November 2021 Vol 83
The Consulate of Belize in Florida
Monthly Newsletter
#rememberitsgoodtobebelizean #thewaitisover

Honorary Consul's Monthly Message
Welcome to the November Monthly Newsletter!

It’s been a year of waiting for the old and dark days to end and anticipation for new and joyful beginnings to start.

For now, 'tis the season to be Merry! And so, enjoy this Christmas season with all its Belizean traditions that still ring through today. May peace, good will and happiness be yours at Christmas and always.

In Belize, we paid homage to Garifuna Settlement Day on November 19th, when the people and country of Belize celebrated the arrival of the Garifuna people onto the jeweled shores of Belize dating back to the year 1802.

Today, the Garifuna people comprise a fundamental part of the country and Belizeans celebrate and enjoy everything about their culture. Throughout this month’s newsletter, we will be highlighting the different cultural contributions such as delicious recipes, traditional proverbs, and the Gulisi Garifuna Museum.

For Belizeans living in the US, they celebrated Thanksgiving, a day which historically observes the blessings from the harvest and of the year before in gratitude. As stated by Italian philosopher Marcus T. Cicero, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others”. The beauty of this holiday lies in how it reminds us to be thankful for what we have and for the beloved ones around us.

On November 11th, people across the USA, honored Veterans Day. We take the opportunity to thank all brave veterans who have served, and we pay tribute to the fallen soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect and safeguard the rights of the people of the United States of America. From all of us at the Consulate of Belize in Florida, we thank you and pray that God continues to bless you and your families.

While there was so much to celebrate, there was a great deal of work to be done and it was business as usual for Belize’s Government officials, starting with the attendance of the Prime Minister, the Honorable John Briceno and his delegation which included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honorable Eamon Courtenay, to the UN Global Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland.

Indeed, this month was active with events highlighting climate change. Starting with the launch of CARICOM’S Energy Month on November 1st, under the theme “From Dependence to Resilience: Fueling our Recovery with Sustainable Energy” which focused on providing strategic management to the region’s energy issues and showcased a strategy for transitioning to sustainable energy, to the UN Global Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland, where global leaders came together to reach a consensus on key actions to address climate change.

Belize was the star of the conference after reporting all the smart and practical climate change policies in place that are protecting Belize’s pristine environment. We invite you to watch the different videos and articles throughout the newsletter to learn how Belize is planning to fight the climate crisis and protect its current biodiversity.

Lastly, the Office of the Prime Minister, in an effort to further boost Belize’s economy hosted, The National Investment Summit, the first of its kind which focused on attracting and promoting investment for economic development in Belize, planning steadily to capitalize on Belize’s promise and working to yield the fruits of untapped potential.

Here, investors from the Caribbean, Central America, and as far as Czech Republic, Bangladesh, UK, and Algeria, were able to engage in matchmaking sessions with over 52 local companies that are seeking investment opportunities in Belize ranging from agriculture, tourism, and blue economy to business process outsourcing, manufacturing, and renewable energy. The latter was the highlight of our first Investment Summit.

The icing on the cake was when our Belizean beauty, Miss Destiny Wagner was crowned the winner of Miss Earth Belize, the very first beauty queen from the Jewel to walk away as the winner of an international pageant! Congratulations Destiny!

Finally, in celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day, we included a popular Garifuna snack, cassava bread! You can find the recipe under our Street Food Series. As for our Recipe of the Month, we shared a traditional Christmas recipe, a delicious Black Fruit Cake recipe, perfect for the upcoming holidays.

Do not forget to check out the section “Upcoming Events” to find out more about scholarship opportunities, product competitions, and school drives!

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

  • Watch Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño’s statement at the United Nations Global Climate Change Conference.
  • Read about Belize’s success in the first National Investment Summit.
  • See The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration's Year in Review.
  • Watch the Foreign Minister of Belize's address to the 51st session to the OAS General Assembly.
  • View Ambassador H.E. Lynn Young’s monthly message from Washington, DC.
  • Read about the Belize-Central Global Progress Fund’s newest team member, international businessman Mr. Kofi Nartey, and how he is looking forward to bringing about a sustainable smart city development in the heart of Belize.
  • Learn about the importance of local engagement in repatriating Belizean cultural artifacts from abroad.
  • Watch Hon. Dolores Balderamo’s speech for “16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women”.
  • Check out Alaskan Airlines’ new nonstop flights from the U.S. to Belize.
  • Watch this year’s Belize Youth Awards under the theme “Youth Taking Action for a Better Belize”.
  • Get inspired by our Belizean Star of the Month, Mrs. Barbara E. Reneau.
  • Check out our upcoming events where we share different activities that are being held next month.

