January 2021 Vol 73
Photo Edvin Mendoza
The Consulate of Belize in Florida
Monthly Newsletter
#rememberitsgoodtobebelizean #thewaitisover
Honorary Consul's Monthly Message
Welcome to the January Monthly Newsletter!

 In conversations with members of the Diaspora over the last number of weeks, I sense that there is a spirit of optimism about the future. Belizeans at home are hopeful and optimistic about the national recovery rate of 93% and the arrival of PCR test donations as well as with the imminent availability of vaccines in Belize. In the US, the vaccines were deployed in early January and over 26.2 million people have received the vaccines.

As we enter 2021, we look forward to charting new goals and resolutions. Whatever they are, we wish you the very best in accomplishing them. Whilst it is unknown what the new year holds for us, let us be thankful to God for each new day we are given to make a difference in our lives and those of others. And let's try to identify and treasure the things we have in common instead of allowing the differences to divide us.

We are proud to report that Belize’s new First Lady, Mrs. Rossana Briceño, was appointed Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children. In the section under the "Office of the Prime Minister", we highlight all of Mrs. Briceño’s accomplishments both academically and professionally in the field of Education and we congratulate and applaud her for all the excellent work she has been doing in Belize. We look forward to seeing the wonderful projects she has planned which will benefit the disadvantaged children in Belize.

This month, we also celebrated the life of another Belizean Hero, The Rt. Honourable George Cadle Price, known as "The Father of the Nation" who became the first person to receive Belize’s highest honour, the Order of National Hero, for the prominent role he played in leading Belize to its independence. On December 30th, 2020 in the House of Representatives, it was unanimously voted that January 15th would be a public and bank holiday in honour of the Right Hon. Prime Minister. To quote the People’s United Party Chairman, Henry Charles Usher “... even though we have so many national heroes, we only have one Father of the Nation, and that is the Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price. And so, it is important for this country to come together, to be united and to celebrate George Cadle Price Day for what it represents."

Unfortunately, the new year met us with the sad news of the passing of Belize’s first Governor General, Dr. Dame Minita Gordon who passionately and dutifully served many years as Governor General of Belize. She was a very distinguished and accomplished lady having earned a Doctorate Degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto, becoming the first trained Belizean psychologist. On January 20th, Belize held a State Funeral for the late Dr. Dame Minita Gordon. On behalf of the Consulate of Belize, we extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends and may she rest in eternal peace.

On the international travel front, we have received a significant volume of queries relating to travel from the US to Belize, specifically on requirements needed to enter the country. Any person arriving in Belize from abroad is expected to download The Belize Travel Health App and show the QR code upon arrival, the code is given once you complete your information in the app. Also, if travelers wish to get tested in Belize, The Philip Goldson International Airport will be providing COVID-19 testing for your convenience. Moreover, Belizean citizens will be exempt from having to stay at a Gold Standard Hotel, a requirement that is still in place for tourists visiting the country.

On an administrative note, we know that many of you who live in the US are in need of applying for a passport renewal or replacement. We are happy to announce that we are open for consular services in the US. Please call or email your local office to inquire on available appointments.
Finally, we look forward to sharing some of our favorite Belizean recipes with you! The “Recipe of the Month” section you have come to enjoy will still be featured. This month, we will go over the steps in preparing a Belizean delicacy, Coconut Tarts! As well as a street food favorite, Dukunu, alongside the Bare Pantry Show Host, Barbara McNab Grinage. In ancient Mayan culture, corn represented much more than a grain used for food. Corn was also considered a gift from the gods and cultivating it was a sacred duty. We are grateful to the Maya for this staple which makes Belizean cuisine so unique and interesting.
Our January newsletter features Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño meeting with the ombudsman as they focus on the ways to further support the Office of the Ombudsman and institutions with human rights mandates. We also recap the monthly news from the Government of Belize Press Office and share the stories of some visible Belizeans in our Star of The Month Section as well as the Front-Line Responders section.
Enjoy scrolling through the news in the areas of tourism, community engagement, the environment, and much more in this edition.

  • Read about our Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño's meeting with the Ombudsman.
  • Watch the Inaugural ceremony for the appointment of First Lady Rossana Briceño as Special Envoy for Development of Families and Children.
  • Read the monthly message from the Embassy of Belize in Washington, DC's Desk.
  • See why Belize was named an Industry Leader in their response to Covid-19 and was awarded a Safe Travel Stamp.
  • Learn about the updated travel requirements to visit Belize and the expanded Covid-19 departure test capacity.
  • Watch our tribute to Honor the passing of Dr. Dame Minita Gordon.
  • Find out why Belize was selected as a “Black Tourist Inspiration” Destination.
  • Read about talented Belizean's who are making a difference in 2021’s Social Entrepreneurs to watch and under our “What’s New” section.
  • See how we continue to give thanks to our Belizean Frontline workers around the United States.
  • Read about our "Star of the Month", Mrs. Stephanie Medina, Deputy Court Administrator of the Circuit Court for Baltimore and how she gives back to Belize.
Due to COVID-19, unfortunately, several events continue to be postponed or modified; however, we still invite you to check out the section “Upcoming Events” to see the updates on each event and access some informative flyers.

