannot as a country keep up with the number of schools needed, or the classrooms needed for continous expansion, or find the money to train teachers, it is always ONE STEP forward, and THREE STEPS BACKWARD.

CRISTO REY gets computer center
There was an attempt under the last government to spread internet as an educational and developmental tool, for productive purposes. The idea was to get district town libraries operational with FREE INTERNET. The system collapsed, because the library system had no funding, other than salaries for minimal staffing and nothing for furniture, maintenance and so on. Thus librarians tended to gravitate to competing with private operated INTERNET CAFES, who charge anywhere from $2.50 to $6 per hour for internet time. FREE INTERNET didn’t work out. This money then bought library supplies and parts for the computer system. Unfortunately the practice excluded about 200,000 primary school age children from ever being able to use the internet as an educational learning tool. The class divisions between the poor and the money earning class ( non productive, merchants and civil servant types ) got wider and wider.
A new start has been implemented from lessons learned by the first, now failed, FREE LIBRARY INTERNET program, using a European Union GRANT for $840,000 to finance 22 new INTERNET CAFES. The general government aim is to support the sustainable economic development of the rural communities, which are the productive sector of our economy. There is a political battle going on with our semi-monopoly ROBBER BARON internet provider, over control over internet service and many parts of our country of Belize, do not have internet service, or even telephone service. Some places don’t even have electricity. At any rate, Cristo Rey Village in Western Belize just opened the first of these 22 internet cafes, inaugerated by Rene Montero the area representative. The investment in this pay for service internet café is $37,100 Bz and $9,400 actually came from the Cristo Rey Women’s Association. Cristo Rey is a retirement area for Europeans and Americans and while there are not many retirees, those that have decided to retire and die in this beautiful section of hilly Belize, in the foothills of the remote Belize Alps, are very active in various social programs. The Womens Association submitted the original application for the venture and will also manage the internet café. This new facility comes with five computers and employees, five persons from the Association in a supervisory role. The lesson learned from the failed DISTRICT LIBRARY INTERNET PROGRAM of past years, was that such a program cannot be run FREE in Belize. There is inadequate government revenues to pay for such things. It is unfortunate that the divide between the poor, the middle class and the rich, does not seem to be capable of being resolved in this generation. We can only do what we can, as best we can. The answer lies with more productivity and increased exports, along with more diversification of our economic activities. Of course FOREIGN GRANTS through our local Non Government Organizations is a very good way to assist in developing Belize if you want to help building Belize.

