Tuesday, December 30, 2008
It’s as simple as a flick of the switch.
What began as a campaign to get Sydneysiders to turn their lights off, has grown to become one of the world’s biggest climate change initiatives. In 2009, at 8.30pm on March 28, people around the world will turn their lights for one hour – Earth Hour. We’re aiming to reach one billion people, more than 1000 cities, all joining together in a global effort to show that its possible to take action on global warming.
Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia with 2.2 million homes and businesses turning their lights off for one hour. Only a year later and this event had become a global sustainability movement with up to 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.
Earth Hour 2009 is a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community. A call to stand up, to take responsibility and to get involved in working towards a sustainable future. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Europe to The Americas will stand in darkness. People across the world will turn off their lights and join together in creating the vital conversation about the future of our precious planet.
Over 64 countries and territories are participating in Earth Hour 2009. This number grows every day as people realise how such a simple act, can have such a profound result in affecting change.
Earth Hour is a message of hope and a message of action. Everyone can make a difference.
Join us for Earth Hour 2009, turn off your lights at 8.30pm Saturday 28 March and sign-up here at earthhour.org
Saturday, December 27, 2008
If you find yourself in San Ignacio or anywhere in the area, please drop by and join us for our weekly breakfast. We welcome all guests - Thursdays, 7:00 am, at the San Ignacio Hotel http://www.sanignaciobelize.com/ .
- statistics were derived from Donella Meadows "State of the Village Report" first
published in 1990
In the world today more than 6 billion people live.
If the world were shrunk to the size of a village of 100 people, what would it look like?
59 would be Asian
14 would be American (North, Central and South)
14 would be African
12 would be European
1 would be from the South Pacific
50 would be women, 50 would be men
30 would be children, 70 would be adults
70 would be non-white, 30 would be white
90 would be heterosexual, 10 would be homosexual
33 would be Christians
21 would be Moslems
15 would be Hindus
6 would be Buddhists
5 would be Animists
6 would believe in other religions
14 would be without any religion or atheist.
15 would speak Chinese, Mandarin
The others would speak Indonesian, Japanese
German, French, or some other language.
In such a village with so many sorts of folks, it would be very important to learn to understand people different from yourself and to accept others as they are. Of the 100 people in this village:
20 are undernourished
1 is dying of starvation, while 15 are overweight.
Of the wealth in this village, 6 people own 59% (all of them from the United States), 74 people own 39% and 20 people share the reamining 2%.
Of the energy of the village, 20 people consume 80% and 80% share the reamining 20%.
20 have no clean safe water to drink.
56 have access to sanitation
15 adults are illiterate.
1 has a university degree.
7 have computers.
In one year, 1 person in the village will die, but in the same year, 2 babies will be born, so that at the year'send the number of villagers will be 101.
If you do not live in fear of death from bombardment, armed attack, landmines, or of rape or kidnapping by armed groups, then you are more fortunate than 20, who do.
If you can speak and act according to your faith and your conscience without harassment, imprisonment, torture or death, then you are more fortunate than 48, who can not.
If you have money in the bank, money in your wallet and spare change somewhere around the house, then you are among the richest 8.
If you can read this message, that means you are probably luck!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The golf course is like no other in the world, as the advertisement says. It is set in the tropical rain forest of the Cayo District, and is home to 120 species of tropical birds, certified by the Audubon Society, says Paul. The layout of the course is a par 3 so it's easy to walk and pull your bag. The property runs along the Roaring River, which is a clear running, beautiful tree lined large stream. Over lunch, Jenny, the manager of the restaurant, commented there is area of the river right along the property called the Fridge. Paul said an underground river bubles up out of the ground, very cold, and mingles with the Roaring River flow out of the Mountain Pine Ridge.
So vacationers or long staying visitors, take note. Golf, birdwatching, and lazy days are worth the journey. The trip from Belize City is about an hour and half. From the San Ignacio/Santa Elena area, it's only a 30 minute drive. The resorts in Belize will book guests' tee times and provide transportion to the course.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
November 8, 2008
Cynthia "Cindy" Reece
Dear Cynthia "Cindy",
I've written this recommendation of your work to share with other LinkedIn users.Details of the Recommendation: "Cynthia has expert knowledge of the business and is a pleasure to work with! She is reliable and friendly and I would recommend her anytime!"
Service Category: Real Estate Agent Year first hired in Belize: 2007 In Real Estate since 1997
To whom it may concern:
This letter is a professional recommendation letter for Cynthia Reece. I have known Cynthia for 2 years both as the broker-in-charge and as our sales and training coordinator for Dickens-Mitchener and Associates, a firm specializing in residential real estate for Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding areas.
Cynthia was a very dedicated and professional individual. Not only was she highly professional in her knowledge of the local real estate she was also very motivational and inspiring in training new agents. She would suggest new directions and avenues whenever we(the agents) would hit a road block and guide us back onto the track. I used many of her suggestions which helped become very successful in my first year as a new agent. Cynthia taught our new agent training which thoroughly cover topics such as agency, how to prepare a CMA, listing presentations, marketing, call time, open houses, just to name a few. She created an interesting and fun learning environment for us which was highly effective in motivating us. She also had an excellent support staff which was the foundation for the highly successful firm.