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 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. 
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 could even be you! 
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
From The Office of The Prime Minister
Hon. John Briceño

The Ombudsman, Mr. Lionel Arzu meets with the Prime Minister, The Hon. John Briceno, the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Mr. Cordel Hyde and Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Kareem Musa.

On Friday, January 22, 2021, Mr. Lionel Arzu, Ombudsman of Belize met with the Prime Minister, The Hon. John Briceno. The meeting focused on the ways through which the Government of Belize could further support the Office of the Ombudsman.

The current situation at the Office of the Ombudsman: the report on the institutional assessment of the existing viable institutions with human rights mandates; the need for cooperation and collaboration between the Government of Belize ministries and departments with the Office of the Ombudsman; and the Government’s plans for the Office of the Ombudsman were amongst the topics discussed.

Meetings were previously held with the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Cordel Hyde and the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Kareem Musa. On Monday, December 7th, 2020, Mr. Lionel Arzu, Ombudsman of Belize met with the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Kareem Musa. On Thursday, December 10th, Mr. Lionel Arzu, Ombudsman of Belize met with the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Cordel Hyde. The purpose of these meetings was to highlight the pending complaints which fall under the Ministers’ respective Ministries received by the Office of the Ombudsman during the reporting period of January 1st to December 31st, 2020. This was done with a view of soliciting the necessary assistance and intervention into these complaints by the respective Ministers.
The First Lady of Belize
Mrs. Rossana Briceño

Appointment of Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children.

Belmopan. January 21, 2021. 6:00 p.m.

The Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs is pleased to announce the selection of Mrs. Rossana Briceño as the Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children. Mrs. Briceño will be officially appointed to her post in a ceremony to be held on Friday, January 22, 2021.

Mrs. Briceño, wife of the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership as well as a Master’s degree in Curriculum Development and Diagnostic Assessment and prior, earned Bachelor’s degree in Special Education.

Mrs. Briceño has an established career as an Educator. She taught at Stella Maris School and St. Peter’s Anglican School, where she is currently the principal. She has been an advocate for students with special needs since 1987 and has worked closely with women’s groups.

Inaugural Ceremony for the Appointment of the Special Envoy
for the Development of
Families & Children
Embassy of Belize in Washington, DC's Desk
Fellow Belizeans,

This month has been a challenging month for many in the United States. We experienced the brazen attempt to interrupt the constitutional order in the United States and attack upon legislators at Capitol Hill in early January followed by a coming together for the swearing in for a new President and Vice President in late January. The Embassy of Belize expresses its congratulations to President Biden and Vice President Harris on their assumption of office. The Government of Belize looks forward to its continued friendly relationship with the United States of America.

Most countries in the world continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, including the United States and Belize. While vaccines are being distributed in the United States, there is a great deal more to be done to vaccinate enough people in the United States so that things can go back to normal. We know you must also be concerned about your loved ones back home. Belize is working with its partners at the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization to begin to access vaccines. We are pleased to see an indication this week of a reduction in positive cases in Belize after a worrying increase experienced in December and the beginning of January.

The United States recently announced new measures to protect US citizens and residents from the spread of the virus and its new variants. In some cases, a complete ban on travelers from some countries have been announced. For those countries not included in the ban, all travelers into the United States must produce a negative test result for COVID-19. Even though the Government of Belize had no prior warning of this new requirement, it moved quickly to access more tests and to approve testing providers so that this requirement can be met.

We wish to remind our Belizeans in the United States that even while we continue to face the pandemic, the Embassy of Belize and Consulates throughout the United States remain committed to providing consular services to Belizeans, within new health and safety protocols. Unfortunately, services in New York have been temporarily suspended. However, we remind our Belizeans in the New York area that consular services are available in our offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago, IL, Miami, FL, and Los Angeles, CA.
We continue to urge all to take all necessary precautions and stay safe!


Embassy of Belize to the United States of America.
#wavediflag #rememberitsgoodtobebelizean #wearewithyou #holdthefaith #belizeanstrong #thewaitisover
Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries
Virtual Press Conference
Government of Belize Press Releases
Government Approves the Addition of Two New Holidays
Remembering the Rt. Hon. George C. Price
Friday, January 15 is the birthday of the late Right Honorable George Cadle Price; Belize’s first Premiere and Prime Minister. This date has now been officially made a holiday as was confirmed in last Friday’s House Meeting. Presenting the motion was Minister Kareem Musa who also announced a second national holiday as Emancipation Day.

The Right Honorable George Cadle Price would have been celebrating his 102nd birthday this year had he not passed away in September 2011. In honor of his dedication to Belize and its independence, January 15th has been declared a national holiday. The holiday declaration was perhaps one of the first decisions made under the Briceno Administration. The idea of the national holiday was debated in both the House of Representatives and the Senate where every member had the opportunity to weigh on in on the decision. 

