October 2018 vol. 46
The Consulate of Belize in Florida
Monthly Newsletter
Consul General's Monthly Message
Welcome to the  October Monthly Newsletter !

This month marks the first month of the last quarter of the year! It’s hard to believe, we are quickly approaching 2019! Until we close 2018, I would like to give you a summary of what took place this month.

In this edition, you will be able to follow a special recipe on how to make  Belizean Conch Ceviche,  discover why hundreds of tourists visited Belize to bird watch and learn about Belize’s representation at the 73 rd General Debate Assembly in the United Nations. 

Similarly, you will be able to learn why Rev. Fr. Earl Fitzgerald Henry is our Star of the Month and read more about the radio address of Former President and current Patroness of HelpAge Belize, Mrs. Maria Elena Sylvestre, during International Day of Older Persons on October 1 st , 2018 with LoveFM.

If you are looking forward for November, you may want to save the date on some exciting things happening in November. From Friday, November 16th, to Sunday, November 18th, you will get to join in the excitement and celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day in a live performance in Fort Lauderdale and a picnic day in Pembroke Pines! See more information about these events in the flyers included in this newsletter. And of course if you are living in the U.S., we look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving on November 23rd, a holiday when we take the day to give thanks for all our blessings and spend time with family.
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 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 and we issue 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.
The Consulate is in the process of updating its database, and we continue to conduct 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. We look forward to speaking to you soon!
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 November could even be you!

From The Ambassador's Desk

H.E. Daniel Gutierrez
Landmark Beauty of The Month
Old Lamanai Sugar Mill (1860-1875) Click photo to learn more about ruins of Belize's historic sugar mills
Let us preserve and protect our historical landmarks!
Tourism Tidbits 

Hopkins Village, Stann Creek, Belize

Experience another side of Belize--the side you didn't know--and think about sun-basking on one of the many beaches in southern Belize's Stann Creek district. To discover these beaches click image below.  
Trade and Investment Tidbits
The Light Manufacturing and Logistics Sector 2018
Outlook & Opportunities

Star of the Month


The Rev. Fr. Earl Fitzgerald Henry was born to Ezekiel & Catharine Henry (who are both deceased) on March 19, 1951, in Belize City, Belize (former British Honduras).  He is the twin brother of his sister, Earlene. Father Henry has nine other siblings (four of whom are deceased).  Fr. Henry is married to Carmen and they have one child, Mark. He attended St. Mary’s & All Saints Elementary school and attended St. Michael’s College High School.  He worked briefly in the Diocesan Office and then went on to realize one of his dreams and became a Pupil teacher.  He later attended The Belize Teacher’s College for six months.  He was awarded the Second and First Class Teacher’s Certificate. 

In 1978 Fr. Henry made the decision to fulfill his second dream of becoming a priest.  He was accepted as a postulant at Codrington Theological College in Barbados, W.I. After completing his required training and studies, he was awarded a diploma in Theology.  Fr. Henry returned to his homeland, Belize, and was ordained to the diaconate on June 24, 1978. On February 15 th , 1979 he was ordained to the Holy Order of priest and served the Diocese of Belize, where he served as the Bishop’s Chaplain, ministered to the inmates at the Belize Prison, served on the Standing Committee, oversaw the construction of a few school buildings and served as Local Managers of schools, and taught high school students until 1986. He later migrated to the United States.

Fr. Henry received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of New Rochelle, NY, a Master of Science in administration from Audrey Cohen College (now Metropolitan University of NY) NY, and an Associate Degree from City College in Florida and a Certificate from Florida Career College in Computers.

While studying in New York, Fr. Henry worked as a priest until 1998. He then worked in the Diocese of Southeast Florida until September of this year.

