Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category
Ocean Academy, the Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School and Little Stars Pre School paraded to celebrate their love for Belize this morning.
Children in the CCRCS had voted during the week for their Class Queen and Kings and each class decorated a golf cart upon which their chosen King and Queen rode upon. Mia Cutkelvin was voted (by the children of the school) to be class Queen and she was crowned Queen in a small ceremony at the Park before the parade.
Caye Caulker was alive with the sound of the drummers, the colors of red, white and blue scattered around and the excitement in the air with September celebrations.
Roll on Independence!!!
Firstly we have to remark that September’s weather has been unusually glorious. Yes, we have been experiencing hot weather but the traditional September cloud and overcast skies are not present – sunshine has been continuous and with that we have happy tourists and islanders – the law of averages would suggest that a little rainfall should be on its way before September closes??
Tourism is definitely down on previous years Septembers. The streets are unusually slow, some would say that they never really picked up after Hurricane Ernesto and we would tend to agree. The Split is populated with a more local vibe than tourist – not a bad thing a local energy is always a good one but the balance is necessary for everyone to sustain an income.
It must be noted that tourism perhaps is just taking a different pattern than previous years as the high season this year saw an increase – it is just this slow period that appears to have taken a drop – could this be accounted for the numbers of hurricane scares in this period over the last few years??
Along with the drop in tourism we have noticed a closing of businesses slightly earlier than usual – Habaneros, Don Coroleone, Rainbow, Barefoot Caribe and Sandbox have all been closed the past week – not to mention that the cake lady has dropped a number of her daily outings!!!
September 10th on the island went past without a drum, a whistle or a swinging of engine – this is not unusual. We are hoping that the September Celebrations Committee have got it all in store for us for September 21st as we are all saving ourselves for this big bang!! Roll on September!!
The pride of all Belizean’s overflows during the month of September and nowhere better can it be seen than during the Carnival to celebrate the 10th September. This Saturday, was no exception. The city comes alive as its inhabitants prepare for this annual spectacle.
Like many countries around the world, Belize is totally broke – and with 90% of Belizeans under the poverty line, you would have expected the budget for what some may consider, non-necessities (like costumes for Carnival) being low or non existant. But this Saturday showed us all Belize’s heart, her pride and her glory in full color on the streets of Belize as float after float slowly paraded down the streets. Belizeans expressed their love for their country as they danced to celebrate their independence and 10th September – and they did so in style!
From the Caribbean flavor of the Coca Cola truck’s steel drum pirates to Lova Boy singing live on the Belikin truck – the crowd were wowed with crew after crew’s performance and costumes. Yes the country is in desperate need of financial assistance – but what is clear is that the country is bursting with National pride and is fully capable of putting on a parade to rival that of Rio itself!!
This is the month where we in Belize and Caye Caulker celebrate two significant dates in Belize’s history – firstly 10th September – the Battle of St Georges Caye, where the Baymen fought off the Spaniards to defend their territory. And secondly 21st September is Belize’s Independence.
So the month of September becomes one that we find every reason to party or even to adorn our houses, our golf carts and even ourselves in National pride – red, white and blue! Tomorrow, many (not all) will travel to the City to watch the carnival take place – this is a colorful extravaganza in notably sweltering heat!!
So … as the celebrations begin … we wish to welcome in the month of September and enjoy all it has to offer us!!
As we watch the island slow down of traffic – in the last week we have gone from hectic busy to dead slow – we are faced with the realities of the months to come.
Firstly, back to school! Everybody is somehow affected by this huge deal – either you have children or you are related or friends children are gearing up for a new school year. The financial commitment with regard to school uniforms and books have had parents traveling to Belize City to complete their children’s book requirements, not to mention accessories! School here on Caye Caulker will commence on Monday and therefore this week and indeed weekend is precious – the final moments of a child’s freedom before the next school year commences!
And, as expected, along with the summer disappearing in front of our eyes, so do the tourists … no more scantily clad Italians meandering up and down our sandy roads – so long, until next year!! Businesses each cope with the slow season as best they can – for us at Raggamuffin, we close for October. Many of the restaurants will do the same, some may close in September too. Its a time for all staff to take a break, a holiday and re-charge those well needed batteries in preparation for November – the beginning of a new season!!
And finally – the weather – although hurricane season quite literally spans from June to the end of November – for us here in Belize, hurricanes or bad weather traditionally creeps up on us in the months of September and October. So the next few months become a time for us to watch the weather to ensure that we all remain safe. Truthfully this year the Caribbean waters (that which gives any of these storms the fuel for which to increase in strength) seem cooler than we have seen in the past 5 years or so. This is good, it really looks like it is not possible for any kind of weather threat to find us this year – locals would say that they could ‘feel it’!!
