March 2022 Vol 86
The Consulate of Belize in Florida
Monthly Newsletter
#rememberitsgoodtobebelizean #thewaitisover

Honorary Consul's Monthly Message
Welcome to the March Monthly Newsletter!
 Easter is almost upon us and as we get ready to celebrate this very special and holy holiday, one where Christ gave up his life to save ours, let us always be hopeful that while we must carry our crosses as He did, we are not alone in this journey.

This message comes at a time when our world faces many challenges but the message of Easter remains unchanged.

Though sorrow may last through the night, joy comes in the morning. “Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore, the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits.” St. Phillip Neri.

As children, my sisters and I faithfully spent easters and summers every year at the island of my dreams, Caye Caulker, blissfully running, playing, fishing and swimming all day. In those days, (giving my age away) we had to take the "Mermaid" a boat that went from Belize City to the Caye once or twice a week, one generator supplied intermittent electricity to all of the Caye Caulker residents, there was also no running water so we took baths by the well outside and all our meals were cooked by fire hearth (fiya haat). Those were the best of times! 

Amid all the careless and free island fun, our parents and grandmother reminded us about the need to reflect on the sober meaning of lent which meant that we had to eat fish on Fridays and on Good Friday, the adults had the daunting task to keep the children still and quiet at home in observance of the day. What is your favorite childhood memory of Easter?

In this edition, enjoy reading about all the Easter traditions still practiced today across the country. The Consulate of Belize in Florida wishes you all a safe, happy and blessed Easter!
As we look back at March, it was packed with several exciting events in Belize including, International Women’s Day, the celebration of National Heroes and Benefactors Day, and the beginning of lent.

On March 8th we celebrated National Heroes and Benefactors Day. Originally named after Baron Bliss, this day now honors additional Belizean heroes who contributed to the growth and progress of the Nation, such as the Honorable Philip Goldson, Captain Monrad Metzgen, and the Right Honorable George Cadle Price.

Our thoughts go out to all strong, intelligent, compassionate, and caring women, on the celebration of International Women’s Day! We applaud all women who strive every day to make this world a better place for all.

March’s newsletter features the Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. John Briceño’s recent interview where he pledged to have the teachers and public officers, who took a 10% cut because of the economic hardships caused by COVID1-19, regain their full salaries by July of 2022.

Additionally, we have included videos of his address for the IV CARICOM SICA SUMMIT and his opening of the 33rd Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of #CARICOM.

We also recap the monthly news from the Government of Belize Press Office and shared the exciting and historical visit by Prince William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to Belize as part of their royal tour of the Caribbean. Belize is honored that the young and dynamic royal couple spent time in Belize getting to know the people and enjoy its culture, cuisine and scenic beauty.

The Consulate of Belize in Florida also had the pleasure and the honor to assist in the meetings held by the Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children, H.E. Mrs. Rossana Briceño and the First Lady of Suriname Mrs. Mellisa Santokhi-Seenacherry as they sat to chart out SCALAN’s future goals and endeavors.