Caribbean Development Bank elects next President
Тhе Саrіbbеаn Dеvеlорmеnt Ваnk (СDВ) nаmеd Dr. Нуgіnuѕ ‘Gеnе’ Lеоn аѕ іtѕ nехt Рrеѕіdеnt. Dr. Lеоn’ѕ арроіntmеnt іѕ ѕеt tо bесоmе еffесtіvе оn Мау 1, 2021. Не ѕuссееdѕ Dr. Wm Wаrrеn Ѕmіth whо hаѕ bееn аt thе hеlm оf thе rеgіоnаl fіnаnсіаl іnѕtіtutіоn fоr thе lаѕt 10 уеаrѕ.

Dr. Lеоn hоldѕ а Dосtоr оf Рhіlоѕорhу (Рh.D.) іn Есоnоmісѕ frоm Тhе Unіvеrѕіtу оf Ѕоuthаmрtоn іn thе Unіtеd Кіngdоm (UК) аnd а Васhеlоr оf Ѕсіеnсе Dеgrее (В.Ѕс.) іn Есоnоmісѕ frоm thе Unіvеrѕіtу оf Lоndоn аlѕо іn thе U.К. Тhе СDВ’ѕ Воаrd оf thе Gоvеrnоrѕ аlѕо ѕаіd thаt Dr. Lеоn hаѕ оvеr 30 уеаrѕ оf ехреrіеnсе іn есоnоmіс dеvеlорmеnt аnd hаѕ dіrесtеd mасrоесоnоmіс аnd fіnаnсіаl роlісу ѕuрроrt tо gоvеrnmеnt аuthоrіtіеѕ іn Аfrіса, thе Міddlе Еаѕt, аnd Сеntrаl Аѕіа, аnd thе Саrіbbеаn.

Belize City Council Receives Donation from UNICEF

A child-friendly space project is underway through the efforts of the United Nations Children’s funds (UNICEF), the Belize Red Cross, and the City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO). Youths in Belize City will now have access to organized environments where they can feel safe in times of disaster and receive support in an organized and stimulating environment. Michael Noralez, Deputy Noralez spoke on the importance of this initiative.

COVID-19 vaccines to arrive by April?
The Minister of Health and Wellness is asking all Belizeans to continue to practice patience and to give the Ministry and its partners a “little more time” to get the vaccines into the country. As previously reported in the Amandala, Belize has already paid 30% of its commitment to the COVAX facility, which will cover the cost of vaccination for at least 30% of our population, or around 120,000 persons, according to Dr. Marvin Manzanero.

The European Union has also committed sums of money to secure about 1 million vaccines for countries in the Caribbean. Belize is also one of six countries across Latin America and the Caribbean that are to receive direct support from the IDB for its vaccination efforts. In mid-December, the international financial institution announced that they reallocated around 1 billion dollars to support the vaccination efforts across these countries.

Taiwan donates Antigen Rapid Test to Belize
The Ministry of Health and Wellness, yesterday received a donation of 1,500 COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test in a small ceremony hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Dr Deysi Mendez, Chief Executive Officer, received the donation on behalf of the Ministry from H.E. Remus Li-Kuo Chen, Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize. Dr Mendez expressed appreciation for the donation and the continued support shown to Belize by the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan), especially in the overall COVID-19 response. The tests were co-developed by ForaCare, a Taiwanese company, and indicate that results can be determined in as little as 15 minutes. The total value of the donation is approximately BZ$300,000.

The City of Chetumal has been declared a Free Zone
The City of Chetumal has now officially been declared a free zone. Much like the Corozal Free Zone, this means that there is an exemption from the general tax on imports and an exemption from the customs processing fee.

This decision was made with an aim to reboot the economy which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration that establishes the new tariff regime for Chetumal was signed onto on November 27 and came into effect on January 1, 2021.

New recoveries from COVID-19
The latest COVID-19 data coming from the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) says that there have been 88 new recoveries from COVID-19.

Wіth thе nеw rесоvеrіеѕ, thе nаtіоnаl tоtаl fоr rесоvеrеd СОVІD-19 раtіеntѕ gоеѕ uр tо 10,792, whіlе thе nаtіоnаl rесоvеrу rаtе ѕtаndѕ аѕ 93.0.

Members of the public are asked to continue adhering to the established protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.

Belize Travel Health & Safety
Belize has received the Safe Travels Stamp from World Travel & Tourism Council!

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce that Belize has achieved the Safe Travels Stamp, granted by the World Travel &Tourism Council (WTTC).

The Safe Travels Stamp, the first global safety and hygiene stamp, was awarded to Belize in late December 2020 in recognition of the country’s enhanced health and safety protocols.

United Airlines launches new “Travel Ready Center” for travelers to upload COVID-19 information
Аіrlіnеѕ аrе lаunсhіng mоrе tооlѕ tо mаkе thе рrосеѕѕ еаѕіеr fоr раѕѕеngеrѕ tо trаvеl durіng thе раndеmіс.

