Newspaper of the Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association FALL/WINTER 2015
YEAR 9, ISSUE 1
Nim Li Punit - New Finding! INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Nim Li Punit— New Finding
13th National Tourism Awards
The Way East Indians Lived Then Part 1
Harpy Eagles in 3 Toledo The Maya House of Cacao
Map of PG Town
7 Registered Tour Operators Transport Schedule and Emergency Numbers
10 Sustainable Tourism Project BTIA Toledo Members 2015
Calendar of Events
Guifiti - “A Gift of the Plant Spirits”
Nim li Punit is a small hilltop site located in the village of Indian Creek in Toledo. It was established no later than about A.D. 150, and—along with Uxbenka—is one of the oldest sites in southern Belize. In 2012, Geoffrey E. Braswell of the University of California, San Diego, began excavations of Structure 7 of Nim li Punit. This platform once supported the royal residence of the kings of Nim li Punit. Excavations there have revealed the earliest pottery yet known at the site, dating to the dawn of the Classic period. The palace platform was built in two phases. The first, Structure 7-sub, dates to AD 250-400. An elaborate crypt (called “Tomb 4”) was cut into the rectangular platform along its centerline during a remodeling episode at about AD 400. This crypt contained three slab-footed tripod vases of Teotihuacan-like style, a
Above: The Wind Jewel Pectoral plain plate, two large cowrie shells, surprise. The partial remains of an a chert eccentric, and beads from a individual were found within the shell necklace painted green in imicrypt. A remodeling phase occurred tation of jade. The pottery—made in sometime around AD 800-850, and a style native not to the Maya area at that time Tomb 4 was opened. but to central Mexico—was a big continued on pg 14
13th National Tourism Awards The Belize Tourism Board held its 13th National Tourism Awards on Saturday, August 1st in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The event had a grand turn out with guest converging from all corners of the country for this gala event. Distinguished guests included the Prime Minister, Honorable Dean Barrow, Ambassador of Taiwan, H.E. Benjamin Ho, and Minister of Tourism, Culture, & Civil Aviation Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. among others. The event began with a cocktail reception, following seating of guests to commence the festivities. Nominees were all well represented and showed up in full force anticipating the results of the
judging process. This year, the list of proud to receive Guesthouse of the categories had increased to 11 with a Year and Tour Guide of the Year. Tototal of 57 nominations. Toledo was ledo also took home 2nd place for Festival and Events of the Year with the Chocolate Festival of Belize. The winners are as follows: Hotel of the Year- Gaia River Lodge Small Hotel of the Year- Table Rock Lodge Tour Operator of the YearIan Anderson's Cave Branch Jungle Lodge and Adventure Co. Cruise Tour Operator of the Year (NEW)- Calypso Train Tours Tour Guide of the Year 2015: Desmond Ramirez Photo Credit: BTB
Small Guesthouse of the Year- Hickatee Cottages Continued on pg 3
The Way East Indians Lived Then Part 1 Gerald and Deenah Parham of Mafredi Village, spoke to the Howler about life for the East Indians in the 50’s... Gerald: I was born in Barton Creek in Cayo and moved down here as a child. I was one of four boys and we stayed with my grandmother for a short time before one of my uncles took us in and we moved with him to Mafredi when I was seven and that’s where I grew up all my life and until now I am still there. Deenah: I was born right in Mafredi. Everything happened to me right in Mafredi. I haven’t moved yet. I was born actually in Crique Troso. My father lost that land when he took a loan to plant rice and he couldn’t pay it back. My grandfather’s name was Charlie Ranguy and my father’s name was Bismarck Ranguy. He wrote a book (“Tales from a Forgotten Place” reviewed in Howler ….) My greatgrandfather’s wife died when Charlie was just a baby and after that he would take Charlie everywhere with him and he didn’t marry again because he said he didn’t want anybody to ill treat his son. And my grandmother told my older cousin that when she married Charlie, that was the first time she wore a pair of shoes. My grandmother wasn’t such a beautiful woman and when my grandfather came to ask for her she said “Well I am dark and he is clear. I don’t know if I want to marry such a good looking man”, because she felt inferior. And she had other sisters, but my grandfather said that’s the one I want. So they got married and in those days when they had a wedding it was a couple of days of celebration. Charlie died in a hunting accident. He went with my uncle who was about five. The boys would take turns to go hunt with their father. While they were hunting my grandfather got in an
accident with a gun and he fell and the gun shot him. This is what the little boy said. When they didn’t return my grandmother went to the neighbors and they formed a search party. My grandfather who lay wounded told his son as best he could how to get back home. He knew he was dying because he was holding his guts that were coming out. The search party met the boy close to home and he led them back to where my grandfather was but he was already dead. When I was young I had a favorite hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” I did not know this story then but my uncle said that as he was leaving to get help my grandfather was singing that same song”. What was life like in Mafredi back in the Fifties and Sixties? Gerald: In those days… well, for one we didn’t have money. We mostly lived off the farm. There was not much job around the place. It was a family unit kind of operation and everybody would go and do whatever farm work we had to do on a daily basis. Our machines were the machete and the axe in those days.