During his work in Florida, he hosted and provided sleeping arrangements for the homeless, supported the mission at St. Lawrence chapel, and missions in Jamaica and Belize. For the last 3 years, Fr. Henry has collected funds in South Florida for the school feeding program at St. Mary's Church in Belize City. He also conducts an annual toy drive for St. Mary's. He is also an active participant and supporter of Belizean events in South Florida and is a member of the Friends of The Diocese of Belize for which he raises funds for school scholarships.
Belize's First Birding Festival Draws Many From Around The World
October 9, 2018 9:46 a.m. EST - This month Belize held its first ever birding festival, which took place in its capital, Belmopan. The event took place on Saturday, October 27th from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. There were vendors, exhibit booths, photography talks, a variety of presentations, video documentaries, and a key-note speech by Dr. Oliver Komar, co-author of the Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Northern Central America. The Belize Birding Festival began with a 6 a.m. Urban Bird Watch through Belmopan. Attendees went on an afternoon guided bird walk at 3:30 p.m., however, the exhibition lasted from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The event wrapped up with an evening cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. Nearly 600 known bird species are living in Belize, 20% of them winter migrants from North America. The festival was marketed to local bird-lovers and bird-watchers, as well as bird-lovers and bird-watchers from around the world. The festival was hosted with the help of the Belize Tourism Industry in partnership with the Belize Audubon Society, the Belize Hotel Association and the Belize Tourism Board.
For more information please visit their website at: 

(photo credits: bottom- http://belizebirdingfestival.com and top- https://mybeautifulbelize.com/enthusiasts-are-flocking-to-the-first-ever-belize-birding-festival/ very bottom- Belize Birding Festival Facebook Page)
Belize Police Department Receives Crucial Equipment from the Republic of China (Taiwan)
October 4, 2018 1:35 pm. EST- Belize has received over 100 brand new motorcycles, motorcycles helmets, a large quantity of hand-held radios, body cams, drones, computers, security-digitizing machines, and other crime-fighting equipment worth up to BZ $1million from Taiwan. Ambassador Lui, a law enforcement officer in Taiwan for 7 years, came to officially hand over 105 motorcycles, 210 motorcycle helmets, 200 body cams, 2 Cellebrite machines, 1 risograph machine, drones, computers, a lap top computer, and 100 hand held radios to Belize's Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie. Forthcoming will be 2,500 hand-cuffs and pouches, 60 body-armor ballistic vests, and 30 Alcoblow hand-held alcohol breath testers. Police officers will be trained in the use of this equipment before deploying. Great hope is being placed on the use of body cams in preventing the abuse of authority by police. The motorcycles and other equipment is intended for nation-wide use, however, most will be distributed to the SBU, GSU, and MIT for operations in the city. The Government of Taiwan has been implementing bilateral cooperation projects with Belize since 1989. Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing Wen promised more assistance to Belize last month when she visited Belize. 

October 11, 2018 11:24 a.m. EST- For at least 2 months, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belize has been campaigning to spread awareness about the upcoming referendum on April 10, 2019 at which time it will be put to a vote whether the Belizean people wish to take Guatemala's territorial claim to the United Nation's International Court of Justice. The campaign, called "ICJ Be Informed" so far has toured the Toledo district (San Ignacio, Santa Cruz, Jalacte, Blue Creek, Santa Elena, San Jose and schools) Belize city (in various high schools, libraries and other public locations), the Cayo district, the Stann Creek district (Dangriga) and the country capital, Belmopan. To stay up to date with the campaign check out the Facebook page MFA Referendum Belize.

Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs Addresses United Nations at 73rd General Debate Assembly
October 4, 2018 11:55 a.m. EST - The Minister of Foreign Affairs addressed the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations on September 29th, 2018. He expressed condolence for the recent tsunami and earth quake in Indonesia. He reminded the Assembly that this year marks the 37th year of Belize's existence as an independent democracy in spite of "a poisoned colonial legacy." Among other efforts that the Belizean government has undertaken to help her people, he pointed out that Belize is also banning single use plastics and styrofoam by April 2019. He also mentioned that the recent moratorium on off-shore drilling marks the first time that a developing country has taken such a major step to protect its marine resources from oil exploration and extraction. He highlighted that the Belize Barrier Reef has been removed from the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger as a result, but pointed out that Belize is still unfortunately a stop-over country for organized crime originating in "South." He iterated that Belize needs the UN notwithstanding the limitations of the organization. He highlighted Belize's solidarity with the Palestinians who still are calling for recognition of its 1967 borders. He also mentioned solidarity with Guyana that is battling Venezuela's claim and prays that the civil strife in Venezuela come to an end. He calls for an end to the embargo on Cuba arguing that it "serves no just purpose" and that it has not had the effect intended.  Elrington decries the failure of the UN to recognize and fully integrate Taiwan into the UN speaking of the injustice that even Taiwanese tourists are prohibited from entering its premises as the UN does not recognize the legitimacy of Taiwanese passports.