Тrаvеlеrѕ еntеrіng thе UЅ аrе nоw rеquіrеd tо рrеѕеnt а nеgаtіvе СОVІD-19 tеѕt. Тhаt mеаѕurе bесаmе еffесtіvе tоdау. Unіtеd Аіrlіnеѕ hаѕ іntrоduсеd а dіgіtаl “Тrаvеl-Rеаdу Сеntеr” tооl оn іtѕ mоbіlе арр аnd wеbѕіtе, а рlаtfоrm whеrе trаvеlеrѕ саn rеvіеw СОVІD-19 еntrу rеquіrеmеntѕ, fіnd lосаl tеѕtіng fасіlіtіеѕ аbrоаd аnd uрlоаd tеѕtіng аnd vассіnаtіоn rесоrdѕ аll іn thе ѕаmе рlасе, Fох Nеwѕ rероrtѕ.

Тrаvеlеrѕ wіll bе аblе tо vіеw thеіr dеѕtіnаtіоnѕ СОVІD-19 rеlаtеd trаvеl rеѕtrісtіоnѕ оn thе арр. Unіtеd ѕаіd thаt іt wоuld аllоw сuѕtоmеrѕ tо ѕсhеdulе а СОVІD-19 tеѕt аnd thе tеѕt рrоvіdеr wіll аlеrt Unіtеd dіrесtlу wіth tеѕt rеѕultѕ.
Тhе nеw tооl іѕ lіѕtеd undеr “Му Тrірѕ” іn thе Unіtеd Арр.

Аmеrісаn Аіrlіnеѕ hаd аnnоunсеd рrеvіоuѕlу оf іtѕ lаunсh оf а hеаlth раѕѕроrt оn іtѕ VеrіFlу арр. Іntеrnаtіоnаl trаvеlеrѕ flуіng wіth АА саn dоwnlоаd thе арр, сrеаtе аn ассоunt, еntеr thеіr dеѕtіnаtіоn аnd uрlоаd thе rеquіrеd dосumеntаtіоn, іnсludіng а nеgаtіvе СОVІD-19 tеѕt.
Things to Know Before Traveling to Belize
  • Download the Belize Health App and complete the required information within 72 hours of your flight to Belize. Available for download via APK file for Android and in the App Store.

  • Prior to arrival, tourists must book a stay at a Gold Standard hotel and present confirmation upon arrival.

  • Take a PCR Test within 96 hours of travel or a Rapid Antigen Test 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
New Flight to Belize
California Dreaming!
United's new nonstop service from Los Angeles to Belize arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport today. Now it's even easier to get from the US West Coast, to Tropic Air, and then your Belize Vacation.

Flights are weekly, on Saturdays and can be booked at United.com.

In December, they launched nonstop Denver to Belize service. They also have service from Houston, Chicago and NY-Newark.
Kindly take note of the most updated flight schedule to Belize, from December to February 2021.
Stay Informed-Be Prepared
COVID-19 Myth Busters:
Directory of Consular Offices in the U.S.

We look forward to serving you as soon as this crisis passes. We are with you during this difficult time.
Call or email us with any questions:
What's New...
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover

A fellow Belizean was honored as One of Ten winners for The Building Bridges Award during Indiana University's Martin Luther King Day celebration
Carolyn Gentle-Genitty, assistant vice president for university academic policy and director of the University Transfer Office, is known for her commitment and passion for diversity, equity and inclusion.
She is a trained equity advocate and member of the Black Faculty and Staff Council. She mentors women in education statewide and nationally through the Higher Education Resource Services network, and she helps junior faculty translate their everyday work into publications, presentations, courses and social media posts
"She works an astonishing number of hours sharing information and helping minority students, faculty and staff," a nominator said. "She shows up in spaces that are not inclusive to help bring about change to make them more inclusive, including supporting research scholars and junior faculty to help them understand the hidden landmines of academia. She helps those without voices gain voices in leadership and teaches them to lead from where they are."

Belizean player in the NFL is headed to the Superbowl

Веlіzеаn bоrn Rаkееm Nuñеz-Rосhеѕ, whо mаdе hіѕtоrу bасk іn 2015 bу bесоmіng thе fіrѕt Веlіzеаn tо еvеn bе drаftеd bу thе Unіtеd Ѕtаtеѕ Nаtіоnаl Fооtbаll Lеаguе (NFL), іѕ dоіng іt аgаіn bу bесоmіng thе fіrѕt Веlіzеаn tо mаkе іt tо thе Ѕuреrbоwl, thе еріtоmе оf fооtbаll еvеntѕ.

Nuñеz-Rосhеѕ, 27, іѕ а dеfеnѕіvе рlауеr fоr thе Таmра Вау Вuссаnееrѕ, whісh еаrnеd іtѕ ѕроt аt Ѕuреrbоwl 55 (LV) bу dеfеаtіng thе Grееn Вау Расkеrѕ, 31 tо 26, thіѕ раѕt Ѕundау.

Тhе Вuссаnееrѕ wіll fасе оff аgаіnѕt thе dеfеndіng сhаmріоnѕ thе Каnѕаѕ Сіtу Сhіеfѕ оn Fеbruаrу 7, 2021. Тhе gаmе wіll bе а hіѕtоrіс оnе аѕ іt rерrеѕеntѕ thе fіrѕt tіmе а tеаm wіll gеt tо сhаllеngе thе dеfеndіng сhаmріоnѕ оn thеіr оwn hоmе fіеld, аѕ wеll аѕ а реrѕоnаl оnе fоr Nuñеz-Rосhеѕ, whо bеgаn hіѕ рrоfеѕѕіоnаl саrееr wіth thе Сhіеfѕ.

