Volume 25 | December 2016

Consulate of Belize

in Flor ida



Hon. Consul General's 
Monthly Message

Janine Sylvestre Vega
Hon. Consul General of Belize  in Florida
Trade Representative of Belize in Florida

See N Taste Belize News 2017!

See & Taste Belize Inc. thanks It's sponsors of See & Taste Belize 2015 and wishes them all a very Merry Christmas and New year!
If you are interested in being a sponsor please contact us at 305-503-5741 or seeandtastebelize@gmail.com

Consulate of Belize
"Person of the Year"
Ms. Lauren Quiros
A s we close the year, once again we wish to think of those who have impacted us in significant and positive ways throughout the years.
Lauren Laverne Quiros, one of three sisters, was born in Belize City to Doreen and Francisco Quiros, where she attended Saint Ignatius School and then St. Catherine Academy. A classmate from the latter school remembers Lauren as an outstanding, diligent and disciplined student, who was always helpful and pleasant with her classmates and teachers.
After graduating high school, Lauren migrated to the Washington Metropolitan Area to attend Strayer University, where she received a Bachelors degree in Accounting with a minor in Economics. But her love, passion and pride for Belize only deepened. It was during this time that the Embassy of Belize in Washington, D.C. recruited Lauren.
This was shortly after Belize gained Independence from Great Britain in 1981, while the Embassy was being set up, ushering a new era for Belize, officially establishing diplomatic ties with the United States as a newly Independent nation and formalizing its relationship with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the world.
Lauren, as in her early academic life, applied the same dedication and commitment to her new career and served along with nine different Ambassadors appointed to the Embassy, as well as worked under the change in Governments applying the same professionalism and loyalty to all she served.
Ambassador Edmund Marshalleck was officially the first Ambassador appointed by Belize to the U.S., albeit non-resident, and thereafter Sir Edney Cain as resident Ambassador. At present, she is serving as Second Secretary and Consul under Ambassador, H.E. Patrick Andrews.
While juggling her duties that involved finance, protocol, administration, consular matters and the OAS, Lauren too was a single Mother raising two daughters, Kimberly and Jasmin Gil whom she singlehandedly is putting through College.
She has received Certificates from the Organization of American States for her participation in the 2nd Course on International Law on Refugees and a Certificate from of the Embassy of Spain and Embassy of El Salvador for Spanish courses she has taken.
It goes without saying that Lauren Quiros will be missed. She has always been here to guide and assist the Consulates. She received a plaque from the Embassy of Belize in Washington, DC for her 33 years of service. Lauren chooses to exit in the same way she came, quietly, with gratitude and grace. She also takes with her a wealth of experience gained throughout the many years.
On behalf of all who have worked with Lauren and all the many Belizeans who have traversed this country seeking assistance, we sincerely thank her for her unwavering dedication and service to the Government and country of Belize.
We wish her the very best in all her future career endeavors, good health, and time to enjoy her two beautiful daughters as well as the things she enjoys doing most such as music, dancing, reading, and traveling to Belize.

    Belizean Entrepreneurs Receive Seed Funding to Expand Their Business

Belmopan, Monday, 12th December, 2016 - Thirty six young Belizean entrepreneurs were recognized for their hard work this morning during an award ceremony of the EMPRENDE Belize Fund, which was held in the IVET Dining Room on the ITVET Campus on Freetown Road, Belize City.

During the award ceremony, His Excellency Charles Liu, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, Ministe r of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment Trade & Commerce presented a cheque for the total sum of U.S. $200,000 to the recipients as part of the EMPRENDE Belize Fund.

The entrepreneurs will receive grant funding of up to US$5,555 each to establish or expand their businesses and will execute their investment plans as approved by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and the Regional Centre for the Promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (CENPROMYPE).

The funds are being distributed through the EMPRENDE Belize Fund, under the Regional Programme of Entrepreneurship and Inclusive Financing, which is being funded by the Government of China (Taiwan) and implemented in Central American territories as well as the Dominican Republic to strengthen the MSME sector in these countries. BELTRAIDE is the executing body in Belize.

