Volume 19 | May| 2016

The 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
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 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, please submit their story to us so that we may feature them in our newsletter. 

Mango Season is here!! 

Mango Season in Belize 

By Daniel Rath


A mango is a fruit only grown in tropical areas like BelizeAhh, mango season ... The sight and smell of the ripe succulent fruits bring back sweet memories. (Well, maybe not as many memories as other people, as I am technically still a child, but sweet memories nonetheless). On this particular afternoon I was just back from visiting a neighbor's tree while he was taking his afternoon siesta...
Full from three juicy mangoes I was lounging around trying to figure out what to do next when it hit me. I knew my Norwegian cousins could buy mangoes in the supermarket but how could they know what "mango season" really entailed? Did they know the dangers of eating mangoes? Could they understand eating mangoes one after the other until you couldn't move? Although it is summer vacation and writing papers was the farthest thing from my mind, I figured that writing to them about "mango season" might hold me over until I was ready for another mango.

For those of you who don't know, a mango is a fruit only grown in the tropical areas of the world and from my point of view - the most delicious fruit in the Caribbean. The taste is hard to describe, but the closest thing I've heard is that of a Japanese persimmon. Mangoes vary in shape from a slipper to horse's eye with almost as many different names. Julie, Slipper, Sugar, Thundershock, Number Eleven and Bellyful, Blue, Judgewig and Apple mangoes are just a few types commonly seen in Belize.
Mango blossoms are small pink flowers covering the trees beginning in January. They transform into tiny green mangoes around May then slowly fill out and acquire a reddish tint in readiness for the rain showers in June that put the ripening touch to a mango.
 By that time the colors range from blue to red to yellow and when cut there is a flat white seed in the middle surrounded by firm, juicy, yellow flesh. The more common varieties like the Common and 'Hairy' mango are delicious but filled with fibers that get stuck between your teeth, while the bigger mangoes that are special grafted varieties and the ones they export, have very few if any fibers. All unripe mangoes are 'green' and then you are supposed to be careful how you eat them, as the seed (flux) inside is soft, and if eaten can give the person a massive bellyache. Mangos go through 4 stages, 'green', 'turn', 'ripe' and 'overripe'. 'Turn' mangoes are mangos that are half-ripe have firm flesh that is slightly sweet and can be eaten with no problem. Overripe mangos are usually squishy to the touch, ooze juice when bitten and are best used for mango juice.

Helpage Belize honors
Dr. Jane Usher
Left to Right: Mr. Bernard Adolphus, Chairman of the Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly,  Mrs. Maria Elena Sylvestre, Patroness of Helpage Belize and  Dr. Jane Usher receiving award
Helpage Belize honoured Dr. Jane Usher in its first Citizen Recognition Gala on Saturday, May 8th, 2016. Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow had the pleasure of addressing the gala. Here's an excerpt from her remarks on amazing accomplishments of Dr. Jane Usher:
"Dr. Jane Ellen Mary Usher nee Price is a Belizean grand dame. A woman who is owed much recognition and gratitude for all the nation building work that she has done and continues to do even at the very tender age of 98. Just a casual perusal of her biography or even if you were to just recall what you were taught in primary school social studies, it is patently clear that Ms. Jane is one of the matriarchs of political, economic and social life in Belize.
Ms. Jane has served in two of the three branches of government. In the executive branch as a Deputy Minister; sitting as the lone female voice in a Cabinet of men. She also served in both chambers of the legislative branch as both a government and then opposition Representative in the lower house. She was the President of the Senate in the upper house.
Hon. Jane Usher was also a member of that team that brought us Independence. She secured the seat in Pickstock for the PUP despite the odds. In so doing, she helped to bring her brother and the Father of our Nation to power from 1979-84. She sat at the decision making executive table during that time. Many of us also do not know that she sewed the first Belizean flag: our own Belizean Betsy Ross.
Almost three decades later, as we struggle with the issue of women in political decision making, her incredible political career is still an unmatched beacon of light and aspiration. Her accomplishments are incredibly striking at any point in our country's history, but when one considers the societal norms and views on the role of women during the time she was blazing an amazing path in public life, it is nothing short of awe inspiring. The fact that she had a 14 year career in public life while mothering 10 children, put things on a different plane altogether.
There are many reasons to celebrate this amazing woman. She has done trailblazing work in the economic sector of our country. We all know Ms. Jane as being almost synonymous with the Holy Redeemer Credit Union. She has been at the helm of that institution since the early 1950s where she continues to serve as Executive Treasurer and Chief Executive Officer. In doing a bit of research for tonight, I read that the HRCU started with an investment of 75 cents in 1944 and has grown to become one of the country's most powerful credit unions with over 60,000 members and over 300 million dollars in assets! That alone is an incredibly laudable accomplishment.
Dr. Jane Usher has also contributed to the advancement of women in Belize not only by breaking through many glass ceilings, but also through her pioneering work with the National Women's Commission. And all this while raising 10 children! Now that is a fact that boggles my mind. I have one daughter and it's a challenge.
Yes, we can all look at Miss Jane and see a hardworking, service driven woman. But I also see something that is very much needed for the upcoming generation of young women. I see a stellar role model for our girls; a reflection of the strength, resourcefulness and resilience that I would like my own daughter and all Belizean young ladies to have as they grow up. She is an incredible inspiration to women of all ages and walks of life across the country. An example of the possibilities that exist when women play an integral role in the development of our nation. She is the embodiment of active aging, as even a few years shy of a century, she continues to serve and play a part in Belizean society.
Dr. Jane Usher thank you. I am very aware that it is upon the very formidable shoulders of women like you that we stand in our efforts to achieve parity for women and girls in this country. I am very aware of your contributions in creating the frameworks for financial inclusion and economic security for many Belizeans. Ms. Jane, I salute you!"
A Tribute to Mrs. Jane Usher
A Tribute to Mrs. Jane Usher
Speech given by Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow at the Gala

