Front Cover
 The emerging nation
 The sea
 The land
 Back Cover

Group Title: A New Look at Belize ( British Honduras ) in Latin American Review
Title: New Look at Belize ( British Honduras ) in Latin American Review
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098950/00001
 Material Information
Title: New Look at Belize ( British Honduras ) in Latin American Review
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Belize National Library Service and Information System (BNLSIS)
Publisher: Belize National Library Service and Information System (BNLSIS)
Place of Publication: Belize
Publication Date: 1990?
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098950
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Belize National Library Service and Information System
Holding Location: Belize National Library Service and Information System
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 11
    The emerging nation
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    The sea
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    The land
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Back Cover
        Page 35
Full Text




SJ :







This is a "New Look" at Belize
(British Honduras). a small country
bustling with activity and working
toward a greater and more prosperous
tomorrow, in an atmosphere of unique
tranrquility that sets it apart in a world
torn by violent social revolutions of
one kind or another.
To adequately place this 'New
Look" in proper focus and perspec-
tive, that which actually is today must
be considered in the light of what it
can be, and will be, as the first rays
of sunlight appear with the dawn of

Belize City at night. -.

Proposed flag of Belize Goveomnent House, Belize City.

*Then the list of what can be, as
Compared to what is now, assumes
d namii and stunning proportions.
This is especially true if considered in
S'the light of a people with hopes and
I m LmbitIonv, and a w.villirzi-ess to work
4 C-- liiU and cooperate with any who wish to
be a partner with them as the, drive
forward to achieve what the-.- regard
as their ultimate political destiny-to
be a completely f 'ee, sovereign and
independent nation, financially and
economically able to assume the heavy
costs that inevitably go hand in hand
with such an ambitious goal.


T.o ala., that speck of land, about
8,866 square miles in all, only about
800 miles southwest of M;,rri, and
some 900 miles due south of New Or-
leans, and bordered by M6xico and
Guatemala, officially is called British
Honduras. Even though the country
does have complete self-government,
it is a British colony and all defense
and foreign affairs are under the Brit-
ish Crown. Yet each day the iiIliiience
of the Brit.sh grows dinner, and more
and more the peo.pli refer to their
country not as British Honduras, but
as Belize, as it surely will be called
some day. When this day comes -
and it could be as early as 1970, or
as late as 1972-the British Union
Jack will be lowered and the Blue
and White Banner of Belize will be
hoisted up to be fanned by the brisk
trade winds.
This attitude of enthusiasm for in-
dependence is not because Belizeans
are bitter t wardd the British. Such
most definitely is not the case for no
one has ever suggested eliminating
British traditions of constitutional law
and order. Instead, it is because of
a burning passion within themselves
to be a completely sovereign and in-
dependent people who, regardless of
their racial mixture-white, black or
mestizo-can tell the world they are
1'1iz .n11. .
Thus, by any approach, this is an
emerging nation in the midst of transi-
tion and chanluge, a transition that is
affecting every possible aspect of the
nation, its economy, its life. Under
the circumstances, there is some con-
fusion ind some slowness in certain
areas, but the basic drive toward total
independence never varies.
Change is in the air and a new
dimension must be given to the en-
tire country, ruiiiiii from the north

around C.,.il Town, all the way
down to Punta Gorda in the deep
:itrth. and westward toward the
mountainous Cayo district. The
change not only may be seen, but
more imiurt.uit still, actually felt. It
is deep, solid, vibrant.
Tiavelluig the country's roads is no
smooth ride today, but even the pass-
ing discomfort rc:ad'i!, can be accept-
ed in the kno-.vlede that work is
progressing to up-grade the old nar-
row roads, ouigiin:ill built years ago
by the Fritish, and new, more mod-
ern roads are being pushed into areas
which heretofore were accessible only
by plane or by h.nt. In view of the
situation, it is natural that it is in
the rural areas where the feeling of
change may be seen and felt best,
far better than in Belize City, the
capital, where some 40,000 of the
nation's 115,000 people live. As com-
pared to the vast expanses of open
land in the rural sections, incredibly
crowded circumstances characterize
li inii in Belize City.
A change, of course, is due for
Belize City-but this will not come
about until the New Capital, located
on high ground near the Belize River,
is completed and inaugurated. For
years, many had been saying, that
something would have to be done
about Belize City. Suirounill-d by a
mangrove swamp, Belize City just
grew and today is a hodge-podge af-
fair, a strange mixture of old colonial
structures, .'. iii, .dei, frame build-
ings and new concrete block houses.
Cramped for land space as it is, any
planned expansion piogir.iii of man-
iitide are impossible. The one an-
swer always has been to thin it out,
open up areas for real breadtlinv space.
Practical as that may seem fe. ha1e
wanted to leave and, c.,init riwise;

each year the city has become even
more crowded.
Despite all of the talk, no serious
decisions were made until HTuiiricane
Hattie. This disastrous hmiii'i,.e- of
1961, packing 175-nmile an hour
winds, drove angry Caribbean waters
through the streets not only of Belize
City, but of Stann Creek Town as
i]l, destroying hundreds of homes,
le-.i iig th u,;-tr.ird_ without shelter and
killing 262 persons, less than could
be expected under the circumstances.
"Hattienlle," located 16 miles from
Belize Cit: was built in a crash pro-
gram by the government to house
thousands who had been left home-
less Many felt that this itself might
discourage people from returning to
Belize City, but such a pattern did
not develop and when the flood wa-
ters receded, many returned to patch-
up their sto nm d.Jamaed homes.
The hurricane, however, drove
home one clear, indisputable fact:
something would have to be done
about re-1.,:.,ting a new capital city,
one which would be out of danger
from hurricane winds and high water.
This was a "rid'.t' now, partic.Jinh
so far as the maintenance of vital
government record, and the like.
A consortium of consultants was
sent out by the British government
to evaluate the entire situation and
determine what loi,..11:. should be
done. In time, they reached their
decision: Belize City would always be
at the rniecc of the sea and a new
capital site would have to be chosen.
Site selection was no easy task for
many factors had to be taken into
consideration: land availability, con-
dition of land, terrain and location.
By 1962 a site was chosen-an area

Carib dr.rumnieis at Stann Creek.

Dray and cart unloading lumber.

Belize City policeman.

in,-ar the- small village ort soaring
(Crek. almost in the very center of
the ,atn.,'r. The site is about 50 miles
hf.In B,-ihze City, 55 miles from Stann
-leek T,-vn, and some 30 miles from
Be-ilie \ ejo del Carmen in the Cayo
dirnict % which frontiers with Guate-
rii.aa The location is also just. about
i-.ii-ditant from Corozal Town in
the extrime north and Punta Gorda
in the far south. One big contrast to
Belize City is that the "New Capital
Site"-as the city-to-be is referred to-
nestles some 200 feet above sea level,
with the mountain pine ridge country
in the background, and the broad,
lush valley of the Belize River serv-
ing as the view toward the sea.
The New Capital Site officially
came into being in October, 1965,
when Mr. Anthony Greenwood, Sec-
retary of State for the Colonies, un-
veiled a Commemorative Stele. Pre-
mier George Price, long a staunch ad-
vocate of the new capital, also parti-
cipated in the official ceremonies
which marked the change from dream
to reality.
No name has been selected for the
capital. Some have suggested "Mo-
pan," which is the name of the indig-
enous Maya tribe which never sur-
rendered to either the British or the
Lack of a name, however, has not
retarded construction, and work al-
ready has started on hundreds of pri-
vate homes of various types. The first
76 houses-most of them in the low-
cost bracket, with only seven in the
medium price range-have been com-
pleted to house employees of Pauling
and Co., the London firm which is
the principal contractor. The entire
project is under the supervision of the
Ministry of Overseas Development
and the Crown Agents for Oversea
Governments and Administrations in
London; and the Reconstruction and
Development Corp., the government
entity in Belize of which Magnus
Halcrow is Chief Executive Officer.
The long range project is divided
into two segments: private and gov-
ernment. The government portion
alone involves a total expenditure of
BH$20.4 million (about US$14.3 mil-
lion) with the United Kingdom gov-
ernment-through the British Minis-
try of Overseas Development con-
tributing BH$16.5 million and the lo-
cal government the remaining BH$3.9
million. Estimates are that the pri-
vate sector, through the construction
of residences, office buildings, stores
and the like, will spend about $5
Every possible type of construction
work, private as well as government,
even including street layout, must ad-
here to an ultra-modern, controlled
development program under the su-

pervision or naicrow. ine nrsi pnase
of the government portion being car-
ried out by Pauling and Co. calls for
new government buildings the Na-
tional Assembly building, Premier's
office, several Ministry buildings and
others-and more than 700 private
homes. The contract stipulates that
this work must be completed by the
end of 1969.
Naturally, in as vast a project as
this, and in such a small nation, grum-
blings had to be heard. Most of the
complaints came from Belize City,
principally from persons who object-
ed to the idea of moving inland from
the sea to the New Capital Site.
A Tripartite Survey Mission, com-
posed of representatives from Great
Britain, Canada and the United States,
did not oppose a New Capital Site,
but suggested a r.: -pi.,iii of the time
schedule and spreading construction
over many years. The British Hondu-
ras government, through the Ministry
of Finance and Economic Develop-
ment, took the position that such a
re-phasing would add greatly to the
total cost and that the construction
timetable should not be changed.
Apart from the hurricane threat,
which cannot be minimized, the ines-
capable fact is that Belize City shares
one of the great problems facing most
of the American nations: overcrowd-
ing of capital cities such as Lima,
M6xico City, Buenos Aires, Rio de
Janeiro and others. Cramped condi-
tions in major cities have caused gov-
ernment authorities incredible head-
aches and the only solution is decen-
Concentration of population in Be-
lize City is not only a problem be-
cause of a shortage of land space, but
because such over-centralization re-
duces the available work force in oth-
er parts of the country. In time, the
New Capital is certain to prove one
of the biggest booms possible for the
entire nation. Country villages such
as San Ignacio, Stann Creek Town,
Punta Gorda, Orange Walk Town and
Corozal Town are certain to gain by
the project, and Belize City itself will
not lose out as the big commercial
center of the country.
Another important change in the
making is at the Belize International
Airport (formerly Stanley Field), lo-
cated some 9 miles from Belize City.
Runway length had restricted the
type of aircraft that could land. Run-
ways have now been extended so that
TACA International Airlines can land
its new BAC One-Eleven jets which
fly to New Orleans and to the rest
of Central America and M6xico. TAN,
which connects Belize with Miami,
flies DC-7s, but is considering some
new type of jet equipment.
When construction is completed,

tne airport will be able to accommo-
date not only the medium range jets
such as the BAC One-Eleven, but also
will be able to handle the larger Boe-
ing 727s and DC-9s. The airport
construction program is being fi-
nanced by a $2.05 million grant and
loan from the British Ministry of
Overseas Development. The British
firm of Hadsphaltic and Co., which
recently completed the airport on
Gran Cayman Island, is the contrac-
tor for the project.
Belize International Airport, how-
ever, is the only airport in the entire
country which can handle large multi-
engined planes. Other airports main-
tained by the government, which do
an adequate job of covering the coun-
try, can accommodate only smaller
aircraft. In addition to fields main-
tained by the government, many air-
strips-some 20 in all-have been con-
structed by private companies and in-
dividuals, but these fields can usually
be used by other private aircraft.
The next big major change will
come when a deep water port site has
been selected and construction work
actually begins. One of the country's
biggest handicaps is that it has no
deep water port. All deep draught
ships anchor a mile from the docks
at Belize City and must be loaded by
lighters. This makes for very expen-
sive cargo handling.