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
Re-Instatement of Salaries
Рrіmе Міnіѕtеr Јоhn Вrісеñо hаѕ рlеdgеd tо rеѕtоrе thе ѕаlаrіеѕ оf tеасhеrѕ аnd рublіс оffісеrѕ іn thе mоnth оf Јulу, аftеr сuttіng thоѕе ѕаlаrіеѕ bу 10 реrсеnt lаѕt уеаr. Іn thе lеttеr, Вrісеñо ехрlаіnеd thаt сuttіng ѕаlаrіеѕ wаѕ а dіffісult dесіѕіоn tо mаkе, оnе thаt рut а lоt оf рrеѕѕurе оn thоѕе аffесtеd but wаѕ ultіmаtеlу fоr thе gоаl оf bеttеrіng thе соuntrу’ѕ есоnоmіс роѕіtіоn. Read More
Opening of the 33rd Inter-sessional Meeting of CARICOM
Prime Minister Hon John Briceño Opened the 33rd Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of #CARICOM. The Government of Belize extended a warm welcome to Heads of Government and Ministers of Foreign Affairs to our beautiful country as they met in beautiful San Pedro Town Ambergris Caye. Learn More
Watch the Prime Minister's Address for the IV CARICOM SICA SUMMIT focusing on regional and hemispheric affairs, climate change, COVID-19 response & recovery and development financing.
Commitment to Regional Integration
Prime Minister Briceño signed the Protocol to amend the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. Establishing the Caribbean Community, including the #CARICOM Single Market and Economy, to allow for enhanced cooperation. Read More
Women in Leadership and Politics
Prime Minister Briceño welcomed H.E. Dr. Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor of the Republic of Liberia, Her Worship Mayor J. Nicole Jackson of Rice City in Texas and Consul General of Belize to Nigeria Dr. A. Ifeanyi Ifedi who are here at the invitation of Her Worship Mayor of Belmopan Sharon Palacio to discuss women in leadership and politics. Learn More
Congratulations Prime Minister Briceño!
During the month of March PM John Briceño was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Kun Shan University and received the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon from President Tsai Ing-wen of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Kudos To All the Agriculture Sector!
Prime Minister Briceño acknowledges the contribution of the Agriculture team to the rebounding of the economy.
Belize and Argentina
Yesterday, within the margins of the IV CARICOM-SICA Summit, Belize and Argentina signed an Agreement on Diplomatic Training Cooperation between respective Foreign Ministries. Signing on behalf of Belize and Argentina was CEO Amb. Amalia Mai and Argentine Ambassador to Belize Carlos Tomada. Read More
CARICOM Heads of Government
Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay, Minister of State Ramon Cervantes and CEO Amalia Mai representing Belize at the 33rd Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of #CARICOM
Belize and Taiwan
The scholarship program from Taiwan has been one of the largest and most influential cooperation program, allowing our people to develop in their chosen professional field and returning to our country to play lead roles in different sectors. This collaboration is a gift, a partnership that keeps on giving and reaping dividends for our developing nation.
CARICOM & Climate Change
Heads of Government of CARICOM have agreed to put climate change at the "centre of our work - CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister John Briceno of Belize, closing press conference, Thirty-third Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM.

Delivered by H.E. Lynn Young at the March 25, 2022, Special Session of the Permanent Council
Chair, I take the floor on behalf of the CARICOM group of Ambassadors to offer brief remarks in addition to the individual statements that will be delivered from some of my colleagues. The topic of today’s special session is an important one, as it is an issue that has touched every corner of the Americas. We thank the Office of the Assistant Secretary General for its commitment and dedication in ensuring an opportunity where we can reflect on the atrocities of the transatlantic slave trade, which continues to cast a long and ugly shadow over our people.

We also express our appreciation to today’s presenters for their moving and poignant presentations. We especially thank Professor Verene Shepherd, for her stirring and enlightening presentation which highlighted the role of Caribbean women in the anti-slavery movement. We applaud her advocacy for people of African descent in her role as Director of the University of the West Indies’ Centre for Reparation Research.

Chair, CARICOM member states are intimately aware of the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade, a stain in human history that marred the development of our nations long after the slave trade, and slavery itself, were formally abolished. As we all know, the transatlantic slave trade was the source of labour to create and build the so called “New World”. But our forebears received no compensation for centuries of forced labour and brutal and inhuman treatment. Succeeding generations of their descendants, including the present one, have continued to suffer from inequality of opportunities, institutional discrimination, and active racism.

For years, afro-descendant communities have been marginalized and denied equal access to jobs, remuneration, health care, education, housing, food, and other basic human rights, because of the negative racial stereotypes perpetuated through political, social, and economic systems and institutions.

CARICOM nations, led by the descendants of the transatlantic slave trade, fought for, and gained our independence one by one, following the footsteps of our brothers and sisters in Haiti. Today, we stand as examples of stable democracies, champions of human rights and the rule of law and leaders for justice in the international community.

Indeed, we are a group of over-achievers, who have overcome many of the obstacles to our growth and development. And while that struggle continues on many fronts including the existential threat of Climate Change, poor terms of trade and access to concessional financing, we have demonstrated by our attainments in education, health, science, sports and the arts that our people are equal to all.

Nonetheless, the imperative for justice, non-discrimination, and equal opportunity for Afro-descendant communities in many countries of the Americas continues. The bitter experience of the victims of slavery and the deprivation endured by their descendants for more than two centuries after the transatlantic slave trade was formally abolished continues to fuel our determination to confront and eliminate the lingering consequences of racism upon which the slave trade and slavery were spawned. The recent outrageous and audacious murder of Afro-Americans publicly and in broad daylight has re-enforced the resolve to stop all such racist murders wherever and whenever they occur.

