AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE
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|San Pedro Daily||Thursday, July 7, 2011
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Abbotsford woman takes anti-bullying message to Belize
Elizabeth Hamill is passionate when it comes to preventing bullying.
She has worked in the Abbotsford school district for four years to raise awareness and education surrounding the issue.
So when she was invited by Dr. Diane Lawrence – also originally from Abbotsford – to the country of Belize to talk to a school there about bullying, she jumped at the opportunity.
“We did tie-dying of T-shirts, we talked about anti-bullying and what bullying looks like and how to stop it,” Hamill said of her two-week trip to Central America in March.
At first it was difficult to get the boys to wear the pink T-shirts, but after she explained the concepts of bullying, they warmed to the idea.
“In Belize they all dress in uniforms from Monday to Thursday. But on Friday they get to wear what they want. Well, they’ve been choosing to wear the pink T-shirt,” she said.
The pink T-shirts start conversations, which Hamill says is key to anti-bullying. And though Belize and Canada are very different countries, she believes bullying is a universal problem with universal solutions.
If a child wears the pink T-shirt home, their parents and grandparents or aunts and uncles might ask them about it, and that gets the conversation started.
Building self-esteem in children and recognizing differences is also important to help them feel good about who they are.
“Just because someone’s different doesn’t mean they don’t have something to offer,” she said.
Hamill works for Bakerview Centre for Learning (formerly called Abbotsford Continuing Education) and the school in Belize she visited was Ambergis Caye Elementary. Both acronyms spell “ACE”.
“I kind of thought it was a bit of a sign,” she said, laughing.
Many children in Belize can’t go to school to Grade 12 because of poverty, so she had children in her class make laminated bookmarks to encourage education and positive learning. Now the Abbotsford children email the children in Belize.
“It’s been quite a project for our kids, too.”
Hamill is hoping to make this an annual trip to Belize with other interested colleagues and participants from Abbotsford.She acknowledges the help of family and colleagues in Abbotsford who offered her financial and moral support.
“This could grow into something quite exciting.”
NEW SOLICITOR GENERAL APPOINTED
The government of Belize has appointed a new solicitor General. Cheryl Krusen succeeds Oscar Ramjeet and assumed duties on Friday of last week. Krusen, who holds dual citizenship of both Belize and Jamaica, brings to the Solicitor General’s office, over thirty years of experience in the legal profession. The new Solicitor General studied law at the UWI Cave hill and completed her law studies at the Norman Manley Law School in Kingston in Jamaica in 1980. In Belize, Krusen has served in various capacities, including a crown counsel in the DPP’s office and as Magistrate in the Belize and Corozal judicial districts. Cheryl Krusen is married and the mother of six children.
Nassau Grouper can help control lionfish poulation - study shows
The Nassau Grouper may be able to limit the invasion of lionfish on Caribbean coral reefs, a study published this week in the online journal PLoS One, suggests.
Lionfish, which are not found naturally in the Caribbean, are believed to have been released from aquariums in the United States. They eventually made their way to the Bahamas in 2004. Lionfish numbers have increased dramatically in the last few years, and they have now invaded the entire Caribbean.
Although lionfish are among the most beautiful fish in the sea, they are voracious predators of small fish and conservationists are concerned about their impact on native fish population.
A research team from the University of Queensland (Australia) and American Museum of Natural History (New York) studied the invasion of lionfish in a remote stretch of coral reef in the Bahamas.
The report’s lead author, Professor Peter Mumby, reports:
“In 2006 we did not encounter any lionfish, but by 2010 they were at all of our 12 study sites. However, the number of lionfish was ten times lower in reefs with lots of large groupers”.
The team surveyed reefs inside and outside the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, which is one of the best marine reserves in the Caribbean, having been established in 1959.
Prof. Mumby continues, “With long-term protection from fishing, grouper numbers are among the highest in the Caribbean and we believe that groupers are eating enough lionfish to limit their invasion on these reefs”.
This is positive news for conservation efforts but Prof. Mumby adds a cautionary note. “Years of over-fishing means that densities of large grouper, like the Nassau grouper, are low throughout most of the Caribbean. If we want grouper to help us control the lionfish invasion we’ll have to develop a taste for lionfish instead of grouper and drastically reduce the fishing of this species.”
Lionfish have high venomous spines to protect them from predators, and the lionfish has few known predators. Researchers have however, found the remains of lionfish in the belly of large groupers and now feel confident that the Nassau Grouper can help to control the lionfish population.
In Belize people have already developed a taste for lionfish, where it is served as a delicacy in some restaurants.
There are also regular competitions and prizes for fishermen who can snare the most lionfish.
Belize strengthening ties with tourism stakeholders
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) last week delivered a presentation at this year's Belize Hotel Association (BHA) annual general meeting and gala event.
BELTRAIDE shared its new more-focused initiatives in investment and export promotion in four strategic areas, namely, tourism and leisure; information technology enabled services (ITES) and financial service; agro-business anf light manufacturing; and energy and petroleum.
Particularly, the agency presented future joint initiatives with the Ministry of Tourism and the Belize Tourism Board, and presented to the Association the new industry specialist for tourism and leisure, Astrid Salazar. Salazar has joined the BELTRAIDE team to actively promote Belize as a tourism investment destination, facilitate the investor in establishing in Belize, and encourage greater value chain linkages within the industry.
This presentation was designed to build closer ties with those in the tourism industry. BELTRAIDE also hoped to obtain critical feedback on industry needs and investment opportunities.
Caribbean News Now
The San Pedro Football Club Summer Camp is a non profit organization, well structured, to assist in San Pedro, children between the ages of 5 to 16 years old, both male and female.
Dates: July 11, 2011 - July 22, 2011, 8:00am to 12:00pm.
Location: San Pedro Ambergris Stadium
After the Summer Camp we will be starting the San Pedro Little League U10-U13.
Please contact Mr. Edon "Yelloman" Rowley, Summer Camp Co-ordinator @630-0235
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