Title: Toledo Howler
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094063/00006
 Material Information
Title: Toledo Howler
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Marta Hirons
Place of Publication: Punta Gorda,Toledo District, Belize
Publication Date: November 2007
Edition: Rev.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094063
Volume ID: VID00006
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Full Text

The Toledo Howler

Newspaper of the Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association















No, it is not a man-made fiber nor a
new acrylic paint but the first Toledo
2 Tourism Expo planned for Saturday
10 November 2007 and timed to
coincide with World Responsible
S Tourism Day on Wednesday 14
November. WRTD is being pro-
moted by the organizers of the
4 World Travel Mart exhibition which
takes place in London in November
5 each year.
Here is how it is described on the
6 World Travel Mart web site. "WTM
World Responsible Tourism Day
supported by the UNWTO .... is the
6 first opportunity for travel and tour-
ism to become one powerful and
7 unifying force. A chance to make a
real difference that will keep our
beaches clean, preserve our stun-
8 ning scenery, save wildlife and glory
in our historic buildings and pre-
9 cious heritage.
There is a responsibility too to help
local people wherever they might
0 be, provide them with shelter, jobs,
clean water, food and education.
Protect them from exploitation,
corruption and deceit.
Making the difference personally
12 and corporately is what WTM's
World Responsible Tourism Day
13 (WTM WRTD) is all about."
So what is responsible tourism? In
2002, 280 representatives from all
sectors of tourism from 20 coun-
tries attended the Cape Town Con-
ference on Responsible Tourism in
South Africa. They agreed in a dec-
laration that responsible tourism:
1. minimizes negative economic,
environmental and social impacts

2. generates greater economic
benefits for local people and en-
hances the well being of host com-
munities; improves working condi-
tions and access to the industry
3. involves local people in decisions
that affect their lives and life
4. makes positive contributions to
the conservation of natural and
cultural heritage embracing diver-
5. provides more enjoyable experi-
ences for tourists through more
meaningful connections with local
people, and a greater understand-
ing of local cultural, social and envi-
ronmental issues
6. provides access for physically
challenged people
7. is culturally sensitive, encourages
respect between tourists and hosts,
and builds local pride and confi-

We do all or most of these things
here in Toledo and TOLTEX is our
attempt to showcase these for the
first time. It brings together the
work of Non-Governmental Organi-
zations (NGOs), Community Based
Organizations (CBOs) and tourism
related businesses including hotels,
restaurants, tour operators and
guides and will demonstrate how
they all complement each other.
Small community based organiza-
tions make honey, jam and wooden
picture frames. Local crafts people
make carvings from calabashes,
bowls from rosewood, baskets and
other articles from jippi jappa and

woolen cuxtals all of which find their
way into gift shops in Toledo and
around Belize. The Aguacaliente
Management Team is leading a
gibnut ranching project which gen-
erates economic benefits and con-
tributes to conservation. Hotels
offer tours that enhance guests'
appreciation of the natural world
inland and under water and brings
them into contact with local people
and culture.
We will be bringing it all together at
the party in the park on 10 Novem-
ber. See you all there!

TOLTEX Vital Statistics
When: Saturday 10 November
2007, 10am-5pm
Where: Central Park, Punta Gorda

wtm world


tourism day

14 Nov 07

supported by UNWTO


'Responsibility is our Motto.'

Daily Runs

Leaves 9am

Returns 2pm

12 Front Street

Punta Gorda Town

Toledo. Belize. C.A.

PO Box: #18



IeFhean cffle,. ,e &r i te c ,,ee. oiesd. kaees,.
huI~ms & cIecart p~bties. eLman nuaIC c&ft
Irternmet ops, fai pDriltW. i At&ios, baaldets,. pota

CAKRY51--1AaeDEA5KEWCAUL Centril p-ar


Punta Gorda

Puerto Barrios



Ccnhct JUfoReaena




Martha Weatherburn

Miss Martha Weatherburn is a singer
and songwriter who was born and
raised in Cattle Landing, Belize, a
village about 2 miles from Punta
Gorda. "When I sing, I feel the sea,
the people, nature, life. I stand in my
yard and look at the sea, and I get
inspired to write music and poetry",
says Miss Martha.

Martha was born in 1939, and still
lives on the same property where she
was born. Her yard overlooking the
Caribbean Sea is filled with flowers,
her house is filled with family pictures
and local art, and her voice is filled with a
sweet power. On the day that we chatted,
the afternoon sun slanted through the bead
curtains in her kitchen doorway, and she
sang and talked to me of her life and music.

"I have been singing since I was 12 years
old. My parents sang, and my father played
the accordion with his band at local dances
in PG."

One of her first performances was at the
Belize City September Celebrations. She has

received awards in both Belize and abroad,
including the EGF Belize Celebrations award,
and a certificate from Inglewood, California,
where she performed at the September
Celebrations. She lived in the US for 25
years, where she was a nurse. She per-
formed there at parties, old folks homes,
and Belizean celebrations in her community.
The songs Martha sings are in Spanish, Eng-
lish and Kriol, and her music runs the gamut
from classical boleros to brukdown, soca

and reggae. She writes
many of her songs her-
self, but also performs old
folklores and traditional

Martha has put out a new
CD of Christmas music.
Songs include "She neva
had a Christmas Tree"
and "Child of Bethlehem"
both written by Martha.
"Christmas Bum" is an old
Calypso selection, sung by
her Uncle Cleveland
Berry, circa 1959. "Drink
a rum on a Christmas mahnin" is an old
Kriol folk song in the Calypso style that will
have you dancing around your living room.
All of the songs on the CD are simple and
joyful, with a tropical flavor. Definitely not
your same old Christmas carols. If you want
something a lee bit different for your holiday
tunes, stop by Carysha's Deja Brew Caf6 in
PG to pick up an autographed copy of Mar-
tha's Christmas CD. Martha will be perform-
ing some selections from the new album at
Deja Brew Caf6 on December 6, at 3 p.m.
Admission is free!