We did mainly bush clearing and milpa like the Maya do today. When we started out our parents and grandparents started out with sugar cane in Forest Home and when my uncle moved to Mafredi that’s what they started on and they had a sugar mill in Mafredi. They would send the sugar up to Belize from Punta Gorda on the Heron H and Maya Prince boats that went between the two. The Heron H was the bigger one and that could take more cargo. They did that for about ten years but then the government and the people up north decided that there was a better place. Down here was a bit wet and the sugar content a bit low and that’s why our family stopped producing sugar and went straight into rice because that was our basic food. For our own use we grew plantains, cassava, coco yam and cabbage and tomatoes and stuff like that. We sold the surplus in the market in Punta Gorda. We went once a week and what we couldn’t sell we traded with the fishermen. We would bring back fish and leave them with the plantain which they loved. That was their food. In those days Punta Gorda was almost entirely Garifuna and they were fishermen. What was the trip from Mafredi to Punta Gorda like in those days? Well it was once a week on Saturday that was the main market day and one truck came from San Antonio. It was partly paved from Dump coming up to San Antonio village but the surface quickly deteriorated. It took a little more than an hour. The road from Dump to town was not paved and was single lane with a strip of grass in the middle and grass and branches leaning in from each side. Those trucks were not buses. Going to town was like an adventure. They had wooden boxes with boards and you had to continued on pg 15
cont’d 13th National Tourism Awards
Left: Small Guest House of the Year: Hickatee Cottages And Right: 2nd Place Festival and Events of the Year 2015: Chocolate Festival of Belize Photos Credit: BTB
Continued from pg 1 Tour Guide of the Year- Desmond Ramirez (Belcampo Lodge) Cruise Tour Guide of the Year (NEW)- Axel Chavin (Day Light & Dark night Cave Adventure) Frontline Person of the Year Roberto Guerra (La Beliza Belize Island Resort) continued on pg 7 Restaurant of the Year Guava Limb Cafe (The Lodge at Chaa Creek)
Major Festivals and Events San Pedro Lobster Fest Hospitality Award San Ignacio Resort Hotel Special recognition awards were also presented to individuals that have been influential in the tourism industry and have set the bar through dedication and hard work. Minister's Award Mrs. Mariam Roberson (San Ignacio Hotel) Mrs. Celi McCorkle Award (Formerly Lifetime Achievement Award)
The late Mr. Gerald Jerry McDermott A special recognition was also presented to Mrs.Celi McCorkle herself to mark the milestone of 50 years of tourism in San Pedro and her role in being one of the pioneers on the island. The Belize Tourism Board would like to congratulate all winners and thank everyone that came out to show their support for this memorable event.
Harpy Eagles in Toledo project, they found additional adults and at least one additional juvenile and nest. The team observed the nest for months after the young birds are born and while they are still being fed and reared by their parents.
