November 2020 Vol 71
The Consulate of Belize in Florida
Monthly Newsletter
#rememberitsgoodtobebelizean #thewaitisover
Honorary Consul's Monthly Message
Welcome to the November Monthly Newsletter!
In my last newsletter, I wrote to you that the beauty of life is not knowing what is waiting for us around the corner and that life is about change and adapting to it. On November 11th, Belize witnessed significant changes in the country. It is said that the people of Belize don’t speak, they shout and through a massive sweep, the Peoples United Party (PUP) were voted in by a huge majority. Headed by Prime Minster John Briceño, he named his cabinet shortly thereafter (See in the section, “From The Office of the Hon. Prime Minister” the list of Cabinet Ministries and CEO’s). The Consulate of Belize in Florida takes the opportunity to congratulate the new government and wish them all the success!

The Diaspora celebrated the traditional Thanksgiving holidays and perhaps it was quieter with smaller gatherings than most others in the past but it was nevertheless perhaps more poignant and meaningful, celebrating life and the simple things still left like our health, and those of our families, our jobs and our homes. This challenging year has practically brought us to our knees and today we are so grateful for the little but important things like the smile of a child, the flowers blooming in our gardens, food on the table, fresh air to breathe and our freedom.

In Belize we also celebrated Garifuna Settlement Day when we remembered the many who fled danger and came to Belize for safe haven. Today, they comprise a fundamental part of our country and we celebrate and enjoy everything about the Garifuna culture. 

While we still face the threat of COVID-19 in yet a third wave across the world, in Belize and here in the US, increased positive cases, hospitalizations, and, sadly, deaths, continue to challenge our health officials, doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers. These patriots and heroes, put their lives on the line every day with steadfast courage and determination. However, there is good news on the horizon, the Government of Belize has allocated resources, both financial, human and of the infrastructure, to focus on the reduction and eventual control of this global scourge. Here in the US, the news that the first roll out of the vaccine will begin has brought hope and a sense of relief to the many who have endured so much during these past months.

In this edition we have many exciting and wonderful things to share in our Jewel.

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 now open for consular services in the US. Please call or email your local office to inquire on available appointments. 
How did you celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day? Did you cook some delicious Sere? Or maybe some Hudut? In the Recipe of the month we are sharing with you the famous Sere and Casava pudding both steeped in history and deliciousness!
In this edition, we present the latest video address to the nation given by the Prime Minister of Belize, the Hon. John Briceno broadcasted on November 18th, 2020 on the Affairs of State, cautioning Belizeans to stay safe and outlining COVID-19 guidelines to follow.

Enjoy scrolling through the news in the areas of tourism, community engagement, the environment, and much more in this edition: 

  • Read About our newly appointed Prime Minister, Hon. John Briceño and his newly appointed Cabinet
  • See the monthly message from the Embassy of Belize in Washington, DC's Desk
  • Learn about the CARICOM Election Observation Mission to Belize - Preliminary Statement
  • See how Belize virtually celebrates the rich Garifuna culture and listen to the Garifuna Settlement Day message form the Prime Minister, the Hon. John Briceño
  • Watch how Belize honors talented young Belizeans in the 2020 Youth Awards
  •  See how we continue to give thanks to our Belizean Frontline workers around the United States
  • The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology thanks the Cuban Government and people for their 40 years of solidarity with and commitment to the growth and development of Belize
  • Read the updated travel requirements to visit 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 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 for December 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
Swearing In of Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño
Swearing In of Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño
Belmopan. November 12, 2020.

Following the November 11, 2020 general election, the Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young today swore in the Hon. John Briceño as the fifth Prime Minister of Belize.

The ceremony took place at the Belize House in Belmopan in the presence of the Prime Minister’s family, elected representatives of the People’s United Party, friends and supporters.

Prime Minister Briceño has been involved in electoral politics since 1993. He has served as an elected representative since 1993 and has been the party leader twice, once from 2008-2011 and from 2016 to present.

The other elected representatives will be sworn in on a later date.
Statement on the Affairs of State by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño
The Office of the Prime Minister Announces Cabinet Appointments
A Message from the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño

The Office of the Prime Minister Announces New Chief Executive Officers
Embassy of Belize in Washington, DC's Desk
Fellow Belizeans,

First and foremost, we extend our congratulations to Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize and his colleagues who were successful at elections held on November 11th. We also congratulate the people of Belize for once again demonstrating that Belize is good example of democracy in our hemisphere. While we celebrate this, we must also lament the losses experienced in Belize with the passage of Hurricane Eta in early November and the flooding impacts of Hurricane Iota just a few weeks later. Our thoughts and prayers remain with those affected by these incredible weather events.

