June 2022 Vol 89
The Consulate of Belize in Florida
Monthly Newsletter
#rememberitsgoodtobebelizean #thewaitisover

Honorary Consul's Monthly Message
Welcome to the June Monthly Newsletter!
Ah, another beautiful month, June! The month of blushing brides and exotic flora and fauna blooming in Belize, (in the US, fragrant bouquet of colorful roses abound) boat rides in the open ocean with blue skies and the sun on your shoulders. June is when Mother Nature is in her splendor, showing off her lush greenery; so why not take a drive in the country with the wind on your back and breathe in the fresh air that we are all so very privileged to enjoy.
If you are in Belize, take in its one of a kind sunsets and moon rises, because nothing in this world compares to it.

While for some, it’s been a laid-back start to the summer, for others, it’s been work, work, work.

To begin, the Prime Minister of Belize, the Honorable John Briceno has been representing Belize in a whirlwind month-long of important conferences and meetings abroad. We invite you to watch the Prime Minister’s speech at the IX Summit of the Americas held in Los Angeles and read about the topics that took place at the conferences during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, Rwanda and the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Paramaribo, Suriname.

In addition, Prime Minister Briceño was one of only three CARICOM Heads of Government (Belize, Dominica, and Trinidad & Tobago) that was invited to the 15th European Development Days Forum, Europe’s leading forum on international partnerships which took place in Brussels, Belgium. We included his speech where he shares how Belize is working towards meaningful sustainable development and economic transformation. 

Mrs. Rossana Briceño, Spouse of the Prime Minister and Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children has been busy too. Mrs. Briceño participated in the Commonwealth Heads of Government where she was selected as Chairperson of Spouses of Caribbean Leaders Action Network (SCLAN). Her address was on accelerated and coordinated efforts to eliminate cervical cancer. We applaud Mrs. Briceño’s efforts to bring this very serious topic to the forefront. With early detection, through regular screening, cervical cancer can be avoided and cured.

Comparably, the Government of Belize’s Ministries have been doing an amazing job in working towards strengthening Belize’s economic development in the quest to build a better Belize. Firstly, during the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, the Foreign Minister the Honorable Eamon Courtenay was able to establish diplomatic relations between Belize and Kenya, discuss expanding engagement opportunities among India and CARICOM nations, and assess future cooperation opportunities for climate change action and indigenous peoples' affairs between Belize and New Zealand.   

Likewise, the Ministry of Tourism worked on establishing closer trade ties with the UK, while the Ministry of Education opened a new school building at Crooked Tree Government Preschool and included a new robotics program for four schools in Belize City, thanks to a donation from the Belize Tourism Board. Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture also discussed investment opportunities with the Makaldi Group, an international company from Israel. As the saying goes “small steps lead to big changes”, it will be exciting to witness the benefits that will come from these advancements for Belize’s future generations. Please read about them all in the section named “GOB Movers and Shakers.”

On a recent trip to Belize, I had the privilege of being hosted to an informal dinner by the Ambassador of Taiwan, H. E. David Kuan-Chou Chien whom I had the pleasure of previously meeting in Miami while he was posted there. Belize and the Republic of China (Taiwan) continue to share a long standing and fruitful relationship since establishing diplomatic relations in 1989.

The tenacity and resilience that characterizes many Belizeans showed through this month, with high school student Ashton Tillett heading to Harvard University with plans of studying stem cell biology, neurobiology, and neuropsychiatric disorders, Dr. Keisha Melodi Gussow Ph.D., scientific reviewer for the FDA and team lead for their toxicology branch, who collaborated towards creating covid-19 antibody tests, and most recently Ms. Kara Young, the first Belizean American to be nominated for a Tony Award for her outstanding performance in Broadway. These achievements show that Belizeans do great things wherever they go! We hope their stories can serve as an inspiration to follow yours.

It goes without saying that our Star of the Month fits the profile of excellence so please read about Dr. Keisha Melodi Gussow Ph.D in this newsletter.

Because Belizean women are renowned for their beauty and brains, naturally each year a lucky young lady is chosen to represent Belize in the Miss Universe. The big reveal of the Miss Universe Belize candidates also took place during this past month, so make sure to check out the new contestants under our “Sports, Entertainment and Culture” section.

