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Volume 20 | June| 2016

The Consulate of Belize

in Flor ida
# Let us continue to protect the Jaguars in Belize
Hon. Consul General's 
Monthly Message

Janine Sylvestre Vega
Hon. Consul General of Belize  in Florida
Trade Representative of Belize in Florida
Welcome to our monthly newsletter, where we bring you human interest stories, current events and information on Belize!

The Consulate of Belize in Florida is proud to announce that in addition to processing Belizean Passports and Emergency Travel Documents, it is now issuing Identification Cards, facilitating many Belizeans living in Florida with the opportunity to hold an official ID from Belize. Acceptance of these cards at U.S. offices and other institutions, however, depends on their discretion. 

Enjoy reading about our Belizean Star of the Month!  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. 

Please remember to share with us your contact information so that you can be abreast of all the updates and news on Belize. Visit our website at www.belizeconsulflorida and register!

See N Taste Belize News!

Thanks to the overwhelming support we received from you at See N Taste Belize 2015 held in Miami, Florida, we quickly outgrew the venue at Florida International University! We have finally identified our new and exciting See N Taste Belize venue where See N Taste Belize will come back bigger and better in 2017!   Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 7th, 2017 and stay tuned for more details in the coming months!

Belize's First Hilton World-Wide

 Another success story for the Belize INVEST team at BELTRAIDE today whose key objective is to  build relationships and maximize investment opportunities as Belize's national investment promotion agency under the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce. The BelizeINVEST team was one of the driving forces behind the linkage of the Mahogany Bay Village to the Curio Collection by Hilton in San Pedro, Belize.

Present at the announcement today was Hon. Tracy Taegar - Panton Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce with responsibility for BELTRAIDE. She hailed this as a proud moment for Belize and welcomed the new partners to Belize, the Hilton brand! She went on to congratulate all those who worked together to make this partnership possible and extended the commitment of both the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation as well as the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce to do all they can to support this investment and all new investments in Belize's thriving Tourism industry!

Belizean Star of the Month
Felicia Hernandez

Mrs. Felicia Hernandez is a Belizean author, wife, mother and grandmother from the town of Dangriga where she was born approximately seventy-six years ago.  She attended Sacred Heart School and started her teaching career there.  Dangriga was also the place where she met her husband and began raising her family of seven children and one adopted son.  Her husband and she taught in several villages and towns in Belize before migrating to the United States where their last daughter was born.
While she was always interested in creative writing, her interest peeked in the US.  Even though she was working, she did not give up her interest in reminiscing and eventually putting on paper accounts of her Dangriga childhood to adulthood experiences; parts of which she mentioned in her writings.   She is presently working on a fuller account in her current novel "Gaddie Fil:  A Child Grows Up".
She was always fascinated with literature and writing.  As a child, she loved to listen to stories her mother read to or told them.  She was just as excited when her older brother and sister read stories from their school books.  After these reading and story-telling sessions she was anxious to get hold of these books and she would play-read or look at the pictures, so she get the gist of the stories that were illustrated in the pictures.  These early exposures gave her some advantage over her peers.  She also increased her communication skills which drew her much praise from her teachers.  This created enjoyment of drama and a love for the expressive reading of stories and poetry.  It brings out the beauty and richness of the writing which greatly inspires her.
As Sybil Seaforth expressed it in "Writing About Fiction", in Caribbean Women Writers, in 1990, and she quote, "Sentences strung together so eloquently that they fall like muse on a reader's ear".  It reminded her of her Standard One teacher, whom she will refer to as V.L.D., when he read Longsworth's "The Children Hour", it felt like music to her ears.
As she grew older, she wanted to address many issues that she was concerned about.  Unfortunately due to societal pressures, she found herself shying away from being as articulate as she knew she was capable of.  Growing up in Dangriga, the unspoken sentiment of the day was that Belizean women should be seen and not heard.  She resorted to keeping a journal.  In this way she could express her thoughts and feelings without reservation.
When her family and she migrated to the United States, she was able to gain wide exposure to all types of literary works, especially the works of black women writers such as Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston.  She also became aware of Caribbean writers such as V. S. Naipaul and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  Naipaul and Marquez wrote about situations similar to those in Belize.  She was greatly inspired by these new exposures.  During this period she also subscribed to and read magazines like Essence, Redbook, and Ladies Home Journal.  The stories and essays in these publications were so similar to her stories and essays that it evoked in her the impetus to write about situations and experiences that were bothering her. 
Then one day she shared her work with an acquaintance, then a student at Xavier University in New Orleans.  He encouraged her to submit a piece to the "Aftermath of Invisibility", a publication by students of the University.  Her piece was entitled, "That's The Way It Was".  It was about adjusting to life in the United States as a pregnant mother with six children and a husband who was only earning six hundred dollars a month.  She wrote several pieces after that, mostly autobiographical.  She was always shy about her writing until she read Maya Angelou's, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings". 
Among other things, she thinks her interest in writing and publishing was spurred when she bought a program entitled "Writing for Children from the Writer's Digest.  She regretted that purchase because it was not worth the price she paid.  This was in 1972; but it spurred her to enroll in a creative writing class at the University of Santa Clara.  The professor was excellent and taught them a lot of the basics of creative writing. 
Towards the end of that same year she took a job with the San Jose Sun as a columnist reporting on the San Jose School District and community activities.  Her salary was twenty five dollars per weekly submission.  During that same period she started working on her first novel entitled, "She Don't Know You, But she Love You", published by Shameless Hussy Press of Berkeley, California.  This is a collection of the thoughts, emotional responses and expressions of young people in Santa Clara Juvenile Hall where she worked part-time.  For this publication she received an award from the Founders' Day Association of Alum Rock School District in San Jose.  For two years she searched for a publisher with very little success.  So her next publication entitled, "Those Ridiculous Years", was self-published.  It is a collection of short stories depicting school-age days and her working experiences and associations in Belize.  
She has great interest in writing essays.  She has a few unfinished pieces which she had put aside in order to complete a children's language book written in Garifuna and English, entitled "Nerenga".  She received a grant from UNESCO to complete this work.  Nerenga was published in 1993 by Chanti Publication.  The book was intended for use in early childhood education and in the home.  The accompanying CD facilitates clarity and accuracy of pronunciation.
She retired from teaching in 1991 and moved with her husband to New York in the early 90's which allowed me to continue her writing education career.  She enrolled in and later graduated from Suny Empire State University.  New York offered so many opportunities in the Arts.  While there she was able to attend Caribbean Women Writers' International Conferences at Wellesley College in Boston and in Florida where she was inspired by diverse groups of women writers from the French, Dutch and English-speaking Caribbean.  She participated and presented a paper in Garifuna at a Conference of Caribbean Women Writers in Miami, Florida in the summer of 1995.   Since returning back to Belize around 1999, she has participated in a conference in Santo Domingo and completed one publication entitled "Reflections", which is a collection of essays.
Belizean Women Authors
New Book launched in Belize City
#Proud to be Belizean!

