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For the past eleven years the San Pedro Tour Guide Association (SPTGA) in collaboration with PADI, the largest diving organization, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the San Pedro Tour Operators Association provide island kids the opportunity to explore the underwater world and learn to scuba dive.

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Belmopan. July 16, 2019. As part of its ongoing initiatives to provide quality healthcare medications, the Ministry of Health sent five different generic medications to the Caribbean Regional Public Health Agency’s (CARPHA) Drug Testing Laboratory, which is CARICOM’s regional reference laboratory for testing. The medications range from antibiotics to anti-diabetic drugs that were sampled from the public sector. All five medications have passed the quality tests performed as per international standards. This means that these generic medications are of confirmed quality.

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The latest statistics for the first half of this year show a remarkable and persistent growth in both overnight and cruise ship arrivals; positioning Belize as a favorite vacation paradise and underscoring the effective marketing strategy by the BTB and its industry stakeholders in promoting the country as a leading tourism destination. The following is a breakdown of the latest figures for the first half of 2019 for both overnight and cruise ship arrivals.

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The Miss Universe Belize Pageant is set to take place on Friday, September 6, 2019 and on Friday, July 5, 2019, eight beautiful contestants were officially presented during a press conference at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts in Belize City. This year San Pedro has a representative and she is no stranger to beauty pageants, she is the lovely, 20-year-old Vivian Magdalen Noralez.

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The Inspiration Center in collaboration with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and the Pan American Health Organization PAHO/WHO once again sponsored a three day training of trainers’ workshop for teachers, rehabilitation field officers and health care workers on “Therapeutic Strategies for Working with Children with Autism & Hearing Loss.” The training was held from July 2-4, 2019 at NaRCIE conference room on Freetown Road in Belize City.

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Ernesto ‘Nasa’ Caliz, a 64 year-old self-employed man from San Pedro Town, is being accused of a heinous case of sexual assault against a 9 year-old boy. The incident allegedly occurred on the island where it is said that Caliz pulled down the child’s pants and kissed him on the anus.

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On Monday, July 8, 2019, Raymond Lamb, 32 year-old, a fisherman of San Pedro Town, appeared before Senior Magistrate Tricia Pitts Anderson in Belize City and was arraigned on a charge of burglary in which jewelry, money and other items were stolen that amounted in value to $42,490. According to reports on Saturday, July 6, 2019, Lamb was caught red-handed when he entered the home of Misty Harris at a well-known resort on the island and stole an assortment of items ranging from cell phones to jewelry valued at just over forty-two thousand dollars.

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The Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin officially received three vehicles on Wednesday, July 8, 2019, to compliment and support the fleet of transportation across the health regions of the Ministry of Health. The Minister received two Pickup trucks and one Refrigerated cargo truck through cooperation funding agencies in a small handing over ceremony at the parking lot area of the Ministry of Health in Belmopan.

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It’s always nice when businesses come together to help the community. Blue Water Grill, The Phoenix and Red Ginger have always come together to raise funds and help a school or members of the community. This time we are happy to share good news coming from these group of businesses, from January through June 2019, they were raising money to tile the first floor classrooms at the San Pedro RC School.

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As the saying goes, out with the old and in with the new, and such is the case with the resort once known as Exotic Caye Beach Resort.  It’s time to make room for the future Marriott Residences Ambergris Caye Resort. While it may have been faster to simply take a wrecking ball and demolish all of the structures in one fell swoop, in the spirit of conservation and good stewardship, each building is being carefully dismantled in an effort to preserve any reusable parts that could be donated to the community.

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On Wednesday, July 3, 2019, Fisheries Officers conducted a routine patrol southeast of Channel Caye where two fishermen were arrested for the possession of 874 conch during the closed season. One of the fishermen, Mr. Bartolo Jimenez pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined $500 and an additional penalty of $17,480 ($20 for each conch) as a result of court proceedings held on July 4, 2019. The vessel, engine and fishing gears were all forfeited to the Government of Belize.

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The Belize Tourism Board, Hon. Manuel Heredia and the Government of Belize donated a brand new CAT Backhoe to the San Pedro Town Council. On site to receive the donation was Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez, Councilor Severo Guerrero, Councilor Hector Alamilla and longtime employee and driver of the backhoe, Mr. William Stevens. The brand new CAT Backhoe was purchased at an estimated cost of $150,000 BZD and it was donated to the town of San Pedro to help aid in the cleanup of the sargassum along the beachside.

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The island was shocked at the news of the double murder of Mario Graniel and Dr. Gary Swank and word in town is that many tourists have cancelled their fishing trips and even their entire trips to Belize. But according to the US Embassy in Belmopan, Belize’s travel advisory ranking has not gone up despite of the unfortunate incident. There are four levels of travel advisories for US citizens which include:Level 1: Exercise Normal PrecautionLevel 2: Exercise Increased CautionLevel 3: Reconsider TravelLevel 4: Do Not Travel

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San Pedro Police conducted a joint operation in the Boca del Rio area where nine persons were arrested and charged for drug trafficking and kept unlicensed ammunition. According to reports on Monday, July 1, 2019, at about 5:30 a.m.,  police conducted a Joint Operation at the residence of Alexander Fitzgibbon Sr. 44-year-old, Belizean Fisherman of Boca del Rio area and Lucio Salazar 29-year-old, Fisherman of Boca del Rio. During the search police discovered 294 grams Crack Cocaine, 89 grams of powdered Cocaine, (101) 5.56 live rounds and 54 grams of Cannabis.

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The Police Department is doing everything they can to address the crime situation on the island. They held a public meeting on Wednesday, June 26, 2017 just after the death of Mario Graniel and Gary Swank to address the communities concerns.

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The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Police Department is once again hosting its two weeks Youths Engage in Agriculture Summer Camp 2019. The event started yesterday July 1st, 2019, with an opening ceremony held at the National Agriculture and Trade Showgrounds, Belmopan. Guess speakers at the event were the Minister of Agriculture the Hon. Godwin Hulse, Mayor of Belmopan His Worship Khalid Belisle, Chief Agriculture Officer Mr. Andrew Harrison and Mr. Linden Flowers Senior Superintendent of Police.

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Managua, June 29, 2019 - Belize won 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-22) against El Salvador to secure the silver medal, for the first time in their four Central American U23 Championships, ending with a 4-2 win/loss record (20 points), while El Salvador missed the podium with 2-4. The Belizean team won an initial advantage of 7 points (10-3) and a match point in favor of El Salvador to tie the game at 24 and won the first set 26-24, which was decisive in getting the win.

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The National Security Council of Belize (NSC), chaired by the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, met in special session Thursday, June 27th, 2019 in Belmopan to discuss the crisis arising out of the recent murder of a tourist, Dr. Gary Swank, in San Pedro.

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The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is asking  all tour operators and guides for  assistance in reporting any sightings of corals seen on your dive or snorkel trip that do not look healthy via the submission of photos. We are on the lookout for Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD). The disease first appeared in 2014 in Florida, in 2018 it was confirmed in areas of the Caribbean and recently summer of 2019 has been one confirmed case in Belize, within the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve area of Northern Ambergris Caye.

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Here are the final two contestants for this year’s International Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant.

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