Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Birthday Wishes For Chris!!!

On June 29, 2011 in News, Ragga Crew


Another birthday shout out to give for this month, and this time it is for Chris (a.k.a Big Buff Chris) :)

Chris is one of the newest members of the Ragga Crew, coming on board in November of last year, but in that short time he has become a very valuable member of the team and also highly regarded by the passengers on his tours. You will always see Chris with a big smile on his face, and that combined with his easy going attitude and dedication to work make him great at his job!

Much like Jacob, Chris was born in Belize City and then moved to the US when he was 4 years old. After several years growing up in the states he moved back to Belize in 2008 and is now right at home living the island life on Caye Caulker :)

We hope that you have a wicked birthday today Chris. Much love and blessings from everyone at Raggamuffin!


Patrick & Allie vs The Love FM Kayak Challenge

On June 28, 2011 in Caye Caulker, News, Ragga Crew

On the weekend, as many of you may already know, Captain Patrick and Allie took part in the first Love FM Island Kayak Challenge. The challenge involved Kayaking from Belize City to San Pedro over a period of two days, ending the first day on Caye Caulker. This was no small task but they were both determined to give it a try.

The first day of the race was definitely the most demanding, and two teams dropped out early on. They battled against huge waves to get out of Belize City and paddled none stop until they reached the first check point at St. Georges Caye. Allie had to get out of the kayak and run up the beach to grab a flag and take it over to the officials. They had already been sitting on the kayak for about 4 hours so Allie’s legs could barely hold her up when she tried to run.

They were only half way through the course when they left St. Georges and were feeling very sore and tired. Captain Raf went out as there service boat and followed them the whole way making sure they had enough to drink and giving the fruits and power bars when they needed it……and of cause encouraged them and keep them motivated. He pumped out music from his boat for them to keep their energy and spirits up.

Two hours later they came into Caye Chaple were it was Patrick’s turn to run up and grab a flag. They were on the home stretch to Caye Caulker now and both Patrick and Allie said this was the hardest part because they were so close but so exhausted that the last hour just dragged on……..But after 7 hours they finally turned into the shore and headed towards Central Park as the sound of cheers and applause erupted from the huge group of locals waited on the beach for them. They drifted in with big smiles on their faces, so moved by the support that they were being shown. It was an emotional moment. They came in last that day (besides the 2 teams that dropped out), but to the people of Caye Caulker it was as though they came in 1st! There was an immense feeling of pride in the air. It was incredible.

With aching bodies and blistered hands, Patrick and Allie dragged themselves home for some much needed rest as they had to do it all over again in the morning.

The next day the crowds gathered again as Team Caye Caulker set off with the other eight remaining teams as they paddled towards the finish line at San Pedro. The winds were high and the race route was all in opens seas so it was a tough course but the guys kept up a fast pace and stayed in rhythm the whole way. It was very impressive. Big storm clouds were looming above and you could see the rain coming down in the distance, but it stayed away in the end.

Patrick and Allie were neck and neck with 2 other teams the whole way. They took over one team with ease and left them behind, but they just couldn’t get to the team in front in time and they came in about 5 mins ahead of our guys……But it didn’t matter, they had made it to the end and they couldn’t be happier!!!

Team Caye Caulker ended up coming in 9th overall out of 11 teams but regardless they are heroes to everyone on the island! They were the only mixed team in the race (Big up to Allie for being the only female and giving the men a run for their money) and went up against professional teams after practicing together only twice. They were brave and determined and never gave up and that makes them champions!!!!

Thank you to everyone who showed their support. Patrick and Allie are so grateful. It was your belief in them that got them to the finish line.

Congratulations Allie and Patrick. You have inspired us all!

Standard VI Graduates – and Goodbye Ms Enelda Rosado!

On June 23, 2011 in Caye Caulker, News

Aricelli Cadle giving speech for Ms Neldy as another student presents her with gift. The girls with their certificates of graduation

As the summer holidays draw near, so does the coming of age for our Standard VI Graduates and their Graduation marks their time to move onward! This year, amongst the line up we are proud to say that two Raggamuffin Captains and indeed fathers Jahlee Jones and Harrison Cadle each had a daughter graduating – Kira Jones and Aricelli Cadle respectively.

The father’s sat in the audience proudly and patiently as their offspring collected their awards – this graduation being special as it was also held on Father’s Day!! Aricelli Cadle, grandaughter of the famous Lionel Heredia or Chocolate as more fondly call him won 5 Awards for her diligence over the past year and made her Grandpa exceedingly proud.

Jacob Raggema giving his valedictorian speech Happy to be graduating

Jacob Roggema of the Cocoplum dynasty was Valedictorian for the year and gave a heartfelt speech that had all bystanders welling up – congratulations Jacob!!

It was also a very sad moment where we had to say ‘good bye’ to the Principal Ms Enelda Rosado as she is retiring! Ms Neldy as she was better known, will be very sadly missed by teachers, pupils and parents alike!!! During the graduation a short slide-show was put together to honor her 20 years here in Caye Caulker!

Happy Birthday to Jacob!!!!

