Archive for the ‘Belize’ Category

Garbage Warriors recruiting!!

On March 31, 2012 in Belize, Caye Caulker, News

Garbage by the sea Garbage Warriors

As you can imagine, much of the garbage that is found in Caye Caulker actually comes from the sea. Thankfully in the centre of town there is the Village Council crew that clean up this unsightly plastic from off our beach. However, in the less developed areas this unsightly garbage can build up dramatically and therefore a number of concerned locals have put together a task force to combat this pollutant!!

This motley crew was spearheaded by Sally Ringsred, Luciana Essenziale, Jane Peoples, Dorothy Bevereridge and Ellen Armstrong (and a few more I probably have forgotten and I apologize) – all naturalized Caye Caulker residence. They have grown in local support on the island and also have recruited a number of very helpful tourists who are helping them stem this problem.

Dani and Ces at 88 West! Luciana's golf cart is the garbage truck!

88 West, the bar/ restaurant underneath Belize Dive Services lent their assistance by inspiring those who offered their time for the cause a free drink at their bar – a notable method of supporting this effort!

As you can see from the photos, this is indeed a worthy cause for our island and we are therefore very grateful!! The idea of the collection is to become a monthly activity and anybody interested to get themselves involved are very much welcome!

So we at Raggamuffin want to give thanks for those that donate their time and their hard work to making this island the beautiful attraction that it is today!! THANK YOU!!

UDP all the way!

On March 08, 2012 in Belize, News

The Victor - Manuel Heredia

The battle was far tighter than anyone could have imagined for both Area and General Elections – and upon reflection the results would indicate that the country was not happy with either party. UDP will take responsibility for their second term here in Belize and with them, Manuel Heredia of the UDP hang on to Belize Rural South, under which Caye Caulker lies.

The margins in our Area election were tight … Manuel Heredia obtained 2,479 to Patty Arceo’s 2,026. Importantly Patty resoundingly won the heart of Caye Caulker and this hopefully sends a message to Heredia to do better for our island in his next term.

Congratulations needs to be sent out to both parties as their teams on the ground fought hard and fair for this nail biting race!

Red or Blue – which one are you?

On March 07, 2012 in Belize, News

Patti Arceo and the PUP team Will UDP's Dean Barrow remain our Prime Minister?

It would appear to be just any normal holiday as banks and schools are closed, however, this is no ‘normal’ day in Caye Caulker! Today is the day when we get to exercise democracy by marking a big cross by the name of the person that you feel best represents you and our wonderful country of Belize – yes it is election day!!

The A - J polling station in Caye Caulker

This blog wishes to be non-partisan as who wants to hear some political rant from Raggamuffin’s HQ – however,the energy on the street today requires you to draw your line in the sand and take your side – red or blue, which one are you?

Notably, by the time this blog has been written, Patti Arceo the PUP candidate was here on Caye Caulker, very much making her presence known here on the island – something that islanders here in Caye Caulker know and love her for as historically she has been both friend and Area Rep for Caye Caulker.

As for the UDP, a more subdued support for the Hon Manuel Heredia, current representative of Belize Rural South and indeed our Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation – but that could be a reflection of those Villagers beliefs that little has been done for Caye Caulker in his four year reign.

Within hours we will have the results for this area and indeed for the country – and for some it will be a relief as tomorrow it will all be over!

The weekend was all about Harry!

On March 05, 2012 in Belize

Prince Harry meets with Dean Barrow and Francis Fonseca Belizean well wishers

Prince Harry arrived on his private jet into Philip Goldson Airport on Friday 2nd March! And, for us here in Belize, the weekend was all about Harry!! Greeting him on the tarmac was Hon Dean Barrow, Francis Fonseca and The Govenor General Sir Coleville Young.

Prince Harry attempting to Punta Prince Harry attempts to Brukdown!

Within hours of his arrival, Prince Harry was furiously driven to Belmopan for a fun fueled evening of drinking and dancing – something that the Prince clearly approved of!! There were the usual ceremonies, speeches but all very much in accordance with Harry’s more informal character – his ‘Unu come, mek we go paati’ melting the hearts of the Belizean audience!!

The view from El Castilo

The following day commenced with visiting the OAS Adjancency Zone and then moving to the Maya ruin Xunantunich where he scaled 130ft El Castilo temple. He was treated to a fashion show by environmentalist/fashion designer Joris Hendrick and christened a canoe being sponsored by the British High Commission for this years up coming Ruta Maya. He finished his tour on Saturday afternoon by visiting Price Barracks and BATSUB.

And then he was gone, leaving us with photos and memories – come back Prince Harry, there is so much more of Belize you have yet to discover … I think he would like it here, don’t you??

Prince Harry to visit Belize!!

On February 22, 2012 in Belize

Prince Harry Prince Harry!

Did you know that Prince Harry is expected to arrive in Belize on Friday, March 2nd, 2012 as a part of the celebration to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s II Diamond Jubilee???

The Prince will be visiting Belmopan and San Ignacio during his whirlwind visit to Belize for which the Belize Tourism Board in collaboration with the Government of Belize has organized a packed schedule of activities for him to maximize his visit to the country.

