Toledo Howler


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Toledo Howler
Physical Description:
Marta Hirons; Rob Hirons
Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association
Place of Publication:
Punta Gorda,Toledo District, Belize
Creation Date:
September 2011
Publication Date:


newspaper   ( sobekcm )

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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SPRING/SUMMER2014 YEAR 7, ISSUE 2 INSIDE THIS ISSUE Heart of Toledo Adventure Trail 1 Chocolate Festival 1 Birding with Lee Jones 2 BTIA Welcomes New Information Officer 3 Calender of Events 4 Eladios Chocolate Adventure 5 Map of PG 6 Restaurant Guide 7 Registered Tour Operators 7 Bus Schedule 8 Transport Schedules 9 Sapodilla Cayes at a Glance 10 Word on the Street 11 From Your Valentine 11 BTIA Members List 13 Wats Cookin? Blue Crab 14 BTIA Welcomes New Members 15 Map of Toledo District 16 Newspaper of the Toledo Chapter of th e Belize Tourism Industry Association Heart of Toledo Adventure Trail The Heart of Toledo adventure Trail is a collaboration between the Destination Plan ning department at the Belize Tourism Board and BTIA members and other small busi nesses owners in central Toledo. Rob Hirons from the Lodge at Big Falls who has been involved with the project from its inception said, It is a great example of collaboration between the Tourism Board and small busi nessowners in the area. BTB has the re sources and the locals have the knowledge and this project brings the two together in a way that could be a model for future tour ism trail developments. Kev in Gonzalez, Director of Destination Planning along with his colleagues Clive Myers and Arlo Cansino worked on bringing the project to fruition at the Belize Tourism Board. The trail comprises a range of cultural, ad venture and natural history experiences lo cated around the loop that runs north from Big Falls village, west th rough the villages of Silver Creek, San Miguel and San Pedro Co lumbia around to the Dump junction at mile fourteen and back to Big Falls. There is a brochure that includes a map with the locations of each home or business and a description of what to expect. Once on the road each place is indicated by a green Toledo Adventure Trail sign. These two things make it really easy for visitors from Belize or overseas to design their self guided route taking in the attractions that appeal to them. If you are looking for pure adventure then Big Falls Extreme Adventures offers its six stage zip line, while the Lodge at Big Falls offers kayaking trips from San Miguel village downstream to the lodge itself using its sit on top Hobie kayaks. Both Extreme Adven tures and the lodge offer river tubing along the same stretch of river. At one pla ce a creek enters the river from a hot spring on the hillside. Guests can get out and wallow in the warm pools just above the point where the two waters join. One mile north of Big Falls you take a left turn off the South ern Highway on to the dirt ro ad that leads to Lubaantun. The first village you reach after half a mile is Silver Creek where you can visit the home of Florentina and Miguel Choco a Kekchi Mayan organic farmer and member of the Toledo Cacao Growers Association. He has a kitchen garden of ab out an acre that has an enormous variety of fruits and vege tables. These include two types of cocoa (cacao). The first is the one cultivated for export to make Green and Blacks Mayan Gold chocolate. The second is called Balaam and is the same variety that was used as a form of currency by the ancie nt Maya. The Howler wrote about Miguel and his farm in the October 2008 edition of the Howler. Further along the road in the village of San Pedro Columbia there is another Mayan or ganic cacao grower, Eladio Pop, who runs the Agouti Farm. Eladios ho use is in the vil lage and his plantation just a little way out side. Guests can eat lunch at his home and have the opportunity to roast and grind ca cao to make a cacao drink. Eladio is one of BTIAs newest members and you can read a fuller article abo ut him and his farm on Page 5. The Toledo Botanical Arboretum of Alfredo and Yvonne Villoria is a fascinating collection with a huge variety of fruiting and flowering plants and trees. Call (+501) 632-7701, Warasa Garifuna Drum School a must-do experience for any visitor to Belize TripAdvisor 5* rated Drumming, dancing, drum-making & more. Find us on Facebook (and in Punta Gorda!) Offers the best in Belizean dishes and a variety of seafood. Clean and comfortable rooms, AC, TV. Opens daily: 6:30 am to 10:30 pm. Phone: 702-2414 mail: Kayak the Rio Grande Living Maya Experience Lunch Roasting Cacao beans Continue on page 3 Chocolate Festival of Belize 2014 Toledo is gearing up once again to cele brate the eighth Chocolate Festival of Belize that will take place on the Com monwealth Day weekend from Friday 23Sunday 25 May. The overall format remains similar but each day will be en hanced with new attractions and activi ties. The festival opens with it s gala evening of Wine and Chocolate, sponsored once again by Bowen and Bowen who will be offering their signature chocolate stout. This year the event moves back into Punta Gorda town and will be held at Garbutts Marine and Fishing Lodge on the waterside by Joe Taylor Creek. On Sa turday all the action takes place in Punta Gorda town on Front Street where local ethnic groups will display their cultural food and music and Beliz ean chocolatiers will have samples of their wares available for purchase. The festival moves into the heart of Toledo on Sunday to Lubaantun Mayan site. Th is year the dancers of the Baktun 13 group from Maya Centre will return to perform and there will be perform ances by Jose Chun and family from San Marcos village who form a string en semble playing the Mayan harp, violin and guitar. The marimba will be per formed by another group fr om Blue Creek village.


2 Lee Jones: Attracting Birds to Your Yard I have always been the only birder in my family. My wife, despite her uncanny ability to spot birds along the highway and point them out to me as we zip past at 50 mph, had no interest whatso ever in learning their names or how they fit into the overall scheme of things. My son th ought birding was dumb. My daughter was still too young to fully comprehend the incredible magic of birds and birding. Or so I thought. Recently, that all changed not gradually, not through constant coaxing on my part, not through increased exposure to the world of birds. Their conversion was instantaneous. On e day: Duh; Blah; Whats the big deal? Next day: Oh my God! Awesome! Whats that bird called, again? That one over there. The one with the orange breast and black hood. Oh, and that beautiful blue one over there? And that bright red one? The magic wand? Bananas. Yes, bananas Lots of bananas. Add an occasional papaya, a few sliced oranges, and Voila! Instant conversion. Oh, and sugar water. Cant forget the sugar water. Last August we moved into a new house with three large mango trees, an almond tree, and most importantly, a dead golden plum in th e backyard. And fortunately, as it turns out, a cou ple of quite productive banana plants. I decided to put up a fruit feeder to see if it would bring in any birds. I took a couple of small planks and drove long nails in them spaced about two inches apart. I place d the planks strategically in the dead golden plum at about eye level, spiked some ba nanas and papayas on the nails protruding out the top of the plank, and waited. And waited. We got a few neat butterflies that were attracted to the rotting fruit, but no birds. I was patient. Besides, I liked watching the butterflies and trying to figure out what they all were. A couple of weeks after setting up the fruit feeder, when we were in Spanish Lookout, I pur chased a couple of hummingbird feeders at Rie mers Farm Supply. We rigged up a clothesline on a pulley system from our bac k veranda to the golden plum and hung the feeders on it. To our surprise, within a day or two, a couple of Green breasted Mango hummingbirds started coming to them. The conversion had begun. Immediately after that, a coupleof Blue gray Tanagers discovered th e fruit feeder, followed by a pair of Golden fronted Woodpeckers. By now, fall migration was underway, and the annual in flux of avian visitors from North America, some of which feast on fruit during the winter, were turn ing up in ever increasing numbers. By the end of September we had four species of orioles coming to the feeder daily, including a pair of Spot breasted Orioles, a species that was unrecorded in Belize until 2007 and is still quite rare. Summer Tanagers also began ap pearing at the feeder in September along with a couple more resident species: Yello w winged Tanager and Black cowled Oriole. The Green breasted Mangos departed for parts unknown in October, only to be re placed several days later by a few migrant Ruby throated Humming birds and an occasional Ru fous tailed Hummingbird. In October we got our first Gray Catbirds at the f eeder, but they were more interested in gob bling down the habanero peppers(!) growing in our garden. Add in a couple of species of war blers, an occasional Clay colored Thrush, Brown Jay, and Great tailed Grackle, and we had quite a variety of birds to hold our interest. My wife and kids were elated. By December, though, things began to get out of hand. To give you an idea, we counted as many as 30 Blue gray Tanagers and 20 Baltimore Orioles at one time, either at the feeder or waiting in the wings! Our banana supply had to be su pple mented with bananas from the market, to the tune of 30 bananas a day! Reluctantly, we realized we would have to either cut back or let the kids go hungry. It was a tough decision, but reason ultimately prevailed and we cut back. Now we only put out ten to fifteen ba nanas every two to three days. When the food is gone the birds have to fend for themselves, which they do quite readily. After all, that is what they have done for eons before discovering the cornu copia in our backyard. We dont get toucans and parrots at the feeder because we li ve in town, but who can complain? To date we have had 19 species at the fruit and hummingbird feeders. My kids are spending more time out on the back veranda watching birds and less time glued to the TV. My wife is out there every day pro viding me constant updates on whats new at the feeders while I slave away at the computer in my windowless (by choice!) of fice. She has even found several new species for the yard the last few months. My 6 year old daughter is now begging me to take her birdi ng every chance we get. Its truly amazing what a difference a few well-placed bananas can make! 4 January 2014 Although the weather cooperated this year, we ended up with our lowest totals in the 14 year history of the count: 224 species and 3295 individual birds counted. But there was no shortage of good birds. After some how failing to log Spot breasted Oriole on count day every year since its discovery in Belize in 20 07 at Cattle Landing, we finally nailed it down this year thanks to a pair that had been visiting my feeder on a daily basis since last October (see associated article in this issue). We also recorded Orange breasted Falcon, Northern Harrier, and Wedge tailed Sabrewing the first time, and Brown Booby, Double crested Cormorant, Lovely Cotinga, and Black throated Blue Warbler for only the second time since the first count was conducted back in 2000. Low turnout and car trouble were the main contributors to the low numbers. With ever rising gas prices, it is becoming more and more difficult for people from northern Belize to participate in the count, and we still do not have enough local birders to sustain the count. Additionally, some of the local stalwarts of previous counts are finding it harder and harder each year to juggle work commitments with an entire da y afield. But, for me, the most frustrating aspect of this years count was my vehicle breaking down outside of Laguna Village late in the morning and having to be towed into town. That relegated me to an afternoon of counting birds at my feederbut, hey, I did get the Spot breasted Orioles! Spot-Breasted Orioles 14TH Annual Punta Gorda Christmas Bird Count Summer Tanager Bird Feeder Baltimore Oriole


3 Continue from page 1 The Cal and Chiac families of The Living Maya Experience offer fascinating and fun cultural experiences while, between San Miguel and San Pedro Columbia, Florencio Mes keeps alive Ma yan musical traditions and instrument making and is pleased to welcome guests. Lisa White Kile of Columbia River Co operative offers the only butterfly farm open to the gen eral public in Toledo and visitors can walk among the Blue Morpho butterfly and other species and learn about their life history. Look for their sign close to the turn off to Lubaantun Mayan site. Birders can contact the Lodge at Big Falls to go birding with Steven Choco their local Kekchi Mayan guide whose membership of the Belize Bird Records Committee is testament to his expertise. The trail includes places to eat. There are four in Big Falls itself. Call and make an appointment to visit the Cals Living Maya Experience and you can help in th e preparation of a delicious Mayan vegetarian meal. Further along the road Colemans restaurant offers a Belizean buffet from midday until around five in the afternoon. Big Falls Extreme Adventures is another spot to find a traditional Belizean lunch. Otherwise call The Lodge at Big Falls and visit them for a lun ch menu with a focus on salads and sandwiches, pizzas and burgers. If you are looking for accommodation then try The Lodge at Big Falls, Bak a Bush guest house and the Toledo Ecotourism Association guest house in San Miguel village. These are all along the Heart of Toledo trail. Outside the area of the eco trail you can also find rooms at the Farm Inn another twelve miles further west near San Antonio village or at Tranquility Lodge in Jacintoville closer to Punta Gorda. Many Belizeans are still surprised by the wealth of opportunities existing down in Toledo and th e Heart of Toledo Adventure Trail brings many of these together in one ac cessible sixteen mile circular loop. So get in your vehicles, make a phone call or two and set up an exciting trip to Belizes undiscovered south. There is still time to make arrangements for Easter. Contact the Tou rism Information Center in P.G. (722 2531) for more information and to get individual phone numbers for businesses along the trail. The brochure will be published very soon and be available from the information centre. Guests with Florencio Mes in San Pedro Columbia Heart of Toledo Adventure Trail BTIA welcomes new Information Officer Stephanie Parham is BTIAs new Tourism Information Officer appointed in the autumn of 2013. She is Toledo born and bred. She grew up in Mafredi attending the Methodist Primary School in the village before going on to Toledo Community College where she graduated in 2005. At that time she did not have any clear career path ahead of her and spent the next few years in Belmopan, Belize City and Placencia. In Belmopan she ran a small internet caf and stationery store; in Placencia she ran the Pirates Grill before moving on to the French Connection restaurant. After that she became office administra tor for Remax real estate agents in Placencia where she worked for eighteen months. So after all this, she still had no chosen career pathway until returning to Punta Gorda and join ing the front desk staff at Belcampo Lodge. She worked there for three years before joining BTIA as Tourism Information Off icer. It was at Belcampo she discovered her passion for service in tourism and promoting the attractions of the Toledo that she knows and loves so well. She has wasted no time in making her mark. On February 14, she organized BTIAs first St Valentines Day bashment at Garbutts Fishing Lodge on Joe Taylor Creek. She gathere d a group of volunteers from among her friends and other members of BTIA. The evening was great success with music by DJ Fresh and about seventy people, mainly couples of course, in attendance. We look forward to next year when I am sure Stepha nie will be looking to make it bigger and better. When asked about tourism in Belize she replied, There should not be any reason, this country cannot sustain itself on tourism, but we have to go about doing it the right way. And we all know the right way sometimes entails struggl e and hardships, but we are building this country for our children. I'm building it for my child. We should not wait for foreigners to come here and be a tourist, let's start with us Belizeans. This is my philosophy Be a Tourist in Your Own Country: It's The Ele ment of Surprise! Stephanie is that rare self motivated and wellorganized individual and we look forward to working with her and developing her leadership for tourism in the years ahead.


4 Calendar of Events Date Event Venue/Time Other Info April 18th1st Easter Weekend Fri, Sat & Mon Bank Holidays May 1st Labour Day May 23rd Chocolate Festival of Belize Opening night Wine & Chocolate Gala Garbutts Marine, Joe Taylor Creek, PG 6pm 10pm Tickets in advance $50. No sales at door. May 24th Chocolate Festival of Belize Taste of Toledo Front Street, Punta Gorda town Cultural food and entertainment from 9am 6pm More info contact btia or call 722 2531 May 25th Chocolate Festival of Belize Lubaantun Finale San Pedro Columbia Village, Lubaantun Maya Site from 10am 4pm More info contact btia or call 722 2531 October 10th TIDE Fish Fest Seafood Gala Venue to be decided Tide Tours or call 722 2129 October 11th TIDE Fish Fest Youth Conservation Competition Venue to be decided October 12th TIDE Fish Fest TIDE Headquarters, Cattle Landing Village September 21st Independence Day


5 Eladios Chocolate Adventure Eladio Pop was born into a family of fifteen chil dren in San Pedro Columbia Village in the Toledo District. His father was a farmer and his mother was a housewife who also helped with the farm ing. At the age of seventeen he met and fell in love with his wife, Virginia, a resident of San Pedro Columbia. Not long after they had their first child, Adalia. Eladio continues to farm and has a great love for planting and embracing the natural riches of the earth. He is an organic farmer who does not use any machinery or pesticides to farm and reap his produ cts. His machete is his best friend. Eight years ago, after growing and reaping cacao, Eladio decided he would bring back the value of cacao from his ancestors, not only in his home but for the public as well. Slowly but surely, lots of people started hearing about and visiting the ca cao farm, the roasting of cacao beans grinding it and making it into a paste to drink as hot choco late. It is prepared in the same way the Mayans, many years ago, use to do it. He is proud of his accomplishment in introducing and sharing this wonderful pa rt of his heri tage with his family and the world. Eladio became well known and his chocolate farm and demonstration blossomed three years ago when direc tor Rohan Fernando, an award winning director and cinematographer, a Sri Lankan native and Canadian immigrant, was introduced to Eladio Pops cacao farming thr ough the National Film Board of Canada. Rohan produced a documentary called The Chocolate Farmer. It illustrates the life of Eladio and his family, his farm and chocolate demonstration, his values, what he be lieves in and how he has seen the world change in many different ways. Eladio said, I love Belize and I be lieve it is a blessed coun try. I want tourists to not only come to my place and do the tour I offer; I want them to come to the coun try and see the country as well. I want my community to be a part of the cacao planting too. I want to share my heart with the world. Visiting Agouti cacao Farm is by far one the most exciting experiences you can have while visiting Toledo. If you are staying in Punta Gorda Town, you could hop on Cals Village bus that goes to Silver Creek via San Pedro C olumbia at 11:00. This bus is always parked on Jose Maria Street in Punta Gorda Town. The trip involves a fortyfive minute ride from the town to San Pedro Columbia Village. It is always best to contact them before going, so as to have someone waiting at the bus stop in the village for you. Feliciano Pop, also a tour guide with the Toledo Tour Guide Association, works directly with his father. He generally would be the one you would meet at the bus stop and would take you on a short Mayan Village tour before arriving at the house. You are then greeted by the family and get a very small introduction before heading out to the farm. Eladio will walk and talk about his farm and you will feel the love flowing from his words and the passion that he has for what he does. You will then get to see th e cacao pods, break them open and have a taste of that sweet creamy coated bean. Trust me; once you have tried it you will get hooked. You are then escorted back to the house where his wife and daughter will show you how they first dry and then roast the bean and tell you how to determine the right time for the roasting to be complete. You will get to try the roasted bean in tiny pieces, which are called nibs after which you will be shown the process of grinding it on the traditional Mayan volcanic rock called a metate. Of course, you will get to dip your hand in and do your part in grinding that paste. After the paste is made you get to mix it in hot water and drink it with or without sugar. This is your hot chocolate! Leaving th e farm, house and the family is sad. You want to stay and hear more and see more. But there is a serenity you encounter on this tour that stays with you, wherever you go. It gives you that warmth and comfort that chocolate gives. Indeed, this chocolate farm and demonstratio n is a must see when visiting Toledo!


6 Sketch map of PG Town TOURISM INFORMATION CENTRE Garbutts Marine & Fishing Lodge +(501) 722-0070 or 604-3548 ga


7 Tour Operator Local Phone Number Location Big Falls Extreme Adventures 634 6979 Big Falls Blue Creek Rainforest Lodge 663 4665 Blue Creek Cotton Tree Lodge 670 0557 San Felipe The Farm Inn 732 4781 San Antonio Garbutts Marine Investment Co. 722 0070 Punta Gorda The Lodge at Big Falls 732 4444 Big Falls Natural Adventure Tours 533 3028 Monkey River Reef Conservation International 702 0229 Punta Gorda TIDE Tours 722 2129 Punta Gorda Toledo Cave & Adventure Tours 604 2124 Sun Creek Wild Encountours 636 1028 Punta Gorda RegisteredTour Operators inToledo District 2014 Always book your trip with a registered tour operator to ensureyour guide has been trained & licensed and vehicles are properly insured Restaurant Guide Asha's Culture Kitchen 74 Front Street, south of market Creole/Seafood/BBQ and Vegetarian 632-8025 Open Wed-Sun from 12pm to 12am Belcampo Wilsons Road Pan Central American and International 722-0050 Lunch: noon-14:30. Dinner: 19:30-22:00. (Reservations preferred) Colemans Cafe Big Falls Village, near the rice mill Belizean 720-2017 Daily: 11:30-16:00 & 18:00-21:00 (Reservations Preferred) Da Lazy Fish Front Street, where the Old Fish Co -op was Seafood/Belizean food Drift Wood Cafe Front Street, next to James Bus Line Vegetarian Fajina Firehearth Food Front St, PG Local Mayan Food 666-6144 Mon-Sat: 07:00-19:30. Closed on Sundays Gomiers Restaurant and Soy Centre Alejandro Vernon St, near PG Welcome sign Local & international vegetarian / Seafood 722-2929 Mon-Sat: 08:00-14:00 & 18:00-21:00. Closed Sundays Graces Restaurant Main St. PG Belizean/ International 702-2414 Daily: 06:00-22:00, including holidays Hang Cheong Main St, PG Chinese 722-2064 Daily: 10:00-14:00 & 17:00 -midnight Mangrove Restaurant Cattle Landing, by the curve Belizean / Internationa l 623-0497 Daily: 17:00-22:00. (Reservations preferred) Marians Bay View Restaurant Front St, south of the market by the sea East Indian/ Belizean/Catering 722-0129 Mon-Sat: 11:00-14:00 & 18:00-22:00 Sun & Hols: noon 14:00 & 19:00-21:00 Martinas Kitchen Main Street, beside tortilla factory Belizean 623-3330 Mon-Sat: 07:00-15:00. Closed on Sundays Moms Restaurant Queen St, PG, by the park Belizean 620-1607/661-1359 Mon-Sat: 06:00-14:00 & 16:00-21:00 Closed on Sundays Rainbow Cafe Queen St, PG, by the park Belizean 631-2309 Mon-Sat: 70:00-14:00. Closed on Sundays Rainforest Cafe Big Falls Village, just south of the bridge Belizean 669-0080 Daily: 10:00-22:00 Reef Bar & Restaurant Front St, upstairs by the mark et International/Belizean 625-8652 Daily: 10:00-14:00 & 16 :00-midnight. Closed on Tuesdays Shos Local Restaurant Entrance to Blue Creek Village Belizean/ Catering 668-6540 Mon-Sat: 07:00:00. Closed Sundays. Group reservations required Starz Dinner BTL parking lot, PG Belizean Mon. to Sat. 7:00 to 15:00 Closed on Sundays The Lodge at Big Falls Big Falls Village, near the rice mill International/ Belizean/ Middle Eastern 732-4444 Daily: 11:304:00 & 18:3021:00 (Reservations Required) The Snack Shack BTL parking lot, PG Breakfast & lunch/ Snacks, shakes, juices & pastries 702-0020 Mon-Sat: 07:00:00. Closed Sundays Walucos Opposite TIDE pier in Hopeville Belizean/East Indian/Seafood/ Catering 670-3672 Mon-Thurs: 07:00-14:00 & 17:00-22. Weekends: 07:00-late


8 TOLEDO VILLAGE BUSESService Depart PG Destination Calling at... Days Return to PG Kan 11:30 Aguacate Dump, Mafredi, Blue Creek Mon to Sat 05:20 J n L12:00 Barranco San Felipe (for Ixcacao), Santa Ana, Midway Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat 06:00 Garcia11:00 Big Falls Dump, Jacintoville, Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat 08:00 Chub 11:30 Crique Sarco San Felipe, Santa Ana, Midway, Conejo, Sunday Wood Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat 05:15 Ack 12:00 Dolores Dump, Mafredi, Jordon, Santa Teresa, Mabilha, San Lucas, Corazon Creek, Otoxha Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat 03:00 Pop 10:30 Golden Stream Dump, Big Falls, Indian Creek Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat 06:45 Pop 13:00 Golden Stream Dump, Big Falls, Hicatee, Indian Creek (for Nim Li Punit) Mon to Sat 07:30 Pop 17:00 Indian Creek Dump, Big Falls, Hicatee Mon to Sat 12:00 Pop 21:00 Indian Creek Dump, Big Falls, Hicatee Mon to Thurs 15:30 Bol 06:00 Jalacte Dump, Mafredi, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Santa Elena, Pueblo Viejo Mon to Sun 05:00 Chunny 11:30 JalacteDump, Mafredi, San Antonio, Santa Cruz (for Rio Blanco), Santa Elena, Pueblo Viejo, Jalacte Mon to Sat 03:00 Bol 16:00 Jalacte Dump, Mafredi, San Antonio, Santa Cruz (for Rio Blanco), Santa Elena, Pueblo Viejo, Jalacte Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat 15:00 Shol 12:00 Laguna Elridgeville Wed/Fri/Sat Pop 11:30 Medina Bank Dump, Big Falls, Hicatee, Indian Creek (for Nim Li Punit)Mon to Sat 05:30 Chunny 11:30 San AntonioDump, Mafredi Mon to Sat 06:00 Coc 12:00 San Antonio Dump, Mafredi Mon to Sat 06:30 Coc 12:00 San Antonio Dump, Mafredi Mon to Sat 13:30 Teck 12:00 San Benito Poite Dump, Mafredi, Blue Creek (for Hokeb Ha), Santa Teresa Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat 04:30 Sho 11:30 San Jose Jacintoville, Dump, Mafredi, Crique Jute, Nah Lum Ca Wed/Sat 04:00 Choc 12:00 San Jose Dump, Mafredi, Crique Jute, Nah Lum Cah Mon/Fri 05:00 Chen 11:30 San VicenteDump, Mafredi, San Antonio, Santa Cruz (for Rio Blanco), Santa Elena, Pueblo Viejo, Jalacte Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat 02:00 Chen 05:30 San Vicente Dump, Mafredi, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Santa Elena, Pueblo Viejo, Jalacte Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat 14:00 Bobby 11:00 Santa Ana San Felipe (for Ixcacao)Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat 07:15 Cal04:30 Silver Creek Dump, San Pedro Columbia, San Miguel Mon to Sat 13:00 Cal11:00 Silver Creek Dump, San Pedro Columbia (for Lubaantun), San Miguel Mon to Sat 06:00 Cucul 11:30 Silver Creek Dump, San Pedro Columbia (for Lubaantun), San Miguel Mon to Sat 07:00 Cucul 16:00 Silver Creek Dump, San Pedro Columbia, San Miguel Mon to Sat 12:30 Cucul 21:00 Silver Creek San Pedro Columbia, San Miguel Mon to Thurs 16:00 Emergency NumbersPG 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 Gray-necked Wood Rail


9 Flights Depart Punta Gorda Arrives Belize City Service Provider Depart Belize Intl. Arrive In Punta Gorda Service Provider 06:45 07:55 Maya Island Air 08:10 09:15 Maya Island Air 06:30 07:30 Tropic Air 07:50 09:00 Tropic Air 09:30 10:35 Maya Island Air 10:10 11:15 Maya Island Air 09:20 10:20 Tropic Air 10:20 11:30 Tropic Air 11:30 12:35 Maya Island Air 12:20 13:30 Tropic Air 11:35 12:35 Tropic Air 14:20 15:30 Trop ic Air 13:35 14:35 Tropic Air 14:40 15:45 Maya Island Air 16:00 17:05 Maya Island Air 16:40 17:45 Maya Island Air 16:00 17:10 Tropic Air 16:40 17:40 Tropic Air James Bus Line Schedule Departs P.G. Arrives Belize City Departs Belize City Arrives P.G. 03:50am 10:30am 05:15am Express (except Sun) 10:30am 04:50am 11:30am 06:15am 12:45pm 06:00am (express) 10:45am 07:15am 01:45pm 05:50am 12:30pm 08:15am 02:45pm 07:50am 02:30pm 09:15am 03:45pm 09:50am 04:30pm 10:15am 04:45pm 11:50am 06:30pm 12:15pm 06:45pm 01:50pm 08:00pm 01:45pm 07:45pm 02:50pm 08:30pm 03:15pm 09:45pm 03:50pm 09:30pm 03:45pm Express 08:45pm Boats To & From Puerto Barrios GuatemalaService Provider Dep Punta Gorda Arrive Puerto Barrios Depart Puerto Barrios Arrive Punta Gorda Requenas Charter Service 09:30 10:30 14:00 15:00 Tek Dat 01:00 14:00 03:00 04:00 Sharkboy16:00 17:00 13:00 14:00 Boats to Livingston depart on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. Pichilingo 14:00 15:00 10:00 11:00 TRANSPORT SCHEDULES Where to get your copy of The Toledo Howler Distribution points include: Tourism Information Centres throughout Belize Tropic Air and Maya Island Air terminals BTIA Toledo members Requenas Charters, Puerto Barrios Major gas stations As well as a wide online presence in electronic format Please contact the Toledo Howler team at 722 2531 if you would like to become a distributor for the voice of tourism development in Belizes deep south! Toledo Tourism Information Centre Front Street, Punta Gorda Town Mon to Fri 8am to 5pm Tel: 722 2531 Email: Trip Advisor Awards for Toledo Each year TripAdvisor awards their Travellers Choice awards for destinations, beaches, restaurants and hotels. Ambergris Caye took top honours again this year, being voted the Number 1 island in the world, which is great news for them, very well deserved, and also fantastic news for Belize! Were delighted to report that two Toledo hotels were also awarded Travellers Choice awards, so many congratulations to The Farm Inn, near San Antonio Village and to Hickat ee Cottages just out side PG Town. If youve enjoyed your Toledo experience, then dont forget to tell people about it, and help raise the profile of this unforgettable district! You can sub mit reviews to TripAdvisor for your activities, restau rants, and accommodation by visiting


10 The Sapodilla Cayes at a Glance Tom Owens Caye is leased by Gayle and Dona Scafe of Cuxlin Ha Re sort in Eldridgeville, Toledo. It is used by Reef CI for diving groups from Monday to Friday each week apart from the month of October and two weeks in Febru ary. At the weekends guests can make arrangements with Cuxlin Ha to go out fo r a weekend staying on the tiny 1 acre caye on Saturday night. Reef CI +501 629 4266 Cuxlin HA +501 732 4747 Right Sunrise on Tom Owens Caye North East Sapodilla Caye is uninhabited and unused. It is the northern most point of the No Catch Zone that extends down to Lime Caye at the southern end of the Sapodillas. Franks Caye is for sale. It is not open to the public. The buildings on it are dilapidated. Nicholas Caye is privately owned by Belcampo Lodge. Hunting Caye is home to various branches of the Belize govern ment.The Belize Coastguard has a base there as well as the Belize Port Authority that is responsible for the lighthouse. The Immigration Depart ment has a unit there and sailing boats and other craft can do their entry and exit procedures at Hunting Caye. The Fisheries Department is re sponsible for the enforcement of the marine park laws and marine re search. This includes monitoring water quality and the health of the reef monitoring Nassau grouper, lion fish and the sea turtles. The University of Belize has a student dormitory that can accommodate up to 30 and also receives some international student groups. Vico tr Ja cobs from Punta Gorda is the Field Manager and can be contacted on 742 2801 The Toledo Tour Guide Association offers drinks and food at the Hawks Lime Caye is owned by the Garbutt family. The Garbutts offer salt water fly fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving with a complete dive shop/ Kayaking is also available with an advanced booking. There is a restaurant and bar serving a buffet with creole style fresh fish, conch and lobster with vegetables, rice and plantain alonmg with frsh fruit juices. There is accommodation in 4 cabanas (two with en suite bathroo m) and one bunkhouse that can accommodate sixteen. They all have flushing toilets and run ning water. Those looking for an authentic desert island experience should avoid certain dates in the years when Lime Caye is taken over by large groups of visitors from Guatemala and Honduras. These periods include Easter Week, the first of May and New Year. Visitors can observe the nesting habits of the Hawksbill and Log gerhead Turtle between the beginning of June and end of October. Whale shark can be seen year round but the best chance is around the period of the full moon s from March to June. Above: looking north towards Hu nting Caye from Lime Caye Above: a bottlenose dolphin surfaces to greet a tour boat Left: heading back to P.G. from the Sapodilla Cayes


11 Word on the Street: A Visitors Perspective Anneke from Pennsylvania visited Toledo and Hopkins with her parents and two brothers dur ing Christmas 2013. We thought it would be in teresting to get a teenage visitors perspective on a family holiday to Belize, and tracked her down during her travels. What attracted you to Toledo? My parents wanted us to visit somewhere new in Central Amer ica, and thought Belize would be a great trip. So after some research, especially from the Lonely Planet, they thought Toledo would be a great first spot to visit in Belize, and then move to Hopkins for the beach. How does Toledo compare with other places in Belize? We stayed only in Punta Gorda and Hopkins so I didn't get to visit too much of the country, but Hopkins definitely gave us more of the beach as pect of Belize and we had an amazing snorkel trip while we were there. I thought the Toledo area was very bea utiful, especially the caves and water falls, and going kayaking in the mangroves was one of the most amazing things I've ever experi enced. Just to be surrounded by vast amounts of nature with all sorts of creatures around you that you don't even realize are there is just simply as tounding. How did you travel to Toledo? What was good and bad about the journey? We flew from Washington D.C. via San Salvador, and then drove down to Punta Gorda It was a 5 hour car ride to Punta Gorda and that was a cramped and tiring ride. With holes in th e road and speed bumps popping up out of nowhere I sometimes felt like I was stuck on a roller coaster ride, but then at some points during the journey when I woke up it was a beautiful sight to just see the moon through the jungle trees. How long are you staying? We stayed for about 10 days but I definitely wish we had stayed longer. What was the most surprising thing about your visit? I loved the bughunts at our hotel in Toledo it wasnt actually as terrifying as I expected and I overcame my fear of gian t spiders for a brief pe riod. Also swimming in the Blue Creek Cave, while slightly terrifying, was just a beautiful experience and I loved it, and kayaking along the river and seeing crocodiles and iguanas was so cool. Visiting the chocolate farm was very interesting too, espe cially seeing how chocolate is made. Belize truly gives you an appreciation for the natural world which people take for granted every day. What did you like the least? If I had to think of something I guess it would be the GIGANTIC SPIDERS!!! I have a huge fear of spi ders and seeing the size of the m was absolutely terrifying at first. Also seeing the number of stray dogs upset me. Favourite food? Calaloo! Reef or rainforest, cayes or culture? The reef and rainforest are two very different envi ronments with equal amounts of beauty so I be lieve both are worth visi ting. I loved our snorkel trip, and I definitely enjoyed the nature and the culture in Toledo. People in Belize seemed to be a lot friendlier than some people here in the U.S. Favourite activities and tours? Swimming at Rio Blanco, and also hiking in the dif ferent sanctuaries and trail it was ama zing to see animal tracks and be immersed in the nature, and was a beautiful experience for the senses. Snorkel ing at the reef was beautiful, and also visiting the Belize Zoo was very cool and I saw a lot of the ani mals which were brand new to me. Travel tips? I believe if you have the right mind set and totally immerse yourself in the nature, you will come out with a new, more open, changed view of the world and the true beauty that it holds. This experience definitely gav e me a new found respect and pas sion for Mother Nature. I definitely suggest people be polite to everyone, be respectful of peoples culture, and respectful of nature. Also I suggest if you go in with an open and clear mind and are ready for adventure like I was, you will definit ely come out of Belize with a new world view. Will you be coming back? BTIA presents From Your Valentine BTIA held its first St Valentines Day Party at Garbutts Fishing Lodge on Joe Taylor Creek on Friday 14th February. BTIA was pleased to welcome its members and guests from the community in cluding Ms Celia Ma hung, Director of TIDE and Ms Christina Garcia of the Yaaxche Conserva tion Trust. Wil Maheia, well known Belizean activ ist, was there as well as Love FMs southern corre spondent Mr Paul Ma hung. Music was provided by DJ Fresh. If you missed our first St Valentines Day then make sure you dont miss next years. Look out for news on BTIAs Facebook page at / btia.toledo BTIA thanks Stephanie Parham and her team of volunteers for their efforts in making the evening a success. Other members of the team were Nannette Nunez, Keren Recinos, Eleanor Jackson, Amina Cal, Chantelle Halvorson and Henry Guerra. Pictures are reproduced with the kind permission of Danny Hun Photography. Contact Danny on 602 9400 or e mail hun L to R Eleanor Jackson, Amina Cal and Stephanie Parham




13 BTIA TOLEDO MEMBERS 2014 Business Contact Person Phone Email Belcampo Shirelymae Parham 722 0050 Beya Suites Lisa Avila 722 2188 Catarina Choco Catarina Choco 634 6772 Coleman's Caf Thomas & Pearleen Coleman 630 4069 /630 4432 Coral House Inn Ale Cho 722 2878 Cuxlin Ha Resort Dona Scafe 732 4747 Garbutt's Fishing Lodge Dennis Garbutt 722 0070 /60 4 3548 Golden Stream Plantation Thomas & Tessy Mathew 732 4014/670 1338 Hickatee Cottages Ian & Kate Morton 662 4475 Ixcacao Maya Belizean Chocolates Juan Cho 742 4050/660 2840 Ixchel Women's Group Tecla Acal 626 2338/632 7938 Indian Creek Village Living Maya Experience Anita Cal & Marta Chia c 627 7408/632 4585 Maroon Creole Drum School Emmeth & Jill Young 668 7733/632 7841 Maya Bags Belize Crafts Ltd. Desiree Arnold 722 2175 Mountain Spirit Wellness Community Dr. Ana Arzu 600 3873 ProWorld Belize Nicole Andrewin 610 1063 ReefCI Polly Alford 629 4266 info@reefci. com Requena's Charter Service Julio Requena 722 2070 The Farm Inn Renee Brown 732 4781 The Lodge at Big Falls Rob Hirons 732 4444 /610 0126 Tide Tours Delonie Forman 722 2129 Toledo Tour Guide Association BTIA Office 637 2000 Warasa Garifuna Drumming School Ruth & Ronald McDonald 632 7701 Yum Kax Women's Group Concepcion a Coc 662 8539/636 9586 Toledo Cave and Adventure Tours Bruno Kuppinger 604 2124 Agouti Cacao Farm Eladio Pop


14 Belizean Blue Crabs! A few months from now should see the start of the rainy season, bringing welcome respite from the hot and humid weather leading up to it, but also giving rise to a wonderful natural phenomenon the run ning of the crabs! The large blue land crabs emerge from th e under growth in their thousands for the start of their mating season, and youll likely come across family groups with sticks and bags looking to catch the crab and cook up a tasty stew. Each family has their favourite seasonings, but many versions of the stew include coconut milk and plantain, along with matilda foot plantain dumplings! Belizean Crab Stew Recipe (serves 6) Ingredients: 8 10 medium to large crabs 2 green plantain (cut into small pieces) 1 small pig's tail (cut off excess fat) 1 large onion 2 3 teaspoons Lea and Perrins Sauce 1 teaspoon salt 1 teas poon pepper 1 small round red recardo 1/2 teaspoon thyme 1/2 teaspoon any of your favorite seasoning 2 3 cloves garlic, crushed 1 2 cups thick coconut milk Matilda foot (see the recipe below) How to cook Belizean Crab Stew: Boil pig tail and green plantain until tender, and meanwhile gra te and squeeze the coconut milk, re serving 2 tablespoons for the Matilda Foot. Add crab meat and seasonings to the pot, and then drop in the the Matilda Foot dumplings and cook for 15 20 minutes Lastly, add coconut milk and taste. Serve the Belizean Crab Stew hot with steamed rice. Matilda Foot Recipe Ingredients: 2 green plantains 1 turn or half ripe plantain 3 tablespoons flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons coconut milk 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 tablespoon margarine How to cook Matilda Foot: Peel and grate plantains. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together. Melt margarine (low heat). Add margarine and milk to grated plantain, mix well. Drop by teaspoon into boiling stew. Adapted from a recipe by Erleen Godfrey, Belizean Favourite Foods. Wats Cookin? Blue Crab Battle of the Drums Last years Battle of the Drums was won by the group across the bay from Livingston calling themselves Lufuluri Gulfu Iyumoun. Grupo Juchelo (pictured above) from Honduras came in second in a n evening distinguished by fine performances from all participating drumming groups. The Chocolate Festival at Lubaantu n Mayan site 2013. More than five hundred visitors thronged the grand plaza for performances by the Baktun 13 Maya dance group from Maya Centre in Stann Creek district. And other performers from around Belize.


15 BTIA Welcomes New Members Toledo Cave and Adventure Tours Toledo Cave and Adventure Tours formerly known as IBTM Tours, started more than 10 years ago by Bruno Kuppinger. He moved to Belize more than 15 years ago and got involved rather quickly as a tour operator named IBTM Tours. In October 2010 the name was then changed to TCAT (Toledo Cave and Adventure Tours). Bruno has been a licensed Tour Operator and a licensed Tour Guide for more than 12 years. TCAT offers specific tours each day. Tours include snorkelling at the beautiful Snake Cayes, hiking to the 30ft Rio Blanco Waterfalls, swimming in Blue Creek Cave, touring the Belize Spice Farm, visiting both the Lubantuun and Nim Li Punit Mayan sites, cultural tours and much more. These tours all start at 8:30am at your hotel with a minimum of 2 persons. Contact: Bruno Kuppinger, J.P. Phone: 604 2124 or 664 3559 Eladios Chocolate Adventure Eladios Chocolate Adventure is a family business operated in the Ma yan village of San Pedro Columbia. They offer daily farm tours, tradi tional chocolate making, and camp ing on a 30 acre farm situated just a sights view from historical Lubaantun Maya Ruin. Eladio Pop, his wife Virginia and children started their journey on cul tivating the land 25 years ago when he discovered that Cacao was a historic plant that would be sought by the rest of the world one day. Like cacao in ancient times; re minds Mr. Pop how valuable it was to continue farming this tree that produces a luxuri ous prod uct called Chocolate Therefore, Eladios Chocolate Adventure wel comes everyone to come and experience CHOCO LATE IN ITS REAL FORM!! Offering daily farm tours, traditional chocolate making and lunch! See the plants that produce the spices you may be using every day. Spend time in our vanilla planta tion and see how vanilla planifolia BTIA Toledo and The Toledo Howler Together were stronger!Become a part of BTIA and make a practical con tribution to the economic development of Toledo District, and benefit from our promotional work. We meet monthly at the Tourism information Centre on Front Street. How Do I Join BTIA? Visit to read about BTIA and all the membership benefits and to download an appli cation form. Com plete the form and hand it in at the Tourism Information Center on Front St. BTIA Toledo officers Chair: Dennis Garbutt Vice chair: Delonie For man Secretary: Kate Morton Treasurer: Dona Scafe Councilor: Placida Re quena Marketing Officer: Dilma Yolanda Cano The Howler is written, edited and pro duced by: Dilma Cano:, 722 2531 Rob Hirons: Marta Hirons: Kate Morton: