August 2020 Vol 68
The Consulate of Belize in Florida
Monthly Newsletter
#rememberitsgoodtobebelizean #thewaitisover
Honorary Consul's Monthly Message
Welcome to the August Monthly Newsletter!
As we continue on this journey called, “Life”, we must now more than ever cling to the things that will sustain us (faith and hope). Yes, “hope springs eternal!” Our last newsletter was brimming with positive news about the Phillip Goldson International Airport reopening and unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse in our little Jewel with a sudden spike in COVID-19 positive cases thereby forcing the Government to continue the closure of the airport and its borders out of an abundance of caution to the nation and its people. 

We keep families and friends in Belize in our thoughts and prayers and hope that they continue to be safe and practice all the necessary measures to remain healthy. A steady decline in COVID-19 numbers will lead to a healthier population and a return to our livelihood as well as a much needed jump start to Belize's economy. We can also look forward to the reopening of the Phillip Goldson International Airport on October 1st so stay tuned for information that is forthcoming on the reopening and all that you need to know before making your travel plans.
In the interim, the repatriation flights continue and while it is not the ideal option, it is nevertheless the only way to travel to Belize if we need to. If you or someone you know has inquiries on how to apply or on the status of your application, please visit and/or send an email to   
The month of August also reminded us of the power of endurance and perseverance as activists and reformers of the Women’s Suffrage movement won the right to vote 100 years ago through the passing of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. As Belize and the USA, prepare for Elections in November, let us exercise our right to vote and, above all, show tolerance and respect to each’s individual choice. 
To all Belizean parents and students, we wish you all the best in the transition to virtual learning! We are sharing in this edition, the latest updates on the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports & Culture’s decision to reopen schools for distance education as well as other Frequently Asked Questions. 

We are now in the middle of an active hurricane season so it is crucial to prepare and become familiar with the official websites from the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in Belize, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the USA among other key resources shared in this edition.
As Belize’s 39th Independence Day approaches on September 21st, the Diaspora in the US and around the world can all celebrate by way of an exciting virtual event hosted by the Embassy of Belize in the USA, with a special message from H.E. Daniel Gutierez and the Rt. Honorable Dean O. Barrow and the Consulates, along with a number of surprise entertainment and much more! This event will be held on Saturday, September 19th, 2020 (Save the Date flyer available). For the history of the Battle of St. George’s Caye and a special tribute to Belize’s cultural diversity, stay tuned! This and much more will be coming in September’s edition! 
As we close these summer days, we open it with Shrimp! Did someone say Shrimp?! And to think of so many ways to eat this delectable gift from the sea, shrimp cocktail, shrimp tacos, shrimp stir fry.....choices! It was a challenge to pick one shrimp dish but the enthusiasm was catching from one of Belize’s celebrity Chefs, Ms. Jennie Staines with her shrimp specialty, ‘Coconut Curry Shrimp’. Make sure to check it out in our “Recipe of the Month” and the upcoming e-Newsletter editions showcasing a special “Belizean Street Food series” (my favorite!). 
In this edition, we present the latest video addresses to the nation given by the Prime Minister of Belize, the Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow broadcasted on Friday, August 21st and 28th, 2020 providing an update on COVID-19 and the additional and pertinent response measures to be implemented. 
Similarly, we invite you to read this month’s informative message from the Ambassador of Belize in Washington, DC, H.E. Daniel Gutierrez, under “Ambassador’s Desk”. 
Enjoy scrolling through the news in the areas of tourism, community engagement, the environment, and much more in this edition: 
  • We take this opportunity to congratulate the City of Belmopan and its citizenry in their 50th Birthday! 
  • Don’t miss out catching up with the 4 Episodes from the ‘Dialogue with the Diaspora’, a new program that connects decision-makers at home with Belizeans abroad. 
  • Get the facts about the successful Belize Zoo Telethon! 
  • Discover why Belize is considered ‘the leader in ocean conservation’. 
  • Save the date for the upcoming ‘Virtual Independence Day Celebration’ organized by the Embassy of Belize in DC and the Consulates of Belize in the USA. 
  • Read on the achievements and nominations received by the Twin Palms and Cayo Espanto. 
  • Take note of the "Hurricane Preparedness Tips" to protect yourself and those you love, including your pets.
  • Learn more about the life of our “Star of the Month”, Belizean Dr. Randall Edgell, and his ample 20+ years’ experience in interventional radiology and neurology. 
  • Get excited to learn who is the oldest person in the US, who became the 75th Queen of the Bay, what Belizean Emil Cherrington is doing in NASA, and the history of how women received the right to vote 100 years ago on the “What’s Trending” section. 
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's contact information. We appreciate your cooperation and support in sharing your contact information, 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 September 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 Rt. Hon. Prime Minister
Watch the Latest Virtual Press Conferences:
August 21, 2020. Update on COVID-19 and Additional Response Measures.
August 28, 2020. Update on COVID-19 Prevention Measure.
From the Ambassador's Desk
H.E. Daniel Gutierez
Dear Members of the Belizean Community, 

