We take this opportunity to say thanks to you our readers who give us the fuel each month to put our newsletter together with your positive feedback and encouragement to continue the distribution. We are happy that in a world of confusing and, often times, negative news, we can still find wonderful things happening among Belizeans at home and abroad.
As we close 2019, let us reflect on how we have grown from all of life’s challenges and successes, making us stronger and better as a result, always counting our blessings and hoping for yet another opportunity to make the new year even better.
This edition brings to you the wonderful Christmas traditions we practice in Belize, many of which are traditions that go back in time when our grandparents and theirs excitedly prepared for this special occasion, from painting and varnishing until everything in our homes shone brightly, to baking our fruit cakes and Christmas hams, carting off fresh linoleum to our homes and putting up the Christmas Tree. At the center of it all is the celebration of the birth of Jesus and bringing our families together. Whatever your traditions are today, let us keep the spirit light and bright and whether we are celebrating it in Belize or abroad, we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!
We have also said our goodbyes to some outstanding Belizeans in the Diaspora who have passed away this year. We pray that they rest in peace and for their families, that God continues to strengthen and heal them especially during this Christmas season.
Also in this edition, you may learn about the “Capital Market Development in Belize”, the participation of Belize at the XVIII SICA Japan Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation in San Salvador, and Turtle Inn, listed as one of the best hotels and resorts in the Caribbean and Atlantic Islands for 2020! Reflect on the message for World’s AIDS Day by the Special Envoy for Women and Children and Spouse of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow or discover more about Belize Arch . Read about the results of Team Belize at the Tour Nacional de Voleibol de Playa VERDE held in Guatemala City and about the Irishwoman Susan Morrice who discovered oil in Belize. Also, learn about what made Belizean-born Jamie J. Thompson become the “Star of the Month”. Check out, “What’s Trending,” regarding the 8th Annual End of the World Marathon & Half Marathon in Placencia and the Christmas Traditions that took place in Belize.

Enjoy watching the video of the Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow, wishing all Belizeans a Merry Christmas, and reading the Christmas message from the Ambassador of Belize in Washington, DC, H.E. Daniel Gutierez’s message under “Ambassador’s Desk.” This month, Ambassador Guitierez also takes the opportunity to wish us all a Happy New Year! 
As is the tradition, the Prime Minister’s New Year message will be sent by separate distribution as soon as it is delivered by him.
As you know by now, we at the Consulate are devout foodies and believe that there is nothing in this world better than Belizean cuisine, so in honor of one of our many scrumptious Christmas food traditions, we are featuring a typical Belizean Christmas ham made with honey, yellow mustard, white vinegar, cloves and topped off with cherries! 

And of course, a traditional Belizean Christmas wouldn't be complete without the classic music we all grew up listening to from Mr. Peters “Good mawning Miss Lady”, “Freetown Gial”, or some good old soul songs like “I’ll make everyday Christmas (for my woman)” by Joe Tex and other music traditions like the Jankunu Dance and the Maya Deer Dance . Check out the section Upcoming Events to find out more about “New Year’s Eve Party”, “Groundhog Day Boat Poker Run”, “Valentine Dance” and much more. 

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.

As we update our database, and in order to serve you better, 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 January could even be you!

Enjoy and share with your friends!
And remember, it is good to be Belizean!