Newport Development Corp.-head-
ed by Dan Milan of New Orleans,
who long has been interested in the
development of a deep water port for
Belize-obtained a guarantee from the
U. S. Agency for International Devel-
opment for a $68,000 feasibility study
to determine a site location, and the
financial and engineering practicality
of such a selection. The Newport
group-which obtained one of the very
first investment survey grants made
by AID in British Honduras-had the
not enviable task of finding the an-
swers to a long list of questions in-
Where should a port be built?
No doubt it would have been in the
best interests of the young nation to
have its deep water port located at,
or immediately adjacent to, Belize
City, the population and commercial
center-but was there a practical site?
Should a long pier be construct-
ed out into the ocean where deep wa-
ter can be found, or was there a site
suitable for a more protected port?
Was construction of a deep water
port feasible from an engineering
Could port construction be justi-
fied financially?
To get the answers, Milan, presi-
dent of Newport Development, called

gineering firm of Prescott Follett &
Associates of New Orleans; E. S.
Reed, Deputy Director for the Port
of New Orleans; Crawford Powell,
Assistant General Superintendent of
the New Orleans Sewerage and Wa-
ter Board; Carl Scherer, engineer with
a dredging firm; and S. Langlois of
the U. S. Corps of Engineers.

After months of intensive on-the-
ground surveying and investigation,
Newport Development has come up
with a master, all-inclusive plan di-
vided into several phases of develop-
ment, the whole of which could re-
quire anywhere from 20 to 40 years
to complete, and a total expenditure
of as much as $20 million. However,
all of the phases do not have to be
completed, or even started, to make
construction of the port itself prac-
tical and financially feasible. Cost of
the port complex is estimated at $5
A location at, or adjacent to, Belize
City was ruled out as being virtually
impossible. Ships that would be using
the port require a water depth of 32
feet. Borings in and around Belize
City revealed that a hard limestone
foundation was encountered at a
depth of only 20 feet.
Not until they had reached an area
beyond the Sibun River, which is five
miles south of Belize City, did the soil
specialists find a proper sea bed and
depth. At this point, several miles
south of the Sibun, they did not strike
limestone even at a depth of 40 feet.
There the team also found a good
clay foundation, important to port
construction because once this clay
bed is dredged, it will remain clear
and not refill. The site selected is just
about halfway between the Sibun
River and the Manatee River farther
south, and the dredged channel will
not be affected by silt deposits from
either river.
As outlined by Newport Develop-
ment, a channel of 250 feet to 500
feet wide will be dredged from the
shoreline out some four miles to sea
where it will meet up with the natu-
ral ship channel. Inland, a channel of
the same width will be dredged 2,000
feet long and 36 feet deep, terminat-
ing in a turning circle 1,600 feet in
diameter. Along the channel would
be built the deep water pier, which
could accommodate ocean-going ves-
sels up to 15,000 tons. Initially, the
port would have two 600-foot berths,
with space to build four additional
such berths as demand increased.
Newport Development's plan rep-
resents a complete port complex.
Space would be provided for a termi-

principal export-storage warehouses
for sugar, tanks for molasses and pe-
troleum, cold storage warehouses, and
a general cargo area for commodities
either in transit or in long term stor-
age. In the vicinity of the passenger
and freight terminal, space would be
allocated for the exclusive use of the
Customs Service. A small dock is also
contemplated for use by small craft
including coastwise vessels, fishing
boats and pleasure craft.
The Newport Development plan,
however, goes far beyond construc-
tion of a port complex. The master
plan for Newport covers the entire
area between the Sibun River and the
Manatee River, and extends inward

across the two-mile wide strip of land
lying between the coastline and the
Northern Lagoon-a large body of wa-
ter some four miles across-and for
two miles beyond the Lagoon. Some
of this land is low-lying and swampy
now, but Newport Development plans
to raise all of this land to a minimum
of eight feet above sea level to insure
safety from hurricane tides.
Besides the port, Newport will in-
clude a free trade zone for use by
processing plants, small manufactur-
ers, and assembly units; a town; a

other elements.
The total plan calls for a complete
water supply system to serve Newport
and Belize City as well. Milan be-
lieves that if the plan is developed,
the water supply system will be the
first phase put into actual operation,
since the water supply in Belize City
is critically short.
A sub-division for private homes
and zones for retail stores, churches,
schools, parks and other community
facilities also form part of the master
plan, a4 well as the industrial zone to
be built along the Sibun River.
The -Newport Development group
also sees a resort development along

the now unoccupied sand beaches of
the Northern Lagoon. The plan calls
for a resort hotel with all modern fa-
cilities, including a first class golf
course, tennis courts and the like, and
sites reserved for luxury homes and
guest houses.
Since the Newport site is now in
an isolated area, a road system was
worked out in consultation' with the
Public Works Department of Belize.
The developers envision a coastal
highway, with a bridge over the Si-
bun River, connecting Newport with

: .d --..i .. ...:..

;.4. i.. eW. sr. D ,eoelau'nent Corp.

Artist's bird's eye concept of Newport, based on plans of the Newport
Development Corp. which includes far more than a deep water port.

Bridge linking Belize with
M6xico at Chetumal.

Rapids on Mopan River.

Belize City; a second road on the
western side of Northern Lagoon to
Gracy Rock, joining the Belize City-
Hattieville road, which will lead to
the New Capital Site; and a third to
the New Capital site, with a southern
branch running to Stann Creek. A
site for a possible new international
airport, capable of handling the larg-
est jets, also is included.
Despite the obvious problems the
plan will encounter, the area has some
very definite assets. The Newport de-
velopers made this comment:
"Newport-Belize is one of the few
places that affords an opportunity for
proper planning of a complete devel-
opment program, without having to
spend vast amounts of money to ac-
quire needed land or to try and re-
use inadequate roads, or to work
around buildings too costly to tear
down and inadequate for use in a
modern development."

Roadside market with imported
Mexican pottery.

Chairman of the Michigan Partners
of the Alliance; and J. W. MacMillan,
C.B.E., a former Minister in Premier
Price's cabinet, was named Chairman
of the Belizean group.
The February meeting was a direct
result of a contact made in 1965
when Ismael G6mez, President of the
British Honduras Chamber of Com-
merce, attended a conference of the
Chambers of the Americas which was
held in Miami, Fla. Here G6mez met
James Boren, National Director of the
Partners of the Alliance Program, and
through Boren learned of the various
state partnerships which already had
been established with several Central
and South American countries.
After a series of visits by promi-
nent Michigan businessmen and spe-
cialists to Belize and return visits by
prominent Belizeans to Michigan, the
first annual investment conference,
under the Partnership Alliance, was

Belize International Airport.

One of the more difficult determi-
nations to make is the exact amount
of time that will be required to amor-
tize the original port development.
Present economic indicators probably
cannot represent a true barometer,
since the entire economy is so obvi-
ously in a state of strong development
and the barometer seems destined to
rise. And the time needed for amor-
tization, in the final analysis, will be
determined by the growth pattern.
A very significant and important
change occurred in February, 1966,
when-through the efforts of Robert
Tepper, U. S. Consul-General in Be-
lize City-Governor George Romney
of Michigan and Premier George
Price agreed to a "Partnership Alli-
ance" between Michigan and Belize.
Former Congressman Alvin M. Bent-
ley of Owosso assumed the duties of

held in Lansing, Michigan. Primary
object was to exchange ideas on how
the two groups, working together,
could fashion an overall program that
would truly work hand-in-hand with
Belizeans in a practical way to assist
the country in its own efforts to im-
prove its economic status to the point
of complete self-sufficiency when in-
dependence comes.
Although, for the most part, this
first meeting's statements consisted
primarily of generalities, several spe-
cific results already have been
achieved. One of the very first was
formation of the Belize Investment
Group which has organized an invest-
ment bank with an initial capital of
$250,000. It was organized along
lines so that matching funds could be
obtained from the U. S. Agency for
International Development (AID).
Similar banks have been formed in

Maya Indian woman comes to town
on market day.


San Pedro Sula, Honduras; Guatema-
la City, Guatemala; and in other
places-and all have been granted
very extensive matching funds from
the U. S. The Belize Investment
Group's view is that such matching
funds-not grants could be of tre-
mendous assistance to the very pro-
United States country, just minutes
away by air from the U. S.
Funds for the bank came from in-
vestors in Missouri and Michigan, and
at the first organizational meeting
held in Detroit, Richard Brooks of
Grand Rapids was elected President,
and Warren Gladders of St. Louis
was voted Vice President. Wilbur
Brucker of Detroit was elected Sec-
retary-Treasurer and was named le-
gal counsel. Edgar Orr was retained
as consultant to the investment group
since, in his capacity as the Executive
Director of the Michigan Partners, he
would be in intimate contact with all
new investment projects.
One of the more interesting aspects
to the Michigan Partners program is
that it involves working with private
groups in both Michigan and Belize
City, and with both governments, in
Belize and in Washington. It is op-
erating in conjunction with the over-
all programs of Partners of the Alli-
ance, under the Alliance for Progress
(AID). Currently, no financial assist-
ance either through loans or grants is
being provided by the U.S. under the
theory that the country is a British
colony. The fact that the country's
complete independence is contingent
only upon its ability to be financially
and economically self-sufficient could
produce the type of assistance it
needs from the U.S.

In the meantime, this is not re-
tarding operations by either the Mich-
igan Partners or the Belize group in
formulating projects to be considered
and then acted upon. The Michigan
Partners has broken down its approach
into several categories with units
working on Agriculture, Business and
Investment, Education, Information,
Membership, Public Health and Me-
dical Education, Research, and Wom-
en's Community Service. The Michi-
gan Partners also are working with
other organizations and groups in
Michigan, including the Junior Cham-
bers of Commerce. The same ap-
proach is being followed in Belize
City where the Partnership Commit-
tee is working with private individ-
uals, companies and the British Hon-
duras Chamber of Commerce, a very
active unit with its own regular week-
ly newspaper which highlights busi-
ness developments in the country.

The fact that the people of Belize
themselves are willing to cooperate is
shown by the records which reveal
that despite its small population, the
country has 42 separate credit unions,
ranging in size from a fund of $11,280
to one of more than $705,000. In-
terestingly enough-and it speaks well
for a low crime rate-the very small-
est credit union is made up of prison
guards. The largest is the Holy Re-
deemer Credit Union, Ltd. which
started out as a Catholic parish co-
operative, but now is far more inclu-
sive, with some of its members liv-
ing in the U.S. The good that has
been accomplished through this type
of operation is too vast and too all-
inclusive to be categorized.

This willing self-help attitude on
the part of Belizeans has played a
large role in giving impetus to the
Michigan Partners program. As one
of its first steps, the Michigan organi-
zation made available 15 scholarships
to Michigan universities, all of which
were promptly filled by qualified
young people, and now plans are be-
ing pushed to send trained professors
to British Honduras to study curricu-
lum needs, conduct workshops and
seminars. Funds will be provided
through a Cultural and Exchange
Program under U. S. Consul-General
Robert Tepper. Efforts also are being
made to interest Time-Life Broadcast-
ing in establishing an educational TV
station in Belize, with Michigan Part-
ners supplying schools and community
centers with television sets.
In June, 1966, Dr. C. E. Prouty of
Michigan State University headed a
four-man team which made a very
careful feasibility study on establish-
ing an oceanography research insti-
tute in Belize City, or on one of the
innumerable cayes in the adjoining
waters. Dr. Prouty's first report was
that the reef structures were unique
and would be of tremendous value to
researchers. Although it was not men-
tioned, the results of Dr. Prouty's
work could mean a vastly expanded
fisheries operation in Belizean waters.
Decision as to whether such an insti-
tute will be established now rests with
the U. S. government officials and
several private foundations. At least
$1 million would be required to fi-
nance such a project.
Since the Michigan group is per-
haps the most active of all such Alli-
ance Partnerships sponsored by AID,

* To make application for, or to request specific information on
obtaining a tax concession, v.iite: The FinanL.ial Sccretar. Min-
istry of Finance :and Economic Development. Belize City. British
Honduras, C. A.
* Foi information corncerning industries that the government would
like developed, write: The Secretary, Development Finance Cor-
poration, P. 0. Box 279. Belize City, British Honduras, C. A.
* 'or infoiniati'n concerning the private sector, %\rite: The Execu-
tive Secretaly. British Honduras Chamber of Conmmerce. P. 0. Box
291. Belize City. British Hondtuas. C. A.
* For information co;ncriniig the Mlichigan, Partners for the Alliance,
%\rite: Executive Secretar., Michigan Padtneis, P. 0. Box 10.
Owosso. Michigan.
* For information concerning governmental offices and structure,
write: Chief Information Officer. G;o\ernnent Informinatio Services.
Belize City. British loiiduras, C. A.
* For information concerning land at New Capital Site for a home
or business operation, write: General Manager. Reconstruction
De velopment Corpoiation. Belize Cit%, British Honduras. C. A.
* For background information and evaluation. write: Research ind
Consultation Department. Latin American Reports, Inc., 1027
International Trade Mart, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130. U.S.A.

