April 2019 vol 52
The Consulate of Belize in Florida
Monthly Newsletter
Honorary Consul General's Monthly Message

Welcome to the April Monthly Newsletter !
The month of April has come and gone in a flash and the  ICJ Referendum,  originally scheduled for April 10th, 2019, has been postponed to May 8th. On the new referendum day Belizeans will have the opportunity to exercise their democratic right by marking either Yes or No to take the territorial dispute between Guatemala and Belize to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for final settlement.

In this April newsletter, there's a lot of exciting news! Belize's local airline, Tropic Air, won the Traveler's Choice Airlines Award, local youth groups helped to clean up the Mopan and Bullet Tree rivers, conch season officially closed, Belizean author Ix-Chel Poot won the 2019 Copal Distillery Writer-in-Residence Fellowship, and Boca del Rio in San Pedro has new beach lounge chairs and umbrellas! You will also learn about Easter traditions in Belize. This year the people of Benque went all out! Finally, if you are looking for a novel business venture, and you would like to get to know more about trade and investment in Belize, check out the latest Belize Investment Spotlight newsletter.

Our recipe of the month features a delicious Mayan dish, called Tamalitos de Chaya, using a leaf that is family to the spinach but difficult to find in the USA.

We take this opportunity to congratulate Jason Guild, President of the Belize Association of Central Florida. We are proud to announce that Jason is our Belizean star of the month! Jason is a true star who has been a great support to all of us at the Consulate t hroughout the years.

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to visit the Consulate's office nor are familiar with the services that we offer, you may visit our website at  www.belizeconsulatefla.com  or follow us on  Facebook Twitter , and  Instagram  to receive updates about Belize, the Consulate and upcoming events.
We continue to update our database, and as a result, The Consulate of Belize in Florida continues to conduct phone calls to its constituents to confirm each's contact information. We appreciate your cooperation and support in sharing your contact information, so that you and your family can continue to be informed about services offered by the Consulate as well as get updates on Belize.
If you are aware of a Belizean residing in the United States who is making a positive impact on the lives of others while contributing to their native country, please submit their story to us so that we may feature them in our newsletter. Perhaps the Star of the Month for May could even be you!

What's New...
Belizean Star of The Month
Jason Guild is the third of four children born to Marie and the late Randolph Guild.  His family home is located in Belize City in the area of King’s Park that was once called Cinderella Town.  As a child, Jason attended St. Joseph’s primary school and was very active in sports playing primarily baseball and track and field.  He was also a member of the Trinity Methodist Church boy’s brigade and was also a passionate guitar player under the tutelage of Mr. Lloyd Peyriotte. As a child, Jason participated in several competitions namely the annual Credit Union competition, the Festival of Arts competition and various Methodist inter-church competitions, where he competently represented St. Joseph and Trinity church (often winning).  Jason later attended St. John’s high school followed by St. John’s junior college where he received a full scholarship from Shell Oils and Gas. Upon his graduation from St. John’s junior college, Jason was awarded a scholarship to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. where he studied accounting and economics.  After graduating from Georgetown, Jason pursued and completed a capstone course at Oxford University in the United Kingdom in comparative business and then sat and completed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examinations in Washington, D.C.

Thereafter, he returned to Belize where he practiced as a CPA at Deloitte & Touché in Belize City. During that time, Jason also taught accounting at St. John’s junior college.  In 1997, Jason returned to the United States to pursue a law degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.  In 2000, he graduated with honors and immediately completed the Florida Bar examinations. The young attorney began his legal career at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Tampa Florida and later at Navigant Consulting practicing in the area of commercial litigation as an economic damages expert. Jason now also owns his own firm, Guild Law Firm PL, which provides legal services primarily in the areas of international business transactions and international taxation.

While in Tampa, Jason immediately became active with the Belize community.  In 2012, he became the first president of the newly formed Belize Association of Central Florida, which is a Florida registered, tax-exempt, charitable organization focused on promoting Belize, exemplary Belizeans and giving back particularly in the area of education. Up until 2018, he also served as a board member for Zion International Mission Ministries, which is a Florida charitable organization that provides educational and medical outreach assistance to residents in Belize Rural North (a geographic area that Jason spent many of his summer vacations as a child.)  
Up and Coming Belizean Author Ix-Chel Poot Wins Fellowship
April 18, 2019 11:19 a.m. EST - Author Ix-Chel Poot, past winner of the Belize Literary Prize, won the 2019 Copal Distillery Writer-in-Residence Fellowship to attend the upcoming Belize Writers’ Conference which took place from April 6-11 at Jaguar Reef Lodge in Hopkins. The fellowship allows Poot to attend the conference free of charge (a $4,500 BZ value) where she will meet with a New York literary agent for career development advice. Poot, the Executive Director of the National Council on Ageing, reportedly said she feels it was an honor to have received the fellowship, highlighting her long-held passion for writing. “I am grateful to Anya Fernald and the Copal Distillery Foundation for funding this fellowship expressly for a Belizean, without this support I would not be able to attend this year’s conference,” Poot said. The Belize Writers’ Conference is a professional development conference for fiction, nonfiction, and memoir writers from around the world, founded by Belize-born Joey Garcia, also the conference’s executive director. The conference this year included five days of workshops, critique sessions, and master classes on building a fulfilling career as an author. The Copal Distillery Fellowship is the first and only literary fellowship for a Belizean writer in Belize’s history and was created by Joey Garcia. It was funded by Anya Fernald of Belcampo Belize, and the Copal Distillery Foundation.
Strong women, May we know them, May we be them, May we raise them!

