August 2018 vol 44
The Consulate of Belize in Florida
Monthly Newsletter
Consul General's Monthly Message
Welcome to  the  August  Monthly Newsletter !
This month was a very awaited one for children as it is the  National Back to School Month . I want to therefore take this opportunity to extend my best wishes for parents, teachers and students in this new academic year. In this edition, you will be able to follow a special recipe on how to make  Belizean Tamales,  celebrate with Belize on winning second place in the Central American Women’s Volleyball Championship and be informed on many more positive stories about Belize and its people. Additionally, you will be able to learn why Lisa Meggs is our Star of the Month and read about what took place in San Pedro during Belize’s biggest festival,  Costa Maya 2018.  Please note that the dates for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Tour that were disseminated in July's edition of the newsletter, have changed due to unforeseen circumstances. As soon as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms the new dates, we will duly communicate them to you.
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 and register to receive updates about Belize, this consulate, and events hosted by this consulate. The Consulate of Belize in Florida is here to safeguard and protect the interests of Belizeans residing in Florida. We continue to offer Belizean Passports and Emergency Travel Documents. We are also issuing Identification Cards thereby furnishing many Belizeans living in Florida with the opportunity to be holders of an official ID. Acceptance of these cards at U.S. offices and other institutions, however, depends upon their discretion.
As we are in the process of updating our database, the Consulate will be conducting phone calls to our constituents to confirm their contact information. Please share the word with fellow Belizeans residing in the U.S. so that they, too, may register. We do this to ensure that we can better serve you and your family members. Additionally, to stay better connected and informed, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram . You will benefit by receiving news and information about Belize as well as learn of events happening in Florida. 
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, our Star of the Month for September could even be you!
From The Ambassador's Desk

H.E. Daniel Gutierrez

Appointment of Honorary Consuls - Chicago and Colorado
Upcoming Events
Belizean Star of the Month

Mrs. Lisa Meggs

Lisa Meggs was born in Libertad in Corozal, Belize and lives in Waukegan, Illinois. She was born into a family of 9. Her parents are Kathleen Borland and Roy Meggs. She attended Corozal Junior College. She left Belize when she was 19 to live in Waukegan, Illinois. As a proud Belizean, she has always felt the need to help Belize even if from afar. She is a founding member of the United Belizeans of Northern Illinois (UBNI) that is "dedicated to promoting and enhancing opportunities for Belizean Americans by raising awareness through advocacy, education and service" and which strives "to enrich cultural identity, bring unity and empower families" in the Belizean community. She was also the treasurer of a Belizean soccer team.

Lisa Meggs and her family have also provided shoes for the entire school in her hometown of Libertad. She often collects items and sends them to her mother to distribute to the needy of Libertad. She is married to Orvil Gutierrez of 20 years and has two daughters, Amber and Destinee Gutierrez. She is currently Vice President/Small Business Banker at Lake Forest Bank and Trust, a Wintrust Community Bank. Lisa has been in banking and financing for 19 years.
BTB Launches Belizean Traveller Campaign
August 9, 2018 9:46 a.m. EST - The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) encouraged Belizeans to be travellers in their own country during the entire month of August as part of its Belizean Traveller Campaign. And to make the invite more enticing it offered over $25,000 in prizes that allowed six winners to enjoy a dream vacation in any of Belize’s regional tourism regions. But the campaign became even better with the Belize Hotel Association (BHA) jumping into the band wagon to offer numerous discounts through its members during the campaign.

The BTB’s Belizean Traveller Campaign was officially launched the morning of August 9 at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The campaign was implemented by BTB from August 1st to the 25 th  with the objective of allowing Belizeans to enjoy their own country.