Nuñеz-Rосhеѕ, whо рrоudlу ѕреаkѕ оf hіѕ Gаrіfunа сulturе аnd оf Веlіzе, ѕауѕ thаt hе fееlѕ hоnоrеd tо rерrеѕеnt thе соuntrу оn ѕuсh а lаrgе ѕtаgе аnd ѕееѕ hіmѕеlf аѕ а bеасоn оf hоре fоr futurе аѕріrаntѕ whо wаnt tо рlау іn thе NFL.

Pirate Beer, a Belizean product hits the market!
Оn Јаnuаrу 9th, 2021, thе Саrіbbеаn Іntеrnаtіоnаl Вrеwеrу Соmраnу Lіmіtеd (СІВСL) іnfоrmеd thе рublіс vіа а рrеѕѕ rеlеаѕе thаt Ріrаtе Вееr wоuld mаkе іtѕ рrоmіѕіng dеbut оn thе mаrkеt. 
СІВСL іѕ lосаtеd іn Саrmеlіtа Vіllаgе, іn Оrаngе Wаlk, аnd іѕ а Веlіzеаn соmраnу thrоugh аnd thrоugh! Іn thеіr рrеѕѕ rеlеаѕе, СІВСL ѕtаtеd thаt thеу wеrе соmmіttеd tо іntrоduсіng thіѕ Веlіzеаn Вееr аѕ а mеаnѕ оf соntrіbutіng tо thе grоwth оf Веlіzе’ѕ есоnоmу, thrоugh rеvеnuе аnd јоb сrеаtіоn.

Grandball Music in Belize
It’s early morning on the first day of the New Year 2021. The Grandball dancers would be on their way home. So to bring the dance season to a close here is a video of The Grandball musicians in studio. Enjoy!
Belizean Frontline Responders around the USA
We thank you for all that you do!
Lina Lee
Registered Nurse
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center
Bay Area, California.
Agnes Bedran
Registered Nurse

Dr. Robert Kidd
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Homestead, Florida.
Dr. Jamie Mckoy
Spring Valley Hospital, Nevada
Honoring the Life of Dr. Dame Minita Gordon
From the Office of the Prime Minister
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “Dame Minita Gordon is what you call a trailblazer in Belize especially for women but also for everyone. She came from humble beginnings and through hard work, discipline, education she managed to get to the highest office in the land when she was appointed as Governor General of Belize as the first Governor General of Belize and she was not only the first Governor General of Belize but the first female Governor General in the entire Commonwealth something that has never been done and actually I found shocking that up to 1981 a woman has not been appointed. But more than that I mean she was an educator, she loved children, she was an artist she was almost like a Renaissance woman that she did a little of everything and whatever she did she did well. We as a nation are grateful for the work that she did for us as a country that she stepped up to the plate at a very important time in 1981 when we were just declared an independent nation when at that time we were still having very serious problems with Guatemala, Guatemala was even threatening that they would have invaded Belize once we got independence. But she was a brave woman, a strong woman and she stood up for what was right and I think we also have to commend the father of the nation to have picked such a stellar woman, such a wonderful woman that can be the first Governor General of Belize.”

The Life of Dr. Dame Minita Gordon
There have not been many women in Belize as distinguished as Dr. Dame Minita Gordon. In 1981, Belize received its independence from England; however, Belize still held ties to the Monarchy. The person holding the post of Governor General was thus the Queen’s representative in Belize following Belize’s attainment of Independence in 1981, and that distinguished position was bestowed on Dr. Dame Minita Gordon.

Dame Minita became the first Governor General of Belize. This was quite an achievement, for not only her but women in general, since at the time such high positions were usually held by males, but she defied the odds when was appointed to this post. It is a post she assumed shortly after returning from Canada, where she obtained a doctorate in Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto.
Dr. Dame Minita E. Gordon was born to Frederick Gordon and May Dakers on December 30th, 1930, in Belize City. She had five other siblings: Lincoln Coyi, Dorinda Henderson, Kelorah Franklin, Rolston Coyi and Robert Reyes.

According to information provided by the National Library Service, “Dame Minita was very well-educated; her education began at St. John’s Girl’s School, after which she attended St. Mary’s Primary School. Her educational pursuits led her to Government Training College, but it did not end there. She also pursued a correspondence course from the College of Preceptors, Oxford, England.”

Starting in 1946, she taught at an Anglican school for approximately twelve years, and subsequently, in 1958, she became a lecturer at the Belize Teacher’s Training College, and she remained there until 1969, when she took up a position as an education officer — a position she held until 1981.