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 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
Belize's First National Investment Summit Hailed a Success
Belize's investment doors are definitely open.
Investors came from our Caribbean and Central American region and as far as Czech Republic, Bangladesh, UK and Algeria... all engaging in matchmaking sessions with over 52 local companies seeking investments. Planning steadily to capitalize on our country's promise and working to yield the fruits of untapped potential.
Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño's Statement at the #COP26 World Leaders Summit
"Excellences, I am here as a Belizean and as a global citizen to call for solidarity, Belize is here to demand urgent action to combat climate change - the greatest challenge for humanity. Belize is the proud custodian of the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But the sad reality is the coral bleaching stress doubled from 1.7 in a period from 1985 to 2014, to a severe level 3 between 2014 and 2017. The reef is dying and it may be beyond the point of full restoration."
Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, Attends the Climate Vulnerable Forum
The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has called for developed countries to finally honor the decade-long pledge to make $100 billion available each year to fight climate change in developing countries.
Click the button below to learn more about Belize's efforts to combat climate change and how the country is swapping debt for nature through a blue bond.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is Interviewed Following Prime Minister John Briceño's Statement at the UN Climate Change Conference
Asked about criticism from Belize, Boris Johnson says the nation is right to raise concerns. He cites a financial commitment made by Japan and adds that "other countries are going to have to do more".
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration's Year in Review
We invite you to watch the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigrations' "A Year in Review" to learn more about the accomplishments made during this past year.
Foreign Minister Hon. Eamon Courtenay Addresses the 51st Session of the OAS General Assembly
Foreign Minister Hon. Eamon Courtenay addressed the 51st Session of the OAS General Assembly this morning. He challenged the OAS to ensure that its work maintains fidelity to the promise of the OAS Charter.
Belize Receives First Set of Medical Equipment Procured Through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund
H.E. Amalia Mai joined the Ministry of Health and Wellness of Belize in receiving the first set of medical equipment procured through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund. This equipment will support Belize's COVID-19 response and public health resilience.
Ambassador Mai Speaks with Permanent Observers of the OAS
Ambassador Mai speaks on Post Covid-19 Economic Recovery, Food Security and Climate Change at the Dialogue with the Permanent Observers of the Organization of American States.
Belize and Kenya
On the margins of #COP26, Prime Minister John Briceño and Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay held a brief bilateral meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya to discuss issues of mutual interest, including strengthening Belize-Kenya relations.
Belize and India
In recognizing their shared commitment for advancing the global renewable energy transition, Prime Minister Briceño and India's Prime Minister Modi discussed opportunities for strengthening the Belize-India partnership in the margins of #COP26.
Belize and The United Kingdom
On the margins of #COP26, Prime Minister John Briceño, Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay and High Commissioner Therese Rath met Wendy Morton, UK Minister for the Caribbean. They discussed issues of mutual interest including climate change, COVID-19 and development financing.
Monthly Message