We also shared interesting stories under our "What’s Trending” and “Cultural Tidbits” sections, and included a new section called “Nature and Sustainability” to showcase all the exciting projects that are currently taking place in Belize.

And to welcome the opening of the much-anticipated lobster season, we dedicate this edition’s Recipe of the Month, to the coveted Belizean lobster! Enjoy the scrumptious grilled lobster tail smothered in a warm buttery herb sauce. This tender and juicy lobster makes for a decadent dinner, perfect for summer parties and family get togethers. You choose the side dishes! And, because we are in the tropics, as a chaser that doubles as a cool treat, we included a refreshing tropical soursop popsicles recipe for dessert. And of course, there is always good old fashion ice cream, an idealized memory of summer in perfect culinary form. We hope you enjoy!
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.

To be sure you are included in the monthly newsletter distribution, you can also send us a quick email with your email address and phone number at [email protected].
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's Address at the UN Ocean Conference 2022

Spotlighting the “huge disconnect” between words and actions to address the climate crisis, Prime Minister Briceño pointed out that — while Belize is doing its part to protect the ocean — its efforts, like those of most small island developing States, have been constrained by a lack of financing. While Belize has demonstrated leadership in reducing emissions and protecting coastal areas, he stressed that “we demand action from those who have put us in this position”.
The 15th European Development Days Forum

During the opening ceremony of the forum, the Prime Minister spoke on the many ways in which partnerships with the European Union (EU) have aided the development of Belize and the Caribbean. We invite you to watch the Statement by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño in Brussels, Belgium. Watch Video Read More
Belize and the European Union

Belize welcomed the new EU-LAC Digital Alliance initiative. This is an example of how the EU can assist our region move towards our digital transformation. It can serve to be mutually beneficial for both regions. In addressing the EU- LAC High Level session on the Global Gateway- the Digital Decade, I highlighted key realities and necessary action to bridge gaps. Here's an extract from my presentation Read More
Prime Minister's Address at the Summit of the Americas

"My address at #IXSummit of the Americas spoke about the need for greater inclusion of all countries of the Americas. I also highlighted the issues that impact our developing countries and the need for strategic responses, including action from the more developed countries of our broader region." Click to Watch
Roundtable Dialogues.

It is important to highlight that the poorest and least developed nations are impacted most negatively by climate change. These impacts are not limited just at the national level but the very industry, sector and business level, with profound impact for micro, small and medium enterprises. 90% of Belize's business are MSMEs. Read More
Prime Minister John Briceño Meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Веlіzе hаѕ аgrееd tо mаіntаіn іtѕ ѕuрроrt fоr thе еmbаttlеd соuntrу аt thе Unіtеd Nаtіоnѕ аnd rеgіоnаl рlаtfоrmѕ. Раrtісulаrlу, Веlіzе wіll nо lоngеr rеgіѕtеr nеw Ruѕѕіаn vеѕѕеlѕ undеr thе Іntеrnаtіоnаl Меrсhаnt Маrіnе Rеgіѕtrу (ІММАRВЕ) аnd dеrеgіѕtеr оld оnеѕ. Read More
Foreign Investment Discussions

Prime Minister met with the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and his team to discuss issues of critical importance for Belize such as Climate Finance, Establishing a Line of Credit with Belize Development Finance Cooperation for MSME's, Climate Smart Agriculture and Technical Support, among others. The discussions were quite successful and our team captured the interest of the EIB to invest in Belize. Read More

The commencement of a new country program for UNICEF Belize, 2022-2026 is aligned to the development priorities of Plan Belize with focus on support to social protection, reimagining education along the continuum of learning from early childhood through to secondary, strengthening primary health care, addressing violence in all its forms, and youth and adolescent interventions. Read More
H.E. Rossana Briceño, Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children in Combatting Cervical Cancer

As the chairperson for SCLAN, H.E. Rossana Briceño spoke on the the Commonwealth Heads of Government 2022 platform in the Spouses Program. Her focus was on a shared commitment to confront the scourge of cervical cancer in women. Anchored on global realities but focused on regional and national realities and priorities." Read More
During H.E. Rossana Briceño's attendance at # CHOGM2022, she reached across borders participating with Commonwealth counterparts in a High Level Event on Violence Against Women and Girls.
"It's a shared experience... a shared struggle and a shared commitment to ensure the rights of girls and women are fully respected and they can live safely realizing their fullest potential."
Integration of Migrants and Refugees IX Summit of the Americas