For further information on the Belizean Traveller Campaign please visit the following link:
The attack of the Sargassum: The New Natural Disaster
(photo credit: Ambergris Today)
August 16, 2018 10:35 a.m. EST - This month Belize’s cayes, Miami’s shores and other Caribbean countries have seen an unprecedented accumulation of sargassum seaweed—including Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker (in Belize)— such that many are calling it a new kind of natural disaster. Marine biologists have been examining the growth and movement of sargassum in an effort to warn islands and coastal communities before it hits. Its effects include hampered fishing industries and the death of fish and endangered sea turtles. One researcher notes that sargassum, which has always existed, has never existed in such quantities until 2011. Tourists on Miami’s beaches have complained to hotel personnel working on the beach, however, little can be done they say. It has led to the closure of at least one hotel in Mexico. In Barbados the sargassum has piled to as high as 10 to 12 feet, being now a national emergency, with even the military being mobilized to combat the sargassum. Researchers and government officials in the Caribbean note that there is little that can be done except notify people and prepare equipment in order to respond swiftly before sargassum makes landfall on shores. 
National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) Receives a Grant of BZ$60,000 from the Republic of China (Taiwan)

On July 27th, 2018, the National Institute of Culture and History was the recipient of a $60,000 donation from the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to assist in programs and National Celebrations.

The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has long been a supporter of the Creative Cultural Development in Belize and their donation will add to the support of this year’s September Celebrations and programs focused on cultural development. Receiving the cheque was Ms. Sapna Budhrani, President of the National Institute of Culture and History and Co-Chair of the National Celebrations Committee. Handing over the cheque on behalf of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) was Second Secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize, Kelly Y. C. Chang. 

Belize Welcomes New British High Commissioner, Ms. Claire Evans OBE
Ms Claire Evans OBE has been appointed British High Commissioner to Belize in succession to Mr Peter Hughes OBE. Ms. Evans will take up her appointment in October 2018. Ms Evans began her diplomatic career in 1987 and has served overseas in Jakarta, Islamabad, Dubai and Doha. On her appointment as British High Commissioner to Belize, Ms Evans said “I feel honoured to have been appointed as British High Commissioner. I look forward to working in partnership with the Government and people of Belize to further strengthen the significant, long-standing and warm relationship between our two countries.”

By: United Kingdom Government (
Belize Wins Silver; Defeats Guatemala In Central American Women's Volleyball Championship
August 14, 2018 12:53 p.m. EST- This year, the year that Belize was chosen to host the 20th edition of the Central American Women's Volleyball Championship, was the year that Belize auspiciously came in second place. Costa Rica, maintaining its track record as gold champion for the 14th time in a row, not surprisingly won first place. Belize, however, defeated her two Goliaths--Costa Rica and Guatemala--in two pivotal matches that would lead to Belize winning second place or the silver medal, rising from seventh place. The championship games were held from August 4th to 8th at the Belize Civic center in Belize City. The Government has congratulated the team’s victory, praising the team players' performance and qualities, as well as the Belize Volleyball Association and everyone who played a key role in the team’s development and preparation. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Patrick Faber, along with the National Sports Council hosted in celebration of this epic victory a motorcade through the streets of Belize City on Monday, August 13th, at 2:30 p.m. 
Caribbean Community Association In Tampa Highlights Belize
August 21, 2019 10:35 a.m. EST - (Belize Association of Florida, Inc.) "On Friday, August 17th, the Caribbean Community Association (CCA) in Tampa held the first in a series of Country Profile. Aruba, Haiti, and Belize were highlighted. Board members of the Belize Association of Central Florida (BACF) were honored for the opportunity to share information about our homeland. We talked about the history of Belize, its rich culture, the diversity of our people, the food, the national symbols, and the numerous attractions that make Belize unique."

Source: Belize Association of Florida, Inc. FB Page
Landmark Beauty of The Month

Let us preserve and protect our historical landmarks!
Museum of Belize, Belize City (formerly Her Majesty's Prison) ca. 1857
Tourism Tidbits
Experience another side of Belize--the side you didn't know--and think about basking in one of many waterfalls in Belize's Cayo district. To discover these waterfalls click image below.  
Big Rock Falls, Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, Belize
Trade and Investment Tidbits
Aeromexico announces new flight to Belize
(click image to read more)
"Belizeanism" of The Month
"Han' napkin tu'n tablecloth"

English translation: The hand-napkin has turned into a tablecloth.

Meaning: Somebody has risen above his station.

