April 2022 Vol 87
The Consulate of Belize in Florida
Monthly Newsletter
#rememberitsgoodtobebelizean #thewaitisover

Honorary Consul's Monthly Message
Welcome to the April Monthly Newsletter!
Welcome to our April Edition of the newsletter! We hope you had a safe and happy Easter holiday and that you have returned from this special holiday feeling renewed and inspired to do great things!
Great things are indeed happening around us, including the launch of an innovative mobile financial service by Digi wallet with Telepin, Belize’s progress in becoming officially certified malaria free, and the story of Emil Cherrington, an accomplished Belizean scientist who is working for NASA’s SERVIR program, a joint development initiative between NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). 
On April 3rd, the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations along with the delegation from the Ministries оf Рublіс Ѕеrvісе, Соnѕtіtutіоnаl & Роlіtісаl Rеfоrm аnd Rеlіgіоuѕ Аffаіrѕ; Неаlth аnd Wеllnеѕѕ; Fоrеіgn Аffаіrѕ, Fоrеіgn Тrаdе & Іmmіgrаtіоn; аnd Yоuth, Ѕроrtѕ аnd Тrаnѕроrt met with the Diaspora in the USA through two Town Hall meetings held in Los Angeles and in Las Vegas. As stated by the Belize Tourism Board, the purpose of these meetings is to рrоvіdе an орроrtunіtу for the Веlіzеаn Dіаѕроrа to аddrеѕѕ the Міnіѕtеrѕ of Gоvеrnmеnt in рrеѕѕіng іѕѕuеѕ аnd ехрlоrе орроrtunіtіеѕ for соllаbоrаtіоnѕ. We invite you to actively participate in these events whenever you can because through mediums such as this, we can all have a voice about the Jewel’s future.
This year the Consulate of Belize in Florida worked closely with the Chamber of Commerce to include the Belizean flag along famous boulevard in Coral Gables, named Ponce de Leon Blvd. If you are in the area, we invite you to take a stroll and check out the Belizean Flag! 
April 22nd. marked the annual celebration of World Earth Day. This day gave us a chance to express our gratitude to mother earth for everything it gives us. It also served as a gentle reminder of the small changes we can make to protect the one planet we all share. Whether it be through recycling, taking shorter showers, creating less waste, or plant a tree, we can all make little changes that will allow us to continue to enjoy nature and appreciate its beauty every day.    
And in keeping with the theme of environment sustainability, we invite you to see the Prime Minister of Belize, the Hon. John Briceño’s Earth Day message, under the theme “Invest in Our Planet”. He shares how Belize delivered two milestones under the Blue Bonds Agreement, the expansion of our marine protected areas and the designation of all national lands within the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, World Heritage Site as Mangrove Reserves
We are thrilled to share that Made in Belize Trade Show will be returning to Belmopan! The event, which takes place on June 4th, will showcase goods and services that are exclusively made in Belize and we have so many amazing Belizean made products to be proud of! If you or someone you know has a product to sell, this would be an amazing opportunity to generate exposure for your business. The remarkable lineup of products will include furniture, cosmetics, food, financial services, plus much more that you won’t want to miss!  Doors will open at 10am at the Governor General’s Field in North Ring Road.   
In this edition’s Star of the Month, we shared the story of Belizean entrepreneur, Ms. Rhondine Petrof, who through the combination of education and travel, created an organization that has helped increase awareness of Belize’s rich cultural, ecological, and historical resources. Her company, Toucan Educational Programs, offers programs in sustainable development, natural resource tourism, and cultural learning among others, that foster intentional learning while visitors explore Belize in a responsible way. I invite you to check out her website the see the impact she has had, and the different programs being offered. 
Additionally, on April 4th, we shared the culmination of the 12-week financial literacy program that had the collaboration of the US Embassy, Holy Redeemer Credit Union, and Dr. Carol Babb former Chief Education Officer. The Prime Minister was present for the graduation of the participants and shared a message about the importance of financial literacy for families, communities, and the national economy.   
We also recap the monthly news from the Government of Belize Press Office and shared the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Ambassadors of Belize and Nepal which took place in New York City.   