So all in all … the holiday is over .. back to reality, which in Paradise is still not the same as many of yours!!!
When you live here, year in and year out – you get to realize that in the day to day running of Caye Caulker there are some silent heros. These are the people who really do make a difference to our community but they get very little acknowledgement or praise for what they actually do.
One such person that will always have my huge respect is Luis Alcocer. Luis has been born and raised in Caye Caulker, truthfully not far from the Raggamuffin Tours office – and for 10 of his 29 year life, he has worked at the Village Council. Now truthfully there are a number of willing and able men and women that work at the Village Council (all of whom really should get a mention) but Luis has been one of the longest standing and that deserves a medal itself!!
Luis is the man that we have to thank for our clean streets. He walks up and down the island daily raking and picking up garbage and fallen tree leaves making the streets that have captured the imagination of so many, the picturesque images that they are today. What makes his job so unbearably exhausting is the tropical heat and humidity he has to undertake his work – and that, twinned with the unrelenting sunshine beating down on his head, would be enough to make most of us give up after a week – never mind 10 years!
What makes this man our hero today is that even though he has one of the toughest jobs in the world, Luis is one of the friendliest and charming characters on the street today. He remains so up-beat, despite being layered with thick clothes and hat to protect him from the sun – his demeanor being more of a person on the way to the Split for a relaxing swim and a beer than somebody at work!
One of Luis’s water stops is Raggamuffin, as he always stops in to fill up his bottle with our cold water – always polite, always grateful for his small reward and always, always with a huge smile on his face.
Thank you Luis for all your hard work for Caye Caulker – your endeavors have not gone un-noticed!
In so many ways the children of Caye Caulker are truly blessed with their barefoot, free spirited life-style that is so charmed. But once in a while we have to give thanks to the tourist/ passers by who wish to share their gifts - be it their talent, their knowledge even their purse to benefit our children!
Yesterday was one of those days as Rachel Fournet-Fayard, travelling from Paris, France wished to entertain the kids with her creative and fun talent – balloon shaping! Rachel met up with Adela at the Raggamuffin Tours office two days ago and together they hatched their plan for Adela to hold a kids party for her daughter Joannie the following day.
Rachel’s talent is truly beyond what any of us have ever imagined and the kids were amazed at what she created – from Octopus, horses, dogs, fairy wands and hats etc etc. Rachel even allowed the kids to interact with her creative technique and witness how she was able to put together these works of art!
If you want to see more of what Rachel’s artwork – please have a look at her website www.rachelanimation.com. Thank Rachel for entertaining our kids all afternoon!!
It began on Friday with one of the most tightly contested Miss Lobster Fests in history and the rest of the weekend did not disappoint too!! Congratulations again to Miss Sylvia Joseph – she was definitely Raggamuffin’s favorite choice and I believe the island too. However, it must be said, in any given other year, any one of the other contestants could have been the winner!!!!
The turnout was enormous .. the streets from Friday onwards were teaming with those wanting fun and of course lobster and we were all rewarded with both!! After the very successful pageant on Friday night, contestants and the audience dance did not end until 4am. And again on Saturday, the big bash, the party did not finish until 5am!!!
The atmosphere was electric for the entire weekend, everybody was out to enjoy the music and the energy that this annual celebration creates. The Split also (as usual) had their say and provided additional entertainment for the weekend. Many of the night time revelers nursing their hangover with yet another beer or similar during the day – not forgetting their very memorable greasy pole hanging out on to the water causing much attention!!
This is the one time of the year that the lights are really upon Caye Caulker as San Pedro and Placencia had already had their Lobster Fest last weekend. We shone, we did ourselves proud in true Caye Caulker style – bashment – for anyone that wanted to celebrate with us!!
Thank you, thank you and thank you again to the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest committee – each year just keeps getting better – our expectations for 2013 are high!!
Lobster Fest is not officially underway, but we just wanted to to tingle your taste buds to let you know about a little of what you will be missing out of – or perhaps even taking part of!!!! The lobster is already being prepared this afternoon – the stalls set up and the preparation of lobster is ready to go …
The official Miss Lobster Fest Pageant is currently underway and photos will follow, however, we want to let you into a little secret of what will follow ….
As you can see, the Split has developed their own ‘Greasy pole’ (as yet un-greased) and locals and tourists alike have been practicing their skills for the past 24 hours (some have already perfected it!!!!). The Spilt this afternoon already had that ‘party atmosphere’ and we were there to join … were you???
Be there, or miss out …. LOBSTER FEST 2012!!!!