The Foreign Minister, the Honorable Eamon Courtenay speaking on Belize's Amnesty Program in his participation in the panel: "Regional Government Policies to Advance Integration of Migrants and Refugees.
Belize and Mexico

The Honorable Eamon Courtenay, Foreign Minister, and the Honorable Ramon Cervantes, Minister of State, met with H.E Tatiana Clouthier, Secretary of the Economy of Mexico, to discuss the way forward with duty free trade access to Mexico.
Belize and New Zealand

On the margins of #CHOGM2022, Foreign Minister the Honorable Eamon Courtenay met the Honorable Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand. They had a productive discussion on the #Commonwealth and cooperation in climate change action and indigenous peoples' affairs.
Belize and India
Foreign Minister the Honorable Eamon Courtenay met with Dr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India. They discussed deepening Belize-India cooperation, expanding India's engagement with CARICOM and the future of the Commonwealth.
Belize and Qatar

Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar Visits Belize. To learn more about their bilateral cooperation agreement Click Here

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The information you provide is strictly confidential and used for database purposes only. 

Honorary Consul and Trade Representative of Belize in Florida, Ms. Janine Sylvestre, meets with Ambassador David K.C. Chien of Taiwan in Belize.
Tourism Tidbits
Belize Tourism Board Inaugurates Teakettle Actun Tunichil Muknal Facilitation Center
The inauguration of the ATM Facilitation Center marks the beginning of tourism growth and development within the village.Тhе соmmunіtу mеmbеrѕ wеlсоmеd thе Теаkеttlе АТМ Fасіlіtаtіоn Сеntеr аnd lооk fоrwаrd tо thе есоnоmіс орроrtunіtіеѕ thаt wіll bе сrеаtеd аѕ а rеѕult оf іtѕ еѕtаblіѕhmеnt.
Trade and Investment Tidbits
Belize Investment Unit
The sixth annual Belize Investment Forum was held on June 17th at the Florida House on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The forum was held through the partnership between the Economic Development Council, the Financial Services Commission, BELTRAIDE and the Financial Intelligence Unit. The Belize Investment Forum has a history of successful events which are used to share the same principle of strategic partnerships and facilitating bi-lateral trade. Read More
Cultural Tidbits
Food Vendors to Join Belize's International Music & Food Festival
As part of the Belize Tourism Board’s first Belize International Music and Food Festival, the world will be treated to the very best in Belize's gastronomical fare on the grounds of the Saca Chispas Field in San Pedro from July 30 to 31, 2022.The event, which has been designed to create an immersive tourism experience through music and culture, will feature four food pavilions. 

Dr. Keisha McSweeney-Gussow
Dr. Keisha Melodi McSweeney-Gussow is the Team Lead for the Toxicology Branch in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States. Dr. Gussow earned her Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics from Duke University, her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology from Loyola University Chicago, and her Associate in Science from St. John Junior College in Belize City, Belize.
Dr. Gussow is a native of Belize City, having attended Saint Catherine Academy (SCA) for high school. Coming full circle, Dr. Gussow gave the commencement speech at SCA’s 2022 graduation, the first in-person graduation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, where she encouraged the graduates in their future pursuits.

During her extensive career in research, Dr. Gussow published several peer reviewed articles in areas such as the genetics of neurological disorders and the effects of chemotherapies on gene expression. Based on her impactful research, she was an invited speaker to conferences across the globe and has presented her work to broader scientific audiences in Japan, England, and Scotland. With the goal of having a larger impact on population health, Dr. Gussow became a scientific reviewer at the FDA, reviewing scientific and regulatory data to support medical device approval in the United States.
With the pandemic outbreak in March of 2020, Dr. Gussow was among the select few assigned to COVID-19-related work. At the height of the pandemic, she was tasked with leading a team to review the safety and efficacy of newly developed COVID-19 antibody tests prior to their release to the general public. With the growing availability of vaccines, Dr. Gussow returned to a leadership role in the regulation of medical devices for the FDA’s Toxicology Branch. Throughout her career, Dr. Gussow has continued to recognize the inherent obstacles and challenges faced by underrepresented minorities pursuing scientific careers and the importance of mentoring the next generation of scientists.
Through several different groups at Duke University and Columbia University, she mentored elementary, high school, and undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds. Dr. Gussow aspires to one day develop a research program that targets young scientists and provides new avenues for success in the biological sciences in Belize. Dr. Gussow hopes to use science as a gateway to continue to propel the nation forward. Dr. Gussow credits her father, Charles McSweeney, mother, Teresita Vasquez-McSweeney, twin sister Krystal McSweeney-Rosalez, MSW, LCSW, and husband, Dr. Ayal Gussow, for her interest in science and her dedication to mentoring the next generation of scientists. 
We are proud to call you
our Star of the Month!