 Hon. Patrick Faber Sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister

 Presentation of Credentials by
 Ambassador of Belize to the
Republic of Ireland

Landmark Beauty of the Month  
Belize City Swing Bridge
Let us protect and preserve our historical Belizean landmarks 


'Taste of Belize' now confirmed for  July 9, 2016

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) hereby informs stakeholders and the general public that the date of the 'Taste of Belize' event has been changed to  July 9, 2016. As per feedback from stakeholders in our tourism industry, having such a significant event in the low season will better accommodate for their participation and preparation.  
All other details of the event, including venue and schedule, will remain the same.
Thank you for your cooperation, and we look forward to seeing you there to cheer on your favorite contestant.
For further information on applications to participate please contact following email before June 11, 2016: [email protected] 

Yours in Tourism,
Belize Tourism Board

Dear Stakeholders,
The Ministry of Health has announced three confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Caye Caulker. In an effort to support the Ministry of Health in the educational campaign and provide you, our stakeholders, with proper precautionary measures, below you can find a link with more information on the virus and helpful strategies to limit the spread of the virus. 
In addition, The Ministry of Health has informed that vector control activities will be set in place for the entire island of Caye Caulker.  These activities are geared towards getting rid of the adult mosquito and larvae, in addition to the breeding sites for the same. In Caye Caulker, ultra-low volume spraying, thermal fogging and larvicidal applications will be done. This will take place house to house and will be carried out for 5 days.  Health education is another component in which the public is being asked to assist in getting rid of breeding sites for mosquito and to protect themselves from mosquito bites by use of insect repellent, bed nets and all other preventative measures.   
The BTB will continue to monitor the works and information from public health officials locally, regionally and globally, to ensure that visitors are provided with the information they need to protect themselves.
For more information, please contact Marketing & PR Manager, Noriko Gamero, at email  [email protected] , or phone number 227-2420.


The Belize Tourism Board

This Workshop is for you!!!

"Barefoot tea betta than empty belly"

Meaning: Bread and some tea (without meat) is better than nothing.
  Belize News 
Recipe of the Month
Belizean Sweet Potato Pudding

Makes 12 servings


    • 1 1/3 cups regular coconut milk
    • 1 1/3 cups light coconut milk
    • 2 1/4 cups sugar
    • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and finely grated
    • 1/4 cup raisins, preferably golden
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • Pinch salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Lightly oil an 8-inch-square baking dish, place on a baking sheet with a rim, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine both coconut milks and sugar; stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish and carefully transfer on the baking sheet to the center of the oven. Bake 1 hour. Reduce temperature to 250F (120C) and bake 1 more hour, or until a golden crust forms and a knife inserted halfway from the center comes out almost clean. Let cool about 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature (the pudding will firm as it cools). Or cover and refrigerate completely cooled pudding up to 3 days and serve chilled.
Per Serving: Calories 310; Protein 3g; Total Fat 9g; Sat. Fat 7g; Cholesterol 0mg; Carbohydrate 57g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Sodium 24mg

Belize Business Directory

If you are interested in joining the Belize Business Directory Memership please contact us at 305-503-5741 or email us at [email protected]

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

Consulate of Belize | | [email protected] |
1600 Ponce De Leon Blvd.
Suite 904
Coral Gables, FL 33134