One of the key duties of the Governor General involved, according to the website of the National Assembly, “assenting, the Bills passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate so that they can then become Laws of Belize.” And Dame Minita performed this function, in her capacity as Governor General, from 1981 to 1993.
Dame Minita was a woman in her own right and a role model for young women in Belize. Although she was a quiet person, she had a full and active public life. The National Library says that she was “a member of the Girl Guides from 1946 and in 1970 rising to the position of District Commissioner of the Girl Guides for the Belize district. She was also a member of the Belize Branch of the British Red Cross Society, a member of the National Library Board, a member of St. Hilda’s College Board of Governors, a member of the YWCA.” Also, she was very skillful in making arts and crafts and she taught young people how to crochet, make macramé, stuffed toys, and create ornaments from waste material.

Dame Minita Gordon served her country well, with dignity and grace.

Our deepest condolences to all her relatives and friends at home and abroad.

Rest in Peace, Dr. Dame Minita Gordon.
Galen University Announces the Dame Minita Gordon Scholarship
Gаlеn Unіvеrѕіtу іѕ рlеаѕеd tо аnnоunсе іtѕ Dаmе Міnіtа Gоrdоn Ѕсhоlаrѕhір tо соmmеnсе іn Ѕерtеmbеr 2021. Тhе Сhаіrmаn оf thе Воаrd, Dr. Rеnе Vіllаnuеnа, аnd thе Рrоvоѕt оf Gаlеn, Dr. Еvе Аіrd, ехрlаіnеd thаt thе full асаdеmіс ѕсhоlаrѕhір іѕ сrеаtеd іn hоnоr оf thе lіfе оf ѕеrvісе tо Веlіzе аnd thе mеmоrу оf thе lаtе Dаmе Міnіtа Gоrdоn, Веlіzе’ѕ fіrѕt Gоvеrnоr-Gеnеrаl.

Тhrоughоut hеr саrееr, Dаmе Міnіtа Gоrdоn dіѕtіnguіѕhеd hеrѕеlf аѕ а рrіmаrу ѕсhооl tеасhеr, tеасhеr еduсаtоr, аnd Еduсаtіоn Оffісеr. Ѕhе wаѕ аlѕо Веlіzе’ѕ fіrѕt fullу quаlіfіеd Рѕусhоlоgіѕt, hаvіng еаrnеd hеr dосtоrаtе іn Аррlіеd Рѕусhоlоgу frоm thе Unіvеrѕіtу оf Тоrоntо.

Тhе Dаmе Міnіtа Gоrdоn Ѕсhоlаrѕhір wіll bе аwаrdеd еvеrу twо уеаrѕ tо а уоung Веlіzеаn wоmаn оf оutѕtаndіng ѕсhоlаѕtіс асhіеvеmеnt аnd fіnаnсіаl mеrіt whо іѕ trаnѕfеrrіng frоm а јunіоr соllеgе іntо Gаlеn’ѕ Ѕесоndаrу Еduсаtіоn рrоgrаm.

Іntеrеѕtеd аррlісаntѕ mау соntасt thе Dіrесtоr оf Маrkеtіng, Rесruіtmеnt, аnd Аdmіѕѕіоnѕ, Мr. Тrаvіѕ Lеnnаn аt аdmіѕѕіоnѕ@gаlеn.еdu.bz.

#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
Belize selected as “Black tourist inspiration” destination

Travel Noire rates Belize alongside Costa Rica, Haiti, and Senegal as a destination “where Black travelers can reconnect with their history.” Іt ѕауѕ Веlіzе ѕtіll hаѕ thе hіghеѕt реrсеntаgе рорulаtіоn оf Аfrісаn dеѕсеnt оf аnу Сеntrаl Аmеrісаn nаtіоn (ассоrdіng tо rеѕеаrсh frоm Наmрtоn Unіvеrѕіtу,) аnd thаt thеrе іѕ ѕіgnіfісаnt Вlасk hіѕtоrу іn Веlіzе thаt іѕ оftеn fоrgоttеn.

Belize - St Kitts-Nevis Brown Sugar trade dispute settled

Belize and the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis has settled an ongoing trade dispute in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) over brown sugar. According to legal documents, Belize sued St Kitts-Nevis, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and CARICOM, alleging that the two CARICOM member states were importing brown sugar from countries outside the Single Market without imposing the 40 percent Common External Tariff (CET).
Virtual History of Lessons Learned from Right Honorable George Price

The National Institute of Culture and History
Commemorated Right Honorable George Price by celebrating "Lessons Learned", a virtual history of lessons learned from our founding father. People were encouraged to share a story of what they had learned from the father of our nation and talk about experiences or interactions they had with him. 

...of the Month!
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
Old Belize City Hospital
Founded in 1820, the Old Belize City Hospital’s initial purpose was to provide medical services for sick and deprived seamen involved in shipping. In 1871 the hospital later converted to a general hospital. It was not till 1871 after slavery was over that the public was able to get treatment there.
Let us preserve and protect our historical landmarks & protected sites!
No ebryt'ing weh gat sugar sweet.
English Translation:
Not everything that has sugar is sweet.
What is tempting can prove disastrous
Belizean Star of the Month!
Stephanie Medina, MD
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
Stephanie Medina (Young) grew up on Cairo Street in Belize City. She is the daughter of Mary Brown and Arthur Young, Sr. She attended St. Ignatius Primary School, then Pallotti High School and was very active in sports, mainly basketball. Stephanie later traded her basketball gear for heels and competed in the Queen of the Bay pageant, representing the beautiful village of Sandhill. She was crowned the 54th Queen of the Bay on September 10th, 2000.