Cardomom spice growing experiment for BELIZE

Jamaican cardamom spice
About 10 seeds per pod for Cardomom
Green cardamom pods


By Ray Auxillou

I got interested in Cardamom exotic spice this year accidentally. My wife and I, in a tour of Eastern Guatemala, ran across a little old lady in the small rural town in a deep valley, called Lanquin. Sort of a Shangri La hidden oasis of holiday quiet. The little old lady was selling small tortilla sized chocolate. We only bought two and regretted it after we got on the bus later in the day when we ate them. They were so delicious. We should have bought the whole caboodle. If only we had known?
The chocolate was combined with cardamomo spice, which grew all around the area of Lanquin on the sides of the steep mountains. It is multi cropped, interspersed with bananas, pine trees and coconut trees. So recently, I decided to read up on it. Fascinating exotic spice. This is what we learned. Guatemala is the biggest producer of CARDOMOMO spice in the world. Introduced by German immigrants that left Belize back before World War 1 for coffee growing Guatemala. India is second producer. The SPICE is the second most expensive spice in the world. Saffron is the top seller spice. World supply is limited and it seems that almost all the crop is bought by the Arabian countries around the Persian Gulf, where it is a staple spice in many dishes.
Fascinating to read, that Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras have tried to grow it and failed. It is apparently difficult to grow. It kind of looks like a bush about 6 to 8 feet high. The difficult thing is it requires a lot of water, or rain and so needs to be grown in a high rainfall area. Usually the Eastern Side of the cordillera in Guatemala, when the Caribbean Trade Winds pile up for a 7 month long rainy season. Now these are not heavy rains, but just a lot of drizzle. The plant likes 2000 to 4000 feet altitude, but I read that it has been grown in lower elevations, like in Sri Lanka.
Would this be a good diversified crop for Belize? Sure would if you can grow it here? The only part of Belize that even fits the description suitable, is the highlands behind, on the slopes of the Belize Alps. Mostly running from back of Monkey River area, and flowing on the South East side of the mountain range, to the Guatemalan border. A deprived area, which could use some cash crop inputs.
This is definitely an Agriculture Department worthwhile experiment. Should not even cost much to experiment. The difficulty is that the plant does not produce pods and their seeds, for three to four years. Then it is productive for another four years. Plenty of local Mayan Indian expertise available in the Department of Alto Verpaz around COBAN in Guatemala. You can even drive there in one day from Belize through Xayache. From my reading, you would have to plant each year and it would have to be interspersed with a tree crop, or shade crop of some alternative growing plants.
When the pods turn green you hand pick them and air dry them. Each pod contains about 10 small seeds. The seeds in the pods are black and sticky. The best quality seeds are ripe, hard and dark brown in color. The plant has a whole lot of medicinal uses. The rhizomes are planted among shade trees. When they get ripe, they shoot up flower spikes that produce the pods. In Guatemala, most farmers are small scale doing about 5 acres in multi cropping scenario.
Will it grow in Belize? You won’t know until you try? The experiment is worthwhile, but you are looking probably at an eight year running experiment? The higher you get above San Antonio village in the Toledo District the better. You can sell all you can grow and the price is high. I can attest to the flavor richness it gives chocolate. Next time in Guatemala, will try to buy some ready made spice, though I believe the whole crop is advance bought by Arab countries. Get a GRANT Agriculture Department and run an experiment down in the Toledo District. You are not going to get any European experts. The experts are all Mayan Indians in the Alto Verpaz area of Guatemala. Set a couple of Mayan Indian families up with land and expenses for eight years and see how it goes? You can only fail! Cheap experiment with plenty of upside economic potential, so it is worth doing.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Donna Baird

A house guest for 2 1/2 weeks here in Hillview, Donna Baird from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is a retired art teacher and now plays for pay, for dances in her home town. She taught us a lot of little tricks with arts and crafts. Too bad she didn't stay longer, things were just starting to get going.


Imported extracts in to Belize


We have these extracts imported into Belize and we could manufacture them here and export them ourselves, if an entrepreneur was interested enough? One of these is ALMOND EXTRACT in a small bottle, manufactured by Surya International, out of Sharjah, Unite Arab Emirates. The other one is an ORANGE EXTRACT imported from Rayner And Co. Ltd. of London, England. We grow both Almonds and Oranges in Belize. We are going to experiment with chocolate flavored extracts and see what we can make?

Belize imports chocolate and wooden popsicle sticks from nearby Guatemala

Imported wooden popsicle sticks from Guatemala. Not enough market I guess to make them here?
This is BETTY of Betty's store in Hillview. We now have a few more smaller places, but Betty has the biggest and is the main earner in her family. She sells the Choco Banana to Dorita when she has it, to make childrens chocolate covered banana popsicles.

Betty Figueroa is a success story I'm proud of. Honest and hardworking. Came with here parents in the refugee program from the Salvadoranean civil war. She now has a modest sized store. When I first met her she was a very young widow ( about 21 years ) with two kids and no education at all. She paid somebody for private English lessons and learned English. I taught her how to keep a set of accounts for me and she has done my bill paying for eight years. Some times she has had a minimum of $10,000 under her care to pay my bills. I trust her implicity. Her father set her up with a small shack to earn a living and with bank loans she keeps expanding. Supports her parents and her two children and occasionally even some of her siblings. Most of her brothers and sisters had to go into entrepreneurial businesses and are making it, more or less.

Anyway, Betty also sells the wooden sticks used to make banana popsicles and both the wooden sticks and the chocolate come across the frontier as imports, because nobody in Belize sells either the popsicle wood sticks, or the liquid prepared chocolate ready to use.