On June 23, 2011 in News, Ragga Crew

Jacob - Photo by Elisa Castaldi

Although Jacob is not with us today, here on Caye Caulker – we want to make a big shout out to one of our favorite crew members!!! Jacob has chosen to celebrate his birthday whilst working on one of our famous overnight tours and today he, Jerry and Lee Shane, along with 15 other cool persons from around the world will live it up on Tobacco Caye!!

Jacob was born 1987 here in Belize but moved to San Diego at 5 years old. Son of Captain Bobby, one of the original Tour Guides and sailors from this island he was a natural island boy and moved back to his roots when he was 20 years old. His love of the sea drew him to Raggamuffin and it is here that we are proud to say that he has gained both his Tour Guide License and Captain License!!

For most, including us within the crew at Raggamuffin – Jacob is a firm favorite! For those who have had he pleasure of being on one of his boats he becomes a firm and genuine friend. He is a knowledgeable, exceedingly patient and wonderfully entertaining Tour Guide that we are lucky to have with us at Raggamuffin!!

Wishing Jacob many more birthdays to come!!!

The Return of the Shrek Children by Allie Johnstone

On June 21, 2011 in Marine Series, News

I am happy to report the return of the Spotted Seahorse!! Every year around June and July we begin to find these huge ‘sea slugs’ in the shallow waters around Caye Caulker. You see Caye Caulker is a sort of ‘Temptation Island’ for these crazy looking sea creatures. They come to find mates (note the plural) and get into little sea horse orgies where (hopefully) everybody leaves pregnant. Yeah, these guys/ girls are true hermaphrodites.

Paddling around the caye you can observe these free lovers in mating chains, 3, 4 even 5 horses, all in a line, one on top of each other and being both male and female, they can impregnate each other. After several months of this they head to deeper waters to release their spawn.

Weighing up to 1/4lb they really look like a green, naked rabbit with black circles, crossed with Shrek (they have his ears). When handled too roughly they will ink you!! Beautiful magenta colored ink that smells like iodine, it is non- toxic to humans.

If you’d like to see these lil’ sea monsters, come to Caye Caulker where you can take a kayak by yourselves or even take a guided tour through the mangroves with myself at Toucan Canoe and Kayaks!!

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!

Watch Out Lobsters, The 2011 Season Is Offically Open!

On June 15, 2011 in Caye Caulker, News

Lobster traps Lobsters on the grill

Today the lobster season officially opens in Belize for 2011!

For months fisherman have been getting ready for this day, building piles of lobster traps by hand, and then soaking them in the water to make sure they sink before baiting and setting. And today they finally get to pull up their traps and see what a waits inside.

Many people will gather as the fisherman return to shore to buy a few pounds of fresh lobster to take home and cook up, while others will fill the many restaurants on the island to have their share of the first lobsters of the year. The menus will be filled with lobster being served up in a varitey of ways – lobster ceviche, lobster fritters, grilled lobster, coconut lobster, curried lobster, garlic lobster….whatever way your heart desires. It is practically illegal to be eating anything else for dinner tonight :)

Apologizes to those of you who have just left Belize and have missed out on having your own lobster feast……….But don’t worry we will eat your share for you :)

Diving for Conch with Captain Jahlee

On June 14, 2011 in News, Ragga Crew, Ragga Vids

Conch is reguarly used in Belizean cooking, most commonly in fritters, ceviches and soups and it is delicious in all of them! In this video Jahlee shows you how to dive for conch, remove them from their shell the old fashion way and prepare them for eating. As strange as a conch looks when it first comes out of the shell i promise it is very tasty, so make sure you give it a try when you come to Belize!

Showing Our Support For Ocean Academy

On June 12, 2011 in Caye Caulker, News

Patrick presenting award to Ocean Academy student Patrick presenting award to Ocean Academy student Patrick presenting award to Ocean Academy student

Last night was graduation night for some of the students of Ocean Academy (Caye Caulker’s High school) who were being recognized for their exceptional effort and results at school over the last year and many of the islands businesses were asked to donate cash awards to put towards these students tuition fees.

Raggamuffin Tours is a great supporter of Ocean Academy and its students and we didn’t hesitate in contributing and being involved in this special night. Captain Patrick was asked to attend the award ceremony on behalf of our company and present the Raggamuffin Spirit of Ocean Academy award to three students who were selected because of their endless commitment and devotion to the school.

The night was a wonderful success and we were glad to be a part of it.

Congratulations to all of the students who received awards!

Cultural Day At Caye Caulker Primary School!

On June 10, 2011 in Caye Caulker, Culture, News

School kids representing the Garifuna culture dancing punta. Parents cooking food at the Garifuna stand.

Belize is proud of its rich cultures and therefore it is very much part of the school curriculum!! So here on the island The Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School held its Cultural Day.

The cultures were broken down into Garifuna, Creole, Mestizo, Maya and the Chinese and divided amongst the classes. Stands were set up in the playground, to represent each group and the children dressed up similarly to put on a colorful show for all who looked upon. Each stand told the history of it’s culture, identified and sold food that were indicative of their ethnicity and many prepared it right there in school.

Towards lunchtime, as many were indulging in their favorite food, each group took to the floor to give us a wonderful display of their dancing skills whilst dressed in their costumes. Fun and festivities were in the air in an excellent way for children to learn to identify how this very unique country is put together!

Mestizo Tent School girls dresses in traditional Maya outfits.