Dear members of the Belizean Community,
I trust that we all had a most wonderful thanksgiving with good friends and family; and now we welcome the Christmas Season. As I drove to the office this morning, I listened to Brad Pattico singing “Old Fashion Christmas”, a song written by my father which like “Good Mawning Miss Lady” has become a Christmas Anthem back home. The nostalgic magic of those two songs is especially powerful when spending Christmas away from home.
I know many of us have plans to go home for Christmas, and we keep our fingers crossed that the latest COVID variant will not cause widespread closure of borders again. We especially pray that it does not cause another spike in this part of the world, just as Belize seems to be turning the corner on the spike caused by the Delta variant. Truly, we are weary of the Pandemic, but we must continue to practice the safe protocols, and get to that 75% vaccination threshold if we are ever to see the end of it.
Notwithstanding the gloom of the Pandemic that hangs over us, November was an exciting and triumphant month for us. Our Destiny Wagner walked away with the title of Miss Earth 2021. We thank Destiny for making us proud and congratulate her and all the folks that helped her to achieve this phenomenal honour for Belize.
Destiny’s accomplishment ranks right up there with our performance at COP 26 where we established that little Belize is a Global Giant when it comes to the preservation of nature and fighting climate change.
Here at the Embassy, we also completed the installation of our new telephone system. We now have a toll-free number, (833) 888 – 1743 that is devoted solely to consular services, and we are excited that missed calls are now a rarity. We have also been having meetings with the Immigration Department and the Vital Statistics Department back home to find ways to speed up the processing of passports and other important documents that you request from time to time. We are confident that we will be able to reduce the time it takes as we continue to improve our service to you.
So, as we celebrate this Christmas, we celebrate Belize, and I close this short message with a verse from “Old Fashion Christmas” that truly describes the Belizean Christmas… .
“With the bram paaty,
Food and drinks hearty
Turkey with rice and beans
Salad with local greens
And the Jankunu
Entertain unu
Chrismus … true true Chrismus”
Whether you pass it here in the USA, or at home in Belize, here’s wishing you all a good “Old Fashion Belizean Christmas “!