Congratulations Outstanding Belizeans!
Belizean-American Kara Young Nominated for a Tony Award
When she was a student at Gettysburg College Kara Young stood in front of the class with another woman improvising a serious scene. Young played a mother struggling with substance abuse. The other woman in the scene was her daughter who needed money for necessities that her mother couldn’t provide. Once they finished Young looked up and saw her classmates bawling. 
“I thought, Whoa! There is something that I can do to change people. It wasn't power. It wasn't ego. But it was magic,” recalls Young. “If you make somebody laugh or cry, you change them. Something is chemically changed inside.” 
Ashton Tillett Accepted into Harvard University
“Lаѕt уеаr іn Nоvеmbеr/Dесеmbеr, І аррlіеd tо а bunсh оf rеѕеаrсh іntеrnѕhірѕ – ѕоmе оf thеm wеrе аlѕо mеdісіnе-rеlаtеd bесаuѕе І’m аlѕо іntеrеѕtеd іn mеdісіnе, аnd І ѕubmіttеd mу trаnѕсrірt, mу rеѕеаrсh ѕtаtеmеnt, mу lеttеrѕ оf rесоmmеndаtіоn, аnd І јuѕt wаіtеd tо ѕее whісh оnеѕ І wоuld gеt ассерtеd tо аnd І јuѕt kіndа wеnt аbоut lіfе аnd thеn whеn І gоt ассерtеd іntо а bunсh оf thеm, І wаѕ lіkе WОW! Тhіѕ іѕ рrеttу аmаzіng! І dіd іt bесаuѕе І wаntеd tо gаіn ехреrіеnсе,” Тіllеtt ѕаіd.
GOB Highlights of the Month
  • Minister of Tourism and BTB Donate $28,000 for Robotics Program and Security Cameras In Four Schools in Belize City Read More

  • Ministry of Education Opens New School Building at Crooked Tree Government Preschool Read More

  • Investment Opportunities in Agriculture Discussed Between Agriculture Minister Jose Abelardo Mai and Israeli international Company Read More

  • Minister of National Defense and Border Security, Florencio Marin Meets Colombian Counterpart for an Event Geard Towards the Defence of the Environment as a Strategic Asset and Heritage for Future Generations. Read More

  • Six families in Belize District Get New Homes from Ministry of Housing and Development Read More

  • Ministry of Blue Economy CEO Kennedy Carrillo Meets Ministers, Representatives of Commonwealth Countries at Oceans Conference in Portugal Read More
Belize and the World
  • Belize Submits Counter-Memorial to the ICJ Read More

  • U.S. Meets with CARICOM Leaders to Provide Commitments on Climate and Economic Partnerships Read More

  • Belize Among Four CARICOM Leaders to Sign Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection Read More

  • Belize Participates in the World FZO’s Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE 2022) Read More
Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
  • Hallmark’s ‘Caribbean Summer’ Filmed in Belize. Casts Show Off Their Belize-able experience! Read More

  • Miss Universe Belize Candidates Unveiled Read More

  • Belize’s KREM Broadcasting Team Makes History! Read More

  • Belize Represented at Knoxville Caribbean Jerk Festival in Tennessee Read More

  • Belize captures 11 medals, 8 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze, at U-18 & U-20 Central American Athletics Championships in Nicaragua Read More
Nature & Sustainability
  • Nature and People Positive Solutions: The Nature Conservancy In Belize Read More