      New Patroness for
        HelpAge Belize:
 Mrs. Marie Elena Sylvestre, BA
 Press Release -   HelpAge Belize is delighted to introduce our new Patroness, Marie Elena Sylvestre. We are looking forward to working with her to further create awareness on older person's rights and to address issues that marginalized their access to healthcare and housing, income security, family care and support.
Maria Elena Sylvestre has recently been appointed to the position of Honorary Consul for the Russian Federation in Belize. She has served in many distinguished positions such as the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Belize, the Chairperson for HelpAge Belize, and as a member of the National Trade Negotiating Committee, which provided support and guidance to the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Mrs. Sylvestre also pioneered the concept of Duty Free retail shopping in the Country of Belize. In 1972 she established the Belize Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. and its subsidiary, the Belize Diagnostic Center. Mrs. Sylvestre, along with her husband, the late Honorable Louis Sylvestre with the assistance from the European Union, conducted research to produce superior cashew nuts that would benefit future cashew farmers in the Belize.
On April 24, in an interview with Marleni Cuellar of Channel 5 Belize, Patroness Maria Elena Sylvestre, stated, "I feel honored and overwhelmed that the entire group of the HelpAge family came up with the decision to have me named as its patroness. It is an honorary title. I feel that the role is to provide more oversight in all the developments of HelpAge. It has been the premiere organization since 1984 in advocating for the elderly. When I first started with Helpage in 1988, the organization was already in the 5 districts. Today, they have expanded into Belmopan, Hopkins and Seine Bight. The conviction that older persons deserve to be recognized, supported, loved and cared continues to grow in the hearts of all Belizeans. HelpAge, more than ten years ago, did a legislative review and came up with definite areas - where older people can be legally protected because they are vulnerable not only to society but even in their homes. I feel that if this document could be passed into law, Helpage would have achieved a tremendous milestone, in its work for the persons who now require this protection, and for future generations of older persons.

Source: The San Pedro Sun

Land Mark Beauty of the Month  
Southern Foreshore, Belize City
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: tasteofbelize@travelbelize.org 

Yours in Tourism,
Belize Tourism Board

☼  10 Reasons To Live, Retire, And Invest In English-Speaking Belize
Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-peddicord/retirein-belize_b_9994978.html

"Put two a deh enna wha bag a we wa si who wa come out fus."

Meaning: Put two people with the same personality together to see who is more determined to get ahead.
  Belize News 
Fairy Godmother Org.
Recipe of the Month
Belizean Lemon (key lime) Meringue Pie


2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shortening which has been chilled in the refrigerator.

3-4 tablespoons iced water.

Lime Custard Filling:
2 cans condensed milk 
 ¾ -1  cup lime juice (to taste)
6 egg yolks

6 egg whites
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar


Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Separate eggs, and slightly beat egg yolks. Pour the condensed milk into the beaten yolks and mix thoroughly. Mix the lime juice mixture into the yolk and  yolk mixture.  Using a spatula,  fold and mix all until it is smooth and velvety.

Sift flour and salt in large bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture using pastry blender or fork. Stir in just enough water with fork until dough holds together.
Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan, crimping it before placing in the convection oven to bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and pour the custard lime filling into the pre-baked crust and bake for an additional 14 minutes.
Once the custard is firm and set, beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form.
Scoop the stiff egg whites onto the custard pie and spread evenly on the pie.
Finally bake in the oven  for 10 minutes or until egg whites are golden brown.

Picture of the Month
Let us preserve and protect our beautiful wildlife in Belize.

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 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