Unfortunately for us here on Caye Caulker (and for that matter San Pedro) he will not be making even a fleeting visit to the islands as the visit has a more cultural leaning than sun, sea, sand and coconut trees!!!

The visit of the youngest Prince will surely be of historical significance for our jewel of a country – it is just a shame that he does not have more time to spend here as we know that our fantastic overnight adventure to Placencia would be one that Harry would dearly love!!

Rt. Honourable George Cadle Price – Father of the Nation – by Shary Trejo, Island Link Cafe and Internet

On September 26, 2011 in Belize

Rt Honorable George Cadle Price

As Belize prepared for its 30th Anniversary of Independence on Wednesday, September 21st 2011, the death of the Rt. Honourable George Cadle Price shocked the country; 2 days short of his milestone achievement.

Mr. Price was born in Belize City on January 15th 1919 and died on September 19th 2011, aged 92. He is considered to be one of the principal architects of the country’s independence. He was the first Prime Minister of Belize and one of the founders of the People’s United Party (PUP). Mr. Price led the country from its colonial state, British Honduras, into the independent country, Belize. Because of him, Belize is what it is today.

Mr. Price, served as a Member of the Legislative Council from 1954-1961, The Legislative Assembly from 1961 to 1964, The House of Representatives from 1964-1984, First Minister from 1961 to 1964, Premier from 1964 to 1981 and Prime Minister of Belize from 1981 to 1984, and 1989 to 1993. He was awarded the status of National Hero by the Government of Belize, the Jose Marti Award – Cuba’s Highest Award by President Fidel Castro, and the Order of the Caribbean Community.

The Right Honourable George Cadle Price is and will always be known as the “Father of the Nation”, “Father of Independence”, a “National Hero” among other titles given to him by both Belizeans and others.

Today, September 26th 2011, a state funeral was held in the city of Belmopan, our capital, and was attended by much family, friends, colleagues and especially the citizens of Belize. To him we give thanks for giving the country of Belize its own identity.

Independence Celebrations Video – by Island Link Internet Cafe!

On September 23, 2011 in Belize

For those who want to see the parade in it’s entirety … thanks to Island Link Internet Cafe, we have it!!

Back To Business As Usual After Tropical Storm Harvey

On August 21, 2011 in Belize, Caye Caulker, News

The sun is back out a day after TS Harvey passed through Belize

We had been watching the weather reports closely for several days as a low pressure system began building out in the Caribbean Sea near the coast of Nicaragua. By Thursday the system had become a tropical depression and on Friday it was officially named Tropical Storm Harvey off the coast of Honduras. It was at this stage that warnings for the coast of Belize were sent out and people on the island and across the country were listening closely to the radio for updates and beginning to make preparations to be ready for when the storm would reach us on Saturday afternoon.

Early Saturday morning most of the Ragga bwoys headed down to the office and then began moving all of our boats around to the back of the island were they would be safe from the breeze and surges. The rain was coming down hard but the crew got everything done and then we just waited it out. There were reports that the storm could increase to a hurricane when it reached land in Belize and that it would hit further down south near Dangriga. We still stayed on alert though because you never know what Mother Nature will do. But by lunch time the storm was weakening and it was clear that Caye Caulker wouldn’t be feeling the wrath of Harvey. We were just hoping that everyone would stay safe down south.

Harvey made landfall in Belize at 1pm and made its way west. Stann Creek district and Cayo district received a lot of rain which caused some flash flooding, but overall Harvey caused a lot less damaged then was expected which was a huge relief. On Caye Caulker we had nothing more than some clouds and a slight breeze. You never would have even known there was a tropical storm passing over. We got very lucky.

We unfortunately had to cancel two overnights planned for Friday and Saturday due to the weather, but the sun is shining again today and we are back to business as usual! Let’s just hope that Belize has no more threats for the remainder of the hurricane season and everyone stays safe!

A Look In To Rastafari

On July 27, 2011 in Belize, Culture, News

Emperor Haile Selassie Ital Food

There are many misconceptions surrounding the Rastafari Movement with many people believing that to be Rasta simply means to have dreadlocks and to smoke ‘ganja’ while listening to Bob Marley. Although these certainly are customs of this “religion” (Rastafarians refer to their beliefs as a way of life as opposed to a Religion) it is much deeper than that. Because Belize has a substantial amount of Rastafari followers I thought it would be worthwhile to give some information and history into this movement for those who are interested.

The Rastafarian faith was born in Jamaica in the 1930’s due in great part to a man named Marcus Garvey who’s aim was to unite the black community in his country and promote freedom from oppression, black pride and to reconnect his people to their African homeland. It was a prophecy preached by Garvey in 1927 that became the foundation for this faith when he told his followers, “Look to Africa where a black King will be crowned, he will be your redeemer”. Just three years later on November 2nd 1930 Emperor Haile Selassie I was crowned King of Ethiopia. It was then that the movement received it’s official title after the Emperor’s birth name, Ras Tafari. Rastas believed Emperor Selassie to be the physical presence of God (or Jah) on earth, referring to him as ‘King of Kings’ and ‘Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah’. Selassie was King of Ethiopia until 1974 when he was pushed out by a military coup and kept under house arrest until he was apparently killed by his captors in 1975. Many Rastas believed that his death was a hoax, and that he lives on in hiding until the Day of Judgment. Others say that he lives on through individual Rastafarians.