It is shameful that the nations that created the slave trade and slavery are yet to apologize for the crimes against humanity which they unquestionably were. That is why the Caribbean Community has been leading the initiative for reparatory justice for Afro-descendants and indigenous people who were the victims of genocide.

Chair, we pledge to continue to fight for an end to slavery’s legacy of racism and inequality. Our objective is to contribute to the creation of a world, free of racial discrimination where rights are guaranteed and safeguarded for all regardless of race, color or ethnicity.

This Organization of American States owe it both to history and the future to be in the forefront of achieving that objective, not by words but by measurable deeds.
Thank you.

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
For a Full List of this Month's Press Releases Click the Link Below

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Spouses of the Caribbean Leadership Action Network (SCLAN)
The Consulate of Belize in Florida had the pleasure and the honor to assist in the meetings held by the Spouse of the Prime Minister, Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children, H.E. Mrs. Rossana Briceño and the First Lady of Suriname Mrs. Mellisa Santokhi-Seenacherry as they sat to chart out SCALAN’s future goals and endeavors The reunion was held on March 22nd, at the Ritz Carlton Residences in Coconut Grove, Florida.
To learn more about SCLAN and their different projects we invite you to click the button below.
Prince William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,
Arrive in Belize for Jubilee Caribbean Tour
The couple were all smiles as they stepped off the plane following an 11- hour flight from the UK. They were welcomed by Belize's Governor General ahead of a meeting with Prime Minister John Briceño. The trip is to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee this year, and will see William and Catherine also visit Jamaica and the Bahamas. The royal couple were greeted by a guard of honor from the Belize Defense Force as they landed at Belize City's Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Visited a Cocoa Farm in Belize While on their Caribbean Tour on Behalf of Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee year.
Prince William at Chocolate Tour Stop: "Our Kids Will Be Very Jealous".

During their visit to the Che 'il chocolate farm, Kate couldn't resist the "amazing" smell wafting in the air as she and William tried their hands at grinding nibs (crumbled dried cacao beans) with a mortar and pestle, a task typically performed by women in the rural communities of Latin America.

"Do you take apprentices?" Prince William joked with Julio Saqui, a member of Belize's Maya community and owner of the family-run, 10-acre farm. "Can I come and work for you? It's my kind of thing."
We all know about Swiss chocolate, Belgium, French, and more, but chocolate was a Mayan invention. So Belize has bragging rights among the best. Some people even call Belize the “cradle of chocolate,” since this exquisite confection is known to have originated in the area! To learn more about the history of chocolate in Belize other interesting topics click the button below.
Tourism Tidbits
No Testing Required for Vaccinated Travelers

Effective March 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travelers no longer require a negative test but must show proof of vaccination for entry into Belize’s airport, land borders or seaports. Also, children under the age of 12 years shall not be subjected to testing for SARSCoV2 upon entry into Belize through airport, land, or seaport.
Trade and Investment Tidbits
Belize Promotes Investment at Taiwan Business Seminar

The Belizean Embassy and the Central American Trade Office held a seminar on Thursday to help Taiwanese businesses understand the investment opportunities of the Taiwan-Belize Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA), which came into effect on Jan. 15. Read More
Cultural Tidbits
Belize Begins Celebrating Reef Week

The Ministry of the Blue Economy is celebrating Belize’s Reef Week with a jammed-packed calendar of activities geared at promoting the importance of our Barrier Reef. This year’s theme is “exemplary reef health benefits our nation’s wealth”. A message that Emilie Gomez Coordinator and Liaison Officer at the Ministry of Blue Economy says echoes the overall goal behind reef week.
Celebrating Easter in Belize 2022
Religious Festivities in Benque Viejo Del Carmen

Every year for Easter the residents of Benque become a buzz with the excitement of the church displays to come. Avid church goers sign up to be script actors and extras to dress up as Jesus, his disciples, Mary and the various Roman characters. Throughout town, along the route of the “Stations of the cross” procession, local residents create elaborate, colored sawdust carpet art on the roads with diverse symbolisms of the catholic faith.
Cross-Country Bicycle Race

The Cross Country Cycling classic is an amateur cycling race held every year on Holy Saturday that spans from Belize City to the heart of San Ignacio town and back. The idea for the race was put forward by Monrad Metzgen (one of Belize’s national heroes) in 1928 after a trip to one of the northern villages where he was struck by the sheer amount of bicycles that the locals used to get around.
Burrell Boom Horse Race