Stephanie later attended the University of Belize where she earned an associate’s degree in Social Work. During her years at the University of Belize, she served as Student Government President and was selected as one of four youth ambassadors to represent Belize at the 2004 Commonwealth Youth Exchange Program in Trinidad & Tobago. Upon her graduation from the University of Belize, Stephanie was awarded a COBEC scholarship to attend the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

She graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and was awarded the Brent Martin Memorial Award for excellence in academic achievement & community service. Stephanie returned to Belize and started working for the Belize Red Cross, first as a Program Coordinator and then taking on the role of Deputy Director General. She holds her Red Cross Family very close to her heart.

While living in Belize Stephanie was very active in theatre. Her first performance was with Curtis Gillett Productions as the leading lady in “Dear Counselor”. She later joined the Belize Theatre Company and graced the stage in “Crimes of the Heart”, “Funny Money” and “Weh Jon Jon Deh”. She also had a leading role in the movie “Risking It All” produced by the Rotary Club of Belize.

In 2007, she left Belize to pursue graduate studies in Criminology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she earned a master’s degree in Criminology. She also earned a second master’s degree in Organization Development & Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania.

Stephanie is currently the Deputy Court Administrator of the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. She started her career with the courts in 2011 as a program coordinator for the Baltimore City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. She later served as Program Administrator/Criminal Analyst and then Deputy Court Administrator in the City before moving to the County.

She is well versed in managing various Administrative aspects of the Court. In her current role, she is responsible for leading and directing program development and operations. Stephanie provides supervision to departmental managers in areas such as: family & civil law, family support services, mediation and problem-solving courts. She is also tasked with streamlining court policies and procedures.

Stephanie is very passionate about court leadership and is a graduate of the National Center for State Courts – Institute for Court Management program where she earned the prestigious, national Certified Court Executive (CCE) credential. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Mid-Atlantic Association for Court Management, the Maryland Judiciary’s Court Reporting Workgroup and the Human Trafficking Workgroup. She previously served on the Judiciary’s Courthouse Equity Sub-Committee.

Stephanie is truly blessed to have a very supportive husband and loving son. She frequently visits her family and friends back home in Belize and is always looking for ways to give back to her community. She is still actively involved with the Queen of the Bay pageant in Belize and New York. She supports various Belizean businesses/fundraising events in and around Maryland, New York and D.C.

We are honored to call Mrs. Stephanie Medina our 'Star of the Month'!

Register as a Belizean in Florida
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
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.
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40 Social Entrepreneurs to Watch for in 2021
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Рlасеnсіа, Веlіzе іѕ а bеасh vіllаgе оff оf thе соаѕt оf thе mаіnlаnd оf thе соuntrу. Іt іѕ ѕurrоundеd bу thе Саrіbbеаn Ѕеа оn оnе ѕіdе, аnd thе Рlасеnсіа Lаgооn оn thе оthеr ѕіdе. Іt trulу іѕ а bеаutіful аnd rеlахіng рlасе thаt іѕ реrfесt fоr уоu tо rеtіrе tо іf уоu аrе а bаbу bооmеr lооkіng tо rеlосаtе оvеrѕеаѕ.
Неrе аrе 5 gооd rеаѕоnѕ уоu ѕhоuld соnѕіdеr rеtіrеmеnt іn Рlасеnсіа, Веlіzе.

Belizean Street Food Series:
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
In ancient Mayan culture, corn represented much more than a grain used for food. Corn was also considered a gift from the gods and cultivating it was a sacred duty.
  • 2 cans of kernel corn
  • 6.5 oz coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoons shortening (melted)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 cups yellow corn meal
  • Corn husk
  1. In a blender or food processor add the 2 cans of corn and the coconut milk and blend until smooth.
  2. In a bowl add the baking powder, salt, pepper, and the melted shortening to the liquid mix.
  3. Stir all ingredients together then slowly add the corn meal while mixing everything together.
  4. Wrap it in a corn husk in a sausage-like shape then cover lightly with foil.
  5. Steam for 60 mins or until firm.
  6. Makes 12 Dukunu
We have also included a video on how to make Belizean Dukunu from The Bare Pantry Show.
Recipe of The Month:
Coconut Tarts
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover

 2 cups flour
 ½ cup sugar
 ½ teaspoon salt
 6 tablespoons butter
 6 tablespoons shortening
 ½ cups cold water