Photo credit: Kai Reed - BFREE
During September, BFREE (Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education) launched a twenty minute documentary about its work studying and researching Harpy Eagles in the Bladen Nature Reserve close to the villages of Trio, Bladen, Medina Bank, Golden Stream and Bella Vista. Aided by funds from both local and international funding agencies, and the expert help of visiting ornithologists, the team learnt and practiced field research techniques over eight years. They discovered the first Harpy Eagle nest ever recorded in Belize, including a mated pair and a juvenile. Over the course of the
The underlying conservation idea is that long term survival of the Bladen Forest is only possible if done by the local people rather than outside entities. The project trained fourteen young men as “avian technicians” (field researchers) from the surrounding villages, including Punta Gorda and as far away as Belmopan. The short twenty minute documentary shows just what a life changing experience this has been for the young men involved. The close up shots of the nest with the parents feeding the young fledgling are dramatic. During the first month of its launch, the film has been shown at eleven schools and three community centers
around Toledo and Stann Creek Districts. You can find it on You Tube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=JX5TXeGwMqo
The Maya House of Cacao
Just a few miles west of the junction at Dump on the road to Guatemala lies the newly built Maya House of Cacao. You can find it on the left just before Belize Woodworks and about a mile from the village of Mafredi. The building was one element of a project that also included the rehabilitation of two hundred acres of old growth cacao and a training programme for fifty women to make chocolate and develop their own business plans. Funding was provided by the European Union, the Belize Rural Development Project and the Toledo Cacao Growersâ€™ Association (TCGA). The official opening attended by representatives of all the funding bodies and hundreds of members of the TCGA took place on May 16th 2015 but the public opening is planned for 2 November, the first Monday of the month. The Howler went along to meet Or-
lando Coc from Laguna village who is TCGAâ€™s accountant and manager of this new venture.
most farmers did it in small batches but the result did not provide the consistent quality from one batch to the next that buyers increasingly demand.
The aim of the Maya House of Cacao is to inform and educate and to also make explicit the historical links between Toledo as the centre of cacao cultivation and those hundreds of farmers continuing this tradition today.
The Maya House also has a gift shop where it will offer for sale local crafts and chocolate products including cacao wine and cacao vinegar.
The Maya House will also serve as a demonstration facility making its own chocolate and TCGA is awaiting the imminent delivery of roasters, grinders and a tempering machine. They plan to produce 80100% dark chocolate and then to continue to develop new product lines for sale. There is also a plan to build a new fermentation and drying facility behind the Maya House of Cacao. TCGA is increasingly buying the wet beans from the farmers and doing the fermentation and drying itself. This approach replaces the former situation where
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00, 7 days a week including Christmas and Easter and public and bank holidays. Telephone: 722-2992 Location: Mile 18 San Antonio Road, Crique Troso (before Mafredi village and junction for Blue Creek) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MayaHouse-of-Cacao-456049354450033/timeline/
Nim Li Punit - New Finding! continued from pg 1 A polychrome plate was moved from within the crypt and placed next to it, and most of the painted shell beads were removed along with many skeletal elements. Some of these (as well as the painted beads) were re-interred in a series of Terminal Classic offerings placed in the expanded platform). The final stage platform was roughly one meter taller and shaped like a T with a broad crosspiece, and was fronted by a stair. In 2015, Braswell and his students returned to finish excavations and consolidation of Structure 7. Expanding to the east, we discovered a small collapsed Terminal Classic tomb (“Tomb 5”) covered by two capstones. These were visible on the surface of the platform. The tomb measures 2.0m east-west by 1.1m north-south and stood approximately 1m high. A step provided access from the east. Tomb 5 was placed only 6m from the Early Classic crypt at the time the latter was opened and the remodeling of the platform took place, that is, during the early ninth century. Tomb 5, despite its small size, was rich with many artifacts. These include: 25 ceramic vessels (mostly Terminal Classic polychromes and imported Belize Red vessels); several whole and fragmentary jade beads, ear ornaments, and small pendants; 20 painted limestone bars; animal bones and teeth; a fragmentary carved Strombus shell; two small chert eccentrics (probably nose ornaments); a jade celt;
and various piece of obsidian including perforators. Human remains were quite scarce and hardly recognizable. Indeed, the context is called “Tomb 5” because of its formal architectural structure rather than the presence of a complete body within it. The remains that were found constitute a partial reburial and we speculate that they may have been reinterred from the opened Early Classic crypt. Three items from Terminal Classic Tomb 5 are particularly noteworthy. These are a carved/ modeled vase that depicts the bird-beaked wind god, a large eccentric chert, and the Nim li Punit wind jewel. THE WIND JEWEL PECTORAL The jade pectoral measures 188mm wide, 104mm high, and 8mm thick. It is the second largest piece of carved jade from Belize and is one of the largest ever legally excavated in the entire Maya area. The T-shape of the pectoral is the hieroglyph Ik’ "wind, breath" and its front has a deeply inscribed ik’ glyph. Thus, the pectoral combined with the Wind God vessel and the T-shape of the final platform all link the context to veneration of the winds that bring the seasonal rains. The back of the jade has a text consisting of 30 hieroglyphs. Twelve holes perforate the back and emerge on the thin sides of the pectoral. Most holes appear in pairs and probably served to suspend jade beads or shell tinklers. Four holes perforate the text indicating that they were added after the text was carved. Christian Prager, Project Epigrapher working
with Braswell, has tentatively read the text on the Nim li Punit pectoral as: He was “necklaced” for the scattering on 10 Ajaw 8 Yaxk'in [A.D. 672], Janaab Ohl K'inich Son of the divine Lady Ix Pitz … K'an Hix Balaw She of five …; son of K'inich Bahlam, incense scatterer (in his) first twenty years (of life). On 7 Men 13 K'ayab (188.8.131.52.15) He made his debut as a lord, Janaab' Ohl K'in- Nich Muwaan Bahlam, Nine-Province (Person), he of Three Stony… What does this text actually mean? First, it names the owner of the jade pectoral as Janaab Ohl K’inich. It states that he put on the wind jewel in order to perform a scattering ritual in A.D. 672. Scattering rituals were performed coniby ... Maya kings on the most important dates of the calendar each five, ten, or—especially— 20 years. In these rituals, kings dropped balls of incense or blood into burning braziers. Smoke from these fires was carried up to the heavens and divine ancestors and other beings were summoned. At Nim li Punit, four stelae (carved monuments) depict kings of the site performing this ritual and two others discussing scattering events in their hieroglyphic texts. Two stelae show kings of Nim li Punit wearing the Wind Jewel discovered in 2015. Who was Janaab Ohl K'inich, the owner of the Nim li Punit wind jewel? His name and those of his parents do not appear in monumental continue to pg 14
Sketch map of PG Town
Golden Stream Spice Farm We are unique in South Belize having the biggest Spice farm in Belize. We are 3 1/2 hr away from PG Airport and 1 1/2 hr from Placencia. Spice farm and the Spice Farm Restaurant are on the side of the High way and easily accessible. Our business hrs are 7 30 am to 3 30 PM. The entrance fee is BZ $ 20 for adult. For Details please call 670 1338/6159462 or 732 4014 (currently not working) or e mail us at email@example.com.
Registered Tour Operators in Toledo District 2015 Always book your trip with a registered tour operator to ensure your guide has been trained & licensed and vehicles are properly insured
Phone Number Location
Phone Number Location
The Lodge at Big Falls
Big Falls Extreme Adventures
Natural Adventure Tours
Blue Creek Rainforest Lodge
Cotton Tree Lodge
The Farm Inn
Toledo Cave & Adventure 604-2124
TOLEDO VILLAGE BUSES Service
Return to PG
Dump, Mafredi, Blue Creek
J ‘n’ L
San Felipe (for Ixcacao), Santa Ana, Midway
San Felipe, Santa Ana, Midway, Conejo, Sunday Wood
Dump, Big Falls, Indian Creek
Dump, Big Falls, Hicatee, Indian Creek (for Nim Li Punit)
Mon to Sat
Dump, Big Falls, Hicatee
Mon to Sat
Dump, Big Falls, Hicatee
Mon to Thurs
Mon to Sun
Mon to Sat
Dump, Big Falls, Hicatee, Indian Creek (for Nim Li Punit)
Mon to Sat
Mon to Sat
Mon to Sat
Mon to Sat
San Benito Poite
Dump, Mafredi, Blue Creek (for Hokeb Ha), Santa Teresa
Jacintoville, Dump, Mafredi, Crique Jute, Nah Lum Ca
Dump, Mafredi, Crique Jute, Nah Lum Cah
San Felipe (for Ixcacao)
Dump, San Pedro Columbia, San Miguel
Mon to Sat
Dump, San Pedro Columbia (for Lubaantun), San Miguel
Mon to Sat
Dump, San Pedro Columbia (for Lubaantun), San Miguel
Mon to Sat
Dump, San Pedro Columbia, San Miguel
Mon to Sat
San Pedro Columbia, San Miguel
Mon to Thurs
Dump, Mafredi, Jordon, Santa Teresa, Mabilha, San Lucas, Corazon Creek, Otoxha
Dump, Mafredi, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Santa Elena, Pueblo Viejo Dump, Mafredi, San Antonio, Santa Cruz (for Rio Blanco), Santa Elena, Pueblo Viejo, Jalacte Dump, Mafredi, San Antonio, Santa Cruz (for Rio Blanco), Santa Elena, Pueblo Viejo, Jalacte
Dump, Mafredi, San Antonio, Santa Cruz (for Rio Blanco), Santa Elena, Pueblo Viejo, Jalacte Dump, Mafredi, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Santa Elena, Pueblo Viejo, Jalacte
TRANSPORT SCHEDULES Flights Depart Punta Gorda
Arrives Belize City
Depart Belize Intl.
Arrive In Punta Gorda
Maya Island Air
Maya Island Air
Maya Island Air
Maya Island Air
Maya Island Air
Maya Island Air
Maya Island Air
Maya Island Air
James Bus Line Schedule Departs P.G.
Arrives Belize City
Departs Belize City
05:15am Express (except Sun)
Boats To & From Puerto Barrios , Guatemala Service Provider
Dep Punta Gorda
Arrive Puerto Barrios
Depart Puerto Barrios
Arrive Punta Gorda
Requena’s Charter Service
*Boats to Livingston depart on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m. *Memos depart everyday to Livingston @ 1pm. (prices vary depending on quantity)
BTIA Toledo and The Toledo Howler Together we’re stronger!
How Do I Join BTIA? Visit www.btia.org to read about BTIA and all the membership benefits and to download an applicaBecome a part of BTIA tion form. Complete the form and hand it in at the Tourism and make a practical conInformation Center on Front St. tribution to the economToledo officers ic development of Toledo BTIA Chair: Rob Hiron Vice-chair: Dennis Garbutt District, and benefit from Secretary: Delonie Forman Treasurer: Lisa Avila Councilor: Cris Cal our promotional work. We meet monthly at the The Howler is written, edited and produced by: Stephanie Parham: firstname.lastname@example.org, 722-2531 Tourism information Cen- Rob Hirons: email@example.com tre on Front Street. Toledo Tourism Information Centre Front Street, Punta Gorda Town
Emergency Numbers PG Police station: 722-2022 PG Hospital: 722-2026 / 722-2161 / 722-2145 PG Fire Department: 722-2032
National Emergencies (NEMO): 822-0153 Belize Tourism Board: 227-2420 / 227-2417 BTIA Main Office Belize City: 227-1144
Mon to Fri 8am to 5pm Tel: 722-2531 Email: BTIAtoledo@btl.net Where to get your copy of The Toledo Howler Distribution points include: Tourism Information Centres throughout Belize Tropic Air and Maya Island Air terminals BTIA Toledo members Requena’s Charters, Puerto Barrios Major gas stations As well as a wide online presence in electronic format Please contact the Toledo Howler team at 722-2531 if you would like to become a distributor for the voice of tourism development in Belize’s deep south!