Rastafarians believe in the Judeo-Christian God, whom they call Jah. In general, Rastafarian beliefs are based in Judaism and Christianity, with an emphasis on Old Testament laws and prophecies and the Book of Revelation. Jah was manifested on earth as Jesus, who Rastas believe was black, and Emperor Haile Selassie. Selassie is referred to as His Imperial Majesty or H.I.M. (pronounced “him”). Rastafarians do not believe in an afterlife, but instead look to Africa (called “Zion”) as a heaven on earth. True Rastas are believed to be immortal, both physically and spiritually, a concept called “everliving.” An important Rastafarian concept is “I and I,” which is said instead of “you and I.” It emphasizes the oneness between humanity and God as well as the equality of all humans. Another central concept is Babylon, which refers to the white power structure of Europe and the Americas. Rastas seek to resist Babylon, which once cruelly enslaved blacks and still continue to hold them down through poverty, illiteracy, inequality, and trickery. The greed and conceit of Babylon is contrasted with the humble simplicity and naturalness of the Rastas.

Some of the most common practices of the Rastafarian Movement are as follows:

Marijuana (Ganja)

Marijuana is regarded as a herb of religious significance. It is used in Rastafari reasoning sessions, which are communal meetings involving meditation. Marijuana is used by Rastafarians to heighten feelings of community and to produce visions of a religious and calming nature. It is believed to open the mind and allow you to have a greater understanding of the world.
(* I must note that Marijuana is illegal in the entire country of Belize, as it is in most parts of the world. Please understand if you are caught using Marijuana during your stay in Belize there will be legal ramifications)

Bob Marley One Love

Dreadlocks

Rastafarians can often be recognised from the way they style their hair. Rastafarians grow their hair long, before coiling it into dreadlocks. The wearing of hair in dreadlocks by Rastafarians is believed to be spiritual; this is justified in the Bible: They shall not make baldness upon their head – Leviticus 21:5.
Rastas may also refrain from shaving their facial hair and grow beards following the same principle as above.

Diet

• Rastafarians eat strictly I-tal which means natural and clean
• Early Rastafarians are unlikely to eat meat, scavengers or shellfish
• Rastafarians do not eat pork
• Rastafarians regularly eat fish, but will not eat fish more than twelve inches long
• Rastafarians eat copious amounts of vegetables, as they are of the earth, and therefore good
• Food is prepared without salt, and coconut oil is the most likely form of oil to be utilised
• Rastafarians do not drink alcohol
• They do not drink milk or coffee, but will drink anything herbal, grown from natural roots, e.g. herbal tea
• Rastafarians consume plentiful amounts of fruit and fruit juice

Red, Gold, Green and Black

When you arrive in Belize you will notice lots of people dressed in red, gold and green or wearing jewelry in these colors. This is because these are the colors of the Rasta Movement. Red stands for the triumphant church of the Rastas as well as the blood of the martyrs in the black struggle for liberation. Gold represents the wealth of their African homeland and green symbolizes Ethiopia’s beauty and lush vegetation. Black is often also included, representing the color of the Africans. You may have noticed that the Raggamuffin logo, boats and office are adorned in these colors.

Bob Marley

The reason Bob Marley has essentially become the face of Rastafari was that he helped spread awareness of the religion among outsiders through his appearances and his lyrics. Many people believe that Bob Marley was the main factor in the spread of Rastafari to the USA, Canada, most of Europe, Africa and Australasia. His lyrics were influential in the spread of political and social ideas of the Rastafarian movement. He spoke out against the inequality experienced by the black community and the negativity they were subjected to.

So there you have it! Hopefully now you will have a better understanding of what Rastafari is when you encounter it in Belize. In Belize you will find both strict followers of Rastafari as well as people who incorporate only some of these customs to their lives (eg. dreadlocks and a vegetarian diet). If you have any more questions or would like to find out more, just talk to the locals while you are here. Belizeans love to talk and answer questions regarding their country and culture :)

Raggamuffin Tours Named in Wild Junket’s Top 10!!!

On July 19, 2011 in Belize, Caye Caulker

Wild Junket is a very popular travel blog written by an adventurous writer named Nellie Huang who is exploring the globe and recording her experiences on her blog and giving her fellow travellers advice and tips for their own holidays.

In one of the latest blogs on Wild Junket Caye Caulker became the topic of discussion for Nellie. She listed her opinion of the Top 10 Things To Do while on this island paradise…….and Raggamuffin Made the cut!!!! Nellie made mention to both the Raggamuffin Sunset sailing tour as well as our 3 day sailing adventure to Placencia.

Click here and have a read for yourself so you can plan out your upcoming visit to Caye Caulker :)

Thanks for the shout out Wild Junket!!!!