Dorita Gonzales, age 46 years makes banana chocolate covered popsicals in her kitchen in Hillview. The children like to eat them in our small village, an outer suburb of Santa Elena Town. She sells them for .25 cents Belize. Hardly worth the effort, but she says the local children like them. The banana sweetens the flavor of the chocolate.


Choco banana has vanilla and other stuff and ready to use.
Choco banana sold in Belize.

Choco banana is produced in Guatemala. The Maya over the border have cacao trees and they sell bulk ready to use chocolate that melts at room temperature in these plastic bags. We were running taste tests this morning and will have to experiment with adding different ingredients to get the mix and flavors we want. Decided to go into an arrangement with Dorita who makes banana chocolate popsicles for the experimentation. The bag of chocolate sells in the local Chinese stores out Western Belize here for $12.50. Not sure how much they weigh.

Belize produces cacao beans and some people might be trying to make chocolate, but it is mostly exported to England under the ORGANIC GREEN ECO LABEL or something like that. For local and future chocolate producers we are going to have to buy from nearby Guatemala who are more advanced than we.

Giant Eagle Rays off Turneffe Atoll in 1967

Giant Eagle Rays of Turneffe Atoll in Belize

These two Spotted Eagle Rays are drawn from memory back in 1967, off Rendevous Point, shelf dropoff, on the North West edge of Turneffe Atoll. These two were about 18 feet across from wing tip to wing tip. One time I remember having a big Ray ( forget the name ) pass by me in the deep blue, off the edge of the cliff coral tunnels that must have been 24 feet across. The wing tip was about two feet from my head and the thing was looking right at me and I felt we could almost communicate? What memory I most remember from this giant ray in the deep blue of the Caribbean droppoff was that the EYE ball was the size of a dinner plate. It was a huge eye, and we stared at each other eye to eye, as it leisurely swam past me, trying to figure out what I was doing. I was in Scuba at the time and about 40 feet in depth. Talk about two species interacting. We were both curious.

This historical art work in the original is for sale at $450 usa, plus whatever postage and handling. Photocopy prints can be had for $19.95 usa plus $6 postage and handling. The art is on display in Ray Auxillou's PRIVATE COLLECTION at Hillview hacienda in Western Belize.

Taiwan Aid to Belize - Food packaging - processing.

Dryed fruit package produced by Taiwanese processing demonstration division of their FOREIGN AID MISSION

I bought some packages of the Taiwanese dehydrated fruit as we like these at home and anytime we go by Central Farm where they have a sales store, we buy $10 worth. I noticed that they have cut the number of fruit in the packages by a half in this latest batch?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Mayan chocolate beans of Belize

Kakaw chocolate of Belize
Maya Gold Chocolate
Goss chocolate of Belize


Belize now has chocolate makers in various parts. We even have a lady making banana popsicles, chocolate covered on a wooden stick in my small community of Hillview. A number of Southern Districts are trying their hand in entrepreneurial chocolate making and manufacturing as a cottage kitchen industry. We are fast getting capability to export some chocolate candies. We do need some foreign assistance to allow small entrepreneurs to figure out how to EXPORT CHOCOLATE CANDIES. Places that are producing chocolate manufacturing are family sized right now and usually in locations that do not have either telephone service, or internet service. Belize produces it's own cacao from which chocolate is made. A lot of different small families are trying to start a chocolate export business. Finding a buyer overseas and learning to package and preserve, change the centers and flavors, packaging in most cases, are new things we are learning in Belize. We will overcome the difficulties though and compete in the world for our famous Mayan Kings royal families chocolate, been used here for more than 6000 years in the olden Mayan Empires. The CACAO bean was our money in Belize for most of the past 5000 years.

Santa Elena Town of Belize expanding and now has three vegetable stands on main street.

Macal River market vegetable stand.