Please read our section, “Movers and Shakers of Belize” where you will read about the hard work each Ministry is doing to help make Belize stronger in the areas of its economy, international trade, housing, education, immigration etc.
As we update our database, and to serve you better, the Consulate of Belize in Florida continues to conduct phone calls to its constituents to confirm each contact’s information. We appreciate your cooperation and support in sharing your contact information. This is so that you and your family can continue to be informed about services offered by the Consulate as well as get updates on Belize.
Enjoy and share with your friends.
And remember, it is good to be Belizean!

#rememberitsgoodtobebelizean #thewaitisover #staysafe
All my best,
Janine Sylvestre
Hon. Consul of Belize in Florida 
Trade Representative of Belize in Florida
Prime Minister John Briceño Shares How Belize Delivered Two Milestones Under the Blue Bonds Agreement
“Тhе ехраnѕіоn оf оur mаrіnе рrоtесtеd аrеаѕ аnd thе dеѕіgnаtіоn оf аll nаtіоnаl lаndѕ wіthіn thе Веlіzе Ваrrіеr Rееf Rеѕеrvе Ѕуѕtеm Wоrld Неrіtаgе Ѕіtе аѕ Маngrоvе Rеѕеrvеѕ аrе ѕіgnіfісаnt аѕ wе furthеr ѕаfеguаrd thе funсtіоnіng іntеgrіtу оf оur осеаn аnd соаѕtаl rеѕоurсеѕ, whісh іѕ kеу tо thе rеаlіzаtіоn оf а ѕuссеѕѕful осеаn-bаѕеd есоnоmу аnd іmрrоvеd quаlіtу оf lіvеѕ fоr оur реорlе,” ѕаіd Рrіmе Міnіѕtеr Вrісеñо іn hіѕ Еаrth Dау mеѕѕаgе.
Financial Literacy Program

A population more literate in managing money and finances is the building block for successful people, families, businesses, communities, and overall our national economy. On April 4th, we closed a 12 week financial literacy program that had the collaboration of the US Embassy, Holy Redeemer Credit Union and Dr. Carol Babb former Chief Education Officer. It was my pleasure to share that moment with our children program participants and organizers.
The Network of Parliamentarians of Central America and the Caribbean
Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño meets with Dr. Santiago LeClair - Permanent Secretary for FOPREL to discuss matters of education and health. FOPREL, an abbreviation for the Forum of Presiding Officers of National Parliaments of Central America and the Caribbean basin, is an organization where leaders of Parliament from 10 Countries, mostly Central American, discuss shared challenges including transnational organized crime. Belize chairs the Committee for Education and Health. Learn More
Prime Minister Meets With Taiwanese State Contractors on Major Projects in Belize

According to the Prime Minister, he and OECC’s President James Hsiao and chairman Jeff Chung “rеvіеwеd thе рrоgrеѕѕ оf thе оngоіng соnѕtruсtіоn рrојесt fоr thе Соrоzаl-Ѕаrtеnеја Rоаd. Dіѕсuѕѕіоnѕ аlѕо соmmеnсеd fоr thе соnѕtruсtіоn оf thе Ноѕріtаl Рrојесt fоr Ѕаn Реdrо Тоwn, Аmbеrgrіѕ Сауе.” Тhе Рrіmе Міnіѕtеr wаѕ јоіnеd bу hіѕ СЕО Nаrdа Gаrсіа. Read More

Honourable Eamon Courtenay, Foreign Minister of Belize & Chair of the CARICOM Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR), co-chaired the II Meeting of the CARICOM - Canada Foreign Ministers’ Group along with Hon. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada.
Ambassadors of Belize and Nepal Establish Diplomatic Relations

The governments of Belize and Nepal, established diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level in New York. Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was His Excellency Mr. Carlos Fuller, Permanent Representative of Belize to the United Nations, and His Excellency Mr. Amrit Bahadur Rai on behalf of the Government of Nepal.
Belize Delegation Visits New Centro Fidel Castro in Cuba

Prime Minster Hon. John Briceño and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the opportunity to tour the Centro Fidel Castro, which celebrates the life of the revolutionary leader of Cuba. The new museum presents itself as a study center and library. A visit will introduce you to the story of Cuba and President Fidel Castro.
Belize and Cuba Relations

Foreign Minister Honourable Eamon Courtenay meets with His Excellency Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Foreign Minister of Cuba.
Dear members of the Diaspora,