Ol and n:w %choolfiouse at Teakettle
in Cavo District.

i*^^ ^.?^'.^*1*.

Mouth of Haulover Creek which cuts
Belize City in two.

Kekchi Indian band in Toledo District.

its operations could well serve as a
prototype for others already estab-
lished, and to be established in the
under-developed nations of the world.
The biggest advantage of such a pro-
ject is that success does not depend
on a single person or a single govern-
ment agency, but comes from the com-
bined efforts of individuals, corpora-
tions, organizations and governments.
With all of these transitional pro-
jects either completed, started or in
the active planning stage, one of the
great problems for Belize is supply-
ing skilled manpower needed for de-
velopment in fields such as housing
and road building, tourism, electrical
plant installation and the like.
The country has long enjoyed an
extremely high literacy rate-in excess
of 90%. But this commendable record
can be deceiving, since it refers to
academic learning, and not to train-
ing in skilled crafts, and only reflects
education through the primary grades.
Only a very small percentage of Be-
lizeans have received any secondary
In a way, this situation can be at-
tributed to the entire educational
structure of the country. Virtually all
schools are operated by religious de-
nominations: Catholics, Methodists,
Anglicans, and others. The govern-
ment assists by providing half of the
costs of building schools and by sup-
plimenting teachers' salaries. The re-
maining costs are shouldered by the
individual denominations. Thus, while
primary education is provided exten-
sively throughout the country, secon-
dary education, which is far more ex-
pensive, is restricted. But it is in the
field of vocational training that the
country has been so noticeably weak.

The new Industrial Arts section of
St. John's College is proving to be a
sound although partial solution to
this -problem. St. John's College, a
Jesuit institution under the sponsor-
ship of the Jesuit province of St.
Louis, Missouri, inaugurated the new
section in 1964. The Very Rev. Leo
Weber, Jesuit superior for Belize Mis-
sion, felt that because of the progress
being made through the National De-
velopment Program, something would
have to be done to train young men
in the industrial arts. Establishing the
Industrial Arts section to provide
training in carpentry, masonry, plumb-
ing, electrical and sheet metal work
was a tremendous gamble. But it suc-
ceeded and in 1967 the first -gradu-
ates from this school received their
diplomas from St. John's College.
The program is an unquestioned
success, but if Belize continues its
progress, industrial training will have
to be expanded still more. The coun-
try does have an industrial training
school-the Belize Technical College-
but it needs more assistance, particu-
larly equipment and teachers, to up-
grade it to required standards. There
is also a government vocational school
at the primary level for leaverss"
(drop-outs) who cannot qualify for en-
trance to the Technical College.
Despite the fact that lumber ex-
ports, once the major foreign ex-
change earner and one of the most
important segments of the economy,
have been steadily declining and are
now some 50% below the 1955 figure,
the gross domestic product has been
rising at a rate of about 10% a year,
and projections show it continuing

The iettv of the Belize Estate sawmill at Maneo Creek.

Independence Day Queen and court.


Premier George Price assists Board Chairman
of Belize Sugar Industries at inauguration
of new sugar factory.



upwards. Lumber and timber reserves
are almost the only sector of the na-
tion's entire economy that shows any
downward curve. Everything else is
And well they must be. For when
the ambition of the people to achieve
full, independent nationhood is rea-
lized, the great under-developed po-
tential of the country must be con-
verted into actuality. Fortunately, the
country-despite the factor of very
small population-possesses all of the
needed assets-in its people, in its
land, in its reliance on the private
enterprise system as opposed to the
statism of Communism, and in the
beautiful and bountiful sea which
washes its coasts from north to south.
And most helpful is the fact that
even though Belizeans have a deep,
burning love for their own developing
nation, they realize that, they need
help from abroad, in technicians, fi-
nancing and population. The sincere
hand of friendship is extended to all
who would come with a genuine de-
sire to work with them to meet thI.
great and exciting challenge that lii:



An inscrutable sea, scores of cayes,
and a great barrier reef second
longest in the entire world-once pro-
tected the fledgling colony then
known as the "settlement of Belise"
from unfriendly, marauding ships.
The same cayes and barrier reef
now seem destined to become a vital
bulwark to the economic and finan-

Dc.-tor fi-Ii id b low. l-ft ji-rale a d.
fnmaal--at .:1ptlh .,f 100 f['l t ,I t t
G ,,lIce' Ca:.- H l.'2 h -' ,.rtl r.
,'iftl at dt-pth of 9' feet near c:oral

^\ -^

Waters break over the barrier at sunset.

Antler reef (above, left) about eight feet deep near barrier reef off
Spearfishing for giant crabs and lobsters (above, right).

cial structure of this same rt i it.,.
now known as British tl.iti', .,.
when it becomes the iiirl.-pri.1l it,
sovereign nation of Belize.
It was no easy challenge for the
first Europeans who found a safe ha-
ven on the shores in 1638 when their
ship was wrecked at sea. And despite
the span of more than 300 years, it is
no easy challenge that today's Beli-
zeans face in their bid for indepen-
Unquestionably, the fish- and lob-
ster-rich waters, waters so clear that
depths are incredibly deceiving, and
the great stretches of sand beaches
represent a tremendous economic po-
tential. Under its former complete

Groijupr fi(l r below, richti in under-
w'ater LcA, abui.t '10 feet (.It p. Tlhr.:
types of cor.l i ,center, rit t i, :fH Enir'-
Ih, Caye.

Bitiish -.'l.i i st i ui ,. fi I i alith ...
it% '.u'Ailet l t il.pp.' t pil. '-L:ts thL i
. ,nll te:-i l ..,' h i iIci. thi'- .ir T,-'
th I .-e In ..iuth,-o -i at th at tili,. thi.-
,I; t ,I tI ,1 :i ,I.! : l,.., I !. il..
t I i tI I,' Il, I'. l il , I ,

t,-l in.l hn..l L, l i t id 1tr. .
N ,... tle .. e-,. . r l,,,:,k 1.11 th
!i iri.: I, .. a e ]L.t. k I ,. I l i:h 'l ii il-.l
H lr thl.i : ['l. itl h.. a . .1 t. I e 1 .u -1-
t .:h i J ti ...r tl .i t .I :. ui .]ti.iis lit
l.. t in , ll lh t l, l I h l- l l ir .. I a-ll -
t ti t', ,s i t i !,- ith tHI i : '.l r[ ri ,.t.l. s d t
itirci-n .all j rnS l ti:ll-I ite -i..
I tl..- ,-' ...-pt ol . t H I I l i ull-r .Li .:illn-
Iti...I it i .l. ( i itiL.l K i l.,d iim YI t el ,It
this. .l t i.: m ln i_, i t [ir-Hd cIhan-'I .
allnd ll ChAn.2 ", hn E. t i.h Hill,-
,J,.1a I,,:...,][lrs [ hI/ .
TI.: \id ..L .4t I',o:th tI li pi i\ il te
e7 tl.t r Ainid til-. ,i_." ,:i r|lIl i-nt i tli.It thl :-
V. .itr l .lar' .. i Ii n im p.n tII tl t i. .,L ( r, i i.
.-s.et th.i t hli.S dl Il- hl iel.p'i d t,.. the
ti. t I<: Nt. T lI. \J .i 1i 7- L.I tl I It : s I i li
tier- ..a i. t i ...l i.. l id- i,.,! botuh inki st,",
.II I I ri.d i S'i, i
Oine .'t th'.- in .st lmii'. e:, Ir :le h'
tile BIi i hli H .i-n lijli.i i. t- in-ie it
,A ll -A It u as 1.' 1. C o r I. l te l : tl -.-i
Ill it'i 1. l I l lit l i'- n L .i il "'. a .l t il -
tail I Sli, l. h. .l i .a .id ti.oiiis fi'r thi.
lis.hii ii, l i .trI. ( m II 'rir i tl tlin z
i..t h. li]il s.i, piiz-d i -J I'. the .il id
Sp". l t, l i.i h, l n 1t.l 1: Citl l -l ti .
sal\i: tiherim l-r the p .l t:i t -: m B --'r
it.r:- ; .s ctlii ed e i. ,ni i ni ],l.-,t L i.
Iian', l h4 n-i -ii trappIt d .Li l.b t r's tilhi .
v'..th r'gg, S i.. ln e *. ,,h> i-tit, the- .e
t.. ti.he ,. iter t.. hitc:h n-ut ]1,1..rt lI.b-
st er bult init iri '. Ai th iti- : l--t
li._'ed thl t. bet.,,-t Ireil,. I. ,.i a tl,,e
l-l.,'ter siuppl, w. ,iild ra.I.nill\ di-
iniikh. ..1 .1-d'. i.I,' .ahd qu,..t-I v.-ete
it.ablish d tAi i i ,,il .. _.i r l hi.e.
pli LII h.n'p t i .LirAti t ,,t tihe iime L \li-I
Il.t,:r trappini 0 tri k tl'. a i, mdl-
%id,.dl prip.- th.un is tl,:rouJglih!\ sti-..tim lied i.:, .
Ii, all, Be liz:- thas..Ji a:..-j',, c.C l, p< i .ia-
ti,. h'i.:h .it- thl- I,:il$ l"''I l ler t.lil
e;.prt>!s il! th,: i.,_,inlM -"t' r O.n SAni
Pedr''I cirn Ainbeli.n (1 ,7 in thie
il riil, ain ,thel ill til,; N iutli, ..ill thr-
_,ther< at Belite C'it-.and they hate\
a tumnbicned ieilailbership) -,[ -13 tifsh-
i-ilinel'. Q lii,,i i u ,.,i l',ii t,-i: i ,-,i <-r. ,-Ih-
co,_peratike are eslbli.h:d b. thie:-
,',:,erm r,,: t. .arid i,,_lude l.b.,ter' bit
,.,tli e :pio t .ind l,_,nei stic. ,,. u iiM rp-
tiin. Estii,.ate :ire that f r n,,i_,t_ tlh.in
t,.v .-*thIirds .,t the t.,t.l l.o.L,, t L.it:hl
is e\p rte:d. .,l1 t,, tdil fU'ni!i _.i .'tetd.
Il .ad d l l li, thill i,.ib, te, i '....'p(--.it,, .
a i, 1 illi _st t" p It .I 4-c t.1 li i i!i Il illl
p l .-i. t. 'e ; Ir.. ',- -f.!i fillet. 111 ;, t-

I '163, tl._ \al e .a 1, 1A :'.-
p,.,it tut~alld $ :.[i.l'92 6,,,A lW i,.- ne,-


..I tl,- [pi ti itu.l. lii iii tiu, l i iii, d
S!t ils tit. \ ilr '. ,sr t ". 4i 64 .UiT
ii. 1': 'i. Tli.. ..t. AI.. .l is thili the 197.7T
tl -I I ill l~i b lii ih r IIh ie '. i-,