Many of you would have celebrated the US holiday of Thanksgiving last week, a holiday which claims its roots to a meal of thanksgiving and sharing of a bountiful harvest. Today, the holiday is celebrated as a day of giving thanks and gathering with family and friends. Although 2020 has thus far been a difficult one and many of you have had to celebrate this holiday and others in a very different manner, we do hope that the vast majority of you were able to celebrate safely.

This month, we have heard the good news of strides being made in the development of vaccines targeting COVID-19 and the better news that some will begin distribution to front line workers as early as December. Nevertheless, we caution our Belizeans in the United States that wide-scale distribution of the vaccines will not become widely available until mid-2021. And so, we urge everyone to continue to take all necessary precautions. In keeping with this, our consular offices will continue to offer services to the Diaspora within strict safety standards and as long as state and county regulations allow.

Finally, we remind you all to do what you can to keep yourself and your family safe. Wear a mask, practice good hygiene, and avoid crowds.

Embassy of Belize to the United States of America
#wavediflag #rememberitsgoodtobebelizean #wearewithyou #holdthefaith #belizeanstrong #thewaitisover
Ministry of Health and Wellness Announces New Measures for COVID-19
Belize Travel Health & Safety
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
CARICOM Election Observation Mission to Belize – Preliminary Statement

The  Ministry  of Foreign Affairs of Belize, by way of Diplomatic Note dated 13 October 2020, invited the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to field a CARICOM Election Observation Mission (CEOM) to observe the conduct of the Belize General Elections to be held on 11 November 2020.
As a result, a six-member CEOM comprised of electoral officials from several CARICOM Member States who have extensive experience in international election observation arrived in Belize on 7 and 8 November and observed the conduct of the Belize General Elections on 11 November 2020

The Belize Youth Awards 2020
Photo Credit: Belize Department of Youth Services
Belize Celebrates The Rich Culture Of The Garifuna
Photo Credit: My Beautiful Belize
November 19th is a great day of celebration in Belize, as we honor the Garifuna and their culture. Let us share a few basic but important details about this amazing cultural group, who make such an impact in our society.

In 1941, Belizean civil rights activist, Thomas Vincent Ramos created the Garifuna Settlement Day holiday to honor and celebrate the arrival of the Garifuna people on Belize’s shores on November 19, 1802. The date was recognized as a public holiday in the southern districts of Belize in 1943, and declared a national holiday in 1977 by the Government of Belize. Ramos was also a schoolteacher and a visionary leader, founder of the Carib Development and Sick Aid Society and later the Carib International Society.

By: My Beautiful Belize
Garifuna Settlement Day Message from Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño
Photo Credit: Belize Press Office
 Open Government Action Plan
Throughout 2020, The Trust for the Americas and Organization of American States (OAS) supported the process of the first Belize Open Government Action Plan. Check out the video to learn more and know how you can be involved in the Belize Open Government process.
Belizean Frontline Responders around the USA
We thank you for all that you do!
Patricia Lightburn, RN​
University of Miami Hospital​
Lizette Graham ​
Condell Hospital ​
Libertyville, IL​
Sharon Burgess-Blades, LPN​
Department of Medicine ​
Montefiore Medical Center​
Bronx, New York​
SGT. Gabe J. Sablica 
Police Sergeant
Las Vegas, Nevada 

#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
Photo Credit: Belize Tourism Board
Belize joins Caribbean Tourism Organization to celebrate Caribbean Tourism Month with our traditional Garifuna dish, Hudut! We were proudly represented by Chef Estevan Tush from Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore PlazaWestern Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza.
Time stamp for Belize: 43:55
Photo Credit: Export Belize
As a strategic partner to Business Support Organizations (BSO) across the Caribbean region, Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF), a private sector development programme, has led and continues to lead various projects and specific knowledge products to address focal areas in the region such as innovation, technology adaptation, the fourth industrial revolution and enhanced productivity.

Photo Credit: Corozal House of Culture
The beautiful and sacred Maya tradition of Biix takes place on November 9th, the final day of Hanal Pixan when souls return to the spiritual world. Family members place candles in front of their doors, yard entrances and cemeteries to guide the souls of their dearly departed back to the spiritual world. These images are from 2017 in the village of Xaibe, one of a handful of villages who still celebrate and honour their Maya heritage. We invite persons to visit Xaibe Village tonight to see this tradition first hand.