As I write this message, I am enjoying the beautiful spring weather here in DC. In many ways, the rebirth ushered in by Spring is symbolic of the hopeful spirit we are all experiencing as experts tell us that we are entering the “endemic” phase of the COVID Pandemic. Yes, the various forms of the Omicron variant continue to spread rapidly, but here in the US, hospitalizations and most importantly, mortality rates are down considerably. Back home in Belize, new infections are at the lowest they have been in over a year to the extent that it is now safe to reduce the size of the COVID ward. Like spring, these are welcome signs of a brighter future.
Earlier this month, we continued the Diaspora Tour which had been suspended during the last COVID wave. We had very productive and informative meetings with the diaspora in Los Angeles and in Las Vegas. I continue to be impressed by the wealth of expertise and economic muscle of fellow Belizeans living in the United States. Harvesting this extremely valuable resource will require continued engagement and we at the Embassy are very thankful for the opportunity to hear directly from you as we seek to improve consular services offered to the diaspora and explore ways to further support you in your efforts to help build Belize. We are now in the planning stages to team up with H.E. Sandhya Murphy, Ambassador for the Diaspora to have town hall meetings in other US cities, in order to remain engaged with you all and to promote Ambassador Murphy’s “Build Belize” initiative which is already assisting many schools back home by donating laptops for students.
One effort that was showcased during the LA tour is the work of the Belize American Chamber of Commerce (BACC). The BACC has been coordinating with financial institutions in the US and in Belize to start a Credit Union that will help Belizeans in the US to send remittances to Belize as well as providing vehicles for Belizeans living in the USA to invest in Belize. To this end, in June, the BACC will be holding an Investment Forum here in Washington D.C. We are looking forward to that event and to the opportunity to meet Belizeans from all over the United States who are trying to channel more investment dollars to the Jewel.
We are also looking forward to participating in the Summits of the Americas which will be held in Los Angeles this coming June. The Summit of the Americas is being hosted by the United States and will bring Heads of Governments together from all the countries in the Americas to discuss issues affecting the Hemisphere and to work together to address these challenges and improve the quality of life for the people of the Americas. Our government will be well represented as we continue our leadership on issues related to climate change and environmental stewardship.
So, the next few months will be very busy as we cautiously look towards the spring of a post – pandemic world with a wary eye on the events unfolding in Europe. Whichever way it unfolds, let us maintain our focus and continue to work together to Build Belize, our special corner of the world.

His Excellency Lynn R. Young 
Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America 
& Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States 
2535 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 332-9636
Website: belizeembassyusa.mfa.gov.bz
For a Full List of this Month's Press Releases Click the Link Below

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The information you provide is strictly confidential and used for database purposes only. 
Tourism Tidbits
Airbnb and Belize Tourism Board Sign MOU to Drive Sustainable Tourism Through Home-Sharing

А раrtnеrѕhір wіth thе рорulаr ассоmmоdаtіоn gеnеrаtоr Аіrbnb аіmѕ tо рrоmоtе ѕuѕtаіnаblе tоurіѕm іn Веlіzе, іnvіtіng tоurіѕtѕ tо еnјоу Веlіzе’ѕ соmfоrtѕ uр сlоѕе аnd реrѕоnаl wіth іtѕ реорlе.

Trade and Investment Tidbits
‘Made in Belize’ Trade Show Returns

Тhе Веlіzе Сhаmbеr оf Соmmеrсе аnd Іnduѕtrу wіll hоѕt іtѕ fіfth аnnuаl “Маdе іn Веlіzе” Тrаdе Ѕhоw іn Веlmораn оn Јunе 4 ѕtаrtіng аt 10:00 а.m. аt thе Gоvеrnоr Gеnеrаl’ѕ Fіеld, Nоrth Rіng Rоаd. Thе еvеnt іѕ “dеdісаtеd tо рrоmоtіng Веlіzеаn-mаdе gооdѕ аnd ѕеrvісеѕ ехсluѕіvеlу. Іt wіll brіng tоgеthеr еntrерrеnеurѕ, buѕіnеѕѕ оwnеrѕ, prоduсеrѕ/mаnufасturеrѕ, аnd сuѕtоmеrѕ іn оnе lосаtіоn.”
Cultural Tidbits
Pre-Schools Celebrate the Cultures of Belize

Belize is often described as a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. Children are taught from an early age that they live among people with varying skin colors, languages and way of life. This helps them to better understand the world they exist in. Here at the Bethany Baptist Preschool, Principal Karen Louis asked parents to send their kids to school dressed in cultural wear
Flags on Ponce
The Flags on Ponce Program is a stunning visual display of Coral Gables’ rich diversity and the focal point of the international business community. The Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce created the program back in 1993, as an initiative to showcase the community’s international character and to recognize the significant number of consulates and multinational businesses that call Coral Gables home.