I I I I I II, in I -l .i 4 al l ,'.t ..ill lit-
i .,1 t d a. d I ] t i t: I I- '.P[ .rLt ll i ,..s.
ii -,.r-- th.Il i, 1 i lil m i l i iil l M ..-.
Shlrillipinir as ai coniiit'icia. e-ll-
ture. \irtuall uiinknor"n in 1965. Iha.
been iniireasingi and in 19660 more
than 23.00l1) pounds ere e t\lii edi l.
Sonim sources belie e that the shlriniip-
inig industry is hardly. slated. an(d that
%%hen lit lira in_. i rounds are located
thil exports \%ill increase. In \iew of
the noniidic h-trait of shrimp. there
are fe-w predictions as, to the top po-
tential that could be realized.
Him. ..S ::i!onch-b,..lhi t n,.t .i d I hell
-I. nH.il Iin II-Il \l[,.i .d t-1 ,i a liih itedi
nl:o k'.t
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i- -i I. i.-. % tli i the I r- i :iil r. t T '.111 lli
pi ..l iii ..'. I,, i,, :',..pl, t d 1 : di....t d ti.lt thi- lllti.le. n.:.d i.ippcit
I H Iis r i hl l.,ut thlle .i i. _lid li i Lng pi, -l
.l - .bs l illQ U id i t '.ill .t I- .l l i. r, i..,-t I_':L- il'.
pit ... :<',.1 '. T h.:.- t.,p,!,.d lcile .ts :ie_
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L .li i-ri.- I. Iti b. t ii i ..l e : .iti.I l i rkl t
Iri: iih II,- .i t-et h. i tle bt iead.hd

!,.:ijiI .-l'.,iit p a_ ll.i] ;ind a pr,,ni ,_ti.,!

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l', i.t W aii i w.atil s l .-lh c.,iil 1 bI i .L'i ni-
rn -cialk\ t-.plh.,tI-d ia idhI li- lih IutI
thlesw l' nt.i.iie Alenin ki'MpeHtliles ,
,iind t': hri'i' 1i s tt p-.r' li p r-pa'ni -.
ltSth'-S tli.ie i -iijlQi. I''d sN.iapper
.,'. :ii!l l, -. .11_,1 .1 hln kl. t .n! It. ta.-i up
L'.i.e'li r. ..rn.,il\ b', it k] t $' mn i!-
]i,.'], .t 'e:i hli h i., vnir.. nl ..ir i t
l[t 11,,i ,,: 1,] i thr- C, ]litl i'. z1v andlL
,p.,p l !,ti,..) i t c. i .. l .i -red .
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.'- .n'r d il rtli nmjeic:h.andinil t,:ch-
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lbat.er'. l.,.i e!- ,. t l'a _p.',rl tti,ii to
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tMI -,A l.t it d,,e. h, tLlo [.d ._

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hi I!I .anI Philips P, -t ,,h in I .,in, d
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made so that nest, of the Fort
Ceuge- Hotel in Belize City also
could use the f;i:.iihties. Sergeants
Caye was never actively promoted,
and N hilc I',lrn were being discussed
to exploit the tourism potential, Hur-
ricane Hattie leveled the caye. hin-
mediately after Hurricane Hattie hit,
the caye could h.uidly be located, but
era'i: lly the small caye has been
buiilding up again and a 'mTnal beach
is once more vlnibl. Goff's Caye,
which also fell victim to the hurri-
cane, is also slowly rebuilding itself.
A very strong push in the tourism
field came when Vic Barothy of Ba-
r('lhn's Caribbean LIodg built a hide-
aw av haven for fishermen on Tuinenfle

Bciti Atcrlliig is favorite tourist pastime.

Reef. Here 30 piic-sts at one time are
provided with comfortable sleeping
quarters, LU ,p d food, ceel r icit and
small boats for fishimg in the-several
lagoons and behind the barrier reef
which is located not too far away.
One of the prime reasons for B.1-i-
thy's immediate success was that
sports fishermen had their choice:
they could go for bji'efish and snook
in the pr.ott-cted waters of Tirntlfc.
or thev could go beyond into the
(.:,iilianii for king mackeral, marlin,
sailfish, hi r..cud.i and the like.
Since 1966. Turneffe li.i; been op-
erated by an internationally known
Canadian fishing expert, Bill Haerr.
Sm.nc Haerr took over from tHarnoth,

Mother booby bird returns to nest,

who continues to operate from the
mainland, he has improved the in-
stallation and may have to expand fa-
t ihti;. to h.nidle the sportsmen who
come from all parts of the orldJ, but
principally the U. S. and Canada.
The closest .ippri.Iich to a ,'neldI
tourist development proCr.ini was the
utilization of St. George's Caye, a his-
torically famous site. It is close to
Belize City, and ;.:iginiill was used
by Beleieis only, with few accom-
modations for outsiders unless they
were guests of owners of homes on
the ,m.All island. Much of the iaje,'s
value was destroyed by Hurricane
Ilattie, which cut the island into three
sections. Gradually the caye is re-
building, and several resort operators

Beach at Cay' Bokel.

Bi!l Haerr's fishing loul at Caye Robinson's Point dn dock and shipyard.
Bnt.el, Turrmcfc isl:iri.

Baby booby bird at Half Moon Caye.

have looked into the possibility of
constructing some small resort hotels
on the island. No large operation is
indicated because of the restrictions
imposed by available land area.
One very significant aspect to de-
velopment of the cayes in British
Honduras is that the government has
no restrictions on ownership of sea-
side property by foreigners, as have
other countries. To retard specula-
tion as much as possible, however,
the government does have an effec-
tive land usage law under which taxes
on undeveloped land graduate higher
each year the land lies idle. This law
applies to the cayes as well as to the
Perhaps Ambergris Caye, the long-
est and most populated of all the Be-
lizean islands, offers the very best po-
tential for tourist development. Am-
begris Caye is approximately 21 miles
long, and nestles snugly behind a bar-
rier reef which runs the entire dis-
tance of the island. There are breaks,
or channels, in the reef that enable
fishing boats from Ambergris to pass
safely through to the deep blue water
on the ocean side.
Even though Ambergris is the most
settled caye, with most of the people
clustered at the south end around the
hamlet of San Pedro, the caye is a
long, long way from being developed.
Mile after mile of white sand beaches,
with coconut trees furnishing the
green relief, stretch out unoccupied
except for a lone house here and there.
One of the very first to recognize
the great tourist potential of Amber-
gris was a Northamerican, Vernon T.
Hamman of Hollywood, Fla. Ham-
man's concept of development was to
sell lots to Floridians who would build
homes on the caye. He had plans to
establish a club on the island to the
north of San Pedro, but this aspect
of his program has not yet been fully
There is no question about Amber-
gris Caye's convertability into a tour-
ist paradise, because the island offers
everything needed by devotees of sun,
sand, and sea. The area is perfect
for skin diving, water skiing, swim-
ming, boating, sailing and fishing.
But these natural elements are not
enough, and development will re-
quire a considerable investment in
organization, in proper promotion, in
Several investment groups from St.
Louis, Mo., and from Michigan have
visited Ambergris and currently are
working on development plans. Per-
haps the most active investment group
with the most advanced plans-al-
though still in the projection stage-
is that headquartered in Memphis,
Tenn., under the guiding hand of
Robert 0. Chandler. Chandler has al-

Tourists watch sea turtle at Half Moon Caye.

Half Moon Caye from lighthouse .


lendv i (.rpo kiriidr.is law, Tropico Sports Ltd.,
and has ilet:ined an advertising and
public relations firm, Cranford, John-
si and Associates of Little Rock,
Ark., to assist in the promotion of
Tropico's program.
Chandler's idea is to first bil,.1]
the Tropico Sports Club through the
sale of memberships in the Club. A
release from Chandler's advertising
tinn gives this description of the
Memphis *i.,up's plans:
"The Tropico Sports Club will con-
sist of a 100-room facility with swim-
ming pool, bars, cabanas, tennis
courts, a hlwt marina, stables for rid-
ing horses, 'hufl<-b...ird courts, bad-
minton, lawn bowling, etc. Th,.re
will be a fleet of fishing boats, motor-
boats and sailboats for members of
tle club. On hand will be guides to
show members where the big fish are,
and instructors in sailing, scuba div-
ing, skin diving, skiing and swim-
riniig. Tropico Club will provide
hIninig just 30 minutes away in the
tropical jungle on the mainland. From
a rustic lodce in the middle of the
jungle, the most serious hunter can
hunt jaguar, the most prized trophy
of hunters in this hemisphere, as well
as ocelot, puma. deer, quail, duck,
wild boar and many other game."
Tropicu Sports Ltd. has been in
the planning stage for many months,
dmrinii. which time many Jet0LIls in-
cluding an architect's concept of the
*:.ljb itself, were worked out, but it
did not begin formal functions until
the fall of 1967 when iffi..es were
opened in Memphis under the name
of the Club.
A nide of sand beach frontage in
two sections, some on'the south side
of Su. Pedro and some on the north
side, has been acquired on Amber-
gris Caye by the Chandler group
either through outright purchase or
thli.igh long-term option.
Tropico may be the most advanced
and most active project now, but by
no means will it be the only such
project possible for Amb-rr-ris Caye.
The i.Jaiid is sufficiently large and
offers enough protected beach front-
age to provide sites for two, three or
even more such clubs and resorts.
There is even plenty of land avail-
.ble for the improved air strip it will
Not very far from Ambergris are
two other cayes which are ideal for
resort liii'g: Caye Corker and Caye
Chipel, both large enough for a
future air strip. Several prominent
Northamericans already own land on
the two cayes and have resort homes
either under construction or being
deiaied Both Caye Corker and
C:i. -. Chipp] are sheltered Nhi-ind an-
other section of that loni barrier reef,

A typical island beach scene.

Lighl[th1.i. el. n,] per's daughter holds eight pot d lobster.

Another of many unspoiled cayes.


Artist's conception of proposed Tropico Club on Ambergris Caye.
Artist's conception of proposed Tropico Club on Ambergris Caye.

and sufficient breaks exist to easily
make the passage into the blue Carib-
bean beyond.
Although technically one reef sys-
tem, there are, in fact, three separate
barrier reefs roughly parallel to each
other, loosely termed the inner reef,
which is closest to the mainland; the
middle reef; and the outer reef,
which breasts the Caribbean Sea. To-
gether, they shield the entire coast-
line of Belize.
And all three have cayes that rest
safely behind the reef some fair-
sized islands, some tiny specks in the
beautiful sea. These protected cayes
are secure from almost any storm an
occasionally angry ocean could hurl
at them, since the reef neatly tosses
most of the storm weather right back
out to sea. It took almost every bit
of Hurricane Hattie's 175-mile-an-
hour wind velocity to overcome the
reef barrier.
Some of the cayes are little more
than mangrove swamp islands, but
many are lovely gems of hard packed
sand and coral which pose little foun-
dation problem in construction of
even sizeable buildings. There are
perhaps two dozen or more which are
suitable for one or two beach homes-
the ultimate in resort living-as well
as those several which are destined
for much larger scale projects. In
many protected lagoons behind the
cayes it is quite possible to land a
sea plane. The boat trip from the
mainland to nearly any of the cayes
is not diffi.. dt. and only a 45-foot

boat is needed to reach the farther-
One of the least known and most
remote of all the islands is Half Moon
Caye, some 55 miles out from Belize
City and resting squarely behind the
outer reef. Half Moon Caye is owned
by. the government, and although
many resort developers have suggest-
ed that it could be successfully pro-
moted as a lush vacation spot, it may
never be turned over to private op-
erators for any type of development.
Prevailing sentiment in government
circles, shared by a majority in the
private sector and by conservationists
the world over, is that it would be
better to maintain the small island as
a government preserve. Half Moon
Caye is now completely unspoiled,
and any development would change
its role as a natural reference library.
On the island now is a lighthouse,
maintained around the clock by the
government's customs service men.
The only homes on the island are the
three the government provides for the
lighthousekeeper and his family, for
his assistant, and for visiting guests.
The only other occupants of the
island are the "booby birds" who,
without any official permission, se-
lected one end of the caye as their
permanent home. Every morning
about 4:30, the adult boobies swoop
out to sea in search of food for them-
selves and their young. Twelve hours
later, about 4:30 in the afternoon, the
birds begin their return home.