Cynthia is TOPS in my book. She was great to work with and I would highly recommend her.
Dave Agnor, Realtor®
Dickens Mitchener & Associates
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thank you Melanie G
Sunday, May 25, 2008
I attended the Maya Cultural Festival at El Pilar on May 4, 2008. The slideshow is running in the top right corner of this blog.
The Belize River Archaeological Settlement Survey (BRASS) was founded with the idea that we should concentrate on studying the people who made it all work, the average Maya farmer, to get a better picture of ancient Maya society. BRASS began work in 1983 in the Upper Belize River Valley north of San Ignacio and, in 1993, reached the ancient Maya city of El Pilar.
In 1993 the BRASS project began to devote all of its resources to the study of El Pilar and it quickly became evident that it was an important and unusual site. The city turned out to be larger than expected. Still not fully explored, we now know that El Pilar has at least three large sections that straddle the Belize-Guatemala border and are interconnected by causeways, one of which is almost 100 feet wide with walls along both edges. So far the archaeologists have identified more than 25 plazas covering more than 100 acres and more than 70 major structures. It is the largest center in the Belize River area, more than three times the size of other well-known centers such as Cahal Pech or Xunantunich.
For more information on El Pilar, try these sites:
Sunday, March 23, 2008
In Belize, Easter is celebrated for days. It starts with Holy Thursday and finishes up with Easter Monday. Everything closes on Easter Friday then Saturday is a big celebration day and as I went to work my 2nd day at the Easter Fair, apparently Easter Sunday afternoon is a great day to hang by the river and literally "chill out."
Sunday, February 24, 2008
My container is in country. I apparently have a lot of paperwork and accounting still left to do before I can get it delivered. It arrived right on time 2/22 and I’ll spend tomorrow calculating what my worldly goods are worth, box by box. Once the value of my goods is established for the purpose of Duty Tax and it is paid to my Customs Agent, my Customs Agent will get the Customs Office in Belize City to send a Customs Guard with a truck driver and my container to Santa Elena where they will meet at Customs Officer. They will then proceed to go through every single box to verify that what I have inventoried is indeed what is in each box. That is if all goes smoothly. From what I understand this could be quite a process and take a few “back and forths.” The big point is that the container can not be opened at the port because it is packed so full there is no way to get it closed again once it is opened. Oh, boy, the next phase begins. And I know there is not nearly enough room in my little house for all my stuff.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Sunday, January 6, 2008
By Sam Walter Foss
In the place of their self-content;
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran –
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by –
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban –
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life ,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan –
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.
Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
It’s here the race of men go by –
They are good, they are bad, they are weak they are
Wise, foolish -- so am I;
Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Situated on the Caribbean coast of Central America between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is geographically small but extremely diverse. One fifth of the total land area of the country is protected as nature reserves with dense rainforest providing refuge to an exotic variety of wildlife, including the tapir, the black orchid and the keel-billed toucan - all national symbols of Belize. In addition, the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, a major attraction for the growing number of tourists to Belize, lies (at its closest point) only one kilometer off shore.
An Exotic Mix
Belize was once the center of the Mayan Empire (which stretched through Guatemala and southern Mexico) that flourished from 1500 BC until about AD 900. Direct descendants of the Maya still live in Belize, mostly in the southern districts, amongst an eclectic mix of newcomers. The Mestizo (from Spanish and Yucatan Mayan descent) constitute almost half of the population. Resident in the northern districts of Corozal and Orange Walk, Mestizo smallholders mostly practice subsistence farming (maize, beans and pepper), and also grow sugarcane. Refined sugar is one of the country's main exports.
Creoles, those of African heritage, live mostly in urban areas and are the next largest ethnic group in Belize; whilst the Garifuna - an intermingling of African people with Carib and Arawak Indians - practice traditional fishing and agriculture in the southern region of Belize.
The most conspicuous newcomers are the Mennonites, who relocated to Belize in 1959 from America and Mexico in search of a life free of religious persecution and the pressures of modern society. Widely respected by other Belizeans for their disciplined work ethic, the Mennonites have transformed wilderness into highly productive farmland and dairies, which provide a significant contribution to the economy.
Belize remains one of the least densely populated countries in the Americas, despite the recent influx of immigrants from its Central American neighbours. The population is currently less than 300,000 people, with more than 30 per cent living in the former capital, Belize City. It is estimated, however, that as many Belizeans live outside the country, in the US for instance, providing vital remittances for family members remaining at home.
Agriculture - Backbone of the Economy
Despite the growing tourism industry in Belize, agriculture continues to provide over 70 per cent of the country's total foreign exchange earnings, and employs almost a third of the total labour force. About half of the land used for agriculture is under pasture, with the remainder planted to a variety of permanent and annual crops. The traditional system of milpa (shifting cultivation) involves the annual clearing of new land for crop production but, with increasing land pressure, the practice is no longer sustainable and a greater number of farmers make permanent use of cleared land.