August 16, 2018 11:43 a.m. EST- The International Costa Maya Festival that took place in San Pedro, Belize began on Thursday August 2nd and lasted until Sunday 5th of August. There were lots of activities at this festival, the center of which is a beauty pageant that first debuted in 1992 as a way of celebrating the Mayan world, or "Mundo Maya." It commenced with an opening ceremony by the Mayor, Mr Daniel Guerrero and Hon Manuel Heredia Jr. followed by other entertaining activities, including an international performance by the Queen of Reggaeton Ivy Queen and her band on Saturday August 4th . On Friday August 3rd was the coronation in which Miss Honduras was chosen Reina de la Costa Maya. Sunday the 5th--the last day of the festival--was "Fiesta en la Playa" or "Party on The Beach." The event that has become Belize's biggest cultural event--and which takes place every year in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye--attracts many locals and tourists every year.

Huston Alvarez, Cocono Bwai and Ernestine Carballo win at the National Song Competition 2018 and Corozal wins as Host Municipality for 2019.
Houston Alvarez
Cocono Bwai
Ernestine Carballo
Songs can be heard on  WWW.MYNATIONALSONG.BZ  and videos of the winning performances will be uploaded during the week.
Recipe of The Month
Belizean Tamales
(photo credit: Belize Travel Blog)

Plantain leaves, Banana leaves or aluminum foil. For state-side folk: Plantain leaves can often can be found in ethnic grocery stores, look for: Pacific Islander, Thai, or Mexican stores.
Cull: (1 lb) Masteca Corn Flour
(4-6 tbsp) Red Recado
(6 cloves) garlic
(6) Oregano Leaves
(6) allspice seeds
(6) Apazote leaves
(1 tablespoon) whole Pepper Corn
(1 tablespoon) chile molido or cayenne if you want it spicy
(3 tbsp) chicken broth powder - Consome de Pollo, (1) Chopped Onion
Corn Dough / Masa:
For state-side folk: Masa can often be purchased from a Mexican shop. If this is not available, you can make your own from
(4 lbs) Maseca brand corn flour
(1/2 gallon) water
(2-3 tsp)salt
(2 cups) corn oil or lard
1 - quartered cooked Chicken (cooked pork or beef can also be used)
2 cups - Green peas
4 - Habanero peppers minced or slices
2 cups - green sweet peppers chopped into slices
3 cups - Tomato slices
3 cups - onion slices
2 cups - minced cilantro leaves


1. Cook chicken or other meats like you are making Stewed Chicken with Recado. Cut up chicken into at least 10 pieces. Set chicken aside. Keep broth - it becomes the base for the Cull.
2. Make Masa: In a large bowl combine flour, oil (or lard), and salt. Slowly add water and mix to make a thick mound of corn dough. Corn dough needs to be soft and spreadable, but not sticky. Four pounds of Maseca makes about 25 to 30 corn dough shells. Masa can be covered with plastic wrap and set aside.
3. Make Cull: Take the broth from cooking the chicken, strain out any pieces. Add 1lb Maseca Corn Flour, and stir to prevent lumps from forming. Bring to a boil, let boil 3 minutes and then turn off heat.
4. Prepare Plantain leaves: Boil water, submerge leaves. Removed from boiling water and wipe dry with a cloth. Cut into 12×12 inch sheets.
5. Prepare the Masa: Pull fist-sizes pieces of dough off, and roll into fist-sized balls. Flatten each corn dough ball with the Maricona (a tortilla press) or by hand. Place flattened Masa ball on Plantain leaf. Keep in mind, you are going to fold the leave with the grain of the leaf.
6. Start assembling the tamales! On a large table layout all the vegetable ingredients in bowls along with the Cull, Chicken pieces, and flattened masa on plantain leaves. Place a scoop (1/2 cup) of Cull in the center of the flattened masa. Then add pieces of chicken, a spoonful of green peas, onion slices, green pepper slices, tomatoe slices, cilantro, and a small scoop of habanero.
7. Fold the tamale: Fold the tamales along the grain of the plantain leaf in half. After folded in half fold 3 sides of the plantain leave to contain all the ingredients. This can be tied with strips of plantain leaf, or it can be wrapped in a sheet of aluminum fold to keep it from unfolding.
8. Steam tamales: Stack packages in an extra large steamer pot. Add water and steam for one hour.

Pro Tips

Habanero peppers can range in heat. We would recommend cutting your peppers into slices. Slices will still deliver flavor to the tamale, but if the pepper slice contains nuclear levels of heat, it can be removed while the tamale is being eaten.

Recipe courtesy of :
Thanks to See and Taste Belize 2017-2018 Sponsors series