To read and watch the full speech visit: https://gadebate.un.org/en/73/belize)
Belize Celebrates International Day of Older persons
October 26, 2018 12:23 p.m. EST- This past October 1st Belize observed International Older Persons Day. Maria Elena Sylvestre, patroness of Help Age Belize, delivered the following radio address on Belize's radio station, Love F.M., for the opening of Older Persons week:
Help Age Belize is a non-profit organization mandated to reduce the isolation of and to increase the general quality of life of older persons in Belize. HelpAge Belize Secretariat provides oversight for eleven (11) branches which include two Residential Homes (Octavia Waight Home and Sister Cecelia’s Home) and nine Day Activity Centers which are located in all district towns and two villages within Southern Belize.

Operations at the eleven branches are managed by a voluntary Board of Directors who through networking and partnership with both the public and private sectors, advocate, educate, offer services and support, and promote the awareness on ageing.

HelpAge Belize has over the years sustained the continuation of its programs through stringent management of funds received from the Government of Belize, various funding agencies, individual donations and fundraisers.

HelpAge Belize’s mission is to improve the quality of life of older persons. Consequently, we are appealing to the Belizean Diaspora to join us in our efforts to fundraise for the acquisition of a 28 seater Wheel-Chair Accessible Mini Bus.

"Belizeanism" of The Month
  "Every daag have eh day."

En glish translation:
Every dog has its day.

Meaning: Whatever goes around, comes right back, so your actions are very valuable.
There are consequences to each action.
Recipe of The Month
Conch Ceviche
Elvi's Kitchen, Ambergris Caye
1 pound conch, trimmed, peeled, diced
2 cups tomatoes, deseeded, diced
1 cup cucumber, deseeded, diced
1 cup onion, diced, rised with cold water
1/2 cup cilantro, minced
1 habanero pepper, deseeded, minced, optional
12 large limes, juiced
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon freshly grounded black pepper


Wash conch thoroughly before dicing. Combined all ingredients and season to taste. Let stand in refrigerator for 1 hour or more before serving.

Serve with fried corn tortilla chips

Recipe courtesy of: www.flavorsofbelize.com

Ceviche has many variations, and can be found in many countries, including Peru, Key West, and Belize. These are just a few. The origins are not known, however, one can imagine that any sea coast people having access to citrus would have had the custom of marinating seafood in citrus. As far back as is known in Belizean history, ceviche made with conch dates back to the early 1950's, when fishermen from northern and southern Belize would fish on sail boats 8-12 days. They usually would fish at the Turneffe Islands close to the reef. There, they would use canoes to go fishing for hours.  Conch ceviche developed as a snack on their canoes.
News (cont'd)
Conch Season Starts Again In Belize
(photo credit: A. Tewfik/WCS)
October 4, 2018 10:35 a.m. EST - October 1st this year marked the reopening of the 2018-2019 Conch (Lobatus gigas, formerly Strombus gigas) Season in Belize.
Wildlife Conservation Society reminds fishers that, according to Fisheries Regulations for conch:

1. Shell length should exceed seven (7) inches
2. Market-clean weight should exceed three (3) ounces
3. Fillet weight should exceed 2.75 ounces

Closed Season for conch is from July 1 - September 30, each year; unless otherwise stipulated by the Fisheries Department.
You can help to protect this important species, and subsequently, the fishing industry, by adhering to these regulations.

The conch season started in 1977 after it was being "over fished." The first Corporative, Northern Fishermen Corp., was established in Caye Caulker on Sept 5, 1960. The fishermen would sell their fish, lobster and conch to the corporation which would then pack and export.

 (source credit: WCS Belize Facebook page and Fisheries Department of Belize City)
Belizean Children Participate In Beach Clean-Up
October 11, 2018 10:01 a.m. EST - Kids in Action group of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Oceana Belize joined hands to clean up nearly 1 km of San Pedro's beach. They chose the occasion of the 27th Anniversary of National Coastal and Rivers Clean Up on October 6, 2018.

This October 6 clean up was part of a global volunteer effort by Ocean Conservancy to help protect the world's seas, lakes, lagoons, rivers and creeks.

Upcoming Events
Thanks to See and Taste Belize 2017-2018 Sponsors series