As you may have heard, the Government of Belize has decided to reopen the Philip Goldson International Airport on the 1st of October 2020. This new reopening date comes as a response to a difficult economic situation that is brought about by the closure of the airport. The reopening is also responsive to the advances in testing approved by the FDA and made available by US manufacturer Abbott Laboratories. This new test with a stated high degree of reliability and quick results, is exactly what is needed to attempt the reopening of the PGIA. 

The Government of Belize has also heard the feedback from our people coming home, and has decided to make changes to the arrival protocol that while not compromising safety, will be more customer-friendly for returnees. We do take the opportunity to thank you all for the patience and comprehension you have shown during these most difficult of times. 

Additionally, we thank you for remaining well informed about what is happening in the Jewel. Unfortunately and as you may be aware, Belize has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases and there have been deaths associated with this upsurge. We hope that the additional measures introduced by our authorities stem that tide. Please continue to urge your family members back home to stay safe and be cautious. 

Lastly, in an effort to improve information flow between our diaspora and the homeland, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and partners in the Belize media have collaborated to produce and air 4 segments of "Dialogue with the Diaspora." The four shows titled: "The Reopening of the PGIA," "The Diaspora Returnee Incentive Program," "Land Matters," and "Engaging the New Generation Abroad" have aired on Channel 7 in Belize and are available for your viewing and information. As you will see, the shows provide interesting information that is of interest to many of our Belizeans in the United States. We hope you enjoy and continue to be safe. 

His Excellency F. Daniel Gutierez 
Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America 
& Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States 
#wavediflag #rememberitsgoodtobebelizean #wearewithyou #holdthefaith #belizeanstrong #thewaitisover
Belize Travel Health & Safety
The Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport remains closed at this time and only repatriation of Belizean nationals is currently taking place.
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
Belmopan Celebrates its 50th Birthday
Photo Credit: Belize Press Office
August 1, 2020. If it were not for Hurricane Hattie that Tuesday morning on October 31, 1961, Belize City would have probably remained the capital city of Belize until today. Due to this devastating calamity, the opportunity to build a new capital city emerge, making Belmopan one of the newest capital cities in the western hemisphere and the seat of the Government of Belize and National University.
Ambassador Gutierez Hosts Dialogue with the Diaspora
Photo Credit: Color Blind Multimedia Productions
August 13, 2020. This month, H.E. Daniel Gutierez, Ambassador of Belize to the United States hosted four successful episodes on the 'Dialogue with the Diaspora'. This program connects decision makers at home with Belizeans abroad to discuss topics important to the diaspora such as the repatriation process and the reopening of the PGIA (Watch Episode 1) , the Diaspora Returnee Incentive Program (DRIP) (Watch Episode 2), land matters (Watch Episode 3), and how to engage the new generation abroad (Watch Episode 4).
Belize Zoo Telethon Raises More than Expected
Photo Credit: The Belize Zoo
August 5, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the trickle of visitor traffic, the Belize Zoo had partnered with ColorBlind Multimedia to organize a telethon and get funding to keep feeding the animals at the zoo. Their goal was to raise $25,000 but the generosity of Belizeans went far and beyond reaching $32,700 dollars which will be used towards the care, nutrition, and enriched quality of life for over 200 animals in the Zoo's care. Those 200 represent 45 native species of Belizean wildlife.

The Management and staff of the Belize Zoo and the Tropical Education Sanctuary are expressing gratitude to everyone who has donated to the cause. Watch Telethon.
Belize adds another jewel in its crown as leader in ocean conservation
Photo Credit: Government Press Office
(WASHINGTON — August 5, 2020). Belize has announced another major milestone in its efforts to protect its marine resources and ocean ecosystems.

