Ecoclub Member Blogs

9th Annual Chocolate Festival of Belize: Punta Gorda, 22-24 May 2015

9th Annual Chocolate Festival of Belize: Punta Gorda, 22-24 May 2015
The ninth annual Chocolate Festival of Belize and Toledo will take place on 22nd, 23rd and 24th May 2015. The event kicks off with the Gala event, Wine and Chocolate on the Friday night from 6pm to 11pm. The event is being held for the second year at Garbutt's gorgeous marina on Joe Taylor Creek. Surrounded by both the lagoon and the ocean this night brings you nothing but good times, good friends, live music from the Caribbean Roots Band all the way from Corozal, an array of delectable hors d'oeuvres including deep fried lion fish and shrimp and, of course, how could we forget, Chocolate from Belizean chocolatiers! The Taste of Toledo Street Fair is held on Front Street in Punta Gorda town, from the Uno gas station all the way down to the Punta Gorda library. The pedestrian-only street fair features cultural displays and areas showcasing Toledo's five main...
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Belize: Advanced Skills Training for Toledo Guides

Belize: Advanced Skills Training for Toledo Guides
A one-year project began in June 2014 as a collaborative programme between COMPACT (Community Management of Protected Areas for Conservation) and the Toledo Tour Guide Association. The project is snappily titled "Building the Capacity of Local Tour Guides for Responsible Tourism in Punta Gorda, a Coastal Community of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site." It aims to strengthen the capacity of the Toledo Tour Guide Association to promote responsible tourism practices among its members who utilize the marine resources for their livelihoods. This project builds on the success of previous projects funded with the main objective of providing an environment for the development of sustainable, environmentally-aware tourism in Punta Gorda and building tourism products in which community members can be employed in tourism as an alternative to traditional fishing. The project is based on the thematic area of sustainable livelihoods. The project will empower local tour guides who...
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Visit the Toledo Cacao Festival, Belize 24-26 May

Visit the Toledo Cacao Festival, Belize 24-26 May
The Toledo Cacao Festival was born in 2007 and has been celebrated each year on the same Commonwealth Day weekend towards the end of May. It attracts hundreds of visitors from around Belize as well as overseas. In 2013 the festival falls on the weekend of 24-26 May.   This lively festival has helped Toledo shed its worn out image as “the forgotten district” and establish it as one of Belize’s vibrant and growing tourism destinations. It also celebrates the tremendous contribution to development in the south made by the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association (TCGA) and its hundreds of farmer members.   The Toledo Cacao Festival worked well as a name within Belize but many people do not understand the story that links cacao to cocoa and chocolate, which in the end is the real attraction. Likewise Toledo, Spain and Toledo, Ohio are better known internationally than Toledo, Belize. So this...
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Unique, surviving Classic Maya-era wooden structures to be developed for tourism.

Unique, surviving Classic Maya-era wooden structures to be developed for tourism.
  Paynes Creek National Park in the Toledo District of southern Belize, is home to the only known Classic Maya wooden structures – whilst wood and other organic materials don’t usually survive, the waterlogged environment at Paynes Creek created unique preservation conditions, giving a rare glimpse of how the ancient Maya used timber.   A three‐year project, led by Louisiana State University Professor, Heather McKillop, will see the construction of an observational platform in Paynes Creek National Park. Visitors will be able to observe the underwater archaeological site through a window in the platform without any risk of damaging the remains.   As part of the project two exhibits were opened – one at the Tourism Information Centre on Front Street, which includes a Maya canoe paddle, and the second at the TIDE Ranger Station in Paynes Creek.   These exhibits, in conjunction with a series of workshops and talks, are designed to raise awareness of this unique Maya site, and will be expanded periodically, A website for archaeological tourism...
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Celebrating and Preserving Belize's Garifuna Drumming Traditions

Celebrating and Preserving Belize's Garifuna Drumming Traditions
Over the past seven years The Battle of the Drums has become an integral part of the Garifuna celebrations that culminate with Yurumein, the reenactment of the arrival of the Garifuna on the shores of Belize on 19 November. On the evening of Friday 16 November the Battle of the Drums “Food & Fete” brings people together from all walks of life to socialize, network and enjoy an evening of good food and great Garifuna music. It will showcase Garifuna Cuisine fused with contemporary cooking styles, dishes and menus prepared by chefs from the Radisson Fort George in Belize City, Laru Beya in Placencia and Belcampo Lodge of Punta Gorda. It will also feature local and national Garifuna musical performers performing great paranda and other Garifuna music. Performers will include Paul Nabor, Mario and the Umalali Group, Godfrey Sho and the Culture Dynamics and Lascelle Martinez and the PG Vibes.  ...
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Cacao Festival 2011, May 20-22, Belize

  The Cacao Festival for 2011 is definitely on, despite any rumours to the contrary and will be as entertaining as ever. The dates are set for the weekend of May 20-22. It will be packed with exciting events and activities for young and old alike, not only to pay tribute to the finest organic cacao grown by local Mayan villagers, but also to honor Ek Chuah, the ancient Mayan god of merchants and cacao. Friday night opens with the classy Wine and Chocolate Evening with music by one of Belize’s foremost singers, Nelita Castillo and will be held for the first time at the Coral House Inn. Saturday’s festivities will feature the town of Punta Gorda and the natural wonders of the district. Visitors and townies will have a map and list of events around town that will include music in Central Park, the morning market, a cacao center at...
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New capacity in southern Belize

New capacity in southern Belize
The Lodge at Big Falls has increased its capacity to eight units with the addition of two new elegant cabanas. Features:  Hardwood floor and ceiling made from a mix of secondary tropical hardwoods including nargusta, santa maria and milady - Insulated roof helps cool in hot weather - 2 Queen beds - Two ceiling fans - Air conditioning - En-suite bathroom and shower - On-demand gas water heater is energy efficient and you will not run out of hot water - Kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, table top stove with two burners - Outside verandah facing the river bank.
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November in Peini, Belize

November in Peini, Belize
We have come to that time of year again when Punta Gorda (Peini in the Garifuna language) becomes the centre for activities surrounding the November Garifuna celebrations. While the weekend of Friday 19 celebrates the reenactment of the arrival of the Garinagu on the coast of Belize, the previous weekend is the focus of musical celebrations with the fifth annual Battle of the Drums. There is a new element added this year for the Battle of the Drums’ fifth anniversary. Friday night at the PG Sports Bar will offer Garifuna food and music. The food will be prepared by chefs from Machac Hill Lodge and the Radisson Fort George in Belize City using traditional Garifuna cuisine and adapting it to a contemporary style. Live music performance will feature Paul Nabor, Mario and the Umalali Group, Lloyd, Nuru, Adrian the Doc and Lascelle Martinez. The drumming contest on Saturday will take place...
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The Mayan site of Nim Li Punit, Belize

The Mayan site of Nim Li Punit, Belize
Now that Belize's Southern Highway has been completed the site at Nim Li Punit is more accessible than ever. It is located just north of the village of Indian Creek with its entrance off to the right when approaching from the north. It is one of the more modest archaeological sites in terms of the size of the standing structures but the site is most well known for the abundance of carved stelae discovered there. The visitors’ centre houses a number of these including one 9 metres in length. It is the largest carved stela in Belize and the second largest in the Mayan world. This stela depicts some of the history of the region and one of its rulers whose elaborate head-dress gives the site its modern name which translates as “Big Hat”. Within the excavated areas of the site further stelae have been left in their original locations and...
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