...of the Month!
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
Holden Memorial Hospital
The Chateau Caribbean was owned by the Biddle family and was the most expensive home built of its time. It survived the Hurricanes of 1931 and 1961 and later became known as the Holden Memorial Hospital under the care of Dr. Clarence J. McCleary. This building was truly a magnificent home and a tremendous loss to our historical heritage.
Let us preserve and protect our historical landmarks & protected sites!
Gawd neva gi yo mo dan whe yo cud bare.
English Translation:
God never gives you more than you could manage.
God never allows someone to carry more burdens in this life that what they are capable of carrying.
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.
Register as a Belizean in Florida
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
San Pedro Celebrates 36 Years of Township
The groundwork and lobbying for Township had taken place and these efforts paid off on November 27, 1984 when several Government Ministers, along with Dame Minita Gordon, Governor General of Belize, and the area representative , Hon. Louis Sylvestre gathered in San Pedro for the historic signing of the declaration.
Help Belize
Hurricane Eta Relief
Belizean Brothers and Sisters, in light of the huge destruction as a consequence of Hurricane Eta and possibly Hurricane Iota following in its path, the Inter-American Development Bank has agreed to match every dollar up to US$ 50,000 for the Central America, We Are with You Campaign. Belize is among the affected countries and every cent collected for Belize will go towards helping our brothers and sisters.
Happy World Children's Day
Belizean Baker wins Food Network's Christmas Cookie Challenge
One of our own won Food Network's #ChristmasCookieChallenge! Congratulations to Belizean baker Andrea Goossens on winning the grand prize! Thanks for making our Jewel so proud.
: sugarbloomcookie on IG
Belizean Gospel Artist
The Minister of Education, Culture, Science & Technology, Hon Francis Fonseca and Ambassador of Cuba for Belize, H. E. Lissette Pérez Pérez, met in a warm and friendly atmosphere during a courtesy call in Belmopan.
As expressed by Minister Fonseca, "The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology thanks the Cuban government and people for their 40 years of solidarity with and commitment to the growth and development of Belize. We particularly appreciate the generous contributions made in the areas of Education, Health and Culture. We look forward to strengthening our relationship and working together for the mutual interest of both our countries."
In remembrance of the 4th anniversary of the passing of Commandante Fidel Castro this year’s Scholarship Program has been dedicated to him.
Que viva Cuba!
Belizean Street Food Series:
Casava Pudding
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
2 cassava
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 can coconut milk

1. Grate Cassava into a bowl.
2. Add sugar, grate ginger and vanilla essence and coconut milk and mix well.
3. Combine everything into a baking dish and cook for 30 mins at 400F or 200C.
Recipe from:
Recipe of The Month:
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
  • 2 med sized fish
  • 1/2 an onion sliced and cut in half
  • 2 plugs garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil / cooking oil
  • 1 can or 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 whole Habanero pepper (optional)
  • Spices desired

  • 2 green plantains
  • 2 half ripe plantains
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Sere
Clean, core, and season fish with the salt and pepper and set aside. Heat the coconut oil in pot and add onions and garlic along with desired seasoning—including salt and black Pepper. Sautee for a few minutes and add the coconut milk and water. Stir and add fish. Let set for a few minutes until it starts heating up. At this point you will constantly need to use spoon to stir milk. Do not stir fish but keep the milk in constant movement with spoon. The milk will start to curdle if you do not maintain the constant motion. You can turn fish after one side is cooked. Let soup the soup continue boiling and bubble until fish is cooked and soup is thickened. Taste for flavour, add salt and pepper to taste. 5 minutes before you turn off the stove, add the Habanero Pepper to the soup—ensure the pepper is whole and do not break open. After Soup is thickened remove 1/4 cup and add to the plantains in the food processor.

Peel and cut plantains. Each plantain should be cut in three or four pieces. Put the green plantains to boil first in 8 cups water. After they are half way done, add the half ripe plantains. Let all plantains boil until they are fully cooked. Remove from water and put them in the food processor. Let them cool a little before processing. You will need to process after Sere is made because you will need 1/4 cup of Sere to add to plantains before processing. Pulse at the beginning and after just process until it is the consistency you prefer.

Happy Garifuna meal! 
Recipe from: Taste of Belize in LA
Missed an Issue of our monthly newsletter?
October 2020, VOL. 70. Read More
September 2020, VOL. 69. Read More
August 2020, VOL. 68. Read More
July 2020, VOL. 67. Read More
June 2020, VOL. 66 Read More
May 2020, VOL. 65 Read More
April 2020, VOL. 64 Read More
March 2020, VOL. 63 Read More
February 2020, VOL. 62 Read More
January 2020, VOL. 61 Read More
ICJ- Be Informed
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
Scholarship Opportunity
#OASscholarships with 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!
Deadline :Spring: December 10, 2020 or February 18, 2021
Summer: April 23, 2021
More info