His Excellency Lynn R. Young
Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America
& Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States
The Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations (MTDR) in collaboration with the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), the Mesoamerican Reef Cruise Destinations Network (MAR Network), and the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), held the first session of the Train the Trainers Workshop for Coral Reef Awareness and Marine Recreation Across the Region on November 2, 2021. The workshop aims to educate participants on the ecological and economic value of coral reefs and strengthen private sector participation in sustainable recovery at Mesoamerican Reef destinations.
For a Full List of This Month's Government Press Releases Please Click the Button Below
Belize Offers Ocean 'Blue' Print with Debt-for-Reef Swap
Belize provided a likely 'blue' model for conserving some of the world's most vulnerable marine ecosystems on Friday, swapping a promise to protect the northern Hemisphere's biggest barrier reef for much-needed debt relief. The pioneering step involves the central American country committing to spend $4 million a year and fund a $23 million marine conservation trust to protect the world's second-largest coral reef, damaged in the past by oil drilling and overdevelopment. "This deal is huge for Belize..." Prime Minister John Briceño stated. Belize's swap is large enough that it can pave the way for many sovereign restructurings, which have often seen countries pushed to exploit environmentally-damaging resources such as oil, to also include eco-friendly elements.
International Businessman, Kofi Nartey, Joins Belize-Centric Global Progress Fund Team
Global Progress Fund, a platform created to provide international groups seeking to diversify their portfolios’ access to investments within the country of Belize, is pleased to announce that it has partnered with international businessman, Kofi Nartey, as a founder and core member of the management team. “I am delighted to be part of the Global Progress Fund,” said Mr. Nartey. “I’m looking forward to helping bring about what will be a billion dollar sustainable smart city development in the heart of Belize. But I’m also looking forward to working towards furthering the economic and infrastructure development of Belize.”
GCF Announces Approval of Funds for Water-NAP in Belize
The GCF approved grant funding for the water national adaption planning project for Belize. This grand project, valued at BZ$1.8 million, is intended to support the capacitation and empowerment of the Ministry of Natural Resources’ capacitation and grant to manage Belize’s water resources in this changing climate. The project is nested within the national efforts to respond to the impacts of climate change on the water industry (that includes droughts, floods, and saltwater intrusion). This readiness grant will aid Belize in addressing critical challenges necessary for comprehensive adaptation planning in the water industry.
Bikolano Film ‘An Sadit na Planeta’ Wins Best Short in Belize
The Bikolano short film “An Sadit na Planeta,” which follows the adventures of a man as he explores a little planet, won the best short narrative film award at the recent 15th Belize International Film Festival in Belize, Central America. The festival, which highlights contemporary issues, such as poverty and abuse, ran from Nov. 5 to Nov. 14.
“The ‘Little Planet’ was filmed during the pandemic. At that time, I felt that my world is getting smaller while worries are getting bigger, but this recognition is telling me otherwise,” Arjanmar Rebeta said in his acceptance speech that was streamed during the awards ceremony. “I hope, especially these days, we can create a compassionate and understanding world for everyone. Let us make everyone’s little planet a better and secure place,” the filmmaker added.
PAHO/WHO Belize Donate 50 Tablets to the Ministry of Health Plus IT Equipment to Strengthen Belize’s COVID-19 Data Collection
This equipment is additional to laptops, tablets, printers, and wireless routers that were donated by PAHO/WHO Belize in June for the country’s Immunization Information System (IIS). “The donation of tablets will allow effective and efficient recording of demographic information of persons who receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Noreen Jack, PAHO/WHO Representative in Belize. “With the proper records, the collected immunization data can be analyzed and used to establish a population-based immunization registry which is key in assessing vaccine coverage.”
Taiwanese Embassy Applauds Belize Investment Summit and Pledges to Support Belize’s Economic Recovery
In a statement issued on its Facebook page, the Taiwanese embassy stated it was glad to partner with the summit and be a part of the “Start-up Pitch Competition”, which will give funding to the entrepreneur with the best business idea and pitch to turn their business idea into a reality. The Embassy noted that the funding is made possible through the “Enhancing the Economic Empowerment of Women in Latin America and the Caribbean in the COVID-19 Post Pandemic Era project,” sponsored by the Government of Taiwan.
Cabinet Approves Taiwanese COVID-19 Vaccine to Enter Belize, New Regulations
During this week’s Cabinet meeting, Cabinet approved the Taiwanese COVID-19 vaccine, Medigen, as an entry requirement for Taiwanese entering Belize. Notably, Taiwan has kept its numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths well down compared to countries in its region and indeed the world. In other COVID-19 and vaccine news, the percentage of Belizeans partially vaccinated is up to 48.1 percent, while the percentage of fully vaccinated persons is now at 43.3 percent. Belize has more than 370 thousand vials of vaccines on hand, primarily Pfizer and AstraZeneca. Cabinet continues to encourage booster shots for all health care workers, persons 60 years and older, and persons with comorbidities.
Signing of MOU for the Rehabilitation of Berger Field
Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, has teamed up with Hon. Kevin Bernard, Minister of Youth, Sports and E-Governance, and the Football Federation of Belize for the rehabilitation of the Berger Field in Belize City. This is the first step of many that will see the transformation of neglected spaces into fields for recreational and competitive sport across the country. The long-term goal is to implement sports into education to nurture the talent in athletes so they can compete and represent Belize internationally.
16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women
The National Women's Commission under the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples' Affairs officially launched its annual 16 Days of Activism Campaign under the theme, "You and Me - 16 Days to 365: END Violence Against Women Now!"
To mark the occasion, here's a special message from Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples' Affairs
Belize Shows How Local Engagement is Key in Repatriating Cultural Artifacts from Abroad
Belize is a former colony of Britain, now a multicultural and independent country, and has been pursuing relatively quiet acts of repatriation for decades. The country has also engaged in high-profile demands for restitution. Community members work alongside Belizean and foreign archeologists at the local level to ensure that what led to the initial removal of material culture never happens again. An early Belizean initiative involved the establishment of temporary and longer-term loan programs with foreign institutions. One of the first was with the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the country’s legally excavated archeological collection from the ancient Maya city of Altun Ha, which has since been mostly repatriated.
New Project Involving Banana-Based Snacks for Students in Belize
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise, in collaboration with Fyffes, the Banana Growers Association, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health & Wellness, and Our Lady of Bella Vista R.C. School, signed a memorandum of understanding for a new school-based pilot project. The project will provide a well-balanced nutrient supplement for distribution to at-risk groups in Belize. A hundred students in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts will be provided healthy snacks made from local bananas.
Anti-Trafficking in Persons Symposium
The Ministry of Human Development, Families, and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs in partnership with the Human Trafficking Institute conducted an Anti-Trafficking in Persons Symposium. The purpose of the event was to strengthen the operational elements and collaboration among the various government ministries and agencies relating to anti-trafficking efforts.
Alaska Airlines is Celebrating
Belize, Love At First Flight!
Alaska Airlines is celebrating the Belize Way as it gets ready for its first direct flight to Belize! The airline will offer nonstop service to Belize City from Seattle, Washington and Los Angeles, California, making Belize the fourth country to be served via its West Coast hubs.
A Better Future for Every Child!
Today, Belize joins countries across the globe in celebrating World Children's Day under the theme, "A Better Future for Every Child!"
Let's all do our part to make this happen!
Happy World Children's Day to all children but, especially, our Belizean children!
Belize Wins Miss Earth Competition
Congratulations Destiny Wagner!
Congratulations to our very own Destiny Wagner who captured the crown in a historic win at Miss Earth 2021. Destiny, with grace, humility, beauty, intelligence and Belizean charm on full display, was chosen out of a field of over 80 contestants from around the world. Hailing from Punta Gorda, Destiny is the first Belizean to win an international pageant of this magnitude, and it is with pleasure and pride that we salute her, and wish her every success as she moves on to represent the jewel on the world stage as Miss Earth 2021. 
Belize Included in National Geographic's Top 25 Destinations for 2022
Our global editors picked the planet’s 25 most exciting destinations for 2022. Five categories—Nature, Adventure, Sustainability, Culture and History, and Family—frame unforgettable journeys of discovery. This year’s list celebrates a number of World Heritage sites in honor of UNESCO’s 50 years of helping to safeguard cultural and natural treasures. Although the pandemic changed when, where, and how we travel, we are eager to unleash our wanderlust—and see what wonders we’ll uncover.   
Belize Youth Awards 2021
"Generation Now: Youth Taking Action for a Better Belize"
The Department of Youth Services, Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, and Culture, held its annual Belize Youth Awards on November 6th, this year the ceremony was held virtually under the theme “Youth Taking Action for a Better Belize". The Belize Youth Awards is a prestigious national honor bestowed on outstanding young Belizeans from age 15 to 29 who demonstrate high standards of achievement and commitment within their various communities. With nominees coming from across the country. The Awards demonstrated to leaders and other policy-makers the importance of young people’s role in development and served to inspire other young people to take action in their communities.
CARICOM Energy Month
On November 1st, Belize, along with member states, kicked off CARICOM Energy Month 2021 under the theme “From Dependence to Resilience: Fueling our Recovery with Sustainable Energy” with a message from Hon. Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Public Utilities, Energy and Logistics.
Belize Travel Health & Safety
Things to Know Before Traveling to Belize
  • Vaccinated travelers must present a vaccination record card, with full inoculation completed at least two weeks before their arrival into Belize.

