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In the globalized world, low wages are important in developing countries, and that’s why the government-appointed a minimum wage council and took six months to come up with recommendations for a new minimum wage. The council was appointed in May of last year and submitted its report to the Minister of Labor, Francis Fonseca, on Friday December 29.

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Mayor Elsa Paz and her six councilors met with the Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce this past Thursday, March 23, at their weekly scheduled meeting and were able to address some current issues that the Town Councilors are working on. Mayor Elsa Paz first congratulated the Chamber on all its accomplishments and dedication to its efforts in bettering San Pedro for all its residents and tourists alike. She also thanked the Chamber for their support during the election campaign and for the voters who voted for her and her councilors.

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Frank Edwards is the man to beat at the Horseshoe Pitching competitions that take place every Sunday at the Crazy Canucks Bar hosted by Don Turner at the Exotic Caye Beach Resort. Nobody seems to be good enough to beat the champ as he remains undefeated for more than 30 weeks now. Ambergris Today got invited to spend a Sunday afternoon at Crazy Canucks and witnessed the friendly game of Horseshoe Pitching where the winner goes home with cash winnings.

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Belize Natural Energy discovered oil in Spanish Lookout 8 months ago. Since then, there has been a sense of cautious optimism because finding oil in three wells does not mean that there are commercial quantities. Last Thursday, that caution was officially thrown to the wind when the announcement was made that Belize indeed has oil in commercial quantities.

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Belize was outstandingly featured in a half page article in Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel dated March, 2006. As a consumer magazine, published on a monthly basis, the Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel positions itself as a publication written for the average American who seeks value in leisure travel, providing them with practical, service-oriented travel journalism on affordable vacations. It currently has a circulation of 550,000 within the United States.

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It is not how many years of life you have had, but how much life there has been in those years. Got it? With this principle you should be able to enjoy many years of great living. The problem with so many people is that they strive to live a long life without really enjoying the zest of life. When this gusto is missing, even if you live one hundred years, it is not really worth it. But fifty well-lived years is probably better.

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Board celebrated its 7th annual Tourism Awareness Week which began on January 21 and will end on January 26. The BTB, under this year’s theme “Make the choice, play a role, Enhance the Tourism Experience” invited the local media on a tour to experience a little of what Belize has to offer.

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It started out as a beautiful day for fishing, but by the end of the day the clouds rolled in and the rains came down, but this did not dampen the spirits of the fishermen on the 18 boats that entered the Wahoo Challenge this past weekend. At the end of the day it was Captain Ivan Staines who brought in the winning fish on board the Catch of the Day. Rounding out the top were captains Adrian Heuser on the Get Some and Areli Marin on the Excalibur.

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On Tuesday, January 13, the cargo ship Westerhaven, went aground on our Barrier Reef and has been described as one of the worst ever to our reefs, the longest living in the world. The vessel lay atop the Barrier Reef near Caye Glory, 32 miles from Belize City for about a week before it could be properly removed.

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This rumor will raise the pressure on all wives, cause goose bumps on all young ladies, annoy the priests, all religious leaders and all the Christian community of San Pedro. The rumor tells us that a well known prostitution house from Belize City, Raul’s Rose Garden, has already received permission to open business in San Pedro. Apparently the Town Council has already approved the permit in principle and plans are underway to start operation at “The Boat Yard Bar”.

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The lines at the office of Hon. Manuel Heredia are normally long, but very soon the lines will be even longer as the very poor residents of San Pedro and Caye Caulker will be visiting the office to apply for free money (grants) which is part of the 1.8 million dollars that the Government of Belize got from the Venezuelan Government to alleviate housing problems in Belize. The previous administration had diverted the fund to health need but this new administration has re-designated it for housing of the poor.

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After hearing several good remarks of massage therapist, Cecy Lara, we decided to experience on our own Cecy’s Healing Hands. Cecy invited the staff of Ambergris Today to experience several of the treatments that her massage center has to offer.

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Pastries! Everybody has a sweet tooth for pastries - chocolate cake, caramel cake, you name it; we always find something sweet to eat. Now Nova Carib Enterprise of San Pedro is producing 100% locally made rum cakes named Rainforest Rum cakes. And although these rum cakes are edible they are not considered a food item but rather a gift item.

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Set your calender dates to August 3, 4, 5 & 6 because those are the confirmed dates for the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival 2006. Committee members met earlier this week to once again start planning for the most anticipated festival in the country. And planning starts early because organizing such a huge festival takes much time and preparation. Already on the minds of organizers are all the top notch entertainers for this year festival, in particular the main performance on International Night.

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The San Pedro Lions Club officially crowned Miss Delsie Graniel as their new club queen for 2006 this past Saturday, April 1. Delsie Graniel was asked by the Lions Club to represent them throughout the year’s activities and events both locally and abroad.

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Policies are now laws - In the wake of several disturbing incidents involving tourists visiting Belize, last week the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) officially notified tour guides and operators around the country that they are now working under new rules. According to B.T.B.’s product development manager, Anthony Mahler, high on the list of laws is the fact that guides conducting marine tours must now do so at a ratio of eight tourists to one guide; and for terrestrial trips, there can be only fifteen visitors to one guide.

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This week and next you will notice a whole set of well-dressed up young men and ladies going to the various offices and business establishments. You will not even recognize them as students of San Pedro High in their regular uniforms because they look so professional in their business attire. For two weeks these students will be participating in their yearly office training where they put into practice what they have learned in theory at school.

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For the past weeks the Town Council has kept busy promoting their latest campaign entitled – “La Isla Bonita es mi casa and I like mi casa clean. Stop Littering!” Numerous work-a-thons, advertising campaigns and other propaganda have been made to instill this message on all island residents.

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The Commissioner of Police is pleased to announce that Police Constable #900 Dwayne McCulloch has been selected as Police Officer of the Month for the month of March. PC McCulloch is a five year veteran of the department and is currently attached to the San Pedro Police Station. PC McCulloch was once a stable part of the Albert Street patrol in Belize City and worked for three years in Belize City before being transferred to San Pedro.

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It has been said that San Pedro is a very proud community, a united community, a community with a high level of self-respect. Could this be rhetoric or is this something that can be proven. Well, if coming together to support a noble cause is any indication of unity, San Pedro has proven it with another successful “Radiothon” that raised $75,000 in a record 5 hours.

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