April 1, 2019 10:51 a.m. EST- The Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children hosted an empowerment rally at Saint Catherine Academy on Friday March 29th, 2019 at 8:00a.m. at the SCA Auditorium.

The month of March is Women’s month and while it is a time for acknowledging the achievements and progress that women everywhere have made, it is also a time to inspire our young girls to foster good qualities and motivate them to ultimately be women of change.
Remarks were given by Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children and Spouse of the Prime Minister of Belize, as well as three key female guest speakers who have all been exemplary leaders and contributors to our community. The guest speakers were Hon. Laura Longsworth, Speaker of the National Assembly, Tanya Mcnab, Creative Director of Mcnab Visual Strategies, and Mrs. Natalie Goff, CEO of the Development Finance Corporation.
In Mrs. Barrow’s Remarks, she deeply expressed to the girls, “Know your worth, be the best possible version of yourself that you can, and never be afraid to be different.”
With a poem and musical intermission by some students attending Saint Catherine Academy, the auditorium was filled with school spirit and pride as the students were reminded that as girls, the things that they do matter; that their actions to each other and to their self-preservation are the footholds to a future where they can inspire and become trailblazers in their own right.
Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow would like to thank each speaker as well as Mrs. Salome Tillett, the principal of Saint Catherine Academy, for assisting with organization of the rally and for welcoming the event for her girls.

Mopan and Bullet Tree Falls River Clean-up in Belize
photo credits: FCD Environmental Youth Group
April 4, 2019 1:30 p.m. EST - Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) joined hands with the Positive Environmental Group (PEG) in a river cleanup. The two groups canoed at Bullet Tree Falls gathering trash on the banks of the river. It was the PEG that invited FCD for the river clean-up, and the latter thanked the former for the invitation. The group continued to clean-up the Mopan River, and, as part of a project that began in November last year, the highway. On April 13 they were at it again installing more garbage drums along the Mopan River. According to the group's Facebook page " The FCD Environmental Youth Club was established by FCD which is an NGO" and was founded on April, 15, 2011.
Conch Season Closed
April 11, 2019 10:38 a.m. EST- This April 30, 2019 marks the end of the conch season with the quota for the Queen Conch having been reached. The Belize Fisheries Department advises all Restaurants and Public to consume or dispose all Queen Conch in possession prior to this date. Conch season will re-open October 1st, 2019.
BTB Officially Launches Boca del Rio Project in San Pedro
April 18, 2019 10:25 a.m. EST- After severe erosion of beach front at the Boca del Rio, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) embarked on a project to restore the beach front. The Boca del Rio project was officially inaugurated in a ceremony on Sunday, April 14, 2019. Besides the ceremony at which BTB was present there was a family day of fun, including numerous sports, prizes and music. According to their press release, BTB was extremely delighted to have been granted the opportunity to bring meaningful and lasting development to San Pedro via Boca del Rio project. It entailed the reclamation of 100 ft. by 370 ft. of the Boca del Rio beachfront; construction of a 100 ft. by 100 ft. swimming area; construction of a reinforced seawall and the installation of signage. The project was a joint initiative of the BTB, the Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and the San Pedro Town Council, in tandem with the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (NSTMP), and implemented by contractor Cayo Frances Limited. Situated at the mouth of the river (Barry Bowen Bridge), Boca del Rio separates the main town from Ambergris Caye by a channel frequented by swimmers and features a beach. Prior to its deterioration, the channel and beach attracted locals and tourists who wished to bask in the crystal waters and Belize sun. The area, now once again vibrant, has a park that is equipped with amenities such as chairs, swings, a slide and a basketball court.
Easter Traditions in Belize
April 23, 2019 1:27 p.m. EST - Easter in Belize is a unique time of the year. The country during this season fills its bakeries with hot cross buns, symbolizing the crucifixion of Jesus taking place on Good Friday, and homes are filled with this savory aroma. On Good Friday, Belizeans observe this day by abstaining from unnecessary work, travel, and all entertainment. On this day, processions such as those on the islands of Caye Caulker, and San Pedro, take place, starting from the cayes' respective churches--St. Peter Catholic Church on San Pedro, and Assumption Catholic Church on Caye Caulker. In Benque, of the Cayo district, other traditions may be found, including the very realistic re-enactment of the Passion of Jesus, and the decoration of streets with colorful sawdust in tapestries. There is also a Good Friday procession which takes place with a simulated corpse (of Jesus), with the following words in Spanish above the coffin (see photo featured in this article) " Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, " mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24:12. The season of the Passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus is brought to a conclusion with Easter Sunday Mass, followed by visits to family and friends on Easter Monday.
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Help Age Belize is a non-profit organization mandated to reduce the isolation of and to increase the general quality of life of older persons in Belize.