This year the Consulate of Belize in Florida worked closely with the Chamber of Commerce to include the Belizean flag along Ponce de Leon Blvd. If you are in the area, we invite you to take a stroll and check out our Belizean Flag!
Ms. Rhondine Petrof
Rhondine Petrof was born and raised on the southside of Belize City. During her formative years, Rhondine’s grand aunt also became her caretaker. An entrepreneur at heart, she was a hardworking businesswoman who instilled the values of impeccable work ethic and the importance of a positive attitude. Values that later on, would serve as the foundation for Rhondine’s strong character that would continue to blossom throughout her career.

Unfortunately, while Rhondine was in her second year of high school her grand aunt passed away. The adversities were many, but Rhondine used the values instilled by her grand aunt and persevered. Rhondine believed that she came into the world for a greater purpose and now understands that every challenge in the past prepared her to be an entrepreneur.

After years of working in the education industry, Rhondine decided to embark on an entrepreneurial endeavor where she could further explore her passion for international education. She Co-founded and is the current CEO of Toucan Education Programs (TEP), an organization that focuses on providing high quality study abroad programs based in Belize. As a leading international education enterprise, the organization consists of three tiers - social, ethical, and environmental responsibility. Because of this, Ms. Petrof's mission with TEP is to design short-term programming that fosters service to the community and intentional learning, while exploring our beautiful country of Belize in a responsible way.

Toucan Education Programs provides customized faculty-led internships, volunteering, community engagement, and service-learning programs in Belizean communities. In addition, the organization provides employment for Belizeans and scholarships for local high school students. As a result of these initiatives, Toucan Education Programs has generated over a quarter of a million dollars that have positively impacted Belize’s local economy. In addition, in the company’s quest to give back to the Belizean community and reciprocate the goodwill of the society, TEP dedicates 5% of the profits from all study abroad programs and their merchandise store to fund the Marilyn McElwain Scholarship Fund.

Through her dedicated professionalism, entrepreneurship, and resilience Ms. Rhondine Petrof is an exceptional example of what it means to embody the positive energy of the Belizean spirit!

Her advice to young people in Belize:
"Your future is in your hands because it is how you meet life and your attitude.
Life will always come with challenges and if you harvest the good from
your challenges, grow from them and you have a goal you want to accomplish,
it doesn't matter who you are, where you are born or how much education you have,
you will succeed."

Through supporting international education and many community-based endeavors,
Rhondine believes her purpose is to continue to contribute to Belize in a meaningful way.

If you are interested in becoming a stakeholder of TEP, you can contact Ms. Petrof Here. Also, if you know anyone interested in studying in Belize, click the button below to learn more.
We are proud to call you
our Star of the Month!

GOB Highlights of the Month
  • The Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing Delivers More Pilot Houses in Stann Creek West Read More

  • GOB Ministers Meet with Diaspora in the USA Read More

  • The Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour, and Local Government, in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development, Families, and Indigenous Peoples' Affairs, and the National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO), Launch the Rural Women Economic Empowerment Project Read More
Belize and the World
  • Belize, US, Germany, Indonesia, Senegal Host New Global COVID-19 Summit Read More

  • 30 Belizeans Travel to Colombia for a 90-day Agriculture Technical Training Program Read More

  • Belize Joins the International Community in Celebrating World Book Day Read More
Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
  • Belizean Demetrie Meyers Wins First Silver Medal for Belize in Carifta Games in Under-17 Boys’ 3000 Meters Read More

  • Miss Earth Belize and Belize Tourism Board Deliver Sanitation Package and School Supplies to Children of Barranco Read More

  • Celebrating Our Belize Women Jaguars Read More
Science, Technology, & Infrastructure
  • Belize Celebrates World Malaria Day: Starts Process to be Officially Certified Malaria-Free Read More