The EMPRENDE Belize Fund was launched on October 5, 2016 and is being implemented over an eight month period in Belize. Belizeans, as individuals or as teams, with a business concept or a business which has been operating for less than three years, competed for the seed capital to start or expand their business ventures as part of the fund.

Of a total of two hundred and ninety one (291) applications, sixty-three (63) were chosen to participate in this project. During a period of three weeks, the entrepreneurs conducted market research and submitted necessary documents (Power Point Presentation, Business Model/Lean Canvas, Investment Plan, and two year Cash Flow Projection). This was followed by presentations of their final pitches to a panel of evaluators for final selection of grant recipients on the 7th & 8th December, 2016.

Considering the important role that small and medium size enterprises play in the development of our country, in late 2013, the Government of Belize endorsed the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME ) Policy and Strategy and in November 2015 the National Entrepreneurship Strategy was launched. BELTRAIDE, through its Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize) is the coordinator of entrepreneurship and MSME development in Belize.


 Senator Marco Rubio and Dr. Alberto Vega and Mrs. Janine Sylvestre Vega at a Consular Corp  Christmas Reception hosted by Senator Rubio
Left to Right: Mrs. Janine Sylvestre Vega, Senator Marco Rubio and Dr. Alberto Vega

 Belize represented at Miami Travel Industry Association 2016!

Governor General of Belize, H.E. Sir Colville Young 
Annual Toy Drive

Children's Christmas Party hosted by the Governor General which we are proudly supporting this year





Landmark Beauty of the Month

Colonial Home built in 1947 
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

"How'd you like to spend Christmas... on Christmas Island? " Jimmy Buffet

 BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE Participates in the 7th Edition of India - Latin America & Caribbean (LAC) Conclave 2016

"Pania machete cut pan two side"

Literally: Spanish machete cuts on both sides.
Meaning: Some people cannot be trusted to be faithful to any   side in a dispute.
  Belize News 


Recipe of the Month
Black Fruit Cake

  • 2lb flour
  • 1lb butter
  • 3lb brown sugar (set 1lb of sugar aside for stewing fruit)
  • 1pt. stout
  • 1/2 pt. caramel colouring
  • 1 qt. rum
  • 1lb raisins
  • 1lb currants
  • 1lb citron
  • 1lb dates
  • 1lb cherries
  • 1lb mixed peel
  • 1lb pecans/walnuts
  • 8 eggs
  • 1tsp. baking powder
  • 1tsp allspice
  • 1tsp nutmeg

Soak fruits in rum and sugar for at least 7 days before making cake.

Put aside a little flour to use on fruits before adding to batter. This keeps fruits from settling at the bottom of the cake.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating constantly. Add flour, baking powder and spices into the butter, sugar and eggs mix with a spoon. Then add stout and colouring to the mixture. Beat for about 4 minutes at high speed. In a separate dish pour the rum off the fruits.(The rum should be kept to add to the finished cake after cooling) Flour fruits and add to the batter.

Heat oven to 300ºF. While the oven is heating just let batter "settle" a while. Line baking pan with aluminum foil or wax paper. Grease lightly with butter. Spoon batter evenly into the buttered pan about 3/4 full. Bake in slow oven for about 3 hours. Insert toothpick in center and it should come out clean when done.
When cake is completely cool sprinkle rum all over. Garnished with cherries and walnuts.

Flavouring improves with storing. You can sprinkle cake again with rum, brandy or wine before storing to enjoy later!

Although everyone loves their black cake, the texture preference can vary: some like it soaking wet, others like it more fruity, more plain or nutty. Feel free to make changes to the recipe as you like.

Original recipe courtesy:  Belize Poultry Association 


Have A Very Foodie Holiday!  


Belize Business Directory
"Thanks to our See and Taste Belize 2015 Sponsors Series"
Showcasing all our Sponsors for the next six months







If you are interested in joining the Belize Business Directory Memership please contact us at 305-503-5741 or email us at belizeconsulate@gmail.com

The Consulate of Belize in Florida 

1600 Ponce De Leon Blvd. Suite #904
Coral Gables FL 33134
T: (305) 755-0276  |  F: (305) 755-0277