 1 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
 1 egg beaten
 14 oz can condensed milk
 1 tablespoon vanilla
 ¼ cup brown sugar
 ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the crust combine flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl and whisk until incorporated. Using a fork, cut butter and shortening into the flour until medium lumps form. Mix in cold water, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough forms a ball. Dough will be slightly wet to the touch, if more water is needed add 2 tablespoons until ball forms.
Place the dough on a floured surface then flatten with the heel of your hand, effectively scraping the dough across the floured counter.
This step creates layers and brings the dough together. Do about 6 passes and refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes. While the dough is chilling, mix all ingredients, except the coconut, until combined. Fold in coconut and set aside.
Take refrigerated dough out and pinch off enough to press into tart pan, a little smaller then an egg should do. Press dough into tart pans evenly including edges. Place enough filling in tarts to fill to top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Until tops and crust are golden.
Recipe from Love Always Food

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ICJ- Be Informed
Міnіѕtеr оf Fоrеіgn Аffаіrѕ, Fоrеіgn Тrаdе, аnd Іmmіgrаtіоn, Еаmоn Соurtеnау, ѕаіd thіѕ wееk thаt thе Gоvеrnmеnt оf Веlіzе’ѕ lеgаl tеаm іѕ “hаrd аt wоrk” іn рrераrіng Веlіzе’ѕ аrgumеntѕ fоr thе tеrrіtоrіаl dіѕрutе сlаіm аgаіnѕt Guаtеmаlа аt thе Іntеrnаtіоnаl Соurt оf Јuѕtісе (ІСЈ).

Соurtеnау ѕаіd thаt Guаtеmаlа hаѕ fоrmаllу ѕubmіttеd іtѕ mеmоrіаl аѕ tо whаt роrtіоn оf Веlіzе’ѕ tеrrеѕtrіаl аnd mаrіtіmе аrеаѕ іѕ bеіng сlаіmеd, аnd іt іѕ nоw uр tо Веlіzе tо fіlе а соuntеr-mеmоrіаl. Тhе соntеnt оf thіѕ mеmоrіаl wіll nоt bе mаdе рublіс аt thіѕ рhаѕе іn thе рrосееdіngѕ.

Не nоtеd thаt hаvіng rеаd thе mеmоrіаl аnd соnduсtеd аn ехhаuѕtіvе mееtіng wіth thе lеgаl tеаm, hе іѕ “quіtе соnfіdеnt” thаt Веlіzе саn рrераrе а соuntеr-mеmоrіаl whісh wіll lеаd tо Веlіzе rеtаіnіng аll іtѕ lаnd, ѕеа tеrrіtоrу, аnd іѕlаndѕ. Соurtеnау ѕtrеѕѕеd, hоwеvеr, thаt thе lеgаl tеаm hаѕ аdvіѕеd hіm nоt tо ѕреаk рublісlу оn thе соntеnt оf Guаtеmаlа’ѕ mеmоrіаl.

Веlіzе hаѕ untіl Јunе 8, 2022, tо рrеѕеnt іtѕ соuntеr-mеmоrіаl.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduces Belize’s international team for International Court of Justice.

Тhе Міnіѕtrу nоtеd thаt Веlіzе’ѕ аgеnt аt thе ІСЈ іѕ Аѕѕаd Ѕhоmаn аnd со-аgеnt іѕ Аlехіѕ Rоѕаdо. Bеlіzе’ѕ іntеrnаtіоnаl tеаm іѕ соmрrіѕеd оf Ѕеnіоr Соunѕеl Ѕаm Wоrdѕwоrth QС, Веn Јurаtоwіth QС аnd Маthіаѕ Fоrtеаu; Јunіоr Соunѕеl Аmу Ѕаndеr, Рhіlірра Wеbb аnd Каtе Раrlеtt; ѕuрроrt Соunѕеl Саthеrіnе Drummоnd аnd Јаmіе Тrіnіdаd аnd Нуdrоgrарhеr/Gеоgrарhеr Rоbіn Сlеvеrlу. Еаmоn Н. Соurtеnау ЅС аnd Lеѕlіе Меndеz rерrеѕеntѕ thе Gоvеrnmеnt іn thіѕ рrосеѕѕ.
Lеаdеr оf thе Орроѕіtіоn, Раtrісk Fаbеr hаѕ nаmеd Місhаеl Реуrеfіttе аnd Gоdwіn Нulѕе аѕ rерrеѕеntаtіvеѕ оf thе Орроѕіtіоn whо wіll rеmаіn fullу еngаgеd аnd іnfоrmеd оf thе рrосеѕѕ. 

On May 8, Belizeans voted "Yes" to take the territorial dispute with Guatemala to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Click the video below to learn more about what happens next.
Extension of the time-limits for the filing of the initial pleadings
THE HAGUE, 24 April 2020. By an Order dated 22 April 2020, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, extended from 8 June 2020 to 8 December 2020 and from 8 June 2021 to 8 June 2022 the respective time-limits for the filing of the Memorial of the Republic of Guatemala and the Counter-Memorial of Belize in the case concerning Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime Claim (Guatemala/Belize). Read More
Photo Credit: International Court of Justice
Upcoming Events
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
Scholarships available for CARICOM students in the Green Economy Sector.

Applications open in January 2021!
Scholarship Opportunity

60% tuition waiver for online Master’s Programs in Spanish and English at Universidad Ana G. Méndez, United States for 2021 Spring and Summer classes!

Spring: December 10, 2020 or February 18, 2021
Summer: April 23, 2021