  • Persons entering Belize are no longer required to download and complete the Belize Health App prior to arriving.

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

  • All 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
Belize Tourism Board and Diaspora Relations
Tourism Tidbits
With almost 40 Million Subscribers, Belize Tourism Image is Boosted by YouTuber Luisito Comunica

Belize’s tourism image, particularly among Mexican and Latinos, received a significant boost after Mexican YouTuber and social media mogul, Luis Arturo Villar Sudek, better known as Luisito Comunica, spent time in Belize earlier this week.
With 37.5 million subscribers in YouTube and 20 million followers on Facebook, Luisito's media posts about Belize is a welcome blessing, particularly for tourism.

Trade and Investment Tidbits
IDB Supports the Belize Investment Summit Because of Opportunities it Represents for Belize, says Inter-American Development Bank Vice President

The IDB Vice President said the private and public sectors must work in tandem to lead Belize to recovery. The private sector, which has enormous potential in Belize, is the cornerstone to reactivate the economy and boost job creation, he said. But for that to happen, Martínez Alvarado warned that the public sector must provide the institutional framework and the policies to enhance the business climate and attract investments, including macroeconomic stability.

Cultural Tidbits
Belize International Film Festival

Congratulations to all the Films making up the Official Selection for the 15th Edition of the 2021 Belize International Film Festival. We are grateful to all the filmmakers who submitted their work and look forward to everyone's continued participation in future editions of our Festival. Click the link below to learn more about these outstanding Belizean filmmakers.