  • An Accomplished Belizean Scientist Emil Cherrington: ‘It’s Pretty Inspiring to Work for NASA’ Read More

  • Resilient Rural Belize Officers Get Training in Use of Agriculture Information Management System Read More
Business & the Market
  • Emirate Businessman Establishes Ties with Belize Read More

  • DigiWallet Launches Innovative Mobile Financial Services in Belize with Telepin Read More

  • Belize and Mexico Step Up Trade Collaboration Read More

  • Belize Launches the Digital Impact Fund Under Phase 3 of the IDB’s EcoMicro COVID-19 Read More
Trending Topics

  • Belize Named One Of the Top Destinations Of 2022 by Forbes Read More

  • Belize Police Department Take 52 Children On a Countryside Tour in Spanish Lookout Read More
Scholarship Opportunities
  • CCRIF-UWI Undergraduate Scholarships 2022 Learn More

  • Call for Applications from the University of the Philippines Baguio for a Ph.D in Indigenous Studies. Read More
  • Belize Lifts Most Coronavirus-Related Travel Restrictions Read More

  • Become a Certified Belize Travel Expert With Travel Agent Academy Read More

  • From the Beach to the Rainforest, Belize is a Breath of Fresh Air Read More

Cochinita Pibil
  • 4 lb pork shoulder
  • 4 tablespoons – salt
  • 1 tablespoon – cumin
  • 1 tablespoon – whole black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon – whole allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon – whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon – cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon – Mexican oregano
  • 4 tablespoons – achiote annatto (or if you have it red recado)
  • 1 1/2 cups – sour orange (or substitute sour orange marinade from your local Mexican grocer)
  • Banana leaves
  • 1 Large white onion
  • Optional: 1 large red onion and distilled white vinegar to make an accompanying quick pickled onion

  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. 
  • Brown the pork shoulder on the stove with a little oil. Use the same heavy pot you are cooking it in.
  • Next, lay two banana leaves out, overlapping. 
  • Place the marinated, browned pork in the middle.
  • Chop the white onion and place on the pork as well as a scoop or two of the marinade. Fold up the leaves around the pork like a present. To tie your present either use strips of banana leaf, or kitchen string.
  • In a heavy pot, place a small rack, or, scrunch up a ring on aluminum foil. The foil donut keeps the meat package out of the liquid at the bottom of the span and causes it to steam more than boil.
  • Pour the rest of the marinade plus a cup of water in the bottom of the pan.
  • Place the wrapped pork on top of the aluminum foil ring or rack. Put in the oven with the lid on the pot.  
  • Cook for 4-5 hours
Fry Jacks

  • 3 Cups of flour
  • 3 Teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil or shortening (for the dough)
  • 1 Full Cup of Water (sometimes water might need to be adjusted)
  • 2 cups of vegetable oil (for the cooking)

Belize Travel Health & Safety
Things to Know Before Traveling to Belize

  • Fully vaccinated travelers no longer require a negative test but must show proof of vaccination for entry into Belize's airport, land borders or sea ports.

  • Visitors to Belize are required to purchase Belize Travel Health Insurance. The cost of the policy is $18 USD and provides coverage for up to $50,000 USD in medical expenses related to treatment of COVID-19 for a period of 21 days. 

  • International tourists must book a stay at a Gold Standard hotel and present confirmation at immigration.

  • Unvaccinated travelers must present a negative PCR Test taken within 96 hours of travel or a Negative Rapid Test taken within 48 hours of travel.

  • You can also take a Covid-19 Test at the airport upon arrival, the cost is $50 USD per person, and only positive cases will receive a notification within 24 hours.

For more information Click Here
Our deep condolences to the families of Belizeans at home and abroad who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

May they rest in peace.
Missed an Issue of our monthly newsletter?
March 2022, VOL. 86 Read More
February 2022, VOL. 85 Read More
January 2022, VOL. 84. Read More
December 2021, VOL. 83 Read More
November 2021, VOL. 82 Read More
October 2021, VOL. 81 Read More
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August 2021, VOL. 80. Read More
July 2021, VOL. 79 Read More
June 2021, VOL. 78 Read More
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April 2021, VOL. 76 Read More
March 2021, VOL. 75 Read More
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