SANTA ELENA TOWN OF THE WESTERN BELIZE AGRICULTURE AND RECREATIONAL AREA EXPANDING AND NOW HAS THREE PERMANENT VEGETABLE STANDS ALONG MAIN STREET. Bananas every day at 10 bananas for a $1 Belize, or .50 cents USA. Small papaya a $1 each Belize, or .50 cents each all year round. We never shop over at the Macal River Market across the river on the bluff anymore. We go into San Ignacio Town of the Twin Towns on the other side of the Macal River, only to reach the Post Office and check our mail box, to get money from Atlantic Bank and they say they will soon open a bank branch on our side of the river in Santa Elena Town and of course we do not yet have a stationary store and must go across to Angelus Press on the San Ignacio side. The other item we must go across the river for is to find a butcher to buy meat. For everything else you can buy it right here in Santa Elena Town. One day we might even get a police station?

70% of the children of Belize NEVER finish primary school education!

Small Catholic Ambergris Caye primary school
Belize religious primary school
rural village primary school in Belize


No government of either political party has succeeded in licking the problems facing the church state, primary school system used in Belize , formerly British Honduras . The latest statistic I read, was that 70% of the children entering PRIMARY school in Belize NEVER FINISH. Primary school in Belize is considered to be the equivalent of Grades 1 to 8 in Canada , or the USA . Our educational system continues to be a failure after 65 years.

While higher education for the advantaged, or those driven to it, has come a long way in Belize . The building blocks, or the foundation of education still languishes in Belize . Why talk about insufficient high schools, or PSE’s when 70 % of ALL BELIZEAN CHILDREN never even finish Standard 6 ( grade 8 ) in this country. Our resources have been going to a privileged class of population.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Miss Balam Central Farm agronomist succeeds in growing 17 varities of onions in Belize

Miss Balam, government agronomist with onions she is air drying. Belize is now import substitution capable on a year round basis and Miss Balam is now doing research on varieties and other Central Farm Research Station officers are seeking export markets for our new onion growing capability.
Agronomist Miss Balam has grown 17 varieties of onions this year and is air drying them. Belize is now self sufficient in onion capability. The next step is to go to growing for export and we need to identify export markets. Such as Venezuela and CARICOM countries.

Rumor has it BTL to be nationalized??? A la Chavez method.

Santa Elena Town now has three fruit and vegetable stands and it has been several months since I have bothered to even visit the Macal River market. We are now self sufficient for fruits and vegetables in the mile long Western Highway main street. The most common one from me is across from Agro Tech store, as it is two buildings over from my daily visit to the Internet Cafe.
The only thing I go to San Ignacio Town, across the river for anymore, is to visit Atlantic Bank, the Post Office and Angelus Press when I need photocopying or stationary supplies. Otherwise in the last three or four months, we no longer go across the river to San Ignacio Town at all. Santa Elena Town is getting more and more stores and public services all the time. Most of the time, the San Ignacio Town side of the river stores never have what you want to buy anyway and with new stores like an extra Three Flags ( which is packed daily ) and A & R most things of the odd ball sort can be bought right here. The wife went across to Melchor town, the other day on the Guatemalan side to buy sheets for a double bed we needed for tourists, as we did not have enough and bought a few things, we cannot get on this side of the border.
We are waiting for Atlantic Bank to open an extension office on this side of the river. We also are waiting for a local post office. Or at least a mail box corner setup in Hillview. We of course are still waiting for both telephone and internet service up in Hillview and been waiting for over ten years, complaining each year and receiving NEXT YEAR promises from BTL.
Rumor mill has it, that BTL will be evaluated as to worth, by an independent foreign valuator and then GOB will nationalize the company? Ashcroft will be paid in 1 - 1/2% interest paying GOB Bonds. The profits are expected to pay the interest and buy back somewhat on the Bonds over time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