As the Easter festivities wind down, Burrell Boom in the Belize district holds its annual day of races on Easter Monday at the Castleton Race Track. It’s very popular event in which Belizean jockeys ride Belizean bred horses for cash prizes and spectators from all districts and even outside the country gather to socialize and enjoy delectable Belizean dishes including all manner of traditional preparations of rare game meats and seafood.
Beach Parties on the Islands (and Placencia)

The 4 day weekend is a boon for young and old party goers who revel in their time off from work or school. Belizeans flock to San Pedro, Caye Caulker, or Placencia to take in the sun and to merry the night away. The flurry of events from many bars, clubs, and restaurants make for an endless number of activity choices.
Restaurant Hop for Local Delights

Garifuna Sere soup, mestizo heart of palm stew, hot cross buns and sweet potato puddings, are just a few of the Belize-famous offers on Good Friday. The entire weekend is chocked full of all the food you can imagine to eat, so if you’re a seafood lover or just a food lover you’re sure to turn starry-eyed any restaurant you happen upon.
Mr. Marlon Vernon
Marlon was born and raised in Belize, after finishing his high school education he moved to the United States. There he completed a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering with a concentration in computer science from the DeVry University and began his career in the field of education.

For the past 33 years, Marlon has taught Electronics Engineering and Computer Networking Technologies to high school and college students, as well as private enterprises. In 1999, Mr. Vernon became a LAN/WAN Engineer where he would design, deploy, and maintain small networks as well as large enterprises.
Marlon currently teaches IT Essentials, CCNA, CCNP, Security, and CCNA CyberOps technologies in Miami Dade County Public Schools, and is a National Academy Foundation (NAF) lead teacher in a distinguished IT academy. As an advocate for women in technology, Marlon has coached CyberPatriot and Cisco NetRiders teams for national competitiveness. Additionally, he strongly supports nonprofit organizations such as IT Women of South Florida and the National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) which aim to educate and empower girls and women to advance in tech. 

His professional accomplishments include being the current president and CEO of TechEd Solutions, an online IT education portal and consulting company; Serving on the Cisco Academy Advisory Board for the Global Networking Academies; and chairing the Technology Committee at MLECTC. Mr. Vernon also serves on the Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce and facilitates several clubs and organizations including Skills USA.
Throughout his busy career, Mr. Vernon has still found the time to give back to his community. As a part of the Belizean Roots Arts and Theatre Alliance (Braata), he helped promote Belizean arts and culture in the U.S. by performing locally and in New York back in 2000 as an officer and performer (drumming).

Marlon also served in the Belize Association of Florida and most recently served as the secretary and technology director for South Florida Association for Garifuna Artists (SAGA).
Our mission is to foster international appreciation of the Garifuna heritage by showcasing artists from all creative disciplines to gain US exposure. Our inaugural event to commemorate Garifuna Settlement Day in 2017 featured a ‘Garifuna Arufuda’ show at the Art Serve in Ft. Lauderdale. It was a huge success! To learn more, you can visit our Facebook page at South Florida Association for Garifuna Artists.
As a schoolteacher in Miami Dade County Public Schools, Marlon introduces Belizean culture via UN day events where he features Belizean food, deserts, artifacts, and music. He has also introduced Garifuna drumming at these events and taught students how to ‘punta’ in addition to also serving as a Chef Coordinator for See and Taste Belize. 

Marlon and his wife Josephine have been technology teachers in Miami-Dade for many years teaching Cisco computer networking, Cybersecurity, Computer Science and Programming. Together they have three children. On his free time, Marlon enjoys cooking, cycling, coaching, and listening to music.
We are proud to call you
our Star of the Month!
Champions of Change
On Saturday, March 19th, the San Pedro Town Council and Hope Haven Belize honored ten outstanding island women for their significant contributions to the community. The special award ceremony was in honor of Women’s Month and dubbed ‘Champions of Change'.
GOB Highlights of the Month
  • Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing, Julius Espat hands over three houses in San Narciso, Corozal Read More

  • The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology is working closely with education experts from the IDB and consultants from MIT, the world’s preeminent technology university, to establish an ultra-modern high school as stated by Hon. Dr. Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology Read More