Gulisi Garifuna Museum
This museum, operated by the National Garifuna Council (NGC), is a must for anyone interested in the vibrant Garifuna people. It brings together artifacts, pictures and documents on Garifuna history and culture, including an exhibit on the life and music of the late Garifuna musician Andy Palacio. 
Au Bun, Amuru Nu Hagaburibei Garinagu; Awanase Wama Lau
English Translation:
‘I for you, you for me’ is the Garifuna way; Let us move forward

Garifuna Proverb
Let us preserve and protect our historical landmarks & protected sites
Belize Meritorious Service Award Recipient
Mrs. Barbara E. Reneau
As part of its commemoration of 40th anniversary of independence, the Government of Belize bestowed on Miami resident, Ms. Barbara Elizabeth Reneau, the Belize Meritorious Service Award, one of the nation’s most prestigious civilian awards. The granting of the award recognizes and honors Ms. Reneau for a lifetime of philanthropy and community service on behalf of Belizeans – and other Caribbean nationalities – at home and in the Diaspora.
Nurtured and immersed in a family atmosphere of political activism and social altruism, she began making her own such strides early, as a Red Cross cadet and as a master fundraiser for any worthy cause or request, eventually extending such efforts to residencies and benevolent organizations in New York and Florida. In coordination with the Belize Red Cross Society, Ms. Reneau spearheaded annual Christmas and back-to-school book, supply and nutrition drives, fundraising for medical/pediatric/ senior needs, and hurricane relief efforts, often marshaling her home and business and the labor and resources of family, friends and donors.
Bob Reneau Scholarship Fund

Petitions from schools and parents in Belize inspired her to initiate a permanent scholarship institution. This, in honor of her father, Bob Reneau. He was one of the nation’s cultural pioneers. The Bob Reneau Scholarship Fund, with input from the principals of the respective schools. The fund has awarded tuition support to numerous secondary and college level students. The fund also offers scholarships to schools of dance as was the original intent, honoring the legacy of Mr. Bob Reneau.

In her hometown of more than 45 years, “Ms. B”, successfully completed the City of Miami Gardens Board Qualification Course and the Citizens Academy, and has served on the City Council’s Advisory Committee for Senior Affairs. She has striven to establish rapport with the council members, learning how best to utilize city’s resources to benefit the Belizean community here and the country of Belize. With all this, Ms. Barbara Reneau still finds time to be a loving mother of five children. In addition to being a doting granny to several grands and great-grands.
We are proud to call you
our Star of the Month!
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.
Street Food Series:
Cassava Bread


  • 1 1/2 cups grated cassava
  • a pinch of salt
  • Oil


To bake cassava bread, the Garifuna first take off the outer skin from the root. It is cleaned, ground and then pressed through a strainer to produce a fine flour. Baking is done on a flat griddle (or comal); the flour is distributed evenly throughout the round comal. It looks like the size of a large pizza crust. As it cooks, the cassava flour solidifies and creates a large, solid piece. When cooked on one side, they flip it over to finish the cooking process.
The end product is Casabe, a large round cracker. It is crispy and retains its texture despite the local humidity that makes crackers go soggy. It can be eaten as is, but many like to add garlic butter for flavoring. Since it goes well with both sweet or savory flavors, some people add chocolate or jam.
Recipe of the Month:
A Belize Christmas Tradition
Black Fruit Cake

  • 2 lbs. flour 
  • 1 ½ lbs. brown sugar 
  • 1 lb. butter 
  • 1 pint, stout 
  • 1-pint blackening (brown sugar that has been melted down in a tiny bit of water until it literally turns black) 
  • ½ lb. each of raisins, prunes, dates, pecans, cherries and other fruits 
  • 1-pint strong rum (diluted to give 1 quart and used to steep fruits) 
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1 nutmeg grated 
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon or 3 tsp. allspice 
  • 8 - 10 eggs 
  • 1 cup syrup or brown sugar for stewing fruits 
  • 1 cup flour for fruits 

Begin by stewing the fruits the night before, using ¼ - ½ lb. of brown sugar for stewing fruits. Let fruits simmer for 5 - 10 minutes. The next day, grease cake tins with shortening and line them with a brown paper bag. Set aside. Cream the butter or margarine with remaining sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix well. Add flour alternately with black colouring. Mix well with each addition. Add stout and mix well. Cover fruits with 1 cup of flour. Add to mixture and fold in fruits. Bake for 2 - 3 hours in a 300-degree oven or until cake is dried
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