  • Belize Celebrates 10,000 Years Of Its Barrier Reef Read More

  • Belize's Sweet, Sustainable "Seaweed Shakes" Read More

  • Belize to Host Women in Fisheries Forum Read More

  • UNESCO Praises Belize for ‘Visionary’ Steps to Save Coral Reef as it Removes the Belize Barrier Reef from the List of Endangered World Heritage Sites Read More

  • Ministry of Agriculture Shows Farmers in Belize District How to Make Bio Fertilizers and Bio Insecticides from Local Products Like Habaneros and Garlic Read More
Business & the Market
  • Agrееmеnt Bеtwееn Сhаmbеr оf Соmmеrсе аnd Ехроrtѕ Аѕѕосіаtіоn оf Таіреі іѕ Anоthеr Oрроrtunіtу fоr Cоmmеrсіаl Advаnсеmеnt Read More

  • Over 100 Belizean Businesses Participated in the Made in Belize Trade Show Read More

  • Major Taiwanese Seafood Company Expresses Interest to Import Seafood from Belize Read More

Trending Topics
  • Kidney Association of Belize Discusses Importance of Regular Check-Ups Read More

  • Belize Celebrates World Blood Donor Day Read More

  • NBA Star Reggie Bullock Mixes with Young Belizean Basketballers Read More

  • Director of Blue Economy Maxine Monsanto Participates in Panel to Review Marine Spatial Planning at United Nation Oceans Conference in Portugal Read More
Scholarship Opportunities

  • Scholarships for Belize Students 2022 - 2023 Read More

  • International Student Scholarships Read More

  • Scholarship Opportunity in Brazil Read More

  • The Ministry of Tourism Is Set to Launch a New Trade Rewards Program Later This Summer, with Double the Amount of Trips Available to the UK Market. Read More

  • Our 10 Favorite Excursions To Do In Belize Read More

  • Belize Collection To Launch New Luxury Villas In The Jewel Of The Caribbean Read More

  • Visit Belize's Great Blue Hole From The Air Read More

  • Women in Tourism Caribbean Highlights Leisa Carr- Caceres of Belize Read More

  • BBC Travel Highlights Belize’s ATM Cave As An Eerie Portal to the Maya Underworld Read More

Grilled Lobster Tails

  • Cut the shell with a pair of kitchen shears, but go no further than the tail. With a knife, split the meat along the same path as the shell cut line, being careful not to slice all the way through the lobster.
  • Open the lobster like a book. The remaining soft membrane will keep the sections intact while exposing the meat.
  • Make sure your grill grates are cleaned and oiled. Preheat your grill for medium-high heat — 400-450°F. To prevent curling, you can skewer the tails.
  • Grill flesh side down for approximately 5-7 minutes, then flip. Figure another 4-5 minutes after you flip the tail. 
  • Finish cooking flesh side up, still over direct heat.
  • At this point, it’s a great idea to baste the lobster with a herb butter mixture.
  • The tails will show you when they’re done. The meat should be white and opaque. You can confirm the temperature with a meat thermometer. Shoot for 145°F. 
Belizean Soursop Popsicles

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup soursop pulp
  • 3 Tbsp shredded coconut

  1. In a blender, combine the milk, soursop pulp, sugar, and shredded coconut and blend to a fairly smooth consistency.
  2. Pour into molds and freeze overnight.
  3. Serve it to your kids and devour this delicious piece of nature in the form of a Popsicle.
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.
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May 2021, VOL. 88 Read More
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July 2021, VOL. 79 Read More
Belize Submits Its Counter-Memorial to the ICJ Regarding the Guatemalan Claim
On June 3rd during the sitting of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister John Briceño announced that Belize delivered its counter-memorial to the Registrar of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Belize’s counter-memorial makes a robust defence of Belize’s sovereignty over its entire territory including islands and the pertaining maritime areas under international law. Following the timetable announced by the Court, which was amended as a result of the pandemic, Guatemala submitted its memorial on December 8, 2020, and is due to submit its reply to Belize’s counter-memorial in December 2022. Belize will then have until June 2023 to submit its rejoinder, after which the Court will set a date for the oral hearings. Briceno says that the hearing is expected to possibly be held by 2024.
Click the Buttons Below to Learn More About the ICJ Process