Most recently Jason has also been appointed a Belize Justice of the Peace where he hopes to continue helping and connecting Belizeans and others to Belize.  Despite living in Florida, Jason visits Belize regularly for business and pleasure and keeps himself informed with recent developments in the country and connected with his peers there.

Jason gives much of his credit and success to his family especially his mom, who always encourages him and his siblings to dream big and instilled in them values of hard work, honesty, sacrifice and discipline. Jason noted that honesty, respect for others and education were always priorities in his closely-knit family.  His mother in particular, never allowed them to doubt their abilities and always encouraged them to further their education. Jason also notes that he was blessed that his now deceased father was always present in his life as a dad and husband. Jason reminisces, “even though we were not wealthy, I would not trade any of my childhood years, as my parents found the time to take us camping and on vacations to many exotic places in Belize including Northern Lagoon and Boston Village in Belize Rural North where my parents own two small farms”. Even though Jason, his mom and his siblings (Yvette, Stephanie and Luke) are now living in different countries, he notes that they remain very close and connected with each other. 
Jason is also fortunate to have a supportive wife who has been by his side through much of his adult years. Jason and his lovely wife Clare Palacio (from Belmopan) have been married for 16 years but the couple first met at St. John’s junior college. They have two energetic and engaging boys, Jason Jr. and Alden. Like Jason’s mom, Clare has brought stability and support to Jason with his endeavors and ambitious undertakings including the years he was away from Belize for college. 
Despite his busy schedule, Jason ensures that he prioritizes and sets aside time for his family just as his parents did for him. He and his family enjoy sports, travelling, camping and boating.
Let us preserve and protect our historical landmarks!
Belize City Clock Tower, est.1885
(click image to read more)
(click image to read March 29, 2019 - Vol 7: The Belize Investment Portfolio )
Joint Training in "Cultural Entrepreneurial Skills" in San Ignacio was a total success!
From theatre drama, wood and resin handicrafts, designs, and marketing strategies, participants learned valuable skills and became certified. This was possible thanks to the collaboration of the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, NICH, and the Embassy of Panama in Belize.
"Ebry man know weh e own house leak"

English translation: Every man knows where his own house leaks.

Meaning: We usually know our faults.

International Court of Justice Referendum on Belize-Guatemala Dispute Postponed Until May 8

New Referendum Date Set for May 8, 2019

April 18, 2019 . On the request of the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, acting pursuant to Section 4 of the Belize Territorial Dispute Referendum Act, (Act No. 6 of 2019), the Governor-General of Belize issued a Writ of Referendum for the holding of a referendum on May 8, 2019, to submit to electors the question, “Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determine finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the Parties?”

Recipe of The Month
Tamalitos de Chaya
Cnidoscolus aconitifolius, commonly known as chaya or tree spinach, is a large, fast-growing leafy perennial shrub that is believed to have originated in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. The specific epithet, aconitifolius, means "Aconitum-like leaves". It has succulent stems which exude a milky sap when cut.


Tamalitos: (makes 12)

2 lbs masa
1/2 lb chaya leaves (to be steamed)
1 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup shortening 
12 - 10x10 in plantain leaf
12 - 12 x 12 in cut foil 


1lb onion, sliced
1/2 lb sweet pepper, sliced 
1 lb tomato, sliced 
1/4 cup coconut oil 
salt & black pepper 
cure pig's tail (optional)



1. Mix into masa steamed Chaya, shortening and salt, mix well and make into 12 balls.
2. Place Plantain leave on top of foil, take Chaya/ masa mixed ball and place top of leave, flatten as shown in the picture and wrap.
3. Fill ¾ of the pot with water and add tamalitos, steam for approximately 20 mins in high heat.
4. Once fully cooked remove from pot and drain.


Sauté in medium heat onion, sweet pepper and tomato in coconut oil. Add salt and black pepper, stir until caramelized. Remove from heat and let it sit for 10-15 mins.

Serve hot to allow cheese to melt and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of: @ElfogonRestaurant 
Easter Traditions in Belize (cont'd)

HelpAge Belize Secretariat provides oversight for eleven (11) branches which include two Residential Homes (Octavia Waight Home and Sister Cecelia’s Home) and nine Day Activity Centers which are located in all district towns and two villages within Southern Belize. 

HelpAge Belize has over the years sustained the continuation of its programs through stringent management of funds received from the Government of Belize, various funding agencies, individual donations and fundraisers.

HelpAge Belize’s mission is to improve the quality of life of older persons. Consequently, we are appealing to the Belizean Diaspora to join us in our efforts to fundraise for the acquisition of a 28 seater Wheel-Chair Accessible Mini Bus.
ICJ- Be Informed
EVERYTHING You NEED to KNOW about the Dispute and the ICJ in Less than 10 Minutes! (English)
EVERYTHING You NEED to KNOW about the Dispute and the ICJ in Less than 10 Minutes! (Spanish) by Ambassador Daniel Gutierez
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