  • Hon. Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology shared the launch of the Government's new free education policy called The Belize Education Upliftment Project. Read More

  • Belize City, Belmopan, Orange Walk Mayors traveling to Taiwan for 2022 Smart City Summit & Expo Read More

  • Ground Breaking Ceremony for Quality Feed Soybean Oil Refinery Plant in Spanish Lookout with PM and Minister of Agriculture, Jose Abelardo Mai Present. Read More
Belize and the World
  • Liberia’s Vice President, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor Arrives in Belize City, Seeks Economic Cooperation to Develop Liberia’s Tourism Industry Read More

  • Taiwan Grants Belize a 33.6 Million Dollar Grant for the Construction of a New Hospital in Ambergris Caye Read More

  • Belize gets $25 Million Dollars from The World Bank for Climate-Resilient Agriculture Read More
Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
  • Build Belize Makes Donation of Laptops to Students Read More

  • Belize District Win FFB Elite Men’s U17 National Championship in Penalty Shootout Read More

  • Albert Davis Wins 1500m, 800m in Belize Athletics Association Time Trial Read More
Science, Technology, & Infrastructure
  • New Coding Club Changes Lives in Belize Read More

  • Google Certificate in Data Analytics Program Being Offered to Belize’s Youths Read More

  • Belize City Council Hosts Female Entrepreneurship Pop Up Shop Read More
Business & the Market
  • Belize Celebrates World Consumer Rights Day Read More

  • Spanish Lookout Hosts Best of Belizean Business at Commercial and Industrial Expo Read More

  • Port Loyola Area Representative Distributes Grants to Small Businesses. Read More
Trending Topics
  • Operation Smile Looking for People with Cleft Palate in Belize to Help Them With Free Procedure Read More

  • BAS Continues to Educate the Public on Environmental Sustainability Read More

  • Belize Brain Awareness Society observes Belize Brain Awareness Week Read More
Scholarship Opportunities

  • PAEC OAS-Universidad Europea Scholarships Read More
  • International Scholarship Opportunity to Study in Romania Read More

  • Educational Grant Programs Offered by the Republic of Azerbaijan Read More

  • UCI Scholarship Program Announcement for Online Masters at the University for International Cooperation in Costa Rica Read More

  • Matching Grant Program Seeks Applicants in San Pedro Read More
  • Belize Plans To Lift All Remaining Covid Restrictions Read More

  • Travel and Leisure names Copal Tree Lodge among 14 most beautiful hotels in the world Read More

  • Group Buys Beautiful Uninhabited Belize Island to Create a Micronation. Read More
Belize Gives Back
Build Belize Inc. is non-profit organization whose purpose is to empower and improve the lives of disadvantaged Belizeans through education, health, and community service, and support the Belizean diaspora in contributing to the overall socio-economic development of Belize.

General Education Fund - Sponsoring a Belizean Child Learn More

Laptop Drive Read More

Preschooler Kits Read More

Fisherman's Soup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1⁄2 cups calamari
  • 1-1⁄2 cups snapper fillet, diced
  • 12 shrimp, medium size
  • 3 cups fish stock 1-1⁄2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1-1⁄2 cups steamed vegetables, diced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro, minced, for garnish 
Sauté garlic in olive oil until golden. Add red pepper flakes, calamari, snapper, and shrimp. Add fish stock marinara sauce, and vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered for a couple of minutes until the seafood is cooked. Uncover, incorporate the butter, add chili powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Top with garnish serve. Serves 3 to 4
Hot Cross Buns

  • 4 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ⅔ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp freshly Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 3 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 pkg (¼ oz) or (4 ½ tsp) Active Dry Yeast
  • 10 tbs Butter, or Shortening, softened at room temperature 2 Eggs, beaten 3 tsp Vanilla extract 1 tsp Pineapple Essence (optional) ⅔ cup Coconut Milk, warm 1 cup Raisins
To view the full recipe click the link below.
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?
January 2022, VOL. 84. Read More
December 2021, VOL. 83 Read More
November 2021, VOL. 82 Read More
October 2021, VOL. 81 Read More
September 2021, VOL. 81. Read More
August 2021, VOL. 80. Read More
July 2021, VOL. 79 Read More
June 2021, VOL. 78 Read More
May 2021, VOL. 77 Read More
April 2021, VOL. 76 Read More
March 2021, VOL. 75 Read More
February 2021, VOL. 74 Read More

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