The birds are rarely frightened by
humans or anything else, and seldom
disturbed when curious strangers
stroll over from the lighthouse area
to their home site. Some of the booby
birds may seek protection in the air,
but most of the birds remain un-
moved by the intruders. In fact, it is
said that this is why this bird got its
name-because it was too much of a
"booby" to be afraid. The technical
name for the several types of booby
birds is sula, of the family pelecani-
fornes, but to Belizeans, they are the
crazy 'booby birds."
Others who find Half Moon Caye
to their liking are the giant sea tur-
tles. At night they make their way
up the sandy beaches and there lay
their eggs. It is not unusual for walk-
ers along the beach to encounter these
large turtles. They can be caught, but
it takes an expert to do the job. Many
weigh far more than 200 pounds, but
despite their weight, they can move
across the sand at a fairly rapid pace.
The lighthousekeepers are especial-
ly adept at catching the turtles by
turning them over on their backs,
watching carefully to avoid -being hit
by one of their feet. Once turned
over, the turtles are kept secure by
tying up their front legs. In the morn-
ing, the keepers let the turtles leave,
but not until they have had their own
sport of turtle-back riding at sea.
This is no easy feat. The turtles swim
rapidly and dart under the water
without notice. Interesting and excit-
ing as this novel sport may be, it is



not for the novice.
The turtles are excellent for eating,
too. The government, however, main-
tains sharp restrictions on the season
when turtles may be caught for this
purpose. In season, the lighthouse-
keepers-and others-find turtle meat
a gourmet-worthy addition to their
So are the delicious giant lobsters,
some of the very largest to be found
in any of the waters off the Belizean
coast. Lobsters weighing up to 14
pounds have been caught on the rocks
which dot certain sections of Half
Moon Caye.
Stone crabs, although not nearly as
numerous as the lobsters, also may be
found along the island. These crabs,
more commonly known as Morro
crabs since they were first caught off
Cuba, are truly a gourmet's delight.
The cayes and the barrier reefs are
not the only assets of the offshore
Belizean waters. Beneath the sea is
another world-a completely different
world, as fantastically beautiful and
strange as any eye would care to see.
Below the surface of the sea, it is a
world of coral and hundreds of va-
rieties of colorful fish, types rarely
caught by fishermen. Many have
strange names, such as "doctor fish"
and "husband fish."
Divers who go 60, 70 and 80 feet
below the surface still find that
enough light filters through the crys-
tal clear waters to permit the taking
of perfect color photographs.
If the fish and the world below are
strange to humans, the sight of hu-
mans invading their element is an
equally strange one for the fish. One
of the most curious is the barracuda.
The nosy barracuda will poke his
head curiously at the goggles worn
by the divers and at the underwater
cameras that they carry. Once satis-
fied, the barracuda meanders on
away. The same, of course, is not
true for the shark.
The coral reef structures which are
encountered in the depths below are
as varied as the fish that shelter with-
in them, readily suggesting the names
given them such as "cabbage" and
"fan." One of the most interesting
formations is the coral that resembles
an ancient castle, and through and
around the turrets and battlements
swim scores of small and medium
sized fish, some whose color blends
with the coral, others spectacular with
brilliant reds and blues.
Experts believe that these watery
depths offer unique formations and
possibilities, and that if studied
enough, they could well become a
major source of food. This repre-
sents an interesting potential, but it
is a long way from development.
This will be one of the jobs of the

Oceanography Research Institute
when it becomes a reality.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect to
the entire panorama-the three-part
barrier reef, the cayes, and the ocean
life below the sea-is the tremendous
challenge presented. By any stand-
ards the 'area is more plentifully en-
dowed with all of the natural ingre-
dients and basic attractions than many
highly developed resorts in the Carib-
bean. The big difference is that the
more developed and publicized re-
sorts ring up millions of tourist .dol-
lars each year, while in undeveloped
and unknown Belize the dollars, and
the tourists spending them, remain
insignificantly few.

But that is today's picture, An1d
each year it has changed for the bet-
ter. And it will change further .1
more and more people discover th:
fabulous natural beauties of the '..t-i
ter world. Just as the country, po-
litically, is a land of the future, and
the mainland is in the midst of ex-
hilarating transition and change, so,
too, is the sea.
Perhaps soon the lone fisherman,
in his hand-made sailboat, gliding si-
lently through the blue waters on his
way homeward with his day's catch,
will only be a symbol of something
that once was, pointed out to tomor-
row's tourists.

Sailing is a favorite pastime and major attraction.
- -




A view on Pomona Estate, one of the largest.

Flower bed (upper photo) at Placentia.
Placentia Peninsula (lower photo) from air.

North, east, west and south, over
the entire country of British Hondu-
ras, a feeling of change and transition
is inescapable in this land which is
moving to the time when it will be
the independent nation of Belize.
There is a strong sense of extreme
busyness because of the number of
varied projects, which either already
have started or are in the planning
stage, for increased utilization of this
,p.I -r1 populated land area.
And unquestionably that is the real
key to success in the future-increased
land utilization. The greatest chal-
lenge for those who are already in
the country, or for the scores of per-
sons and companies in the final stages
of feasibility studies, is fo Pffect land
use in a manner which will be help-
ful in the development of the country,
and at the same time, profitable.
There can be no questioning the
fact that vast opportunities exist
through increased land utilization.
One of the most interesting aspects is
that this land varies so much that it
offers a seemingly endless list of pro-
jects with potential that could be de-
In the past, many have come, ac-
cepting the challenge of this frontier

nation, and some have left, somewhat
disillusioned. The fault, however, has
not been with the land, the people,
or the country, but because there was
a lack of adequate financing, techni-
cal skill, proper planning, or a tenacity
to stick it out. Those who have come
with the basic ingredients have not
failed and have stayed.
During the last 10 years, great
strides in increased land use have
been scored. Yet for all of this, less
than 10% of the land is being actively
utilized. Some idea of the tremendous
potential can be gathered from a
United Nations Survey which stated
that the country has some 2.2 million
acres of land well suited for agricul-
tural use, and that soil and climatic
conditions are suitable for a wide
range of agricultural enterprises.
By no standard, however, can any
project be considered easy to immedi-
ately fulfill. Vast stretches of land
are covered with heavy brush and
forests that must be cleared. Feeder
roads are lacking and will have to be
built. There is a population shortage,
further aggravated by the huge, dis-
proportionate location of the popula-
tion. Belize City, for example, has
around 40,000 people; but the entire

Toledo District, offering a fabulous
agricultural potential, has less than
8,000 persons-and a great majority
are Maya Indians, to whom change
comes slowly.
These obvious obstacles, however,
should be regarded as challenges, for
all can be overcome, and are being
Fully aware of the problems that
do confront new investors, the gov-
ernment enacted a National Develop-
ment Law to assist as much as pos-
sible. Under this law, new projects
which have been submitted to gov-
ernment, and have been given the
proper approval can get up to 11
years of tax exemptions and duty
free exemptions. The exemption peri-
od and the materials which can be
imported duty free into the country
vary according to projects and the
items involved.
Although the government already
has a prepared list of needed pro-
jects which it would approve under
the National Development Law-and
the list covers agriculture, tourism,
and industry-it is by no means re-
stricted. Actually, any project that
would help the economy of the coun-


try would be considered.
Confirmation of this attitude came
when a Canadian firm of consulting
geologists, Duncan Derry, Ltd., ap-
plied for an exclusive license to pros-
pect for mineral deposits. They asked
for a concession on three distinct
areas, covering a total of 2,014 miles,
In response to the request, the gov-
ernment granted a provisional license
and then passed a new Mining Law
which would be fair to both the gov-
ernment and to the Canadian firm.
Under the law, passed by the
House of Representatives, the firm
was given the exclusive right to pros-
pect for minerals for a period of four
years, plus an option of another four
years. Additional extensions, in the
form of options, are also included.
In return, the Derry firm is obliged
to spend a minimum of $70,500 an-
nually prospecting for minerals, plus
the cost of the various individual
leases to land owners. Royalty pay-
ments would be on a fixed percent-
age of company profits. The com-
pany was given a four year exemption
from corporate income tax starting
from the time of commercial produc-
tion, and an additional 50% exemption
for the next four years.

that the company had made "several
encouraging discoveries." He did not
specify these "discoveries."
The British Honduras Chamber of
Commerce, and other companies and
persons in the private sector, also
believe that the government should
do something about the present in-
come tax laws. View is that they are
much too high, and carry too few
exemptions for a developing country.
The government has indicated that it
would like to assist, and probably will.
But the big problem is that income
tax revenues represent some $1.4 mil-
lion annually and this money is urg-
ently needed to avert a deficit. Opin-
ion is that as development increases,
tax exemptions and decreases will re-
sult. Some sources believe that the
first step will be to eliminate taxes
on income earned from abroad-either
by residents or retired foreigners.
In yet another field which still has
not been exploited-a program to at-
tract retired persons with incomes
from abroad-the government has not
yet formulated any firm program al-
though some of the government's ec-
onomic advisors have approved such
a project. M6xico and Costa Rica now
have such retirement programs in full

Mahogany logs in the upper Belize River ready
to float to sawmill.

permits new residents duty Init, ,.-
emption on a certain line of IPi ,...id
"effects" but it does not inchl.I -.ij,: hi
necessary items as automobil,- rt..
Efforts are being made to g-t ...ine
new, more liberal law passed, particu-
larly in view of the fact that many
real estate men believe that several
areas of the country, unsuited either
for agriculture or industry, would be
very attractive as land development
projects, such as Plantation Farms at
Placentia Peninsula.
The nation is divided into five ad-
ministrative districts: Belize, Corozal,
Orange Walk, Cayo, Stann Creek, and
Toledo Districts. About the only thing
they have in common, topographically
-and, to an extent, ethnically-is that
they are all part of the same country.
Belize City, the nation's capital, is
a scant 18 inches above sea level, sur-
rounded by a dense mangrove swamp.
Southwest from Belize City, toward
El Cayo District, the muggy swamps
give way to the much firmer ground
of the savannahs. Jungle covered hills,
pierced by caves and ribboned by
streams, usher in the Maya Moun-
tains, ranging in altitude from 1,500
to 2,700 feet above sea level. These
Southern Lagoon (upper photo) near Gales
Point Peninsula. Mouth Cave (lower pho-
to) in Mountain Pine Ridge.

In its original petition to the gov-
ernment, the Duncan Derry company
said it would be prospecting for gold,
silver, copper, lead and rare earths.
However, it has given no details of
what has been located although Min-
ister A. A. Hunter, head of Natural
Resources, told the House, when the
new mineral law was being debated,

effect. Under the terms of these pro-
grams retired persons are permitted
to bring into the country, duty free,
a long list of personal effects, includ-
ing electric appliances, automobiles
and the like, and are exempt from the
payment of any income taxes on the
monies earned from abroad.
Currently, the Belize government

fan out to pleasant plateaus and rol-
ling country, with valleys and rivers
with breathtaking waterfalls charac-
terizing the area.
Westward from Belize City is the
tranquil, sweet smelling Mountain
Pine Ridge country, centered around
the hamlet of Augustine. Many con-
sider the Pine Ridge the most beauti-

1io te deep south is the Toledo
Disnict. For years this district was
the t.igrotten part of the nation be-
icau,. .f its inaccessibility. Until a
%r.,J .as pushed through to Punta
CG.. -rd. the district capital located on
tI-; .-a and on to San Antonio in the
h-ill, boats and planes were the only
r .ea's of access.
In the north is Corozal District, one
of the most rapidly developing areas
because of the expanded activities of
Tate & Lyle, a British firm that is one
of the world's largest sugar refiners.
Due south of Belize City is Stann
Creek valley, one of the first rural
areas to be developed. Citrus was key
in this area for many years, but now
bananas are coming in and have as-
sumed increasing importance.
To get a clear perspective of what
the land offers, four broad classifica-
tions must be considered:
Agriculture-both large scale and
small, for domestic consumption and
for export.
Livestock-particularly beef, for
the domestic market and for export.
Manufacturing (or processing)
Agriculture must be divided into
two classifications: large scale opera-
tions and small farms. In Belize, crops
produced by the larger scale opera-
tions include sugar, citrus, bananas,
cucumbers, and rice.
The most sophisticated operation
now revolves around production and
export of sugar, grown in the Corozal
and Orange Walk Districts. Of all
Belize's export crops, sugar is by far
the most important to the economy of
the country. This has happened only
comparatively recently, even though
sugar was one of the very first com-
mercial agricultural enterprises in the
Sugar was first introduced by In-
dians who sought safety in Belize ter-
ritory after a series of revolts in the
Yucata:n Peninsula of M6xico. These
refugees came in 1848, bringing with
them sugar cane cuttings, and 12
years later about 800 acres were
under cultivation. The first sugar ex-
ports went to England i1 1857. Plant-
ings increased and by 'J1S'.3 nearly
3,000 acres were supplying cane to
some 60 small mills. But after that,
production gradually decreased and
by 1935 there were only six mills
operating-and these inefficiently.
Corozal Sugar Factory built a bet-
ter central mill, Pembroke Hall, near
Corozal Town, in June, 1935, using
second-hand milling equipment from
Cuba. Production slowly increased
and a more modern plant was installed
in 1955. In spite of this growth, total

Real impetus was given the sugar
industry in 1963 when Tate & Lyle,
Ltd., of London, one of the world's
largest growers and processors of
sugar cane, acquired Corozal Sugar
Factory. Immediately Tate & Lyle
modernized the Pembroke Hall plant
and upped capacity to 50,000 tons
of sugar per year.
Meantime, they started construc-
tion of a very modern, fully automat-
ed sugar factory at Tower Hill, cost-
ing nearly $3 million. Along with
building the new factory, improved
planting techniques-using the Louisi-
ana mound system-were inaugurated.
This technique not only gives greater
yield but allows for mechanical har-
vesting of the cane. Chemists say
that because of the soil and climatic
conditions in Corozal and Orange
Walk, cane grown there has one of
the highest sucrose contents in the
world, comparable to that produced
in the fertile lands of Cuba, and far
richer than any other Caribbean
There are several rather unique as-
pects to the sugar industry in Belize.
For one, Belize Sugar Industries Ltd.
-which is now the operating name for
the controlling company-was able to
use the most advanced methods
known in the field of automation. Un-
like other areas where such equipment
is not feasible because of high under-
employment problems, intense mech-
anization hardly displaced any labor-
ers in the meagerly populated Orange
Walk and Corozal Districts. The com-
pany is not confronted with any arti-
ficial regulations which would pre-
vent full automation of its operations.
In view of this, the new Tower
Hill factory, which was inaugurated in
January, 1967, was so constructed that
its capacity can be expanded with
little difficulty. And production has
been increasing. When Tate & Lyle
took over in 1963, annual production
was 28,840 tons. It jumped to 33,591
tons in 1964, to 35,288 tons in 1965,
and to a record 43,454 tons in 1966.
In 1967 production will exceed 50,-
000 tons. /
A major goal, now is to increase
preferential quota sales. Currently,
British Honduras hag a 10,000 ton
quota from the United States, and a
20,500 ton quota under the preferen-
tial Commonwealth Agreement. But
the outlook is that by the 1970's, Be-
lize Sugar Industries will be capable
of producing more than 100,000 tons
of sugar annually. Whether this fig-
ure will be reached in actual produc-
tion will depend on world market
prices; and on whether Tate & Lyle
finds it beneficial to up production
in Belize, while curtailing production
on Caribbean islands.

competitive with any grown in the
world. The only bottleneck concerns
shipping costs. Now the bulk of the
sugar is barged to Belize ,City, un-
loaded into a large storage warehouse,
re-loaded onto lighters, and re-loaded
again onto ocean-going ships. An in-
creasing amount is being truck trans-
ported to Belize City. Costs undoubt-
edly will be lowered if plans for the
deep water port are carried out. A
proposed, but never realized, plan to
establish a deep water port on Am-
bergris Caye was designed primarily
to handle sugar shipment and solve
this problem.
Considering the price of sugar,
Tate & Lyle have been looking at a
more diversified approach. Sale of
molasses, a by-product of sugar man-
ufacture, has been increasing and
probably will continue upward. The
company also has sufficient land to
support a very large cattle industry,
and several U.S. firms and individ-
uals have been looking into the pos-
sibility of joint ventures with the
sugar company.
Another important point about the
sugar industry is that while Belize
Sugar Industries does dominate ex-
ports, smaller farmers in Corozal and
Orange Walk Districts also share in
the growth pattern. Under an agree-
ment with the government, Tate &
Lyle buys a certain proportion of its
cane from the farmers, most of whom
operate through a cooperative, while
the remainder comes from its own
Next item of importance to the
country's economy is citrus, grown
principally in the Stann Creek area,
although some is grown also in Cayo
District. In contrast to the sugar op-
eration, an ever increasing number of
the large groves which produce citrus
-mostly Valencia oranges and Marsh
and Duncan grapefruit-are owned by
the actual processors. The two plants,
both located in Stann Creek Valley,
are the British Honduras Fruit Co.
Ltd. (Salada Foods, a U.S.-Canadian
combine), and Citrus Co. of British
Honduras Ltd. (a Jamaican combine
headed by the Sharpe interests). If
production continues to increase-and
this is indicated-a third processing
plant will be needed to handle all of
the fruit.
In a way, the two processing plants
are non-competitive since they have
different end products. British Hon-
duras Fruit Co. processes frozen or-
ange juice concentrate which is
shipped to the Canadian market,
while Citrus Co. of British Honduras
makes canned orange juice and grape-
fruit segments. Exports, from the
small lighter port at Stann Creek, to-


taiird iovri $2 million in ly165. and
.'3.3 million in 1966.
Optinri-,i is increasing! anmonic Be-
lize'; banana gr.i'we-rs.. whoi hope that
bef, re to.i rn uh ti mi this pi od'ci_ t
reaches the ma.gnitide and e-enr
abue- that it was back in the 1920's.
Then, most of the Starinn Clcek \.ile\
'\as planted in bananas, but the dead-
lv Panan.i disease x irtuiall wiped out
the indi.str.. A comparable situation
developed on the vast United Fruit
banana pl.ant.itin.s ar'riund La Linma
ill Spanish Honduras. arid it was nwt
until a inew variety \which ssas re-
.i'taint to Paniamia disease \\.i, d,--\el-
oped that banrianas made a comeback
In the early 1960's. a firm from
Mobile. Ala.-Cieene &\ Atkins-bc-
Can e\perimenrting with the same tpe
of disease-resistant banana in the \\a-
ha Leaf section of Belize, in the gern-
era.l ,icinit\ of Stiiii Creek. In the
beginriinr', the company hi-d sario'ur
pi oblcms. one of which was that fainei-; \r e- planting a t.\pe of ba-
iaria v which Awas not disease-resistant.
and this resulted in the infection of
the other \arieties. Since then the
goverrinient has kept a tight control
to prevent non-resistant varieties. By
1965. Gicene & Atkins had made
great strides in production, arid thi'
continued in 1966.
Since the entrance ':'f Greene & At-
kins two other banana crowinig firms.
Caribb-earn Empire Co., Ltd.. and Gulf
Amer. ican Co. located in the Belize
District near the Sibun Riverl have
gone into operation also using the
Paiarma disease-resistnt vaii iet. Acre-
age under bananas is continuall. be-
ing increased.
Over 200.000 stems if bananas
wCeie exported in 1966-ni.stlly from
Belize Cit'.'s port -and in 1967 the
figure will g.) even higher. Outlook
foi subsequent sears is esen higher
sirice the coiirntr i s.w has three ma.-
jor producers in place of a single com-
pan\. Agricultural circles believe that
e\enituall; more than 6,000 acres, in
the Belize District and iin Stanrn Creek
\alle>, will be planted in bananas.
That represents a considerable in-
cre.se o\ci the 2,600 acres which
were in bananas in 1965
Rice is another agricultural item
which started poorl\ and now is mak-
ing truly remarkable progress. In the
earl:, 1960's, one of the first to plant
rice. almost on an experimental basis.
was Tennessee Farms located along
the Belize River near Bun el Boom
Town. Results were satiskfattory. but
the big iump came \when a North-
american named A. L. Bevis estab-
lished his Big Falls Ranch Ltd. and
planted 800 acres in rice. Be'is in-
troduced a method recommended by
Loui-iana State Universitv to flood

the i ice onl\ to a certain height, and
i,.-'t to : L0inplttel\ u\t-er the entire
pl.int as had been the practice. Re-
suilt' have been most rewardinie Inn
1967 Big Falls Raii<.h .old 4110,u00
pimiunds of paddr rite to thr- u,.,rni,-
mnent Marketing Board. Ba'ed on the
ei-\ exceellent results in that \ear and
the pre ious year. Be is plans to in-
i.ieasr his acre.iae to 30,000 acies b\
196L'. at which time he will be pro-
duiiinlg eight million pounds of rice
Sannually,. That i< enough to satisfs
th-.: entie net-ds Nf the country and
provide some for export. In 196S. Big
Falls Ranch is predicted to harvest
from 1.5 inillirnir pounds to t[,o nmil-
liion pounds.
Be is is novw building a lice mill,
.it an estimated cost of $750,000, at
a 1.,' iti.ii i the B.hIi,.- ERile Al-
tii,.u ,h rice is the nmi.nii taple 'if He-
lihzeai diet. all polished nice -;old in,
I-Hiiz-e In.w rimu't b.- uniputed. lie-
,idles Bic Fill; R.incli. th' ri- ae Csimi,,e
si mall lice L.riins inl tie ('Ca..,:, and To-
ledo Ditiicts which ue thlie ,li.l-i .
l'ss p rl l ucti,( f il th,'ls.
One ,it the ir-.al 'leeper. in tIhe a.ii-
c:ltiral .ector has been the icuiiuimb-r
Urtil Otffsl..ir- ; a i Ltd.. i L-.S.
cornmline. entered the field. u.-iin-iblei
production in Belize was \iituall\
'.' il-tr-sitelit. TI hi', i p.iipain began
e;pem'iii rtuig in 1lJii. a.ii'l Juiiiig
196(i e\puited morle' tlhani 'i-, million
pounds Ot ciicU mbers to tlie U.S.
Shlppig thlie Ci- .miiiiA-E is as a 'Ie-
ri.li..s ptL Ili-iem toj the I1i i1. l-,,t it '.'.as
soled tliis \ear \wheil Offshli.e Gri.'s-
ers built a sniall dleep 'water piei at.
Mile 3i ini the \W\estci r Hi[gh.a' The
d','king area is lio,.ted ll b.iack
fiom the c;ai sthline. and to connect it
\with deepei w% tel. tlie i-.inipam has
dic-deed a lr0-t.iout wi dh i lhi.AllmI t[' a
depth of 12 to 14 f,:-ct Thl maLkes5
it possible for the Iiims twio landirie-
tipe [ essels to ilo:,.k at the piei itelt.
thus e(limi.atinrg the iii..ii \p. isi've
lighted ing. Phillip Preniinil. pri-sidrint
o.I Oflshire Gitoiwers. arid tliat ne.iearl
h.ilt uf th- li-66 ,top ,.as lo]t ba-
(,ca.ste o d.iiaLi-e cauced bi '.i e '-si \e
haindline. Now wih the ne', ttiea.ni-
hlined tranispiiitatioij opr.itllion the cn:-
c iji ,' lrs nia', lIc takei- dle,.tl. trir
the t,:IIds to tl,, docks, l .,.Id>_-,.l ,11 lhe
landiing-t\ pe \essels. and shipped dli-
retl\ to K,.. \\est. Fla
Orl- oit the big; ass.e h thi lis upei.A-
tin is that hardest time for ccutui i-
bers it t;elih'e comes duiting tnhe ofl-
seasii irn the U.S. This ;I',e, therrn a
le.ad, in.irket t.,-r their cLi,.unimbers
Elpoit of piricienitos-pirit ipall;i to
C(.inada-is another sleeper whiih lias
bi-em, iciet airii dtti iL t ili-e it 'e.-ar'.
Alihoumigh thl':'e ai- ire ) ,'o iipai.tive
statistics hr preNi,,us yea.s givern.-
ment hliuies for l'.jG6 sh,,w that -52.-

l22 pou..ds valued a.t '$S41,314 were
ex.',iiit:d ti, Caij,.ida. E-.tin itcs are.
th.,t .- ";....- ts ..E. ill b.- hi l' I fo 1967.
while e these big lpei ito s-sug.r.
ii.ti s. Li.taian,.. i i(.- tnd cu. hnbeilis-
d. it pir -, t d.,illar i..i ii'm f' ,ir the
. .-, .:ll '. lf-r' i til- li Itl,.,n's pressing
inc.ds is to gi'jV thie eet ibles for
di'iml-'tlt. .*ni'uirmptLi.,i '.' i IiA are now
hb-ie inr ip.,il.-d fr.'in ,aibiu.ad
(-C'e-I inIrmiet l igui's 'shi that fresh
\,i-et ibles of all kind's lnchludini po-
tat.'_es aind .,theis. wecie iiip,-ii t-dJ in
1P-0j5 to the tuile _f \151.5I6 .in.
other $',1.516 went 'iut to! flits amnd s er-tables, and $69.).N-'
V.n; pt.eiat 1i1-i d'Aid b.ii-as. Iii 196fi.
impoitrs f fiesh -eg-tables ir.Inld-
ign potatoes. declined slrhitls. to
$17351J. floi'.ei.ei. imipouts c'f
,.1,i:..ed l egtabiLs .,nd hoiits juinpted
to S11l1.1i62 :ind cliied be.n:s irimpirts
to .$10.5,,024.
(.)ri- ot tie real pi.bl enm is th.it
dr--pite the Lact that ul '-.e'.< Ch '1,.
tl.At the i. uiitsl\ hal, cer t'io nmillicn
a.le-s >et .and suitable t.,i I .ultu.iial
tpoiiSc -s. les' thliin 10 is in.d-i cuil-
tii.ti' .ii. 11i. ti .! m i-ore is tle t ..t ti.it
sn.ill taineils ae rit .isiig the imi-st
niiodeci iiethuds despite ihitense ef-
loits .-if the .Agicultum.ml Depr-Itniflelit
to piie til- \aliue .Il thle land bl
scatter plot e\peinmeits. As addi-
ti[..il help to the fa mcLis. theie is aic
A. ,icultural Ciedit Fund. a Sm.ill
F..incris Lo.,ii Fund. and \ ast
amrniiiit oi technical assistance.
\\ ha.t has to lie do ne, holwevm.t-, i.
nOIIt i,!. ti i h,.anmLe tie liethli.d of ciil-
ti\.lioni' bL tle- small f.rmier. I'ut .als.,
to ch.lnge his \ iew point .thb.uit lii
<.riqps. Oligi.all',k tal omrcis oiild g2c'.\'
O:iiich flii their '. ii t.fmilies.. Stmieh
201 'e.eas ago. a Maliketilig Boaid was
rst.,lished b\ the go\eirinient to eii-
, ii!.1ta.- tle 'nmal! ti rnri' to [ iii.'n -as'e
pridui-tiori,'. ith the firm issurl'.mni.e
th.t thlie Marketini. Board would pur-
i.ha.e thein ~inrplis. Sliwl'.. this has
bei.ii efFecti,:' e but Ma.,a Ihdians. i\hol
gin's irost of the country 's \ e'e-tailel .
iare lelct.ant to use more iinodern
methods. The e'.perinciital plantinrcs
b\ th-e Agriiultiiral Dep.itrnienit ap-
paieittly are having mole impact on
the Ma\a than an; thing eke that has
leerit tried. Iii this wa\. the\ can ac-
tuall, see what iiodernr methods can
:ncomiplish as corimpaed to- their i'own
iofli' ancient s\ stems.
Slihaipest irnlrea'e iii production h'as
hei-rn re-coded for corn. a dietary sta-
ple but also used foi t attle feeding.
In 1964 about six million pounds of
t.0,r, w-ere pliduced. and in 1966 12
miiiillionr poumni \vere haIlvested. One
,o the big assists in the production ot
.,rin. eegs, and other fuids (ame tion,
the MNeinnonites wh.i ihae niiiglated
to Belize and wlho hase established
three settlements. in the Toledo Dis-

1",l ll lt \ .
AI\h,,oughi current figures are on the
I.... -,.i.-, both government and busi-
'-.e. le.adrs feel that the livestock in-
Lutt,., particularly beef cattle and
p i k, in the near future will represent
a very important and significant seg-
ment in the country's economic
growth pattern.
The only meat products now being
exported are in the form of live ani-
mals, and all of these are shipped to
M6xico. In 1966 about 1,000 beef
cattle, with a value of $78,249, and
2,189 swine, with a value of $65,451
were shipped to M6xico.
Some idea of the actual potential,
principally for the domestic market,
can be seen by statistics which show
that in 1966 pork products imported
into the country -ai-.e.!L ,l'.rd around
$705,000 and preserved meat prod-
ucts totaled $1.4 million
Official estimates are that Belize
has approximately 1.5 million acres
of land ideally suited for cattle rais-
ing. This acreage is concentrated in
the Corozal District in the north and
in the Cayo District in the southwest.
This land includes large areas with
deep alluvial soil capable of growing
high yields of very excellent forage
for cattle grazing.
Despite the very good potential in
the cattle industry, three aspects have
tended to retard development:
1. Length of time required to build
up a good cattle herd, which tends to
make the industry less attractive for
those who are interested in a quick
turnover of their money.
2. Need for very substantial
amounts of capital to begin develop-
ing a good cattle herd.
3. Lack of proper facilities for
slaughtering and processing meat.
Since the length of time required
for development of a swine herd is
not so great as that for beef cattle,
many small farmers have become in-
creasingly interested in this sector.
There has resulted a gradual increase
in the number of hogs in the country,
but the increment has not been very
sizable because large scale operators
have not moved in yet, although sev-
eral groups are now doing a series of
studies. The present inventory is
around 17,000 hogs, more than a
third of which are slaughtered an-
nually to meet farmers' demands and
satisfy the domestic market.
Currently, a combine of local and
foreign investors are behind con-
struction of a new abattoir with a
daily capacity of 100 animals, near
the International Airport. Opinion is
that when this abattoir is completed,
interest in the cattle industry will
sharpen. Several large U.S. invest-

surveys which, if finalized, could pre-
cipitate an accelerated development
pace in the cattle industry. Live-
stock raisers estimate that the coun-
try now has some 37,000 head of cat-
tle, 50% of which is located in the
Cayo District, another very large per-
centage in the Corozal District, and
the remainder in small herds through-
out the rest of the country. Outlook
is that this figure will be very sub-
stantially increased by the end of
1968, and that during that year, with
the abattoir in operation, export of
meat should begin.
Frank Norris, a Northamerican who
came to Belize in the early 1950's
and settled in the Cayo District, has
been one of the most active promot-
ers of the cattle industry, firm in the
belief that cattle could represent a
big foreign exchange earner for the
entire country. Norris sells a few of
his cattle for slaughter, but the bulk
are sold for breeding purposes for the
establishment of new herds by other
ranchers. Currently Norris is greatly
expanding his entire cattle operation.
Few, indeed, are dairy farms in Be-
lize. Several farmers have dairy cat-
tle to supply their own needs, and a
few small dairies capable of. supply-
ing an outside market are in exist-
ence. Most of the country depends
on processed and dry milk products,
all of which is imported, principally
from Commonwealth countries.
One reason why few farmers have
tried any sizeable dairy operations is
the lack of refrigeration in both ur-
ban and rural areas. Gradually this
has been changing, and it is felt that
by the time a good sized dairy indus-
try could be established, the private
sector would have enough refrigera-
tion to create a very good market for
fresh dairy products. One small dairy
outside Belize City sells every quart
of milk it can produce, with demand
far exceeding supply.
Although many have talked about
an industrial expansion program, most
economists are of the opinion that any
important development of large man-
ufacturing industries-is not indicat-
ed, primarily because of the very
small local market.
The best prospects in the industrial
picture seem indicated for plants
which would utilize primary agricul-
tural and forestry products and ma-
terials. Outside of the citrus industry,
the country does not have a single
canning plant for any of its fruits and
vegetables, and there are no plants
for processing meat or dairy products.
As both dairy and beef herds increase,
there will be a strong need for a milk
processing plant and for another to
handle meat products. As a direct

for a livestock feed mill and a mixing
Despite the fact that the export
value of forestry products-once the
mainstay of the country's economy-
has been on a decline for years, it is
believed that there could be a real
rejuvenation of this sector through
utilization of the vast reservoir of sec-
ondary timbers, four varieties of
which are regarded as suitable for
rotary peeling for veneer and for
making plywood. A plant using these
primary materials would make an ex-
cellent substitute for the lumber in-
dustry during the long time it will
take before the reforestation program
is completed. This project, started in
1948, involves planting 1,000 acres
of pine and mahogany annually. Out-
look is that another 20 years will pass
before these new plantings can be cut
on any sustained-yield basis.
In an article in International Com-
merce, weekly organ of the U.S. De-
partment of Commerce, this analysis
was published in June of 1966:
"The government of British Hondu-
ras seeks investors for the establish-
ment of a veneer and plywood plant
utilizing secondary woods found in
abundance here.
"The government reportedly is pre-
pared to make available large stretches
of forest lands in which investors
would have sole rights to the timber
and would pay royalties on the vol-
ume utilized. Timber cruises carried
out by the government show that
stands of commercially utilizable sec-
ondary hardwoods are conservatively
estimated at 1.2 million board feet
per square mile . .
"The areas likely to be made avail-
able to investors consist of blocks of
land of over 300 square miles which
are readily accessible from main roads
already constructed by the govern-
ment . .
"Although a veneer plant would
represent a new industry for the
country, many British Hondurans are
skilled in forest and saw mill opera-
tions-a traditional mainstay of the
economy for many years. Wage rates
are low, particularly when compared
to the U.S. and there is a plentiful
supply of semi-skilled labor."
A recent development which in-
creases the potential of such a plant,
particularly if it could produce lum-
ber suitable for home construction,
was an announcement by AID in
Washington that it would grant a
100% guarantee up to $1 million for
home construction. And the country
is extremely short of adequate hous-
ing facilities.
The government also has indicated
it was interested in having investors
establish a small brewery, a paint fac-


tory and a plant to manufacture nails.
Small industries now operating in-
clude a cigarette plant, which accel-
erated production after duties on for-
eign-made cigarettes were substan-
tially increased; a medium sized fur-
niture factory; and manufacturers of
soaps, edible oils and aluminum win-
dows. In addition, there is a small
handicraft industry which is dominat-
ed by individual artisans. Native
woods are used to produce ash trays,
salad bowls and other artistic items.
For years, the opinion has been
widely held that the only tourist po-
tential for the country was through
increased use and development of the
cayes that lie behind the barrier reefs.
A closer investigation into what the
land area offers now proves that
while a good potential does exist on
the cayes, an equally important po-
tential exists for development of va-
rious land areas, principally along
rivers, creeks, lagoons and peninsulas.
And, because of easier accessibility
of the land-based tourist projects, it is
more than likely that these will be de-
veloped at a faster clip than the cayes.
Several other factors argue on behalf
of land-based projects, including:
Recent discovery of important
Maya ruins at Altun Ha, only 30 miles
from Belize City.
Installation of fishing and 'hunt-
ing camps on the Belize River, Salt
Creek and Big Creek, now operating
Discovery, during recent years,
of many caves, with indications that
many more are still to be located.
Recognition that tourists are in-
terested in visiting the colorful ethnic
groups including Kekehi and Maya
Indians and Caribs.
Development of several areas for
resort and retirement living.
One of the very first to recognize
the true value of a land-based opera-
tion was Vie Barothy, a long-time
fishing "pro" who, before Fidel Cas-
tro, had a flourishing sports fishing
business on Cuba's Isle of Pines. Ba-
rothy came to Belize, studied the area
and located his camp-the Barothy
Caribbean Lodge-on the Belize Riv-
er, some nine miles from Belize City.
Barothy discovered that from this lodge
it was comparatively easy to fish the
waters of the Belize and Sibun Riv-
ers, as well as the many creeks that
feed the rivers, for both snook and
tarpon. And not too far away were
the coastal flats where the elusive
bonefish-almost inedible, but highly
prized for its fighting spirit-could be
found in large numbers. For those
who wanted to fish in the deep blue
sea, Barothy has boats large enough
to venture beyond the reefs in search
for king mackeral, marlin, large tar-

pon, sailfish and the like.
The Foreman brothers, although
they do have a camp on one of
the cayes, operate primarily from Be-
lize City, providing either river or
deep sea fishing. The Foreman broth-
ers were among the first Belizeans to
get into the sport fishing business.
Another Northamerican fishing
"pro", R. Thomas, has an operation
similar to Barothy's. Called the Salt
Creek Fishing Lodge, Thomas' accom-
modations for some 20 guests are lo-
cated on Salt Creek to the north of
Belize City.
Most recent entry into the fishing
and hunting lodge business is H. B.
H. Ltd. This company is composed
of a group of investors represented
by Charles Robinson, president of
Robinson Lumber Co. of New Or-
leans, which purchased the Hercules
plant and facilities when that firm,
after having extracted 28 million
pounds of resin from pine stumps in
one year (1964), decided to cease
Robinson's basic plan revolves
around use of the homes and other
installations built at Big Creek when
Hercules began processing. Under
the plan, the "Big Creek Hunting and
Fishing Club is to be formed and H.
B. H. Ltd. will be one of the princi-
pal owners by turning over to the
club all of its assets."
In a program submitted to the Be-
lize government in order to obtain tax
and duty free privileges, the nine-
member Big Creek Club would be ex-
panded to include 20 additional char-
ter memberships for wealthy sports-
men in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Through sale of these memberships,
the Big Creek Club would realize
$140,000 to complete remodeling of
the facilities, construct new facilities,
and acquire additional boats for both
deep sea and inland fishing. A profes-
sional fishing expert would be taken
in as a charter member to be in
charge of all fishing operations. The
hunting program would be under
Maury Campbell, one of the present
members, who currently operates Sa-
faris, Ltd., out of New Orleans.
When initial improvements have
been completed, the club will be able
to handle up to 40 guests at a time.
Facilities will be expanded as demand
increases. The Club now has one boat
for deep sea fishing. Facilities for
overnight stays on one or two of the
cayes not far from Big Creek also are
indicated. Hunting trips wil be made
to the nearby savannah for birds, and
into wild territory for bigger game.
Campbell has one lodge in the big
game country for overnight stays and
plans on building a second. Big Creek
can be reached by road, or by the

relics, found at Alt= 11a.

Truck or jeep serves Premier Price
when he visits small towns.

A nE' pri, ate borne in Belize Citi. Inside view of Tate & Lyle sugar

Beating -smill tarpon in Belize River
near BToaLy'"- Caribbean Lodge.

M1|0 ||M

company's twin-engined plane from
Belize City. A larger runway to ac-
commodate sm:ill private jets is under
study, along with a plan for a small
cruise boat, with accommodations for
16 persons, to make a trip once a
week from the Florida Ke s.
One obvious advantage to the Big
Creek Program is that it is located
only a very short distance from the
southern point of Placentia Peninsula
which already has going a most so-
phisticated land development program
for resort and retirement living. The
operation. Plantation Palms, Ltd., is
under the overall direction of Robert
Gayer of Vancouver, B. C., Canada.
First stage of the project calls for
subdividing one section of the penin-
sula called Maya Beach. Roads, lights,
water, landscaping including the
planting of many native fruit trees-
has been completed. Canals, leading
in from the lagoon side, are being
dredged. This will make it possible
for a lot owner to dock his boat in
front of his home. The Maya Beach
section has 263 lots more than half
of which have already been sold, 9017
of these to Canadians from around
Vancouver where Gayer maintains a
sales office.
Gayer has made provisions for a
40-foot nide stretch of beach front-
age-called the "beach reserve"-along
the entire length of the subdivision
on which no construction will be per-
mitted. In addition, there will be two
other beach park sections to connect
vith the Maya Beach road which has
been built behind the 50 already -sold
Caribbean beach lot sites. Ultimate-

Ferry over Mopan River.

r resn trutt arnves by sailboat at
Mango Creek.

Downtown Belize City.

ly, a hotel complex, a community
center, and multi-family dwellings
will be built.
Another subdivision project in an
advanced stage is Tropical Park,
about 14 miles from Belize City. Em-
ory Kini' a Northamerican, is direct-
ing this development. Tropical Pai t
already has a clubhouse with a
lounge, restaurant and a play section
for ping-pong, cards, etc.; a swim-
ming pool; and tennis courts. Not vet.
completed, but planned, is a nine-hole
golf course-at present there is no
golf course in all of Belize. King's
subdivision is designed for resort re-
tirement living.
Unq.estionabl- there exists a need,
and a potential for profit, not only
for Gayer's and Kinl's prc.ject., but
for even more, ir.tluidinp construction
of small hotels and restaurants in sev-
eral sections of the country like the
Cayo District and in Punta Gorda.,
Belize City has only three acceptable,
moderately-large hotels the Fitr
Ceurge, the Bellevue, and the Blil.-
and one motel-the Palms-located on
the city's outskirts. In 1ll, Belize City
has less than 200 first class rooms
a'.ai!:bhle for tourists. Restaurants,
apart from those in the. hotels, and
the private dubs, are very few.
All three hotels have been modern-
izing their installations. The Fort
George, located on the waterfront, is
refurnishing its rooms and installing
air 'oriditioning. The Bliss, in the
center '. the city. recently built a
swimming pool and has put in some
air conditioning units.
More extensive remodeling is tak-
ing place at the Bellevue, also locat-

Outside view of Tate & Lyle sugar
id at the waterside. In addition to
refurnishing, the Bellevue is adding
more rooms and is building a wharf
in front which will be used as a com-
bination marina for vi-itii, guests
and a regular guided Fh, Iillf service.
The Bellevue management also plans
to build a restaurant and cocktail
lounge over the water.
The tourist der-lopmnit program
received one of its big, e t boosts in
1964 when a field team from the
BRA:1. Ontario Museum, ..:.rdiiiltbig
its activities with the British Hondu-
ras Department of Archaeology, be-
gan excavation and restoration work
at the Ma;% ceremonial center at Al-
tun Ha, 30 miles from Belize City.
Atl:..ii'ih the presence of the mounds,
hlil' il overgrown with shrubbery
and trees, had been known for years,
it was not until the field team dug in
that the great -iiifcic.iin.e of the site
became evident. Working under the
dijeLtuOn of Dr. David M. Perlderc._'t.
associate professor of anthropology at
the l.'iivei.:t-., of Utah, the team pin-
poiintd six major mounds in the cen-
tral area, and extensive groups of
smaller structures over three square
miles or more. Much i.de, priceless
vases, cr. ta.lliine hematite objects,
shell heads and marcasite discs were
found in various tombs which were
unearthed at one of the central
Dr. Pendergast says the site well
may have been an important link in
a trade network spread along the en-
tire Caribbean coast, as well as a cen-
ter for inland trade with other known
MN.La centers. Dr. Pen'h;_Iast feels


that the disc.overies made at Altiin
Ha: iepi-es.'nt an einer=m'ng pitter r
clearl- shw.-ing Ma\anii tie.. with the
sea. Dr. Pen(tl-r,'.ist siys it i' rpiLite
probably. that a Maya'[ priest. ti ,iiinliw
on one of the mai,'- t-riple.. c.,ildJ
have looked direweth, at the (r.ribb(.uL
sea ou ;i fea mile;' i'. I_ riqnct-
tionabl., ,Alti n Hia !;-i:..jdr ..'_'rtific
utndersta.'Tdinig ou Ma .>' expliit iiolli (if
the resources of the me,. U.fe ;f the
se:i by the aNf.a hl*i-'i. .j
point of keen di .til',-ii, 1n :11n01. ,-r-
.Attun H, ,ilo tt.ids to sr,h w that
MaNa Classjk de-vlopniet in ce-',t.,lI
Brntish Hondur:s attalle.1 7t hiehli
level thai, has preC'.~i-lA he be*ln I L'e-
uized. The field te.ii, is 'F tie opi' i-

i,.n thiat tine vaulted tombs may be
Iih.tedl at Altun Ha, and if they are
oririd., thit they will contain even
ic her gi ave goods. This 'eeline is
based on the fact that the unprepos-
se..sing crypts already found con-
taired a considerable wealth in arti-
Vestiges of the ancient Maya civil-
i7ation dot Belize, and pottery and
other relics have been found in all
parts of the country, even deep in
siunme of the limestone caves. One of
the best known of Belize's major sites
is XninanituTich, in Cao District near
the Guatemala border.
Although most of the tourist po-
tential veloped to be enjoyed, many aspects

require no development. The vast
wild stretches are ideal for the hunt-
er in search of the jaguar: it is a
pure utopia for the hortic.ilturir.t and
the bird watcher. Wild io'lers and
orchids in a multitude of) varieties
grow in abundance hom oneri end of
the country to the other, and all are
in easy reach of just about amn high-
way. The bird watcher has his pick
from 475 species, including the blue
warbler, the macaw, parrots, and
By any basis that it is considered-
igriciiltue, tourism, livestock indus-
try, small manufacturing and process-
ing-the land is certain to play a ma-
jor role in the development of this
emerging nation.

Actun Balam vase was found in
cave in the Cayo District. A Ma-
caw parrot (right) at Punta Gorda.

Howling monkey' (left) in tree
ovcrliingiqB Elh'e River.This new
hospital serves the Punta Gorda area.

Maya Indian illaw of San Antonio.

Central Park, Behze City, as seen from Premier's Office.

Main Street and sea at Punta Gorda. Blue Belize flag flies to
show that the Premier is in town.

Farmer brings his produce to market by canoe.





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