Toledo Howler
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094063/00015
 Material Information
Title: Toledo Howler
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Creator: Marta Hirons; Rob Hirons
Publisher: Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association
Place of Publication: Punta Gorda,Toledo District, Belize
Creation Date: February 2011
Edition: Rev.
Genre: newspaper   ( sobekcm )
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00094063:00015


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The Toledo Howler

Newspaper of the Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association


Zip Line Coming

to Toledo

Toledo BTIA's newest member is Andrew
Caliz the owner of Las Faldas bar and
restaurant on the banks of the Rio
Grande next to the bridge in Big Falls
Cacao Fest 2011 1 village.
Now The Howler does not normally write
Destinations: 2 about projects which have yet to happen
San Miguel but in this case we are making an excep-
tion. Las Faldas has one of the nicest
Belize Honey- 3 locations in the district with views over
moons the Rio Grande falls but even more excit-
Restaurant 4 ing is the planned zip line that Andrew
Guide and his partner David Franco are con-
structing at the time of writing.
This should be a great draw for visitors
to Toledo, becoming only the third zip
MapofPG 5 line in Belize after the ones at Jaguar
BTIA Members 6 Paw and Calico Jack's in Cayo. Construc-
List tion of this one will be to the same stan-
dards as the other two. Zip lines are al-
Botanical re- 7 ways popular and this one should attract
search in tour operators and groups from Placen-
Bladen cia and Hopkins as well as visitors stay-
Transport sched- 8 ing in Toledo.
ules A total run of about two and a half thou-
Arzu on medici- 9 sand feet is planned, in six or seven sec-
nal plants tions, with a landing and launching plat-
form at each tree stop along the way. It
will cross the Rio Grande once along the
Southern Voices 10
Interview: Flo way.
Johnson A zip line has been on Toledo BTIA's wish
What's New: 11 list for development of the destination
Update from and we keenly await it's completion. The
Members opening is planned for the end of March
Lee Joneson 13 and the Howler will be featuring a full
Birding article on its launch in the next issue.

Visitor's Voice 14 Contact:
Andrew Caliz dehsino@yahoo.com or
Map of Toledo 14 674-8368
Classified Ads 14 David Franco 631-3497




Fest 2011

The Howler can confirm that the Cacao Festival
for 2011 is definitely on, despite any rumours
to the contrary and will be as entertaining as
ever. The dates are set for the weekend of May
20-22. It will be packed with exciting events
and activities for young and old alike, not only
to pay tribute to the finest organic cacao grown
by local Mayan villagers, but also to honor Ek
Chuah, the ancient Mayan god of merchants
and cacao.
Friday night opens with the classy Wine and
Chocolate Evening with music by one of Be-
lize's foremost singers, Nelita Castillo and will
be held for the first time at the Coral House
Saturday's festivities will feature the town of
Punta Gorda and the natural wonders of the
district. Visitors and townies will have a map
and list of events around town that will include
music in Central Park, the morning market, a
cacao center at Cotton Tree Chocolate in town,
a tour of the fire house, a chance to sit inside a
Tropic Air plane, a tortilla making exhibition at
the Fajina Centre, an art exhibit and an arche-




Face painting in PG Central Park, Cacao Fest 2010

ology exhibit and art display sponsored by
Continued on page 4

BTIA's distinctive octagonal Informa-
tion Center on Front street in Punta
Gorda All you need to know about
Toledo is inside
Join BTIA and displayyour promotional
materials in the information center
Join BTIA and make a difference

Contact Toledo BTIA at the Tourism Information Center,
Front St., Punta Gorda Tel. 722-2531
E-mail btiatoledo@btl.net Chair: Chrisbel Perez
Secretary. Delonie Forman Treasurer: Dona Scafe

Contact The Howler Editorial Team
Tel. 722-2531 E-mail btiatoledo@btl.net. Features Editor: Marta
Hirons 671-7172 or marta@thelodgeaatbigfalls.com.
Advertising and Production Manager: Rob Hirons 671-7172 or

Destinations: San Miguel

Sign by the bridge at San Miguel. One of the project's shelters is visible behind the sign. The
words at the bottom of the sign read " Let's join hands for a healthier river eco-system"

Travellers to the village of San Mi-
guel in the heart of Toledo district
may have noticed the way the vil-
lage has been busy replanting trees
along the banks of the Rio Grande.
This is all part of a project to protect
the environment and to help in-
crease the fish population in the
The Howler visited San Miguel and
spoke to Alberto Cal who is effec-
tively the project manager and has
been involved since the project's
inception going back about ten
Alberto explained that when he was
a child he remembers leaning over
the bridge or wandering along the
river bank and being able to see
dozens of machaca, tuba and
snook in the water. These days he
says you would be lucky to see any
fish at all. In the past nobody used
nets, or spear guns or diving masks
and over-fishing with this type of
equipment has brought the fish
population close to extinction. But
it is not all about fish alone since
the project also has other strands.
Alberto has always been aware of
the need to gain the commitment of
the village in order for a project like

this to succeed and when the idea
was originally presented to the vil-
lage there was general agreement
and Alberto himself was asked to
form a group to co-ordinate activi-
ties. A board was formed including
a teacher, medical student, mem-
ber of the BDF and students study-
ing for a degree in Natural Re-
source Management. The project is
called Ka'kalenel Kar Si' Nima'
which translates literally as "river
fish watcher" Early small grants
were used for garbage collection
and river cleaning.
It was not until about three years
ago that a leap forward was made
with help from TIDE (Toledo Insti-
tute for Development and the Envi-
ronment) which gave soil and grow
bags to create a nursery for sap-
lings to replant the river bank. TIDE
also helped with the proposal which
successfully applied for a grant with
the aim of demarcating the sixty-six
feet of Crown Land and planting
trees along the river bank, clearing
a trail on the south bank leading up
to Tiger Cave and building shelters
along the route for hikers visiting
the cave. Ya'axche Conservation
Trust also donated around five hun-

Maya Day 2011

dred trees.
All this has been achieved and the
village wants to welcome visitors to
Toledo who want to explore the
caves. The bank is lined with young
bribri (inga), cedar, mahogany and
cotton trees (ceiba) among other
species. The trail is complete al-
though the group want to build
bridges to cross six small creeks
coming into the river. Right now
hikers still need to scramble across.
The bridge construction will form
part of a second phase project.
They would like to section the river
so that there are stretches where
fishing is not allowed at all and oth-
ers where fishing is allowed but
with a line only. They would also
like to set aside other parts of the
river for students to use for educa-
tional research.
While most readers are likely to
agree that this is unquestionably a
good thing, the project has had
many ups and downs and support
from the whole village has not al-
ways been forthcoming. One man's
"conservation" is another's
"restrictions on traditional use".
And now that the trail has opened
up areas that were previously diffi-
cult to access there is a need for
vigilance to ensure that gains made
by reforestation on the river bank
are not wiped out by loss of other
Everyone involved in the project has
to be congratulated for their willing-
ness to be involved and determina-
tion to see it through. Alberto em-
phasizes the need to gain the will-
ing co-operation of as many of the
community as possible.
Visitors or tour operators wanting to
use the trail are recommended to
contact either Alberto Cal or Kenny
Cal who can arrange for a trail
Alberto Cal 623-9361 or Kenny Cal

Maya Day which has until now been held towards the Mayan long calendar.
end of March will this year take place on the weekend Public events on Sunday 15 May will include the Cor-
of May 14-15. tez Dance.
Tumul K'in the organizers of the festival for the past Previous celebrations have included enactments of the
few years promise that the event will be an interna- ancient Mayan Ball game as well as performance of
tional occasion with participation from Guatemala and
Honduras. Tumul K'in will be hosting the 11th Encuen-
tro Maya with representatives from Mexico, Guatemala
and Belize. That event will include discussion of indige- Further details will be published in the next edition of
nous and women's rights as well as 2012 end of the The Toledo Howler in April.

Belize Named #1 Up-And-Coming Honeymoon Destination By BRIDES


The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is
pleased to announce that Brides Maga-
zine and Signature Travel Network has
named Belize the #1 up-and-coming
honeymoon destination in BRIDES
March issue. BRIDES Magazine
reaches over 6.5 million readers per
issue and is published 12 times a year
by Conde Nast.

"Promoting our romantic getaways has
been one of our top marketing priorities
for the last two years, so we're pleased
that our country has received such a
distinguished recognition," said Seleni
Matus, Director of Tourism for the BTB.
"This nomination is truly a testament to
the success of our Belize in Love cam-
paign and hard work and support from
our Private Sector partners, who go
above and beyond to ensure couples
have the romantic escape that they've

always dreamt of."

The Belize in Love initiative, first
launched in 2009, is an effort that pro-
motes the country's vast array of offer-
ings for couples planning destination
weddings and honeymoons, anniversa-
ries and other romantic getaways.
Among efforts throughout the years,
the BTB has hosted numerous journal-
ists from top wedding and honeymoon
publications covering romantic travel in
Belize including such prominent outlets
as Destination Weddings & Honey-
moons, Modern Bride, Cosmo,
About.com and Real Simple, in March
2009, as well as a Blogger Press Trip in
November 2009.

In July 2010, the campaign kicked into
high gear with the launch of a new,
interactive site called Belize In Love,
which is accessed through the BTB's
official tourism website, TravelBe-
lize.org. Serving as a primary source
for couples planning wedding and ro-
mantic escapes in Belize, the Belize In
Love site has become a go-to resource
for lovebirds seeking tips on romantic
outings, expert advice on planning
trips, information on wedding licenses
and more. Among its most popular
feature, the "Romance Specials" sec-

B I-

tion is raved as one of the most helpful
tools because it allows travelers to
hone in on specific romance packages
and deals from hoteliers throughout
the country.

A group of more than 6,000 top travel
agents were polled; full findings about
Belize's ranking as the #1 up-and-
coming honeymoon destination will be
revealed in the magazine's annual Best
Honeymoons Award survey, which was
conducted through the Signature Travel

BRIDES was the first wedding maga-
zine and has remained the most widely
read wedding magazine in the world.
Signature Travel Network is a member-
owned, travel cooperative with 191
member agencies and 365 retail loca-
tions throughout the U.S. and Canada.


The Lodge at Big Falls

Winner 'Best Small Hotel of the Year'

Weekend specials available

Phone: 671-7172

Email: info4?thelodleatdbifa Ils.com
elax Refresh Rediscover Rene

Toledo Belize on the Web Find out more at these web sites
www.southernbelize.com which calls itself the "#1 source of information about southern Belize". This may no longer be true
since it has not been updated for some time and does not take account of infrastructural improvements that make the dis-
trict very easily accessible by bus, car or plane. But there is plenty of good information here too.
www.travelbelize.orgfdestinations/destinations/toledo.html The site of the BTB with links to pages about national parks,
Mayan sites and areas of natural beauty.



Wat's Cookin?

Machaca Spiced

Hot Chocolate Mix
* 12 cups granulated sugar
* 6 pound Belizean/Mayan
chocolate - can be a mix of
chocolate types including bit-
tersweet and semi-sweet and a
small amount of unsweetened.
* 3 cups (or 24 small packets)
cocoa powder
* 24 cinnamon sticks
* 12 teaspoons ground cinna-

Cacao Fest
continued from Page 1

The archaeological display will be
held in the Special Events Centre
attached to the Town Council of-
fices by the airstrip. There will also
be a fine arts display of work by Be-
lizean artists. There will be a variety
of tours to the cayes, nearby Mayan
ruins and inland cacao trails by the
Cacao Association.
Saturday evening activities include

* 3-6 teaspoon ground habanero
* 6 teaspoons nutmeg
Place sugar in a large bowl. Mix
ground cinnamon, nutmeg and
ground pepper into sugar until well
In food processor fitted with metal
blade, process hard chocolates
until finely ground, using 4-second
pulses. (Process in two or three
batches if necessary.)
Add ground chocolate and cocoa
powder to sugar and whisk to

delicious chocolate dinners at
nearby lodges plus Culture and Har-
mony performances at local ven-
Sunday is the grand finale set in the
mystic environment of Lubantuun,
Place of Fallen Stone, featuring a
special performance by one of Mex-
ico's dance companies, a talk by an
archeologist specializing in ancient
Mayan history, a walking tour of the
site, and in concert, the exciting
steel bands, the Pantempters and
the Panerrifix.

Place I cinnamons stick into each
jar before adding mixture.
Spoon mix into 16 oz (pint size)
Yield 24 16 oz jars.
To serve
For each serving, heat 8 ounces
milk in small saucepan over me-
dium heat until simmering. Whisk
in 3-4 tablespoons mix into milk.
Continue to heat until chocolate
and sugar are completely dis-
solved. Serve warm or chill for cold
chocolate milk.

Recipe donated by Machaca Hill

There will be plenty of mouth water-
ing food!

Restaurant Guide

Name Address Cuisine Phone Opening Hours
Coleman's Cafe Big Falls Village, near the Belizean 720-2017 Daily: 11:30- 4pm & 6- 9pm [ Res-
rice mill ervations Preferred ]

Fajina Firehearth Food Front St, PG Local Mayan Food 666-6144 Mon-Sat: 7am-7:30pm. Closed on

Gomier's Restaurant and Alejandro Vernon St, near Local & international 722-2929 Mon-Sat: 8am-2pm & 6-9pm.
Soy Centre PG welcome sign vegetarian / Seafood Closed Sundays

Grace's Restaurant Main St. PG Belizean/ Interna- 702-2414 Daily: 6am-10pm, including holidays

HangCheong Main St, PG Chinese 722-2064 Daily: 10am-2pm & 5pm-midnight
The Lodge at Big Falls Big Falls Village, near the International/ Beliz- 671-7172 Daily: 11:30am - 2pm & 6:30 -
rice mill ean/ Middle Eastern 9pm [ Reservations Required ]

Machaca Hill Lodge Wilson's Road Pan Central Ameri- 722-0050 Lunch: noon-2:30pm. Dinner: 7:30-
can and International 10pm. [Reservations preferred]
Marian's Bay View Restau- Front St, south of the mar- East Indian/ Belizean 722-0129 Mon-Sat: 11am - 2pm & 6 - 10pm
rant ket by the sea Sun & Hols: noon - 2pm & 7 - 9pm
Martina's Kitchen BTL parking lot, PG Belizean 623-3330 Mon-Sat: 7am-3pm. Closed on Sun-
Rainbow Cafe Queen St, PG, by the park Belizean 631-2309 Mon-Sat: 7am-2pm. Closed on
Sho's Local Restaurant Entrance to Blue Creek Belizean/ Catering 668-6540 Mon-Sat: 7am-8pm. Closed Sun-
Village days. Group reservations required

The Snack Shack BTL parking lot, PG Breakfast & lunch/ 702-0020 Mon-Sat: 7am - 3pm. Closed Sun-
Snacks, shakes, days
juices & pastries
A listing in the Restaurant Guide costs BZ$30 for a year (4 issues) or $10 per issue. Please contact the BTIATourism Informa-
tion Office on 722-2531 for more information and to let us know if any of the details in your listing change.

Punta Gorda

A Texaco filling station
B James Bus Line
C Police Station 722-2022
D BTL office Public phones
E Post Office
F Customs & Immigration
G Belize Bank
H Tropic Air
I Maya Island Air
3 Hospital 722-2026 or 722-2161
K Toledo Travel Centre


- Eu,

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,4hi L churc." , School
S Ferry lo Guatemala
Tourism Irnfrmation Center

BTIA Members in Punta Gorda
1. Beya Suites
2. Garbutts Marine Investment
3. The Sea Front Inn
4. Toledo Ecotourism Association
5. Requenas Charter Service
6. Maya Bags, Belize Crafts Ltd.
7. Blue Belize Guest House & Tours
8. Coral House Inn
9. Hickatee Cottages Im south o PG
on Ex-Serwernmen's Road
10. Scotia Bank
11. TIDE Tours

Garbutt's Marine & Fishing Lodge'

Offers: World Class Fly Fishing
River and Marine Tours

Sea side Cabins F

Fishing Charters
SCUBA- Dive Training & Diving

Restaurant & Bar

Joe Taylor Creek.
Punta Gorda Town
Email: gairbuttsrniir inedPythoo.com


Cabin & Camping at Ume Caye

Snorkeling- World Heritage Site (Sapodilla Cayes) & Port Hondcuras Marine Reserve

Joe Taylor

W- -E



Business Name Email Phone Contact Person

Belize Crafts Ltd, Maya Bags belizeexecutivedirector@mayabags.org 722-2175 Desiree Arnold

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 coralhousebelize@yahoo.com 722-2878 Rick & Darla Mallory

Cotton Tree Lodge chris@cottontreelodge.com 670-0557 Chris Crowell

Chrisbel Perez cuxlinha@live.com 630-7673 Chris Perez

Cuxlin Ha Retirement Village cuxlinha@hotmail.com 614-2518 Dona Lee Scafe

Dem Dats Doin demdatsdoin@btl.net 722-2470 Yvonne Villoria

Fajina Craft Center of Belize fajina.craft.center@gmail.com 666-6141 Candelaria Pop

Garbutt's Marine Investment Co. garbuttsmarine@yahoo.com 604-3548 Dennis Garbutt

Hickatee Cottages cottages@hickatee.com 662-4475 lan & Kate Morton

Las Faldas dehsino@yahoo.com 674-8368 Andrew Caliz

Lodge at Big Falls info@thelodgeatbigfalls.com 671-7172 / 614-2888 Marta & Rob Hirons

Machaca Hill Lodge info@machacahill.com 722-0050 Brian Gardiner

Maya Ant and Bee Group mayaantandbee@gmail.com 662-1139 Ofelia Cal

Requena's Charter Service watertaxi@btl.net 722-2070 Julio Requena

Romero's Charter Service rcharters@btl.net 722-2625/2924 Francis Romero

Scotia Bank roxanna.aleman@scotiabank.com 722-0098/0099 Roxanna Aleman

The Sea Front Inn larry@seafrontinn.com 722-2300 Larry & Carol Smith

Sun Creek Lodge suncreek@hughes.net 604-2124/ 665-6778 Bruno Kuppinger

TIDE Tours info@tidetours.org 722-2129 Delonie Foreman

Toledo Eco-Tourism Association teabelize@googlemail.com 702-2119 Vicente Sackul / Reyes Chun

Toledo Tour Guides Association ttgabze@gmail.com 660-3974 Dennis Garbutt

Tranquility Lodge info@tranquility-lodge.com 677-9921 Sheila & Rusty Nale

Tumul K'in Center of Learning tumulkin_tourism@yahoo.com 608-1070 Rosemary Salam

Prefabricated Galvalume Building for Sale

* NEW in original crating * Includes 2 galvalum doors with frames
1500 square feet (25 X 60 feet. an endwall and 2 roof vent adapters
maintenance free
galvalume (zinc/aluminum

Call 226 3420 after 5pm or leave message. $353000 US or best offer
EMAIL- info@grumpyandhappy.com

Botanical Research in Bladen Reserve

The Howler has written before
about the Itzama garden at BITI on
the banks of Golden Stream. Dur-
ing December and January Gradu-
ate student researchers Sophia
Colantonio and Jonathan Ferrier
were in Belize to finalize research
on plant medicines used by the
K'ekchi' Maya. Jonathan empha-
sizes the way in which the outside
researchers and the local healers
complement each other. When in
the forest the healers are able to
identify rare plants while the visitors
can help to identify them. Jonathan
writes about their work below.
"With Belize Indigenous Training
Institute (BITI) and K'ekchi' Maya
healers, University of Ottawa stu-
dents are guided by their Belize
partners and their professor Dr.
Thor Arnason. Arnason's mandate
is to help protect the Ke'kchi' way
of traditional healing by working

Jolom chakmut and flower shot for scientific
with the healers and helping them
develop their collaborative garden,

Coral House

aptly named, Itzama, after the Maya
goddess of medicine.

Mayan healers in the Bladen Nature Reserve
Itzama garden, is located along the
Golden Stream in Indian Creek, ten
minutes from Big Falls. Under the
constant care of Maya healers, the
garden is growing in diversity, and is
home to many of Belize's featured
birds and insects, with a troop of
resident howler monkeys. The im-
portant feature of Itzama however
is that the garden thrives as a living
mosaic of vines and lianas flower-
ing to the canopy of the tree tops
which support orchids and other
epiphytes, all creating the deadfall
for the garden's fungi. Itzama is a
living piece of Maya antiquity by
serving as the pharmacy for It-
zama's Maya healers.
Maya medicine grows about a col-
lection of habitats that can be
found throughout Belize: limestone
slopes and clay forest floors, inland
swales and swamps, rivers, epi-
phytic and scandent across trees,
and cultivated on the Milpa. Be-
cause the It-

zama garden is naturally composed
of these habitats, it is an excellent
location to find an extremely di-
verse plant collection from Maya
pharmacopoeia. In fact, many of
the rare plants within Itzama have
been rescued from slash and burn
sites, a contributor to Belizean de-
forestation and cultural habitat
For researchers the Maya garden is
a fantastic location to base studies
of ethnobotany and ethnopharma-
cology. Focusing on contemporary
health care items like pain and in-
flammation, neurologic and derma-
tologic conditions and symptoms of
diabetes can, not only treat pan-
demic diseases and conditions, but
also demonstrate the incredible
importance of traditional knowledge
in modern medicine. When medical
plant extracts used for millennia by
healers are demonstrated safe and
effective within the chemical and
biological research lab, they are
quite often more effective with less
side effects than regularly pre-
scribed pharmaceuticals. But the
message is not that one treatment
is better than the other; the mes-
sage is that they belong together,
integrated respectfully in national
healthcare systems. When this
happens the forests' safety will be
secured, and mankind will be
healthier for it.
Recently we conducted a research
expedition with Mayan healers into
the nearby Bladen Nature Preserve.
The goal was to exercise the minds
of healers with plants that have
been destroyed by deforestation
elsewhere. Here they were able to
photograph and discover rare
plants that were not in flower else-
where preventing their scientific
identification. " This is an long es-
tablished and continuing relation-
ship and future visits are planned.


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.




Schedule of Flights from Punta Gorda To Belize City and from Belize City To Punta Gorda

Flights stop at Placencia & Dangriga
Depart Punta Gorda Arrive In Belize City Service Provider Depart Belize City Arrive In Punta Gorda Service Provider
6:45am 7:45am Maya Island Air 8:00am 9:00am Maya Island Air
7:00am 8:10am Tropic Air 8:30am 9:30am Tropic Air
9:30am 10:30am Maya Island Air 10:00am 11:00am Maya Island Air
9:40am 10:50am Tropic Air 10:30am 11:30am Tropic Air
11:30am 12:30pm Maya Island Air 12:30pm 1:30pm Tropic Air
11:35am 12:40pm Tropic Air 2:30pm 3:30pm Tropic Air
1:35pm 2:45pm Tropic Air 2:30pm 3:50pm Maya Island Air
4:00pm 5:00pm Maya Island Air 4:30pm 5:30pm Maya Island Air
4:00pm 5:00pm Tropic Air 4:50am 6:00pm Tropic Air
Schedule of Buses leaving Punta Gorda
Departs from Punta Gorda Arrives in Belize City Service Provider Type of Service
3:50am 10:30am James Bus Une Regular
4:50am 11:30am James Bus Une Regular
5:50am 12:30pm James Bus Line Regular
6:00am 10:45am James Bus Une Express
7:50am 2:30pm James Bus Une Regular
9:50am 4:30pm James Bus Une Regular
11:50am 6:30pm James Bus line Regular
1:50pm 8:30pm James Bus Une Regular
2:50pm 9:30pm James Bus Une Regular
3:50pm 9:15pm James Bus Line Regular
Boats To & From Puerto Barrios, Guatemala
Service Provider Dep. Punta Gorda Arrive in Puerto Barrios Dep. Puerto Barrios Arrive in Punta Gorda
Requena's Charter Service 9:30am 10:30am 2:00pm 3:00pm

Pichilingo 2:00pm 3:00pm 10:00am 11LOOam
Marisol 4:00pm 5:00pm 1:00pm 3:00pm
Memo's 1:00pm 2:00pm 3:15pm 4:15pm

Boats to Livingston depart on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m.

Southern Realty
is dl
The Toledo real estate gn
We help our clients find i
the property of their Belize
We market acreage, house lots, homes, and farm
Make Southern Realty your Real Estate Agent. We
promise to find you your piece of paradise.

Call or Email us at 732-4747, 630-7673

SSmall Hotel of the Year
Locally owned offering AMC,
cable TV, wireless internet,
private bathrooms, H&C water
& private balconies.

Tel: +(501) 722-2188i
722-2956; 621-0140
Fax: 722-2509
www. beyasuites.com

k J


Arzu on Medicinal Plants: Break-Stone

Break-Stone (Phyllanthus niruri) is
a green small annual herb growing
no more than 60 centimeters tall.
Behind the stem of its feathered
leaves are set straight rows of wart
like seeds, which fall off easily. The
leaves close at night and open in
daylight. You can find this plant in
every region of Belize, as well as in
all the tropical regions of planet
earth, but even more so in the
moist and shady places of the rain
forest. It prefers to grow in the
shade. The best Chanca Piedra
plants to use for medicine are the
ones found growing near water, on
riverbanks and in ditches.