El Pilar city state started between major Mayan Empires 800 BC in Belize

. Ancient History of El Pilar

El Pilar ruins are not far, from from "Falconview Backpackers Adventure Hostel" in Santa Elena Town. About 14 miles. Not many people go there, because of Guatemalan banditry robbing tourists, occasionally from across the border. El Pilar covers about 100 acres and started between the Mayan Empire before the Classical period most often studied. It was a sort of in between major Mayan political Empires, a city state of the Yalbac Hills and the edge of the Belize River Valley. Cahel Pech is older than El Pilar going back to 1500 BC, located right on the hilltop of Western San Ignacio Town. El Pilar straddles the unmarked frontier. The El Pilar, city site dates from 800 BC. The Classical flourishing of the second Mayan Empire occured between 600 A.D. and 900 A.D. The Mayan Calendar started more than 5000 years ago and is ending in 2012. El Pilar is older than the ruins of TIKAL. All the city states as political centers and fuedal kingdoms,stopped about 1100 years ago.
When the British formed a colony and gave British companies all the land, there was a movement by the British colonial government to destroy all the homes and farms of Mayan people living in this area and chase them out. It is a disgraceful part of Belize history when the Maya occupiers of the land who had lived here for more than 6000 years and were burnt out of their villages and homes by the British government and companies claiming the land.

pilarfigure-11El Pilar flourished as a Maya garden city for nearly 2,000 years. It was the largest urban area in what is now the edge of greater Petén. At its peak it housed more than 20,000 people in a mosaic landscape of city houses and gardens, surrounded by forest and agricultural fields. The city had what is rare in the Maya area, an abundance of water: the name "El Pilar" is derived from the Spanish word for watering basin. The venerable Tikal, 30 miles (50 km) to the west, had no naturally occurring water sources.

Through ceramic analysis, archaeologists have determined that major construction at El Pilar began around 800 BCE, in what is known as the Middle Preclassic Period. These early monuments relate to the early growth of settlements in the Belize River Area and predate those of Tikal, only a two-day walk from El Pilar. Concurrently, the Olmec of the Gulf Coast of Mexico were flourishing and the large center of El Mirador was on the rise. This growth would later spread into the core area, foreshadowing the preeminence of Tikal.

In the Late Preclassic Period, beginning 250 BCE, major public centers were known in the entire region from the interior of the Petén to northern Belize. Populations were growing, settlements were fully established, and the path to civilization was underway. At El Pilar the major plazas had been defined and established. This is noted particularly with the formation of the large expanse of Plaza Copal, the first construction of the ball court, and the "E" group thought to be astronomically oriented.

pilarfigure-10By 250 CE in the Early Classic Period there were major public works and a significant population around El Pilar. This period saw the start of the tradition of magnificent carved stela commemorating regal events of succession, marriage, and conquest. Population was expanding but would not reach its height until the Late Classic period. El Pilar's dominance in the local area is evident; El Pilar is only 10km northwest of the Belize River and the numerous minor centers that interacted at the edge of greater Petén into the core area of the magnificent city center Naranjo, about 20 km to the southeast.

The Late Classic from 600-900 CE marks the pinnacle of the Maya civilization, witness to some of the greatest cities and largest populations. El Pilar was the largest civic center of the area, with more than 25 identified plazas in an area of about 100 acres (38 hectares). It is composed of three main sectors named Xaman, Nohol, and Poniente. Two ball courts are found in the Nohol and Poniente sectors that are connected with a causeway. Both of these areas boast broad open plazas. The H'mena acropolis is secluded in the northern Xaman sector. The tallest buildings are 17-20 meters high, offering spectacular vistas of the Maya Forest.

Monumental construction continued at El Pilar with the last major remodeling completed in the Terminal Classic Period (1000 CE). This is a time when formerly important centers, such as Tikal, were in their decline.

This long sequence testifies to continuous and methodical development in the area. After almost two thousand years of occupation, the monuments at El Pilar were left unattended approximately 1000 years ago, but the Maya forest was never abandoned.

III. Rediscovery and Research


El Pilar was unexplored by Western archeologists until 1983. When Anabel Ford began her work as an archaeologist in the Maya forest in 1972, she was interested in the everyday life of the Maya through the study of cultural ecology-the relationships of humans and their environment. While conducting a settlement survey in the forested ridge lands, she re-discovered El Pilar, a Maya urban center with major temples and plazas extending across more than 50 hectares (about 100 acres). At that time locals were using the land for casual agricultural pursuits. Ford was privileged to be the first to map the extent of the site, chart the size and scope of the ancient center, and literally put El Pilar on the map. This began her research spanning more than three decades in and around the site.