Sugar, citrus (mainly orange and grapefruit) and banana plantations have traditionally dominated export production in Belize. More recently, however, there has been a shift to non-traditional exports including papaya, hot peppers, fresh fruit to the US and organic cacao, produced by the Toledo Cacao Growers' Association and used in Green and Black's fairtrade chocolate, Maya Gold. Inland fish and shrimp culture are also rapidly increasing. With threats to the sugar and banana industries (sugar currently accounts for 60 per cent of agricultural exports), as a result of changes in EU preferences, further diversification will be vital if Belize is to maintain its proportion of foreign exchange from agricultural exports.
One such initiative has been to expand soybean production in order to reduce the US$12 million cost of imported animal feed and cooking oil.
An oil extraction facility has almost been completed in the north, which will require an acreage of 8,000 acres to run at full capacity.
It is estimated that a total of 25,000 acres of soybean would be needed to meet national demand for soybean products. To help expand production, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) in Belize is assisting in research to improve seed quality and small-scale production within the country.
Conservation and Climate Change
The coastal locale of Belize City has long meant that its residents have been at the mercy of tropical storms. In 1961 the devastation caused by hurricane Hattie forced a relocation of the capital 70 kilometers inland to Belmopan. Concern over the increasing frequency of tropical storms and the potential impact of climate change in the Caribbean region has also led to the establishment of the Caribbean Community Center for Climate Change. The Center, which will co-ordinate the region's efforts to better inform its policies and to manage and adapt to climate change, was recently officially opened in Belmopan.
Eco-tourism is a growing industry for Belize (see also Establishing the balance: Eco-tourism and farming) and helps to support conservation initiatives such as the Program for Belize. One of its flagship activities has been The Rio Bravo Conservation and Management area, which has become a national example of sustained forestry development and conservation. Since 1992, the Programhas promoted low-impact tourism, regulated timber harvesting (particularly for mahogany and cedar), and funded on-going ecological research.
Conservation is also at the heart of a reforestation project in central Belize. Reforestation efforts in The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, one of the oldest geological areas in Central America, are targeted at replacing 90 per cent of the pine trees that are currently dead or dying due to attack from the Southern Pine Bark Beetle (Dendroctomus frontalis). Initiated in 2002, the reforestation is one of the world's largest carbon sequestration projects and it is estimated that over 24 million tonnes of CO2 will be sequestered during 50 years of re-growth in the forest.
Whilst the Government can be commended for its support for conservation initiatives and climate change mitigation, there are concerns over the country's economic policies. The economy has grown
(3.5 per cent in 2004), but much of the increased revenue has been poorly spent. Since President Musa took office in 1998, public debt has increased from 41 to 93 per cent of GDP, much of it borrowed at commercial rates. Belize, although more politically stable than many of its Caribbean neighbors, is amongst the top ten heavily indebted emerging-economy governments. With trade privileges for bananas to end in 2006 and sugar in 2009, the Government will have to do much more to convince its voters if Musa is to survive beyond the next presidential elections in 2008.
Area: 22,966 sq km
Population: 279,457 (July 2005 est.)
Languages:English (official), Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna (Carib), Creole
People: 49% Mestizo, 25% Creole, 11% Maya, 6% Garífuna Life expectancy: male: 65.02 years; female: 70.08 years (2005 est.)
GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.778 billion (2004 est.) GDP per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,500 (2004 est.) GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 17.7%; industry: 15%;
services: 67.3% (2003 est.) Land use: arable land: 2.85%, permanent
crops: 1.71%, other: 95.44% (2001)
Major industries: Sugar, bananas, fish products, garment production, food processing, timber, tourism, construction Agricultural products: bananas, cocoa, citrus, sugar; fish, cultured shrimp; lumber Natural resources: arable land potential, timber, fish, hydro power Export commodities: sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood Major export partners: US 36.8%, UK 28.5%, Thailand 3.6% (2004)
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Reply to: CUNBelize@gmail.com
Date: 2008-1-1, 4:39PM EST
Home needs new owner, mine is moving to Belize. Looking for caring homeowner, with a some yard experience. I'm a 3 BR/2 bath home that's been almost completely remodeled. I have an all new kitchen - solid surface counter tops, oak cabinets, huge island, and extra tall counters. My new 300 sf tiled sunroom and all the big windows make it feel like the wooded backyard has come inside. With my open floor plan, big dining room, and the separate laundry room, 2100 sf is plenty of space to live in. There are hardwood floors throughout and the family room has built-in bookcases and a ventless fireplace. My new windows keep me energy efficient. Put all of that on a .5 acre in a cul de sac, add the woods, fenced yard, and workshop with electricity in the backyard, and the good schools - I'm a great place to live. Buyers Agents welcome. Call 704-953-3150 or email CUNBelize@gmail.com now. The seller is a licensed NC Real Estate Broker.
- Location: Cotwold/Curchill Downs
- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests