Archive for: September 2011

Caye Caulker schools parade and children’s rally


This is the time of the year that every Belizean absolutely loves – The time for us to ‘Jump up’ and ‘Swing our Engine’ to the familiar carnival beats that celebrate Independence Day!  Although the island will have the ‘grown up’ version on the 21st September (stand by to see the photos next week), the school celebrates the Friday before and therefore today Friday 16th!

Both Pre-schools, the Primary and the High School enter into this red, white and blue fashion show and today the show promised to be a good one.  The weather looked beautiful this morning and at 10am (do not forget the parade was set to start at 9am – Belizean time) the music was turned up and the children began their long march around the Caye Caulker streets.

Each class, at the beginning of the week, had nominated their own king and queen and dressed an appropriate golf cart to represent them.  Some of the smaller children were lucky enough to have a whole trailer behind a cart for them to sit in for the festivities.  The children were so hot that they resorted to drinking ‘ideals’ sugar flavored ice poles to battle the heat.

As soon as it all began, before the last cart had turned the first corner, the storm cloud on the horizon decided to rain and rain hard.  All of those who were dressed up and sitting on carts or even dancing in the streets were forced to run for shelter in grocery stores, restaurants and whatever cover from the rain they could muster.  Although the rain only lasted about 15 minutes, during that time those carts that had been so carefully put together for the occasion, were now awash with red and blue stripes from the dye of the tissue!!!

With the rain destroying many of the pretty carts, it could not dampen the children’s enthusiasm and they took their dancing to the Central Park as the music played on – Rain cannot stop the dance … roll on the 21st!!!!

Photos were provided with kind compliments of Cary Canto, Giselle Pacheco, Sayonara Pasos and Ruben Reyes. More photos are available on Raggamuffin Tours’ webpage – link above.  Feel free to click on the thumbnails:

Caye Caulker Darts Team – the best of the best!

Photos are provided by Valentino Marin – Thanks again Valentino!

The Caye Caulker Darts Team have been one of the most notorious and best Darts Team in the country as they have won championships countrywide.  In this regard, it is my distinguished pleasure to give them recognition by placing their photos on the Caye Caulker Chronicles as they have been one of the groups who have placed Caye Caulker on the map because they do proudly represent the island wherever they go.  Here are some photos of our energetic Darts Team:

Caye Caulker Darts Team: Top left to right: Jorge Requena, Bra-T Rodriguez, Marie Reynolds, Valentino Marin, Jim Novelo

Bottom left to right: Wilbur Perez, Emmanuel Gabourel and Cecilia Joseph

One of their crowning moments :-)

2009 National Champs

One of the Darts competition in San Pedro Town

Invitation from the Darts Team:

The Caye Cauiker Dart sTeam will be hosting a tournament on Sunday,September 25th…..Robin Hoods and William Tells will be on Caye Caulker from all over the country on that day! All are welcome to come out and join.  It will also be Valentino Marin’s (one of the Team mates) birthday on that day so make it a date and don’t be late!

Caye Caulker are you ready to celebrate Belize’s Independence Day?

Flyer was provided courtesy of the Caye Caulker Marketing Committee

Above is a line-up of activities that the Caye Caulker Village Council will be hosting to celebrate Belize’s 30th Birthday.  Some exciting activities will be taking place so please take keen note so as not to miss out on any of the fun activities for the entire family.  Happy Independence Day to everyone!!  This year’s theme is: “Honoring our History, Celebrating our Cultures, Uniting for Peace”.

First ever grocery store on Caye Caulker

Ms. Feli Alamina in the Alamina family operated grocery store on Caye Caulker back in the day

(Photo by: Lizette Alamina-Gutierrez – scanned version)

Does anyone remember coming here to buy??

Back in those days when Caye Caulker village had its first settlers, Mr. Valentine and Mrs. Marina Alamina decided to open their grocery store on front street, to provide to islanders for their daily needs.  Above is Ms. Feli, eldest daughter to Mr. Tin and Mrs. Marina Alamina (as they were affectionately known).   I am not sure which year this photo was taken but if anyone can assist me, I would highly appreciate it.

Editor’s Note: If anyone has any of those photos from way back when, please do feel free to share them.  It’s a good strategy to bring back those old days on our Caye Caulker lifestyles.

Artist’s masterpiece on Caye Caulker by Solange Sanchez

Solange Sanchez with her work of art – The Caye Caulker’s Go Slow sign/logo

Artists are well re-knowned for producing lovely works of art and the above art-work is no exception.  Solange Sanchez of Caye Caulker was inspired by the Caye Caulker “Go Slow” sign/logo and produced this fantastic work of art for our eyes.  Being the ecstatic Editor that I am when seeing it, it was my pleasure to share it for all to see.  The Caye Caulker Chronicles would like to wish Solange all the very best in her art career.  I strongly believe that artists of Caye Caulker should mount an exhibition so we can display our talent! :-)

Below are some additional of her art-work – Great job!!

J&C Graphic Designing opens its doors to the Caye Caulker community

J & C Island Graphics owned and operated by Javier and Celina Novelo on Calle Pasero opens its doors to the community to provide their services in graphic designing, logo creations, golf cart logo designs, T-shirt printing and any other service that are requested.  It’s a much needed service that is very welcomed on our growing island since business owners had to be travelling to Belize City or even San Pedro Town for their graphic designing needs.  Best wishes to Javier and Celina on their new business and we trust that it will be a prosperous one for many years to come!

Healthy Lifestyles – Have you checked your Body Mass Index today?

By: Lizette Alamina-Gutierrez

I was asked by one of my fellow Caye Caulker compatriots to do a health column and as being a previous employee of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) where I served as Bilingual Secretary for several Technical Areas for 7 fruitful and productive years, I am happy to share this health information with all.  I will be happy to share what is healthy eating and the prominent food groups as well as the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute’s (CFNI) Caribbean Nutrition Plate.

What is healthy eating?

Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals.

Nutrition is important for everyone. When combined with being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight, eating well is an excellent way to help your body stay strong and healthy. If you have a history of breast cancer or are currently undergoing treatment, eating well is especially important for you. What you eat can affect your immune system, your mood, and your energy level.

No food or diet can prevent you from getting breast cancer. While researchers are still studying the effects of eating unhealthy food on breast cancer and recurrence risk, we do know that being overweight is a risk factor for both first-time and recurrent breast cancer. In this section, you can learn how to eat in a way that keeps your body as healthy as it can be.

Read on for information about food groups, nutrients, how to create a healthy eating plan, how to figure out portions, and how enjoy your food without overeating.


In a nutshell, the above extracted information from the Breast Cancer webpage sums it up all and I encourage everyone who have not commenced to eat healthy to do so for your own good as we see more and more people everyday being obesed, developing diabetes, being hypertensive (high blood pressure) and cholesterol.

Below are pictures of the BMI chart, food groups and the notorious Caribbean Nutrition Plate (which is a similar form of the food pyramid):

Body Mass Index (BMI) chart


These pictures are all courtesy of the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute in Jamaica, they also have a center in Trinidad and Tobago


In conclusion, it’s always good for us to look after our respective health and eat the correct food so we can all live a healthy and happy life.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve awards scholarships to students


Information and photos were obtained from Hol Chan Marine Reserve’s Facebook page.  More photos can be viewed on the above-mentioned link.  Congratulations to all students!

Today, September 9th 2011 four students were awarded scholarships for their education from Hol Chan Marine Reserve Board of Trustees. Three were given to three high school students (Osmin Arana, Farrah Maza, Christy Tzul) and one to a student pursuing his Bachelors Degree ( Salvador Mesh). Present at the award ceremony in Belize City were, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Hon. Rene Montero, CEO of Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mr. Lindsay Garbutt, Manager of Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Mr. Miguel Alamilla, staff members and other officials from the Fisheries Department.

Awardees pictured above with CEO of Ministry of Tourism, Lindsay Garbutt and Hon. Rene Montero, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries

Awardees with Minister Montero and Mr. Miguel Alamilla, Director of Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Pictured above: Salvador Mesh, Bachelor’s Degree Student in Natural Resources, Christy Tzul of San Pedro High School, Farrah Maza of San Pedro High School  and Osmin Arana of Caye Caulker Ocean Academy High School..a hearty Congratulations to all of you on behalf of the Caye Caulker Chronicles.

Public Health Inspector asks general public to report on expired products


The sale of expired goods is very common on the island, many times we have purchased items with no expiry date or items are placed on sale just days before the expiration date. This is very frequent and several reports are made by consumers to respective health officials of the Bureau of Standards.

It is no surprise to find quite a number of expired products on the shelves of some stores on the island, but the problem is that the situation is not being rectified which has allowed these shop owners to put the health of consumers at risk without any repercussions.