Page 2


Page 3



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homemade Out bat offers a ue selection of top-sheef di-qots, wine and docal beet.
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Guesthouse & Tours

Facing the Caribbean Sea, our breezy
guesthouse welcomes you to our
self-catered apartments. For your comfort,
each flat has a living/dining room,
kitchenette, bedroom, en-suite bathroom
& free wireless internet.

A home away from home...

Get settled in and then venture out into
the blue of Port Honduras and the Barrier
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watching or fishing or discover the wildlife,
ruins and waterfalls of Toledo with our
personalised tours.

It's that simple.

For more details please visit our web site:
or contact us at: info @bluebelize.com
139 Front Street, Punto Gorda
+501 722-2678



Garifuna Settlement Weekend in PG will be- The Battle of the Drums was conceptualized was held in Punta Gorda Town on November
gin with an exciting event again this 17, 2006 and was well received by specta-
year. Drummers from all over the coun- tors from home and abroad. Last year, the
try of Belize as well as from Livingston, Battle of the Drums was restricted to drum-
Guatemala are invited to compete and mers from the Punta Gorda Town area.
display their talents. However, the idea is that it will evolve into
an international drumming competition;
This year's show will be one of intense and this year will showcase drummers from
competition. Drummers will compete in and this year will showcase drummers from
competition. Drummers will compete in towns and villages all over Belize.
towns and villages all over Belize.

5 categories of Garifuna drumming.
First place cash prize is $1500! The
show will be held on Friday, November
16, 2007. Gates open at 7 p.m. and the
show begins at 8, with a grand dance
following the competition. Food and
drinks will be on sale. Venue is the
sports complex, near the airstrip in PG.

The proceeds from the Battle of the
Drums will be used strictly to pursue various
cultural retrieval projects in Punta Gorda
Town and other Garifuna communities. One
of these projects is an initiation of a Garifuna
Drumming in Schools program.

in October 2006 out of a desire to assist the
National Garifuna Council Punta Gorda
(Peini) Branch in raising funds to defray ex-
penses relating to Garifuna Settlement Day
celebrations. The first Battle of the Drums

The Battle of the Drums is the brainchild of
Darius Avila, a businessman of Punta
Gorda Town, and owner of the award-
winning Beya Suites Hotel. He is actively
supported by a team of leaders from Punta
Gorda Town who form the Organizing Com-
mittee. The committee is still seeking spon-
sors for the event; if you are interested in
contributing to this worthwhile cause, please
contact Mr. Avila at 722-2188.

Start your holiday weekend with a bang on
Friday November 16 at 8 p.m. at the P.G.
sports complex. Don't miss it!

Contact Toledo BTIA at the Tourism Information Center,
Front St., Punta Gorda Tel. 722-2531 E-mail btia-
toledo@btl.net Chair: Bruno Kuppinger, Secretary:
Yvonne Villoria, Treasurer: Leonie Requena

Contact The Howler Editorial Team Tel. 722-2531 E-mail btiatoledo@btl.net
Features Editor: Marta Hirons 671-7172, Advertising Manager: Juli Puryear,
722-2276 Production Manager: Rob Hirons 671-7172, Editorial Assistant Zoara
Gutierrez 722-2531

BUBm au

The Garifuna, or Garinagu people
are recent arrivals to Belize, hav-
ing settled the southern coast of
Belize in the early 19th century.
Their story begins on the island
of St. Vincent in 1635. That
year, two Spanish ships carrying
Nigerian slaves sank off the
coast of this Caribbean island.
The survivors swam ashore, and
found refuge in Carib Indian set-
tlements on the island. For the
next 150 years these two peo-
ples mingled and intermarried
thus creating the Garinagu.

A series of wars between the
French allies of the Garinagu and
the British on St. Vincent ended
in a final battle on June 10th,
1796. The Garinagu were forced
to surrender, leaving St. Vincent
to look for a new home. They
first landed on the island of
Roatan, in Honduras, and soon
migrated to the Honduran
mainland. According to tradition,
the first Garifuna reached British
Honduras on November 19th,
1832. In modern Belize, Novem-
ber 19th is now celebrated as
Garifuna Settlement Day.

Page 4

The main center of the Garifuna
celebration has always been
Dangriga, but in the past several
years, Punta Gorda has become
the place to be. Celebrations of
the holiday in PG have begun to
attract people from all over the
country and abroad.

The traditional Garifuna colors
are yellow, black, and white.
Garinagu women wearing long
dresses sewn from checkered
material along with colored head
pieces are a familiar sight in PG.
Traditional foods are based on
coconut milk, "ground food" such
as yams and cassava and fish.
One traditional dish is Hudut
(see recipe in "Wat's Cooking").
The Garinagu brought Punta
music and dance to Belize. Tradi-
tional Punta is drum-based, with
gourd shakers and turtle shell
percussion. Punta Rock has
evolved from traditional Punta
into Belize's most popular and
seductive dance music. Check
out Garifuna drumming at the
Battle of the Drums on Novem-
ber 16. Enjoy the celebrations in

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Illegal Dump on San Antonio Road Removed

Community Effort and Coopera-
tion Pays Off

Over twenty community minded people spent
Saturday 29th September working to remove the
illegal and unsightly dump that was located on the
Punta Gorda-San Antonio Road about half a mile
from the intersection of the Southern Highway and
San Antonio Road. It has been an eye sore for
some time as well as being an environmental
hazard, with the waters from the area flowing into
the Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary and areas of
commercial rice farming close to the sanctuary.
A total of ten truckloads of garbage or the equiva-
lent of one hundred and thirty cubic yards of gar-
bage was removed from the illegal dumping site.

The new site designated by the Ministry of the
Environment and the Ministry of Health is the Old
Quarry located close to San Pedro Columbia vil-
lage. The new site has been deemed to be of a
good enough quality to eliminate the risk of leach-
ing damaging effluents into the surrounding water

As another part of the community outreach, over
twelve buses loaded with over seven hundred
travellers who normally passed the illegal dump
on a daily basis were stopped and boarded by the
volunteers. They explained to the passengers
what the exercise was all about, why it needed to
be done and the location of the new dump site.
The passengers were also asked not to dump any
trash there in future and to assist in keeping their
own communities clean.

A sign was also erected stating that the area was
"Closed to Dumping". Plans are underway to fill
the area with soil and to plant tropical flowers over
the site. The flowers for this part of the project
were donated by Machaca Hill Lodge.
It was a collaborative effort of the Toledo District
B.T.I.A, T.I.D.E., P.N.P. Party Executive, Aguacali-
ente Management Team, Big Falls Village Council,
the Ministry of Works, Peace Corp volunteers
serving in Toledo, Toledo Ecotourism Association,
Machaca Hill Lodge, Dem Dats Doin', Sun Creek
Lodge, Shell Gas Station, Toledo Cacao Growers
Association, Green & Black Cocoa, Earth Watch
and several other concerned citizens. People
either volunteered their time or donated materials,
cash or equipment necessary for the dump re-
moval. The effort was a huge success. Working
together works!

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Page 5



Wilma Salam, Office Manager atTTC

Hailing from Stuttgart in southern Germany,
Bruno Kuppinger formerly worked as a bank
manager and in marketing and sales for
BMW among other companies. But he, like
an increasing number of people, came to feel
the financial rewards were not worth the im-
balance between life and work.
He started to scan the world for a place
where that balance might be restored and
with a shortlist of ten countries in different
continents finally settled on Belize. His first
introduction to Belize was through the annual
ITB travel show in Berlin. So like many other
foreign investors in tourism in Belize his pre-

vious experience bore little relation to his
present business.
Bruno is now well established here and with
his wife Melissa from Mango Creek they man-
age Sun Creek Lodge fourteen miles west of
Punta Gorda on the Southern Highway. They
met a few months after his arrival in 1998 in
a Spanish language class in Belize City. Sun
Creek is strategically located for visitors who
want to have easy access to the attractions of
the Mayan villages, archaeological sites,
caves, rivers and forests of central Toledo.
Their other business is IBTM Tours through
which Bruno has escorted German groups
touring all Belize. IBTM has now established
an office in Punta Gorda as the Toledo Travel
The office is next to the Fajina Craft Center
and is just across the road from the new Cus-
toms and Immigration building. It is ideally
placed to entice visitors to stay longer in
Toledo. Wilma Salam (pictured left) runs the
office, welcomes travelers and books them
on to tours.
So what is different about these tour offers?
Until now all tours in Toledo have been pri-
vate charters with tour operators. The Toledo
Travel Center's regular scheduled tours allow
visitors to sign up at eight in the morning for
a trip leaving an hour later. That means if
there is only one guest the tour will still run.
No waiting around to see if anyone else turns

up. The service is guaranteed.
Tours take people inland from Punta Gorda
(pick ups can be arranged from other loca-
tions) to Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary (see
article on page 11), Blue Creek and Aguacate
and caves close by the village of Santa Cruz.
The Mayan sites of Lubaantun and Nim Li
Punit are also on his menu of tour offerings.
But Bruno does more than day trips and
keenly explores and researches his overnight
trips. The Maya Divide Trail is a case in point.
It is in many ways Bruno's "flagship" small
group adventure tour and takes up to ten
days from San Jose village in western Toledo
alongthe trail which runs parallel to the bor-
der with Guatemala up to Las Cuevas in
Cayo. The trail runs through some of the only
rainforest in Belize which deserves the status
of "pristine" due to its remoteness from set-
tlements. This is a tough trek with partici-
pants toting packs of up to forty pounds
weight with their own gear and all food and
other supplies and is really only for the physi-
cally and mentally strong but is truly a once in
a lifetime experience. This trip is done in
association with guides from San Jose village
and guests will be safe and well-looked after.
Contact Toledo Travel Center and Sun Creek
Tel: 722-0112, 600-8773, 604-2124
suncreek@hughes.net or ibtm@btl.net

Spotlight on Crafts:

Hand-Carved Rosewood Heirloom Pieces

Mateo Cal is a native of Dolores village in the
far south west corner of Belize but moved to
Crique Sarco nearby at the age of eighteen
when he married his wife Ularia who is from
there. They have brought up their five chil-
dren, between 15 and 23 years old, and the
youngest two are now studying at the Julian
Cho Technical High School close to Big Falls.
And with education comes school fees, so
that Mateo and Ularia have had to supple-
ment their family income through the manu-
facture and sale of Mateo's exquisite hand
carved bowls made from rosewood and ma-
hogany. He makes leaf-shaped, heart-
shaped, oval and round bowls as well as
salad fork and spoon sets and miniature
carved dories (dug out canoes).
Even if he had power tools Mateo would not
be able to use them since there is no electric-
ity in Crique Sarco where life is more attuned
to the rhythms of the sun and moon. His
tools are basic; chisels made from machete
blades, a hand planer, spoke shave and
Not much has changed in Crique Sarco in the

twenty-three years that Mateo has lived there
and there is little paid employment. He grows
corn, plantain, bananas and cassava on his
plantation and supplements this with some
hunting and fishing on the Temash river on
which the village is built. Accordingto Mateo
being able to get in a dory on the river and go
fishing anytime is one of the greatest pleas-
ures of life there.
Probably the biggest change in the past
twenty years has been transport. Mateo re-
members the time not so long ago when the
journey from Crique Sarco to Punta Gorda
was a four-hour boat ride up the coast past
Barranco. Now it is two hours by bus and
with a bridge being built over the Temash
maybe change is on the way.
Gift shops and hotels wantingto order
Mateo's crafts can contact him on the Crique
Sarco community phone at 702-2674 or
send an e-mail order to btiatoledo@btl.net
and Mateo will pick the order up when he
comes into Punta Gorda each week and de-
liver it on Tropic Air.

Mateo Cal from Crique Sarco

Where to get your copy of The Toledo Howler:

The Toledo Howler will normally be distributed at the Toledo Tourism Information Center on Front Street as well as at other shops, restau-
rants and places of business of BTIA members in Toledo (see list on Page 7). The paper can also be found at Maya Island Air and Tropic Air
terminals throughout Belize plus Tropic Air and Requena's Charters in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala.

Page 6



Business Name Email Phone Contact Person
Beya Suites info@beyasuites.com 722-2188 Lisa Avila
Blue Belize Guest House & Tours info@bluebelize.com 722-2678 Dan Castellanos & Rachel Graham
Coral House Inn ridarbelize@yahoo.com 501-722-2878 Rick & Darla Mallory
Cuxlin Ha Time Share cuxlinha@hotmail.com 501-614-2518 Dona Lee Scafe
Dem Dats Doin demdatsdoin@btl.net 501-722-2470 Yvonne Villoria
Fish & Fun Guiding Services bzdeepsouth@hotmail.com 671-0506 Ovel Leonardo
Garbutt's Marine Investment garbuttsmarine@yahoo.com 604-3548 Dennis Garbutt
Hickatee Cottages cottages@hickatee.com 662-4475 lan & Kate Morton
Juli Puryear julizeinbelize@yahoo.com 722-2276 Juli Puryear

Larry Smith larry@seafrontinn.com 722-2300 Larry & Carol Smith
The Lodge at Big Falls info@thelodgeatbigfalls.com 671-7172 Marta & Rob Hirons
Machaca Hill Lodge info@machacahill.com 722-0050 Ovel Leonardo
Obsession Bar & Grill stcharlespg@btl.net 722-0193 Carlo Wagner
Requena's Charter Service watertaxi@btl.net 722-2070 Julio Requena
Romero's Charter Service rcharters@btl.net 722-2625/2924 Frances Romero
Scotia Bank jose.chan@scotiabank.com 722-0098/0099 Jose Chan
Sun Creek Lodge suncreek@huges.net 600-8773/614-2080 Bruno & Melissa Kuppinger
Toledo Eco-Tourism Association 722-2531 Vicente Sackul
Tumul Kin Center of Learning tumulkin@starband.net 608-1070 Esther Sanchez Sho


Hotel Name Address Email Address Phone Number

A Piece of Ground #1050 Pelican Street apieceofground@hotmail.com 722-0044

Beya Suites #6 Hope Ville info@beyasuites.com 722-2188

Blue Belize Guest House Front Street info@bluebelize.com 722-2678

Charlton's Inn #9 Main Street wagnerdm@btl.net 722-2197

Circle C #117 West Street 722-2726

Coral House Inn Main Street ridarbelize@yahoo.com 722-2878

Frontier Inn #3 Air Strip Road frontierinn@btl.net 722-2450

Hotel Mira Mar #95 Front Street 722-2033

Mahung's Inn & Guest House #11 North & Main Streets mahungsinn@hotmail.com 722-2044/722-2874

Nature's Way Guest House Front Street Natureswayguest- 702-2119/722-2841
Pallavi's Hotel #19 Main Street gracemcp@hotmail.com 702-2414

Sea Front Inn #4 Front Street office@seafrontinn.com 722-2300

St. Charles Inn #23 King Street stcharlespg@btl.net 722-2149

Tate's Guest House #34 Jose Maria Nunez street 722-0147

Tidal Waves #50 Havana Street 702-0154/607-9335

Upstairs Lounge Inn #51 Main Middle Street 722-0111

Wahima Hotel #11 Front Street 722-2542

Page 7

Page 8


Tours operated by:

Sun Creek Lodge

and IBT3M TSors

2 722-0112 or 600-8773

E-mail: ToledoTravelCenter@gmail.com

u @ @

Hudut is a traditional Garifuna dish, in honor
of Garifuna Settlement Day on 19 November:


Serves 6


2 Ibs. fish filet, from firm fish such as tarpon
or barracuda, washed in lime juice
Salt and black pepper
2 tsp. red recado
Cilantro and culantro, 1 bunch each, chopped
Cream from 3 coconuts (method below)
8 cups warm water
3 green plantain
1 ripe plantain
1 large onion, sliced
1 sweet pepper, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1TBSP oil


1-3 hot peppers, left whole


Season the fish with salt, pepper, recado,
cilantro and cilantro. Set aside to marinate.

Make the coconut cream by grating the coco-
nut, then pouring warm water over it, and
squeezingthe cream out of it. You can
squeeze out the milk with your hands, or by
wringing it in a clean dish towel. Discard the
grated coconut trash, or feed to the chickens.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel green
plantain, and add to boiling water. Boil till just
soft, then add peeled ripe plantain and boil a
few more minutes. Mash plantain using large
wooden mortar ('tubruce mortar' see photo).
Mash until it all comes together...it will be
sticky, but not smooth. Cover and keep warm.

Saute onion, garlic and sweet pepper in oil
until soft. Add coconut milk and hot pep-
pers, and bringto a simmer over me-
dium heat. Add fish to this broth, and
simmer until the fish is cooked through,
stirring constantly to keep the coconut
milk from curdling. Do not boil. Correct
seasonings. If you want more heat in the
soup, break the pepper while cooking.
Put mashed plantain into bowls, cover
with hot soup and serve. Eat till you bust
yu belly!



2 coconuts (dried coconuts)
1 Ib brown sugar
Grated ginger


Grate coconut and put into pot with brown
sugar and ginger.
Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until
mixture sticks together.
Put on a wet or greased sheet.
Spread and flatten with wet spoon or knife.
Cut into squares when cool.



Schedule for Buses leaving Punta Gorda

Departs Arrives in Price Service Type of
from Punta Belize City Service
4:00am 11:00am $22 James Bus Line Regular

4:30am 9:15am $22 National Regular

5:00am 11:00am $22 Usher's Bus Regular

5:30am 12:30pm $22 James Bus Line Regular

6:00am 11:00am $26 James Bus Line Express

6:00am 1:00pm $22 James Bus Line Regular

8:00am 3:00pm $22 James Bus Line Regular

9:00am 4:00pm $22 BBDC Regular

10:00am 5:00pm $22 James Bus Line Regular

12:00 noon 7:00pm $22 James Bus Line Regular

1:30pm 7:30pm $22 Usher's Bus Regular

3:00pm 9:00pm $22 James Bus Line Regular

Maya Island Air Flights from Punta Gorda


103 8:00 102 6:50

103 1:00 104 9:30

115 2:30 116 4:00

Boat Schedule from Punta Gorda

To Puerto Barrios

Exit fee is $7.50 BZ

Business Departs Arrive in Fare Days of Notes
Name & Punta Puerto depar-
contact info Gorda Barrios ture
one way

Requena's 9:30am 10:30am $40 Mon-Sun Customers
Charters are asked to
Tel:722-2070 arrive at the
customs at
Email: 9am for
et customs

Pichilingo 2:00pm 3:00pm $43 Mon-Sun
Marisol 4:00pm 5:00pm $43 Mon-Sun

Boat Schedule from Puerto Barrios

to Punta Gorda

Applicable exit fees and taxes: $80 Quetzales

Business Name Departs Arrive Punta Fare Days of
& contact info Puerto Gorda Departure
Single One
Pichilingo 10:00am 11LO0am $43 Mon-Sun
Requena's Char- 2:00pm 3:00pm $40 Mon-Sun
ter Service


Email: water-

Page 9

Mari Sol






We all form part of an intricate food chain
that, once broken, can take many years to fix.
For example, large sharks such as blacktips
eat fish such as barracuda and hammer-
heads, snack on stingrays and eagle rays.
Remove these sharks through overfishing
and you end up with more barracuda and
more rays. More barracudas mean fewer
herbivorous fish that eat algae and more
eagle rays mean fewer conchs (eagle rays
prey on small conch).

Take it one step further: with no herbivorous
fish to eat the algae covering the coral reef,
there is nowhere for little corals to settle
down and grow following coral spawning and
the reef dies without being replaced. So top
predators fulfill an important role in the ma-
rine ecosystem and their removal can have
impacts that may be far more severe and
widespread than we can imagine.

Before we can understand some of the com-
plexities of the food chain and our impacts on
its networks, we need to know more about
the species and the links in the chain. One
such set of links includes the sharks and
Goliath grouper.

Southern Belize hosts two top predator re-
search projects spearheaded since Decem-
ber 2005 by the Wildlife Conservation Society
in partnership with local fishers and guides,
Fisheries and local non-governmental organi-
zations TIDE, SATIIM, FON and TASTE. These
projects focus respectively on finding out
more about the populations and distribution
of sharks and rays and Goliath grouper, also
known as jewfish. Our goal is to foster the
management and conservation of these long
lived and, in many cases, endangered spe-
cies. To date, research results have been
disseminated through community presenta-
tions, handouts and articles published in
"The Placencia Breeze".

Evidence that populations of sharks and rays
worldwide are buckling under the pressure
from unsustainable fisheries prompted our
research. Dramatic declines and complete
disappearance of functional populations for a
range of shark species has been documented
over relatively short time scales. Goliath grou-
per, another top marine predator in our wa-
ters, have also faced dramatic declines
throughout their ranges leading to local extir-
pations that have earned them the label of
"Critically Endangered to Extinction" by the
World Conservation Union's Red List.

The food chain's top predators have similar
life history traits of long life, late maturation,
low production, and low population recovery
rates. Their absence is a strong indicator of
fishing pressure. In many coastal and coral
reef habitats, an abundance of sharks repre-
sents functional ecosystems. Moreover, in
many sites worldwide sharks and grouper
form the basis of a rapidly expanding snorkel
and dive tourism industry. With one in four
Belizeans associated with tourism, and a
country-wide focus on marine tourism in par-
ticular, keeping sharks and large grouper
alive is good for business.

Results from the field work and fisher surveys

have also revealed a lack of top predators
throughout Belize, and Southern Belize in
particular. Historical accounts derived from
fishers, dive tour operators and guides have
provided information on the changes in abun-
dance and distribution of shark species and
Goliath grouper populations. Surveys of local
and Guatemalan fishermen revealed that
catches of sharks and large Goliath grouper,
once commonly taken, have declined dra-
matically over the past twenty years.

Some species such as lemon sharks and
hammerheads are rarely found anymore
where they were once abundant. More worri-
some is the fact that fishers in Livingston who
used to fish shark in Amatique Bay have now
turned to catching stingrays as the sharks
were fished out. A similar trend is occurring in
Belize where fishers are increasingly focusing
their efforts on nurse sharks and small mud-
bottom dwelling sand sharks to make up for
the increasing lack of large sharks (blacktips,

hammerheads, lemons, reef sharks and ti-
gers). This is similar to findings presented by
other researchers worldwide.

There is even less information on Goliath
grouper as most populations worldwide have
been fished out before research could even
begin. It's notjust impacts on the species
themselves that is cause for concern but on
their habitats. Recent studies in Florida have
revealed that Goliath grouper require red
mangroves to survive as juveniles this is
the same species that lines many of our estu-
aries and coasts in Belize. Goliath grouper
are therefore increasingly vulnerable to the
rapid changes in Belize's
coastal mangrove habitats
fostered, ironically, by
tourism-driven develop- I u


Whereas Goliath grouper
are primarily caught by
local fishers for local con-
sumption, sharks are cap-
tured in Belize by fishers
residing in Guatemala and
products are exported to
Guatemala or Mexico. The
demand for shark prod-
ucts is fueled primarily by
the Lenten season and the
Asian fin markets both
of which are growing. Goli-
ath grouper are not being
spared from market de-

mand either. A restaurant survey conducted
as part of the research has revealed that
additional pressures will be placed on this
critically endangered species due to planned
expansion of restaurants and increased de-
mand; and Goliath grouper wasn't even con-
sidered a favorite fish species for the dinner
table! Fishers identified nets as their pre-
ferred shark fishing gear and spearfishing
and set lines capture the majority of Goliath
grouper. Most dramatically of all, the two
species of sawfish that existed in Belize ap-
pear to be ecologically extinct: not a single
one of the 151 fishers interviewed had en-
countered a sawfish in recent years despite
an increase in fishing effort throughout the
country. Again, nets were cited by the major-
ity of fishers interviewed as the reason for
their demise.

It is hard for some to imagine why one would
want sharks or huge grouper. Yet we need to
think about the future of our coasts and
reefs, our future. Also,
can we imagine a sea,
our sea stories or our
imaginations devoid of
sharks or large grou-
pers? Will we let these
species, these "jaguars
of the sea" become
distant memories like
our once abundant
sawfish? We hope not.
Bigfish are not only
part of Belize's heri-
tage, they keep the
country's marine realm
healthy and attract
tourism. In fact, sharks
are friends, not food!
We look forward to
working with fishers, guides, NGOs and gov-
ernment to bring back and manage the popu-
lations of large marine predators for future
generations and we definitely want to hear
your stories of the big fish you have seen and
have kept alive in your memories.

For more information contact:
Dr. Rachel Graham
Wildlife Conservation Society, Hopeville,
Punta Gorda Tel: 672-7777
Email: rgraham@wcs.org
http://www.iucnredlist.org/ The World Con-
servation Union

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Page 10



Make easy, affordable connections to the


It is easy to overlook the contribution of com-
munity-based organizations in tourism devel-
opment in Belize and here in Toledo the
Aguacaliente Management Team (AMT), rep-
resenting ten local villages, has been working
hard over the past five years to conserve the
remarkable biodiversity of the Aguacaliente
Wildlife Sanctuary (AWS) established in
Part of those efforts have been aimed at
demonstratingthe potential benefits of at-
tracting local and international tourism and
part focused on educating local people about
the sustainable use of the natural resources
within the sanctuary. Traditional uses of the
area, in addition to hunting, and fishing, in-
clude the harvesting of bay leaf and tie-tie
vines for thatching, leaves from the Give and
Take palm for brooms, and the collection of
medicinal plants. Before being declared a
wildlife Sanctuary, the area was once used
for cattle ranching as well.
The AWS is a protected area of about five and
a half thousand acres including a central
wetland area with three large permanent
lagoons set amidst rolling hills to the east
and steep karst hills to the south. It really is
a birder's paradise and a number of species
such as the Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Blue-
winged Teal and Black-necked Stilt use it as a
transmigration stopover between February
and May.
Much of the sanctuary consists of a very shal-
low basin which is quickly inundated when
the rains begin and the seasonal flooding has
produced adaptations of the flora and fauna
which make the whole eco-system unique.
As part of AMT's "Alternative Livelihood Pro-
gram" a gibnut (paca) rearing project has
been established. It is modeled on a success-
ful project in Costa Rica. A number of house-
holds in Laguna and San Marcos villages are
involved. The project is aimed at domestica-
tion of gibnuts for meat production and the
ranchers are already learning new things
about them. They have learned to separate

newborn males from their jealous fathers
who may kill them. They also must ensure
that there is a water trough in the gibnut en-
closure since they always mate standing in
The sanctuary is also home to what may be
the largest structure in Toledo if not in the
whole of Belize. This is the 2000 yard board-
walk constructed with the help of local people
and Trekforce volunteers with wood salvaged
from Hurricane Iris in 2001. The boardwalk
makes the sanctuary accessible all year
round and runs from close by Laguna village
to Piedra Creek where visitors may embark
on one of the canoes to take them out into
the lagoons. Volunteers have also rebuilt the
Visitor Center and toilets. There are presently
two canoes available for visitors use with one
or two more on the way.
AMT has also invested in training for their
park rangers, three new tour guides living
close to the sanctuary and for hospitality,
food service and hygiene training for twenty
women from Big Falls, Hickatee, Laguna, Blue

Creek, and Silver Creek. To arrange a meal in
any of these villages contact the AMT office in
Big Falls.
Florentino Pop is the manager of the
Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary and is based
at the AMT's office in Big Falls village. He has
been involved since the beginning and has
taken a leading role in its development. He
says, I feel proud of our achievements
which are the achievements of everyone in-
volved, from villagers to PACT, the govern-
ment, and the Forestry Department with
whom we share co-management responsibili-
ties, as well as overseas organizations like
the Peace Corps and Trekforce".

Look out for Aguacaliente's new web site
www.aguacaliente.bz which will be on line
soon. ContactAMT at their Big Falls office
on 665-4301 or e-mail
amt aws@vahoo.com

Visit Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary

To arrange to visit the Aguacaliente Wildlife
Sanctuary call the Laguna community
phone 709-2970 and speak to Miss Han-
nah Shol. The sanctuary policy requires
that all visiting groups are accompanied by
a park ranger. Miss Shol is the only person
authorized to receive entrance fees and
canoe hire fees on behalf of the AMT.
Please remember to ask for your receipt
upon payment.
Entrance Fee BZ$10 for overseas visitors
BZ$2 for Belizeans and residents.
Canoe hire $10 per canoe per visit
Ranger Fee $30 per group for any part of a

Visit a Gibnut Ranch

To visit a gibnut rearing facility ask for
Vicente Choc or Leoncio Muku in San Mar-
cos Village or Manuel Mis, Wallace Cucul,
Eduardo Coy, Francisco Chub or Vicente
Sakul in Laguna Village.

There is no fee but donations are appreci-

Page 11

Wan Lee Bit a Kriol

When yu go out da night, when yu da come home, you fi walk in a yu house
backways so ghost no da follow you in.

If you go out at night, when you return home you should walk into the house
backwards, so ghosts can't follow you into the house.



If you are looking to satisfy your sweet
tooth while doing some good for local
kids, look no farther than Tumul K'in
Center of Learning. Located in Blue
Creek, Toledo, Tumul K'in was officially
founded by Mr. Angel Tzec and Dr. Filib-
erto Penados but has really been in the
mind of the Mayan elders for about 25
Work to set up the school started as
early as the year 2000-2001 and the
school was officially opened by Prime
Minister Said Musa in January of 2002.
Tumul K'in is a non-governmental or-
ganization and only receives a small
subvention from the Ministry of Educa-
tion and the Ministry of Agricul-
ture. Their primary funders are Ireland
Aid, Omega Finland and they have had
projects with FAO, UNICEF, GEF/SGP,
PACT, UNDP, Regional Radio Pro-
ject, and many others. The Ministry of
Agriculture in Cayo has provided invalu-
able non-monetary assistance.
Tumul K'in has a total of 30 students
from Toledo, Orange Walk, and Cayo
districts. They have students as young
as 14 and as old as 20. There is no spe-
cific age limit as they believe that you
are never too old to get an educa-
tion. The students are a part of Tumul
K'in for a total of 5 years, with the first 4

years spent at the Center and the fifth
year spent in their respective villages
doing their entrepreneurial pro-
jects. These are either in Food Process-
ing or Agriculture Science and Produc-
tion (or directly related areas) since
these are the two main specializations
For many years local people have pro-
duced many fruits, vegetables, honey
and other products and not found a mar-
ket for them. Tumul K'in took it upon
itself to try to provide a market for many
of these raw materials and convert
them into processed foods for sale to
the general public. All income gener-
ated from the sale of these products
goes towards financing the school.
The Center became recognized nation-
ally in 2006 with the launch of its honey
product at the Radisson Fort George
Hotel. Since then it has provided con-
sumers with a honey product that is har-
vested, processed, packaged and mar-
keted with the utmost care and atten-
tion. Tumul K'in not only produces its
own honey but purchases honey from
other bee-keepers in the Toledo district
and the country of Belize. The honey
processed and eventually sold comes
primarily from bees feeding off wild
flowers in the rainforest.

The Tumul K'in Food Processing Unit
currently produces bottled honey, honey
jelly, pickles, jams and pepper
sauces. Tumul K'in's farm produces
pigs, sheep, corn, rice, vegetables and
poultry for its own consumption and
some for sale. Presently, their honey,
jam and pepper sauces are available at
Mel's Market, Green Supaul's Supermar-
ket and Carysha's Deja Brew Cafe
in Punta Gorda as well as many hotels
and lodges. These delicious products are
a great addition to your pantry, and also
make sweet gifts to take home.

Page 12


Coral House Inn

Step off of Main Street in Punta Gorda and
experience the intimate atmosphere of the
Coral House Inn, with spacious verandas
overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Amenities include Swimming pool, conti-
nental breakfast, wireless internet, poolside
bar and use of bicycles.

ummacoralhouseinn t

79_22 878

BTIA (Belize Tourism Industry Association) is the private sector
body in Belize promoting and advocating the interests of a healthy
tourism industry which is both profitable and sustainable. And let's
remember that it cannot be one without the other.
The BTIA directly represents the interests of hotels, lodges, guest
houses, restaurants, tour operators, taxi and bus services and tour
It indirectly promotes those of the shops and wholesalers, weavers
and carvers and those young school and university graduates
whose skills and education will leave Toledo if we cannot find long
term employment for them at home. All these and others benefit
from the extra trade and commerce the tourism industry generates
in the local economy.
BTB (The Belize Tourism Board) advertizes that one in four jobs in
the national economy are in tourism and the success of tourism
has a trickle down effect through the local economy that will posi-
tively benefit far more than that.
BTIA's success in the promotion of tourism in Toledo is directly
proportional to the energy, enthusiasm and numbers of its mem-
bers. New members should be asking themselves what they can
do for the organization, for the success of its projects will benefit
all the stakeholders mentioned above.
The Toledo Howler is one project that will help to spread the word
about the cultural and natural wealth we have to share with visi-
tors from Belize and overseas. Support The Howler by advertizing
and support your own business or organization by joining BTIA.
Put your business on the map and join those volunteers in BTIA
working for tourism with energy and enthusiasm on behalf of the
whole community.
Join BTIA in 2008 and receive a free blank copy on CD of our Punta
Gorda map on page 15 and Toledo District map on page 16. You
can adapt these freely, using Photoshop or similar software, to
produce your own promotional flyers and literally put your business
on the map. Apply now at the Tourism Information Center on Front
Street to join us for the whole membership year beginning in Janu-
ary 2008.

Orchid Online
Distribution System
fODS) i a series which
prvies automated product
distribution services to Bdlze

*luiT-"r 3
M1*3 'u

I OP !L4

The ODS Hotels Inventory and
ratescanbesmsedandbooked I
direcdy by trMers through our
member wehsites, numerous affiliate
paneso bytravl agens that subscribe
to the ODS.

Ordhid 005 serves meet the needs of
hotels of all sizes and Is affordable as
there are no ws involved, you only pay
when you receive a booking.

Conc Us

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IsthemostcompleteresrcweW Belze
travel ad i the flagship webste
of the Orchld Distribution System.
Wee irpesti heavily in developing
new and targeted webste portals to
inese our members' exposure to
thowandsofpotenfial visitswhocan
book instantly through the system.

Orhi" J

OrcBiSlif2lg B e



One of the "must see" places in Belize
More than a thousand species of exotic plants,

Over 100 varieties of tropical fruits.

Pick up a brochure at the Toledo Info Center, Pequena Charters or Carysha's

Mail: demdatsdoin@btl.net

'- --

Page 13


Cal\ Yvonne at 722-2470




Now with International
Access at all ATMs

Ufe. Money Balance both:


1. lBS

i 11W fitr .. rd h'A1wnrt rlin I r*. -1..rrmlTp iJ -h: Ih.4 1I 'If
Ii y iu < U S a tairicd ri^eyg l.d24 hffr;dlrtc rm~nadl Ircr. I1w. '11w FI-" hi" l,,t'

Contact Toledo BTIA at the Tourism Information Center. Col
Front St., Punta Gorda Tel. 722-2531 E-mail btiatoledo@btl.net Fe<
Chair: Bruno Kuppinger, Secretary: YvonneVilloria Pro
Treasurer: Leonie Requena

C~ K C.Cu \lin Ha timeshare resort

and retirement village

DSwimming pool with waterfall, lounge chairs and palapas to shade
you. Pool open to public. Piver access for swimming g fishing."
*Hot showers, A/C, meeting facilities, volleyball court."
*Full Kitchen facilities in every unit; meals available*
*Inland and sea tours available with our licensed Maya guide*
Located at the end of Papishaw
Road, Eldridgeville.
Mail: cu sinhaehotmail.com.
ChecK us out at our website at:
Dona Scafe: 011-501-(C14-2516
S200oo special: $199USD+ tas
: For I weeK in a I bedroom
*condo, sloos 4in 2 ds.:
I lcn ao," .......... ...