Signed by Belize’s minister of fisheries, forestry, environment and sustainable development, Omar Figueroa, a new statutory instrument authorizes the expansion of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve and protects an important reef ecosystem known as the Corona Reef or Cayman Crown, one of the best preserved reefs in the region. Read More.
Cayo Espanto is named as one of the best private islands in the world by Condé Nast Traveler.
August 18, 2020. This seven-villa private island is an all-access pass to the crystalline waters, colorful marine life, and world-class fishing that surrounds the world’s second-largest barrier reef. Read More.
Twin Palms receives Travelers Choice Award Once More!
Photo Credit: Twin Palms
August 5,2020. The Inn at Twin Palms was founded by Anna and Tim Smith in 2011 as a small, five-bedroom Bed & Breakfast. Since then, it has grown into a very successful 16-room boutique hotel, with 2 pools, a full-service breakfast kitchen, a fully-equipped gym, and an onsite chapel. After nine consecutive years, the Inn has been listed in the Top 25 Best Bed & Breakfasts in Central America and has been awarded the Travelers Choice Award once more. 
Ministry of Education shares Frequently Asked Questions - Updated Plans for the Reopening of School in Belize
Photo Credit: MOE
August 21, 2020. The Ministry of Education has made the decision to reopen schools for distance education only on the following dates: Preschools and Primary Schools: Monday, September 7, 2020 and Secondary Schools: Monday, October 5, 2020.
Get Ready for a Virtual Independence Day Celebration in the US
Photo Credit: Embassy of Belize in DC
August 20, 2020. As September approaches, many of you may be looking for safe and fun activities to celebrate the 39th Independence Day of Belize. Saturday, September 19th, 2020 will be your opportunity to join hundreds of Belizeans living in the US and abroad in this one of a kind Virtual Independence Day Celebration organized by the Embassy of Belize in Washington, DC. and the Consulates of Belize in the USA.
The peak of the season is here.
Check these useful Hurricane Preparedness Tips!

Today you can determine your personal hurricane risk, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and review/update insurance policies. Read More.

Follow these important hurricane preparedness tips from CDC:

  • Prepare for a hurricane: Take basic steps now to ensure your safety should a storm hit.
  • Get emergency supplies: Stock your home and your car with supplies. Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medicine supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies; however, that may not be an option for everyone. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others’ health when running essential errands.
  • Make a plan: Create a family disaster plan.
  • Prepare to evacuate: Never ignore an evacuation order. Pay attention to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including shelters for your pets.
  • Protect older adults: Understand older adult health and medical concerns.
  • Protect your pets: Ensure your pet’s safety before, during, and after a hurricane.
  • When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.

You may click any of the logos below to be directed to the respective websites and stay informed!
Belizean Frontline Responders around the USA
We thank you for all that you do!
Dee Ann Usher, RN
Memorial Hospital
Giselle Fonseca
Regional Manager, Miami Dade County at MD Now Urgent Care
Allan Ramirez 
Special Operations Firefighter/ Paramedic with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue
Kenneth Fraser
Los Angeles Firefighter 
Los Angeles, California
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
Photo Credit: BTB
In an effort to promote cross tourism between India, Mexico and Belize, the Belize Tourism Board was invited by the Embassy of India in Mexico to conduct a country presentation on the program “Atithi Devo Bhava: Tourism Promotion India-Mexico-Belize.”
Photo Credit: Beltraide
Our Green Economy: Your Trade Opportunity
Explore the steps that Belize continues to make towards sustainable development to attract high-quality investors like you in the newest edition of the Belize Invest Magazine.
Photo Credit: Caribbean Lifestyle
The Belize Gold Book is here! Delve into Belize’s rich cultures, history and natural beauty with this issue of the Belize Gold Book and spark the wanderlust bug inside of you.
...of the Month!
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
North Front Street
As the largest city in Belize and once the capital of the former British Honduras, Belize City is rich in history. The divisions of the city are linked by four bridges, the Belchina Bascule Bridge, the Belcan Bridge, a recently built fourth bridge, and the famous Swing Bridge, at Market Square and North Front Street.
Let us preserve and protect our historical landmarks & protected sites!

"Neva drap di bone fi ketch di shadow."

English Translation:
Never drop the bone to catch the shadow.