Historically, traditional healers
around the globe have used Chanca
Piedra to treat a wide variety of
medical conditions. They use it as a

diuretic to remove excess fluid and
uric acid from the body, to treat
gout, prostate disorders, and all
infections specific to the urinary
tract system. Some herbalists use
it for de-worming of the intestinal
tract. However, the main use and
definite purpose of this medicinal
plant is in its most popular name,
Chanca Piedra (Stone Breaker).
This name derived from two words
in two different languages;

"Chanca" meaning
break" (Quechua)
and "Piedra"
"stone" (Spanish.
In Belize and other
parts of the Carib-
bean, they call it
"Seed in Back",
because of the
way it carries its
seed in the back
of the leaves. It is
also known as
Breakstone, Shat-
ter-stone, and
clearly all rightfully
acquired names. "Chanca ped

Amongst traditional folk and indige-
nous healers the herb is known for
its outstanding ability to break up
and expel kidney stones, gallstones,
and bladder stones inside of two
weeks time. Chanca Piedra is a
powerful plant ally in helping to pro-
mote and maintain optimal kidney,
gall bladder, liver, and bladder
health. Naturopaths are now recom-
mending Chanca Piedra as an alter-
native to gallbladder removal. Re-
search done in Brazil in 1984 on
Chanca Piedra revealed a chemical
in the leaves and stems that served
as a relaxing agent for smooth mus-
cles and they concluded that this
action probably accounted for the
efficacy of Chanca Piedra in expel-
ling stones. In Europe, Chanca Pie-
dra is the main ingredient of a phar-
maceutical product called Pilosuryl,
which sells as diuretic and liver sup-

ra" with seeds visible on the back of leaves

Traditional Stone Removal with
Chanca Piedra The entire (roots,
leaves, stem, and seeds) plant is
hand shredded and boiled. Boil two
ounces of dry plant material in two
liters of water until it is one liter,
and strain. Use four ounces if you
have fresh plant material. Drink 16
ounces of this decoction per day in
small (4oz) amounts four times
daily. Do this for two weeks or until
stones are passed and/or condition
clears. You may add an ounce of
yellow ginger to the mix for more
potency, and some limejuice for


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Monday-Saturday 7 30 am-9 00 pm
Sunday 9-3
7 Main Street (Corner North & Main)
Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District
Tel 501-702-0113/Cell 607-0033

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Check out this new website
that provides you with
information on all the
businesses and services
available to you in

Owner/Manager: Francis Romero

Forest Home Village
Toledo District, Belize CA
Phone: 501-720-2042
Cell: 506143998 or 662-5791

For comfort, style and reliability,
ride with us! Services offered are in
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Southern Voices
Florence "Flo' Johnson

Flo Johnson was born in Punta Gorda and has lived
here all her life. Her mother and maternal grandparents
were originally from Guyana; her father was born in
Corozal town but grew up in PG. Flo attended Peter
Claver primary school and later Claver College. She re-
turned to Punta Gorda after two years at St John's Jun-
ior College in Belize City and taught at Claver College for
8 years. Flo and Arthur Johnson married in 1971 and
have three daughters. Flo runs a stationery business in

1. What are the most significant changes you have
seen in Toledo in your lifetime? The biggest change
is how much PG has grown. Also lifestyles have
changed so much. People used to do more com-
munally, like organizing variety shows and church
socials, but no one seems to want to do that any-
more. Television, facebook and other things like
that have taken over people's leisure time.
2. Are you optimistic about the development of tour-
ism in Toledo? I guess I'm old fashioned because I
would like to see the cayes and other beautiful ar-
eas remain pristine and not be developed. I think
tourism can be a good thing but in small numbers. I
would not like to see a big increase in tourism here,
like there has been in some parts of the country,
because I think it would mean the destruction of
the places that make Toledo so uniquely beautiful.
3. What could Government do to promote tourism to
Toledo? First of all the government should invest
more to improve the roads in Toledo. That would
benefit both locals and tourists. Also the govern-
ment could do more to help small businesses, like
making access to loans easier for local entrepre-

Where to get your copy of The

Toledo Howler

* BTIA Tourist Information Center, Front
St in Punta Gorda
* Tropic Air and Maya Island Air termi-
nals throughout Belize
* Business premises of BTIA members
in Toledo (see list page 8).
* Tropic Air office in Puerto Barrios,
* Requena's Charters office in Puerto
Barrios, Guatemala.

neurs. Promoting projects such as showcasing local
ethnic foods would help keep our culture alive for
both locals and visitors.
4. What can PG Town Council do to support tourism?
The Council could initiate beautification projects in
PG to encourage people to make their properties
more attractive. I think this would increase a sense
of civic pride which has been lost and of course
make the town more attractive to tourists. In the
past, people had hibiscus hedges on their proper-
ties which served two purposes: it made their front
yards look lovely and could also be used to lay their
wash on to dry. Encouraging civic pride through
anti-litter campaigns would also be something the
Council could do.
5. Reef or rainforest? I prefer the rainforest because
I'm terrified of being in a boat in rough seas and I
know it can be rough going out to the Sapodillas.
Also it's so expensive now to go out to the reef be-
cause of the price of gas. Families used to regularly
go to the cayes for the day but can't afford to do
that now.
6. If a tourist has time to visit just one place in Toledo,
where would you suggest? I think Rio Blanco is very
beautiful so that would be my suggestion.
7. Which is your favorite month or season in Toledo?
Easter is my favorite time because families come
together from all over the country to barbeque and
enjoy each other's company.
8. What is your most memorable experience with a
wild animal? I remember once seeing a water dog
(river otter) trapped in a drainage ditch at the cul-
vert by the Y, where the dollar sign is. That culvert
used to be called 'Maria Manuela'. The otter was
trying desperately to get away from some people
who were chasing it and throwing stones at it. I
think it did finally make its way to the sea. This was
the first time I had seen this animal up close and it
was quite beautiful.
9. What is your favorite Belizean dish? Split peas with
rice. This is a traditional Creole dish with herbs and
spices though I prefer it without pig tail. Also black-
eyed peas which are traditionally eaten at the New
Year. Another favorite dish is conquintay which is a
porridge made from dried bananas or plantain and
is very nutritious.
10. Do you have any plans for the future which you can
share with us? I would like to build a retreat center
to be used by churches, youth groups and other
members of the community. I own land in the VOA
area and I think it is an ideal spot for a retreat cen-
ter. Thank you Flo!

* Placencia Tourist information Center,
Placencia Village
* Gas stations on Southern and West-
ern Highway
* Online at:

King's Texaco Service Stations
Punta Gorda & Big Falls

Proudly serving Toledo for 25 years
King's welcomes all visitors to the beautiful

Fuels, lubricants, tyres, batteries &c.
Tyre repair, oil changes, vehicle & engine wash
Snacks & beverages
Maps & tourist information
Clean rest rooms

Punta Gorda 24-hour service
All night self-serve cash only
Marina with fuel service & docking facilities

Tek: 722-2126 or 7222926
Fax: 722-2104

we re



The Airline of Belize

T: 226-2012
E: reservations@tropicair.com

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What's New: update from our members

Over the past year, some of our BTIA members
have made improvements to their properties
or services. Here's a peek at what's new in the

howler monkeys.

Coral House Inn Pool

New casita bedroom at Tranquility Lodge

Tranquility Lodge in Jacintoville has added
three new thatched casitas, beautifully set
within their jungle garden. Tranquility now has
a total of seven rooms. The owners, Sheila and
Rusty Nale are also opening a new trail along
Jacinto Creek for better viewing of birds and

Coral House Inn located in Punta Gorda has
recently upgraded their swimming pool. Al-
ready elegant, the pool is now fully tiled inside
and edged with handsome coping stone.

Continued on Page 12

Mem bers update continued from Page 11

to as The Den. This charming cabin is suitable
for a single traveler or couple and has a
queen bed, en suite bathroom and front
porch overlooking their plunge pool. Hickatee
has also started offering free Garifuna drum-
ming lessons on Wednesday evenings with
local drumming star Ray McDonald.

Bedroom area in Motmot, one of the new cabanas at The
Lodge at Big Falls

The Lodge at Big Falls completed two new ca-
banas just before Christmas, bringing their
total to eight. The new cabanas each have
two queen beds, spacious en suite bathroom,
kitchenette and dining area, air conditioning
and private verandah. Kitchenettes come
equipped with refrigerator, two burner stove,
double sink, microwave and plenty of storage
area. Weekly and monthly rates are available.

Hickatee Cottages has also increased their
lodging capacity with a new cottage referred

Hickatee Den: New room suitable for singles or couples
overlooking plunge pool

Please contact individual properties for more
information and reservations. See BTIA mem-
bers list on Page 6 for email and telephone



Contact us for travel information,
or to find out more about Belize's vibrant tourism industry.

Make time
fr the AIutw fyoUr ife!

#64 Regent Street P.O. Box 325, Belize City
Toll Free: 1-800-624-0686 Tel: 227-2420 / 227-2417
Fax: 227-2423 E-mail: info',travelbelize org
www.travelbelize.org or www.belizetourism org

2010 PG Christmas Bird Count Lee Jones

The Punta Gorda Christmas
Bird Count, held this year on
2nd January, was a huge suc-
cess! Despite off-and-on rain
throughout the day, we got
259 species, our second high-
est ever. Compare that with
last year when we got 234
species, our lowest count
ever. What a difference a year

It was nice to see several new
faces this year, both from
Punta Gorda and from farther
afield. Local residents, Robert Pen-
nell, Kayla Mahler, Elmar Requena,
and Jill Cotter from P.G. partici-
pated for the first time this year, as
did Maarten Hofman from Ya'axch6
Conservation Trust. From up north,
Roni Martinez, Blancaneaux
Lodge's primo bird guide, was able
to join us this year, as was Eliezer
"Steve" Sho from Armenia. Steve's
father, Juan Sho, formerly of San
Antonio Village, has participated
nearly every year since the count's
inception in 2000. In all, we had 26
participants, mostly from Toledo
District, but a few from as far away
as Cayo.
Highlights this year included a
striking Emerald Toucanet, one of a
small group that have been coming
to fruiting trees at Machaca Hill
Rainforest Canopy Lodge since
early December. Victor Bonilla's
group gets the prize for the most

Emerald Toucanet at Machaca Hill

missed Belted Kingfisher, a species
that should be common, but thanks
to Rob Hirons, we managed to get
one. Sora, normally a
common marsh bird in
winter, was down from
a ten-year average of
20 to just 4 this year.
And we only got 4
Snowy Egrets, down
from 303 last year and
a ten-year average of
75. Other herons and
egrets were also way
down this year.
Aguacaliente Lagoon,
where most of our
waders hang out, was
too flooded to get into
last year, and so dry Sorainsstan


Tropical Mocking bird at Cattle Landing

number of unusual species: 3 Fork-
tailed Flycatchers, 2 Eye-ringed
Flatbills (what a great name!), a
Palm Warbler, and the first ever
Yucatan Vireo for Punta Gorda - all
around Orange Point and the old
VOA facility. Good job guys (and
The dry weather we have been hav-
ing this fall did not hurt our bottom
line, that is, the total number of
species recorded, but it did reduce
the totals for many of our wetland
species. For example, we nearly

year that there
hardly any water in the lagoon.
of the more useful aspects of
Christmas Bird Count is the
long-term trends
in bird popula-
tions that they
can detect. The
P.G. count, how-
ever, has only
been around for
11 years,
7. not enough
to see sig-
n ifi cant
changes in
L However,
for a few if
species we

have already been
able to see some modest
changes. The Tropical Mock-
ingbird, which lives in the pine
savannas and pasturelands
from north of Medina Bank all
the way to Orange Walk, has
always been a rare sight in
Punta Gorda. For the first
seven years of the count we
fluctuated between zero and
two mockingbirds each year.
Two years ago we got 3, and
this year we got 8. Expect to
start seeing more of these su-

perlative singers around P.G. in
coming years. Perhaps within
the next decade they will be a
common sight around town.
Another bird that is starting to
turn up regularly in the area in
winter is White-winged Dove.
Fifty years ago it was unre-
corded in Belize. Then, in the
mid-1960s a few began turning
up around Corozal. Now they are
abundant in Corozal District
year round and steadily moving
southward. Two years ago we
had an exceptional 36 on the
count and this year we had 5. The
first few years of the count we were
lucky to get even one.

ding water on San Antonio road beyond Dump

So far, there is no indication from
these annual counts that any spe-
cies are in decline, but as P.G. con-
tinues to grow and more and more
forest is lost locally, expect to see
some of the forest species getting
scarcer. Bird populations, like most
everything else in our lives, are in a
constant state of flux.

Birding Web Site


you want to improve your bird call iden-
ication skills this really impressive site-
ntains downloadable mp3 files of bird
ngs and calls. It calls itself the " the
immunity database of share bird
unds from around the world". Search
r a bird and all recordings will be
ought up with details of the recordist,
te, country, location, elevation and type
whether it is a song or call etc) as well as
tails of other species audible on the
me recording.





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Syoo Caye -� S2apodifia Ca
PO prmolAs Seal Caye 'a '
A( Niclolas ay .: rv
,i,. Landing BTIA Members .'. Ca'i
.Punta Gorda 1. The Lodge at Big Falls Cye
2. Sun Creek Lodge
3. Dem Dat's Doin', San Pedro Columbia
4. Tumul K'in, Blue Creek village
Water taxi to 5. Machaca Hill Lodge
Guatemala 6. Romero's Charters, Forest Home
7. Cotton Tree Lodge
8. Cuxlin Ha
9. Tmanquility Lodge

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Tropical Plants for Sale variegated gingers, sago palms, heliconia and
many other varieties. Call 671-7172 or visit the nursery at The Lodge
at Big Falls.

Emergency Numbers

PG Police station: 722-2022

PG Hospital: 722-2026 / 722-2161/ 722-2145
PG Fire Department: 722-2032

National Emergencies (NEMO): 822-0153
Belize Tourism Board: 227-2420/ 227-2417

BTIA Main Office Belize City: 227-1144

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Designing and installing solar electric
solutions for schools, farms, parks,
remote homes and other purposes

Phone: 702-2198

Email: solarbelize'@gmnail.coim

Taxi Services call Allan Hines on 626-6152
Local taxi services, all day charters and transfers within Belize.

Visitor's Voice
Nell Williams lives in London, UK
and was visiting Belize for three
weeks during January and Febru-
ary this year. He stayed at Sirmoor
Hill Farm just west of Punta Gorda
next to the BDF's Fairweather
How did you plan your visit?
I did research online including
looking at the Belize Tourism
Board web site and then buying
the Lonely Planet guide to "Central
America on a Shoestring" and the
Rough Guide to Belize which is my
preferred guide. It seems to be set out better and include better
explanations and write ups and I like the ethos behind the Rough
What have you liked best about Toledo?
I have never been in a jungle area before and have enjoyed its
diversity and the ruggedness. The people have been very friendly
and welcoming.
Have there been any negatives?
Well for the traveler on a budget then the prices in Belize are high
by comparison with neighboring countries.
Has anything surprised you?
I was really pleasantly surprised to arrive in Punta Gorda on PG Day
and the celebrations for Paul Nabor's birthday. I had a great time
at the festival and met lots of people but had no idea about it be-
forehand since there was nothing in the guide books or online.
What advice would you give visitors to Toledo?
I would tell them to make sure that they give enough time to ex-
plore the area and get a feel for it. It really is a little gem and it's
nice because there are not so many visitors here.