Archive for the ‘Belize’ Category

Oil or Tourism?

On June 17, 2011 in Belize, Caye Caulker, Marine Series, News

Say NO to oil exploration in Belize Petition against oil exploration in Belize

Oil or Tourism? That is the question and one that for most of us would be easy to answer!! However, I am sorry to say, that the Government of Belize seems to want us to believe that it is possible to have both and have been pushing through licenses without the consent of the people both onshore and offshore!!

The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage was formed back in 8th June 2010 on World Ocean’s Day and is actively looking for a ban on all oil exploration, exploitation and production in Belize’s offshore and protected areas. Furthermore they are pushing to develop legislation and policies for onshore oil exploration, exploitation and production which will enable equitable distribution of oil revenues for Belize’s national development in an environmentally safe manner. – Sounds good to you? Well we are in full support!!!

The Coalition strives, through conducting educational presentations across Belize to inform the Belize people the dangers of the oil exploration. Their second task is to gather signatures of the Belizean people to force the government into a referendum – 17,000 signatures were necessary, the Coalition states that they have currently surpassed this number but they feel the need to continue gathering.

The major hurdle for the organization is the current Goverment and indeed the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, who unforgiving in his support for the drilling. He says that the windfall gained from the potential oil tax revenue will reduce debt and indeed be just what the country needs. He seems to care little about the threat to our environment.

We will, through this blog, continue to update you in the Coalitions endeavors to protect Belize’s environment!

Hurricane Season Has Begun, And So Can Your Holiday Plans For Belize!

On June 05, 2011 in Belize, Caye Caulker, News

Summer Holiday Satellite Image

There are many misconceptions about travelling during Hurricane Season, but I am here to tell you that there is no need to fret and that there can actually be some benefits to travelling during these months!

Hurricane Season began on the 1st of June and ends on the 30th of November, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t still book your holiday to Belize during this period. Although we can never predict if a hurricane will hit our region this year, the truth is that it is unlikely to happen as most of these storms end up being pushed up into the Gulf of Mexico or out towards Africa. In fact only 4 Hurricanes have directly hit Belize since the year 2000. However it is wet season so it is likely that you would experience more rain compared to other months, but for the tropics these rain showers generally occur in the morning or late at night leaving most of the day for you to relax or explore. Just yesterday for example it was rainy at 9am and the sky was filled with dark clouds, but by 10:30am the clouds disappeared and it was hot and sunny for the rest of the day.

The weather in Belize will still be ideal but by travelling during these months you will have the opportunity to get your hands on some cheaper flights and accommodation as prices are brought down. You will also be able to enjoy the fact that islands like Caye Caulker will not be jam-packed with tourists like it is in high season, making this paradise even more peaceful and relaxing!

So it’s true we don’t know what Mother Nature has install for us this year, but as long as you do your research and make the necessary preparations then there is no need to put your vacation plans on hold!

Most importantly we just hope that everyone in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean stay safe this Hurricane Season!

“Pirates Of The Caribbean” – Vinko’s Blog

On May 01, 2011 in Belize, Caye Caulker, News

“This is a blog following the Round The Bend Project, a cycle tour on bicycles through Central America – from Cancun to Panama. This independently funded project aims to survey the state of eco-tourism and lodging in the region while exploring the regional culture and its cuisine…” – Round The Bend Project Website.

Vinko, one of the writers of this blog was also recently a passenger on one of our famous 3 day sailing adventures to Placencia a few weeks back. He loved the trip and wanted to share his blog with us, which we loved! Thanks Vinko! All the best with the rest of your adventure.

There’s some great stuff about Caye Caulker in this link, as well as the section about Raggamuffin so click here and have a read for yourselves!

Easter Weekend On Caye Caulker

On April 27, 2011 in Belize, Caye Caulker, News

Easter weekend is always a big one on Caye Caulker, and this Easter was no exception. Loads of locals boarded the water taxi and made their way to the island to spend their holiday in the sun and water. There were DJ’s pumping out music from HUGE speakers on the new deck at The Split all weekend and the loud beats definitely drew in the crowds. People were piled around the bar ordering drinks, while others just relaxed in the water or laid on the sand, and the dance floor opened up long before the sun went down each day. There was a great vibe in the air.

But the celebrations really kicked off on Saturday night with several parties happening across the island. Oceanside had live bands playing, Jello bar had Belizean Punta star Supa G performing – which was incredible, as well as the beach party down at The Split. The streets were filled for most of the night as everyone made their way from one party to another to make sure they weren’t missing out on anything. But the night ended down at Jello at 5 in the morning with the crowd dragging their sore legs home after hours of dancing. It was a lot of fun!

The Raggamuffin office was closed on Easter Sunday so that the crew could spend the day eating chocolate and relaxing with their friends and families (and to recover from the night before in some cases)…..But we reopened on Easter Monday with full force as people hurried to get themselves a spot on one of our boats going out to Hol Chan. Three full boats went out which was awesome!

It’s always great seeing the island so busy and everyone having such a great time together. It really is a special time of year out here for us…..But then again it’s always a good time out on Caye Caulker :) We hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well!!!

HAPPY EASTER!!!!

Getting Sandy For The Manatees

On April 16, 2011 in Belize, Caye Caulker, News

Yesterday some of the kids from Caye Caulker Primary School headed down the beach on Front Street, outside Chocolate’s (creator of the Swallow Caye Manatee Reserve), to participate in a sand modelling competition in celebration of Earth Day and also to raise awareness about the conservation of Manatees and their environment. Naturally the kids were thrilled to have an excuse to be out of the classroom, but they were also very passionate about the cause.

They split up in to groups, got creative and started building sculptures of Manatees out of sand. They ran back and forth collecting sand and piling it up and shaping its body. Some groups made just one big Manatee, while others created both a mother and a baby. It was great walking around and seeing all the different interpretations – No two were the same.

Once they were all done the judges walked around to each group and asked them to explain what they knew about the Manatee and describe how they built their sculptures and what they wanted to show. All the kids did such a wonderful job. Lots of people – tourists and locals alike – stopped out of interested and took the time to walk around and see what was going on.

Well done to everyone involved!!! The Manatee is such a BIG, beautiful creature and we need to do whatever we can to ensure its survival…..these kids are doing their part to make sure that happens!

Alastair & Zoe’s Voyage to Placencia!

On March 24, 2011 in Belize, Caye Caulker, News

We always love recieving emails from our passengers after they have been on one of our trips, telling us what a great time they had. Hearing such praises just makes us love what we do even more.

We recieved one of these gratifying emails just recently from Alastair and Zoe and thought we would share it with you. They also included some links to their blog page called Two Left Feet, which also includes some amazing photos from there 3 day trip to Placencia with us. These links can be found below. It really is worth checking out, so have a read through and see for yourself!

Thanks Alastair and Zoe!
________________________________________________

Hey,

We took the 3 day tour to Placencia about 2 weeks ago with Jerry, Jacob and Chris….
Just wanted to let you know that we had a blast, such an amazing trip, the crew were fantastic….Some pics are up on our travel blog, links below…Mike was also pleased we didnt see any pirates :) Thanks so much again and please pass on our thanks to the crew!!

Click here….
…and here

Cheers
Alastair

A Trip to Hopkins for Reynolds

On March 09, 2011 in Belize, Caye Caulker, News, Ragga Crew

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Early on Saturday morning many of Reynolds’ friends and family began the journey down to Hopkins for the end of his Nine Nights celebration (a Garifuna memorial service) – This is considered the family’s final farewell to the spiritual double of the dead who is believed to remain in the house after the burial. It is only now that his trip to the other world begins. This service would generally occur nine nights after the burial, but in this instance it happened later.

We all definitely had mixed feelings on our way there. We never would have missed it, but it certainly began to bring up old feelings from when Ren passed, and at a time when we were just beginning to come to terms with the whole situation, so it was difficult for us. It was hard to know how we would feel when we went back his grave, but we just wanted to be there to set our friend free.

We went to Reynolds’ family home soon after arriving in Hopkins to visit his Mother and the rest of the family in order to show our support. It was while we were out the back of the house talking to Aunty Jane that Patrick turned to all of us and said “Jasre is here” – for those who don’t know this is Reynolds’ beautiful daughter, the joy of his life. We hadn’t seen her since just after the funeral as she had left the island with her mother, and we had no idea that she would be there. It was such a blessing to see her laughing a playing along the beach with the other children. She is looking more and more like her father, and you could definitely feel his presence all around her. It was a wonderful moment.

Beautiful JasreRemoving the pins - Releasing the spirit

The celebrations began as the sun went down. People gathered in the front yard and listened to the Garifuna drumming as well as to a DJ who played songs for Reynolds that would awaken his spirit. We talked, drank rum and shared our memories of Reynolds throughout the night. And at midnight we gathered around a table cover in pieces of coloured cloth and paper that was set up in the middle of the yard to represent his grave. As part of the Garifuna culture we each took the time to search through the pile of fabric and ribbons and remove all of the pins that were attached – this is done as an act of releasing the spirit. This is what you can see on top of his grave in the photos above. The cloths were then packed up into a box, ready to take to the burial ground at sunrise. The music and celebrations carried on till the early hours of the morning and could be heard all across the town, which was otherwise in a sleeping silence.

Then as the sun began to light up the horizon we made our way to the cemetery for the final service. This was the hardest part. We gathered around Ren’s yellow and white grave, where he is buried above his brother, and placed our hands on him and lost ourselves in prayer and thought. Only the sounds of a drum and a wailing family member could be heard, which only added to the already sombre moment. As the drummer eventually left the cemetery we were left in silence. None of us really knew what to say. It was still all so surreal. Even almost 4 months down the track it is still impossible to believe that he is gone, and we were again left asking ‘why’? Why did he have to leave us? We will never be able to get an answer to that question, but over time the acceptance and healing will bring us some peace. We kissed his grave and said our goodbyes to our friend and walked away knowing that he is now truly free. It was heartbreaking to have to leave him behind. We headed down the beach on watched the end of the sunrise…. The beginning of a new day.

Keep resting in peace Ren. We love you.