Stay satisfied with what you have.
Belizean Star of the Month!
Dr. Randall Edgell
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
Photo Credit: Dr. Randall Edgell
Dr. Randall Edgell is a neurologist working in St. Louis, Missouri at St. Louis University. He is the son of the late Alvin G. Edgell and well know Belizean author Zee Edgell. His family traveled the world during his early childhood due to his father's career in international aid and development. This explains his birth in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1975. He also lived in Bangladesh, Michigan, Somalia, and, Kenya as a child. He spent formative years in Belize City, attending St. Catherine's Elementary School from 1980 to 1982 and from 1986 to 1988.
He is a graduate of St. John's College class of 1992. Dr. Edgell received a scholarship to study at Grinnell College in Iowa, where he graduated with honors in psychology and met his wife of 20 years, Emily Shavers Edgell. He then attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He completed residency training in neurology at New York University and subspecialty training in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke. He was one of the first neurologists in the world to train in catheter-based, minimally invasive surgeries for stroke and brain aneurysms and was the first fellowship-trained interventional neurologist in the region when he joined Saint Louis University in 2007. 

He has played a pivotal role in scientific research into these minimally invasive surgeries which have largely replaced open brain surgery for the most deadly blood vessel-related brain conditions. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles and authored an instructional textbook on interventional neurology. In 2009 he established the first training program in interventional neurology at St. Louis University and one of the first in the country. It remains a prominent training center for this specialty in the US today. He has travelled internationally to train other neurologists to perform catheter-based surgery, including to Iran and Egypt. He was named a “Best Doctor” by Saint Louis Magazine in 2020. He and his wife have raised their three children, Isaac, Sophia, and Simon in St. Louis, but the family returns to Belize at least once a year.
Dr. Edgell has also remained engaged with Belize economically through investment, medically through several charitable organizations and volunteer efforts, as well as through his extended family and childhood friends. He is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Health which he hopes to utilize in Belize later in his career.
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
Meet Belizean Working at NASA Earth Applied Sciences Program
Photo Credit: NASA/Emil Cherrington
August 26, 2020. For 14-year-old Belize-born Emil Cherrington, opportunity first came in the form of a second-hand computer. Little did he know that that gift was the start of a series of lifelong opportunities from traveling the globe to eventually working at NASA. Read full article.
The 75th Queen of the Bay Pageant was a Success!
Photo Credit: Queen of the Bay Facebook page
August 30, 2020. A Queen Designate has officially been chosen. She is charming Miss Myra Sibrian who hails from our Capital city, Belmopan.
Oldest person in the U.S. celebrates 115th (or 116th) birthday Despite Pandemic
Photo Credit: USA Today
August 17, 2020. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, relatives and friends drove by Hester Ford's house in North Carolina to celebrate her 115th/116th birthday, leaving presents on the driveway, reported WBTV. Read More.
Centennial Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
Photo by ABC News
On August 18th, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by Tennessee, guaranteeing women the right to vote. It was not an easy journey for women but the perseverance of these brave suffragist paid off. Watch News Clip.
Recipe of The Month:
Coconut Curry Shrimp
#Rememberit'sgoodtobeBelizean #thewaitisover
Courtesy of Chef Jennie’s from Elvi's Kitchen

"On special occasions, my mom would cook curry chicken and serve it with rice, bananas, and raisins. She learned to use 'curry' when working at the Blake House. Growing up, that dish became my favorite so I decided to make my own version for the Elvi's Kitchen Restaurant replacing the curry chicken with shrimp and the bananas with fried plantains."

-Chef Jennie Staines
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • ¼ cup coconut oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced 
  • ¼ cup onion, diced 
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper, deseeded, diced 
  • ½ cup tomatoes, deseeded, diced 
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed 
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder 
  • 2 teaspoons creole pepper sauce  
  • 2 cups seafood or chicken stock 
  • 2 cups coconut milk 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped 
  1. Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat coconut oil in cast-iron pot or frying pan. Add garlic, ginger, onion, bell peppers and tomato.
  3. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add cardamom pods, curry powder and creole pepper sauce; stir well.
  5. Add shrimp, sauté for 5 minutes and set aside.
  6. Add stock and coconut milk to sautéed vegetables and reduce over medium heat for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Return shrimp to stock, add fresh cilantro and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Serve on a bed of freshly cooked coconut white rice and complement with fried ripe plantains.
Missed an Issue of our monthly newsletter?
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
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