Did you know...?
You can see scarlet macaws at Red Bank village from around
the end of December until the end of March.

Call Geronimo Sho at Red Bank village on 509-3110 or 608-
7776 to find out if they have arrived or are still around.

ntact The Howler Editorial Team Tel. 722-2531 E-mail btiatoledo@btl.net
atures Editor: Marta Hirons 671-7172, Advertizing Manager: Juli Puryear, 722-2276.
iduction Manager: Rob Hirons 671-7172, Editorial Assistant Zoara Gutierrez 722-2531

Page 14

9 Nov. Cultural Talent Show Parish Hall, P.G. 17 Nov. Garifuna Festival, all day Central Park, P.G.

Torchlight Parade Cemetary to Central Park.
9 Nov. Miss Cultural Pageant, St Peter Parish Hall, P.G. Mali Central Park, P.G.
Claver School
9 Nov. Garifuna Drumming 18 Nov. Garifuna Cultural Festival, all day Central Park, P.G.

10 Nov. Drumming 18th Night Party: Paul Nabor, DJ P.G. Sports Bar
Jessie, DJ Bush, Umalali Drum-
TOLTEX Central Park 10am-5pm
mers. Sports Bar Vibes
11 Nov. Drumming 19 Nov. Yurumein Re-enactment Immigration Wharf, P.G.

Garifuna Mass St Peter Claver School

14 Nov. Garifuna Service at 6:30pm Methodist Church, P.G. Official Ceremony, Parade. Jump Central Park, P.G.
Up & Block Party

16 Nov. Yurumein Re-enactment by St Fire Engine Wharf, P.G. 27 Jan 08 Meetthe Stars' Fundraiser Central Park, 7- 9 pm
Peter Claver School
Cultural Day & Garifuna Mass St. Peter Claver School. 27-29 Mar 08 3rd Annual Belizean Flavor Craft 9 am 6 pm
P.G. Competition: Exhibition & Sale
Cultural Day TOLTECH High School 27 April 08 1stAnnual 'Fighting Poverty &
Malnutrition District Tour
Cultural Day & Yurumein Re- Toledo Community College. 24-25 May 08 Monkey River Festival Monkey River Village
enactment P.G.
Cultural Day Methodist School, P.G. 23-25 May08 Toledo Cacao Festival P.G. & district venues TBA

Battle of the Drums Multi-purpose Building

Note: Please help us to help you advertise your annual events such as school fairs, deer dances, concerts, etc. by contacting the Howler edi-
torial staff giving the event title, date, time and location. Only events which are open to the general public will be listed here.

Punta Gorda

A Texaco filling station
B James Bus Lne
C Police Station 722-2022
0 BTL office Public phones
E Post Office
F Customs & Immigration
G Belize Bank
H Tropic Air
I Maya Island Air
J Hospital 722-2026 or 722-2161


to Guatmal

SInfwormlMn Center

BTIA Members In Punta Gorda
1. Beya Suites
2. Garbutts Marine investment
3. Larry Smith
4. Toledo Eotourism Association
5. Requenas Charter Service
6. Jui Puryear
7. Blue Belize Guest House & Tours
8. Coral House Inn
9. Hickatee Cottages im swth or PG
on ~F-Semar e t Road
10, Scotia Bank

Join BTIA and Put Your Business on the Map

BTIA is businesses working together to promote Toledo
district as a tourism destination.

Join now and get a FREE blank copy of the PG town map
above. Use the map to produce your own promotional lit-
erature for your business.

The BTIA membership year runs from January to Decem-
ber so apply now to put your business on the map from
the beginning of 2008.

How Do I Join BTIA?

Visit www.btia.org to read about BTIA and all the other member-
ship benefits and to download an application form. Complete the
form and hand it in to Mrs Leonora Requena at Requena's char-
ters on Front St.
BTIA meets monthly on Wednesdays at the Tourism Information
Center on Front Street. Be a part of BTIA and make a practical
contribution to the economic development of Toledo District.




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BTIA Members
1. The Lodge at Big Falls
2. Sun Creek Lodge
3. Dom Dat's Doon'r San Pedro Columbia
4. Tumul Kin, Blue Creek village
5, Machaca Hill Lodge
.l Romero's Charters, Forest Home
S 7. Cotton Tree Lodge

BTIA's distinctive octagonal Infor-
mation Center on Front street in
Punta Gorda. All you need to know
about Toledo is inside
Join BTIA and displayyour promo-
tional materials in the information

Join BTIA and
make a differ-

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Classified Ads
Tour Guiding and Chartering Services,
Offered by Terence Woodye, professional fully-licensed tour
guide. Mayan sites & village life, caves, waterfalls, birdwatching
and kayaking. 614-5147/722-2136.

Carysha's Internet Caf6

High speed dsl wireless Internet services on quality computers.
No sticky keyboards here. Copies, printing, fax, lamination. We
have a friendly helpful staff in a relaxing environment. Free E-
mail classes everyday.

Dream Light Computer Center
Internet for .100 a minute, Student Discounts, Printing starting
at .300 per page, A/C, Repairs, International Phone calls start-
ing at .250 a min., Lowest Prices in town. Money gram agent,
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Great Value Advertizing in the Howler Promote your business in
our classified section $25 for up to 21 words! Phone 722-2276

- -----------------------------------------------^.


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