In the 1980s Ford launched the Belize River Archaeological Settlement Survey, known as the BRASS project that has emphasized the ancient Maya people rather than the governing elites. Multidisciplinary studies focus on where the Maya built their homes (settlement patterns) and how they fed their large populations (resource management). Archaeology Under the Canopy and the Maya forest garden are important elements of these studies. They may seem disconnected, but in reality they are the thread connecting the past to the present and future as researchers unravel the mysteries of the ancient Maya. In practicing their traditional life ways, the contemporary Maya inform the past, telling us about life around El Pilar at its height. Combining research and development, the project conducts major excavations of temples and plazas while promoting community involvement and tourism.

Excavation continues with survey work in the three main sectors of El Pilar: Xaman, Nohol, and Poniente. An ancient Maya house site uncovered in 1996, Tzunu'un, provides a window into domestic Maya life. An active forest garden surrounds the house plaza to create a living environment.

IV. Visit El Pilar

Friday, May 15, 2009


Belize is a parliamentary democracy. The democracy part ends after the voting in National elections for five years. Justice is basically a flip of a coin, 50 - 50. If you can pay for justice, you get off.
The Supreme Court is considered entertainment like a Soap Opera in the port town.
Supreme Court Building in the port town. It is not located in the capital of the country.


This is an opinion piece, delivered from living through the past 50 years. Belize has gone from a British Colony to an independent country, courtesy of the United Nations unanimous vote, with one abstentation by our neighbor Guatemala back at Independence in 1982.

How have we done? The masses of the population are learning how politics works. What has evolved so far, are two dominant parties with national ability to contest elections. There are a number of independent candidates, but so far none have won any seats in the parliament during national elections.

Since the UDP party has come back into power, the number of elected representatives believed to be criminals in the winning party is roughly 20%. During the last PUP two terms of office, the number of criminals that were elected representatives ran about 25%. The number of elected representatives have increased due to population growth and political skullduggery of unequal voting divisions of the port town people, ensuring the port town of Belize City retain control of the central government.

Some government departments are still not doing so good after fifty years, despite changes in political party control. Currently it takes One Year to qualify for permanent residency for an immigrant, but 2 ½ years for bureaucratic red tape processing, making Permanent Residency for foreign immigrant investors a very slow process of 3 ½ years. The citizenship process takes 5 years to qualify for citizenship of permanent living in Belize ( except if you are a billionaire and can pay a big bribe to the Cabinet Minister of Immigration for a more speedy processing ) After you qualify for citizenship, it takes 3 ½ years to do the red tape bureaucratic processing to get your citizenship, which means a total time of 8 ½ years to an applicant. Many things are not capable of being achieved in land development, without citizenship for immigrant developers.

These opinions are derived mostly from either first hand experience, or reading of the flow of investigative reporting from the weekly newspapers.

This past week, a NEW alarming trend has occurred in land title security. The land system has been one based on first acquiring a Lease Certificate, which in Colonial days was for 99 years, but sometime during Independence changed to 30 years. The process then required a survey and payment of money to apply for a change of a Lease Certificate to a CLEAR TITLE. In effect, between a Lease Certificate and a TITLE certificate, you paid for the land twice to the government. Last week articles in the newspapers were blaring the fact, that a local family with a LEASE CERTIFICATE , with home and possessions had her lease certificate CANCELED by the Cabinet Minister of Lands and was evicted and now homeless, after living on it and developing it for 13 years. The story was garbled, but essentially what we got was that a political switch went on, and the leased home was taken from the lease holder and sold to somebody else more politically correct and aligned, as a new lease certificate. This has rung alarm bells under this UDP government, both in the banks and among the populace, a lot of which hold a 30 year lease certificate type of possession. This has also created a storm in International investment circles as the stability of land tenure, sanctity of leases as security for bank loans and other usage change is no longer valid. In post colonial law of Belize, the Cabinet Minister of Lands has ‘discretion’. The translation means it is legal and there is factually no LAW in Belize to do with Land ownership security. Which is not only causing foreign investors to balk, but creating consternation and worry among the local populace, many of whom live on Lease Certificate type lands. Not being able to pay the purchase price twice in the current system of evaluation to go through to a clear TITLE.

Forestry department was budget emasculated back about three decades ago and has been an empty shell since then. Though the department exists and is used mostly for bribery revenues by elected representatives appointed by the incumbent party leader as Minister of Forestry, who controls the permit and license process for forest products and land usage, according to investigative reporting in the newspapers. The permit and license process is utilized in the Cabinet government system, to solicit self enrichment bribes, ( using a Cabinet Minister’s driver as a criminal cut out go between ) or to steal new viable businesses after the initial period of risk taking capital experimentation proves them successful.

The last PUP government experimented with debt financing and ran the national debt ratio up to 127 % of GDP. They were re-elected to a second term to settle due debts crippling the country and went on a five year austerity program which reduced the national debt to 72% of GDP. The new UDP Government has gone on a new BORROW and SPEND experiment and so far as is known, the debt ratio has risen from 72% of GDP, to 78% of GDP in the second year of their 5 year UDP term. The ideal is less than 3% of GDP for a well run government. The UDP government now in power has frozen financial monthly reporting and the public is left guessing, because of secrecy. There is no financial transparency, or accountability anymore. These are just election buzzwords, which are hot air and plain political party lies.

There were some scandals in the last PUP administration due to LOAN grants from both Taiwan and Venezuela to help Belize with problems. The new UDP government controlled by two lawyers in the Cabinet and some port city wild card area representatives, have spent a bit over a year with endless political vendettas and court cases. Nobody is sure why, instead of governing efficiently? The previous Prime Minister of the PUP used some of the grants to correct some of his borrowing mistakes by using foreign GRANTS, to clear the debts before the end of his term. The new UDP government is prosecuting him for malfeance and it is looking to be a political shell game. Unless they send the previous Prime Minister to jail for twenty years, the whole charade seems to be smoke and mirrors. Failure to send him to jail is going to increase the money, the arguments are about, to double or triple what was originally owed under the PUP. The actual extra debt cost being run up, will probably double the PUP original debt under this UDP. The whole legal exercise means NOTHING, unless they can put the previous Prime Minister in jail. The debts continue to increase exponentially. The whole political party legal show seems to be an orchestrated SOAP OPERA to hide the failures of administration. There seems no financial sense to what is going on.

In the meantime, the bank that was paid off with Foreign Grants for loaning money to the previous PUP government, is being forced to give back the money to this UDP government. Articles in the newspapers indicate that this money, or part of it, is being dished out under the disguise of poverty housing, but newspaper allegations are; that in reality it is being awarded to UDP area representatives, bureaucrats, middle class party hacks and supporters in $60,000 GRANTS each. And POOF, so will disappear $18 million dollars or so of foreign GRANT MONEY, into the greedy clutching hands of a new political party in power. The rhetoric is for poverty alleviation, but seems worthless propoganda? The previous debts in the situation are now being re-started by the bank and the interest cost is running. Expected to double the old PUP debt mistakes by the end of term, of this UDP government. The government following this one, will end up taxing the masses to pay for the alleged corruption, according to newspaper articles.

The PUP debt exacerbated by the new debts of the UDP, are expected to continue out for 20 more years. As time progresses and these interest payments are wasted and not available for development, the DEBT PRINCIPAL continues to remain and not be reduced. The National Debts are now projected out for 30 years under UDP management, instead of 20 years.

The lesson from this, for FOREIGN AID donors to Belize, is NOT TO GIVE ANY MONEY to our government directly. Funnel your donations and GRANTS through NGO’s, or establish your own AID programs in Belize. Neither the PUP, or the UDP governments are to be trusted with money coming as FREE GRANTS. Without outside supervision and control, the money will be filched. Corruption is rife in the system of government we use in Belize, which is the British colonial exploitation system of Empire. Some incoming GRANTS are working with the government, in the field of education and scholarships. The TAIWANESE agriculture program is an excellent method of seeing foreign GRANT money does the work it is intended for. The FAO GRANT funded habenero project went well it is reported, done through an individual buyer. The rice system run by CARDI seems a loser, as complaints from rice farmers in Toledo District say neither the quantity of rice they grow increases, despite being forced to change rice seed each year, nor does the rice price increase.

The only government department seemingly working well, is the Agriculture Department, which has seen a policy shift by this new UDP government and a lot of new jobs and expertise is being channeled into productive endeavors and export marketing. The Agriculture College has reopened and the UN FAO are giving GRANTS for education and experimentation, to increase local agriculture productivity. For the most part this is a mixed bag of Foreign GRANTS going more to individuals and NGO’s, not directly to the Government. It seems to be working?

There is a lot of activity in the legal system of courts. The public has come to the conclusion this is a CASH COW milking machine. Nothing is being accomplished, even though a lot of news, articles in newspapers and television coverage is given by lawyers who are getting RICH. There is a three tier court system and the legal milking machine, finds a case is judged at the lower levels one way, then for more money and time, going in an appeal to the second level of courts, the judgments are reversed, then in the final cycle of the money machine, another higher court then reverses sometimes, the decision again. You may find justice for a million dollars in costs, but unlikely for the general public, who cannot afford the system of lawyers and court processes. The public has given up with the court system, which seems over priced and totally corrupt. Justice is now being dealt in Belize, at the end of a gun, by hired assassins. Especially by the lower level population that cannot afford lawyers and to go through the LEGAL MILKING MONEY MACHINE. One attempt was reported to have been made to form MURDER INCORPORATED and formalize justice by force, using the police wilder element, but blew up in newspaper investigations, involving the Chinese community. There have been many successful assassinations privately done, reported in the newspapers for matters involving inheritance, vendettas and business problems. No one with any smarts and can afford it, is going to waste time on the lawyer/court three tier money making machine. As the population grows, this trend of seeking justice by gun, is expected to increase. Murder satisfaction costs are running a few thousand dollars or less, to settle what otherwise would be legal arguments.

Despite all these maturing growing pains, Belize continues to be an excellent place to live, if you live OUTSIDE the port of Belize City, in the other rural districts. The climate is great, the food easy, shelter easy and most people are nice to get along with. The population continues to be an incoming immigrant population, or people moving around the country seeking opportunity. There is a lot of population mobility. The middle class has grown in size, showing a successful result of governing, despite problems. Belize is an excellent place to RETIRE. The negative aspects of some government departments and political exploitation, effect the ordinary person, minimally. Most of the crime is to do with the money making aspects, of political elected representatives. Politics seems to be still the biggest employer and source of criminal activity in the country. Though the way it is arranged in the inherited Commonwealth British governing system, most of these activities are technically legal. This does not give much satisfaction to the victims of persecution, or when they are taken advantage of, using the political system. Most citizens of Belize try to stay small and insignificant, below the radar of government opportunism. Local investors stay small of necessity, otherwise you become a target. Belize is otherwise a pleasant rural place to live for the good family life.

The Belize National Debt size is the most worrisome thing affecting the country of Belize. This has been created by the amateurishness of our political party system. Of the many ideas to resolve the debt, holding back development of the country and government size, one idea I heard discussed the other day, was the consolidation of all foreign debts into a new set of BONDS, to be issued as replacement of bonds and current foreign debts, at an interest rate of USA Bank Prime rate, PLUS one percent. This to bring our foreign debts more in line with the industrialized world new financial system of low interest rates. We in the developing world can copy the more first world industrialized countries, in finding solutions. It is interesting to note that mortgage interest rates throughout the whole Caribbean region are now less than 10%. Signifying a readjustment of the New World Order in financial interest rate expectations. Interest rates in the G7 have shrunk remarkably. The third world though are stuck now, with what are now extra high interest rates carried over and need to re-finance, to re-adjust to the G7 norms in those countries that lead the world in financial manipulation. No third world country should be paying more than 3% on any debt these days, at a maximum. 3% interest rate today in this world financial climate is over paying actually.