Many local businesses in the island have the tendency of selling expired products at half price or simply removing the expiration date and selling it for the regular price. Businesses should be aware that it is an offense to break the laws under Chapter 31 of the Public Laws of Belize, to have on sale unwholesome food for public consumption. Businesses are taken to court when problems of this nature persist or when the offense is repetitive.

So what does it take to have a business inspected for selling expired products? The answer is easy, simply call the public health inspector or leave a written complaint at her office. A complaint to the Town Council is also sufficient as they pass on the message to the Public health Inspector.

In speaking with Mrs. Lisa Tillett, Public Health Inspector of San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village, she explained that inspections of businesses are carried out once every six months but if other complaints are made to her she carries out inspections. One of the main reasons that inspections are carried out in such a manner is because there isn’t enough man power to carry out more inspections throughout the year.

Mrs. Tillet also stated that once products are expired and caught on shelves in a store the products become the property of the Ministry of Health. Businesses are then charged for the proper disposal of these items which consist of transportation to the mainland and cost of destruction at the dumpsite.

Consumers are asked to remain vigilant when buying goods especially if they seem damaged, near expiry or that have expired and are being sold at reduced prices. Also check that price tags are not placed on top of the expiration date of a product. Be extremely cautious when items are being sold without a product label containing the expiry date or if food items are being sold out of its original packaging, especially since items are not intended for retail sale.

The following are some food safety tips which can help you when doing your grocery shopping:
Shelf life - Shelf Life is that length of time that food, drinks, medicine and other perishable items are given before they are considered unsuitable for sale or consumption. Shelf life is different from expiration date; the former relates to food quality, the latter to food safety. A product that has passed its shelf life might still be safe, but quality is no longer guaranteed.

Best before - Best before or best by dates appear on a wide range of frozen, dried, tinned and other foods. These dates are only advisory and refer to the quality of the product, in contrast with use by dates, which indicate that the product is no longer safe to consume after the specified date. Foods that have a best before date are usually safe to eat after the date has passed, although they are likely to have deteriorated either in flavor, texture, appearance or nutrition.

Use by - Generally, foods that have a use by date written on the packaging must not be eaten after the specified date. This is because such foods usually go bad quickly and may be injurious to health if spoiled. It is also important to follow storage instructions carefully for these foods (for example, product must be refrigerated).

Sell by / Display until - These dates are intended to help keep track of the stock in stores. Food that has passed its sell by or display until date, but is still within its use by / best before will still be edible, assuming it has been stored correctly. Don’t buy the product after this date. This is the “expiration date.” Most stores will rotate stock by moving the products with the earliest dates to the front of shelving units, which allows them to be sold first and saving them from having to be either marked down or thrown away, both of which contribute to a loss of profit.

Expiration Date - The actual term “Expiration Date” refers to the last date a food should be eaten or used. Last means last — proceed at your own risk.

Guidelines on how long some food products are good.
* Refrigerated steaks and roasts should be used within three to four days after purchase.
* Ground meats, fresh poultry and raw fish should be used within one to two days after purchase.
* Milk, cream, cottage cheese and cream cheese are good for a week after opening.
* Hard cheeses that are tightly wrapped are good for two to three months.
* Eggs are good for three to four weeks. Keep them refrigerated.
* Cooked or uncooked vegetables are good in the refrigerator for three to five days.
* Bread, cake and cookies (or anything made from a batter with yeast or wheat) should be used within a week to avoid mold.
* Baked goods will last longer (two weeks) if refrigerated.
* Leftover chicken, gravy, sauce, chicken or tuna salads and turkey pies are only good for one to two days.
* Mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and other condiments should be used within a year of opening the container.
* Mayonnaise, once opened, is good for two months.
* Open bottles of salad dressing are good for three months.
* Ketchup, jams, jelly and peanut butter are good for six months. If you cannot remember when a food was placed in the refrigerator, throw it out.

Many people do keep their food longer than the above guidelines. If you keep your food longer, make sure you check it each time to see that it has not turned moldy, slimy, stinky, rancid or otherwise rotten. Always check the food BEFORE you taste it.

So remember if you have any complaints be sure to pass them on to Mrs. Tillett at 226-2555 or 605-6495.

Fantastic Panorama of the Split area,-63.45,70.0

Caye Caulker Split pier in Belize