Sustainable Tourism Project in Toledo
There’s been a lot going on in Toledo since the endorsement of Belize’s National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (NSTMP) in 2012. Local residents have witnessed significant public and private sector investments in recent years. In Punta Gorda Town, there have been street improvements, the renovation of the Magistrates Court, and a new Market, Civic Center and Sports Complex are in the works. The much anticipated San Antonio Road to Jalacte is rapidly opening up the Maya villages to the west. In the tourism arena, Punta Gorda sports a new immigration and customs building at the Port, and enhancements to the Municipal Airstrip are completed. There are new visitor facilities at Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun Archaeological sites; the Maya House of Cacao now showcases the region’s growing chocolate industry, and a rum factory is in the works at Belcampo Resort. Zipline operations breathe adventure in Blue Creek and Big Falls, and a host of authentic culture based tourist attractions, such as the Living Maya Experience and the Punta Negra Restaurant, have been opening as microbusinesses throughout the district. Perhaps the most talked about development in the pipeline is of course the new cruise port at Harvest Caye, Stann Creek, which is poised to bring groups of day visitors to experience Toledo in early 2016. Overall, tourism visitation to the district is growing, rebounding since 2010 with an average 7.5% growth
per year which is above the average national growth rate of 7.3%. It is certainly an exciting time for tourism in Toledo, and one that demands proactive planning to ensure the development of high value low impact tourism. The NSTMP speaks to
Tourism Committee in Toledo.
This newly formed committee was modelled from Benque Viejo Del Carmen Town Council’s initiative in Cayo, who established their own local tourism committee, and developed an action plan, promotional material, town tour, and tourism investment portfolio in 2013. The Committee is envisioned to “champion” local tourism development in Toledo. Sector participation within the committee includes provision for tour operators, the Toledo Tour Guide Association, BTIA Toledo Chapter, the PG Town Council, representation of culture, transportation, restaurants, and civil society as well as Government bodies such as the BTB, MTCCA and the local emergency management agency, DEMO. The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, and the Belize Tourism Board are committed to providing technical support to the Toledo Local Tourism Committee, Yashin Dujon leading a TLTC workshop for the STP 11 and to pursue funding mechanisms engaging meaningful local participation in for priority tourism projects, actions and intourism, “whereby tourism planning and vestments. To this aim, the Government of management will be based on partnerships Belize with financial and technical support and collaboration and all tourism activity will from the Inter-American Development Bank is be designed to improve the quality of life enengaged in the planning stage for the Sustainjoyed by Belizeans.” In an effort to promote a able Tourism Program II in four emerging desparticipatory approach to tourism planning, tinations including Toledo. The proposed prothe Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviject is focusing on tourism enhancement that ation (MTCCA), and the Belize Tourism Board supports the increase of tourism employ(BTB), with the support of the Punta Gorda ment, income and revenues for local Town Council, helped to establish a Local continued on pg 14
BTIA TOLEDO MEMBERS 2015 Business
722-0050 722-2188 605-9985 722-2678 653-6533 634-6772
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Shirelymae Parham Lisa Avila Fransisca Bardalez Esme Duncan Tim Sise/ Cesar Godinez Catarina Choco
Thomas & Pearleen Coleman
Coral House Inn
Rick Mallory Dan Dunbar Dona Scafe Eladio Pop
Belcampo Beya Suites Big Falls Cottages Blue Belize Canopy Course and Jungle Tours
CPC Real Estate Cuxlin Ha Resort Eladio's Chocolate Adventure Garbutt's Fishing Lodge Golden Stream Plantation Grace Hotel and Restaurant Hickatee Cottages
Dennis Garbutt Thomas & Tessy Mathew Pallavi Mahhung Ian & Kate Morton
Ixcacao Maya Belizean Chocolates
Ixchel Women's Group
Jerry Shaver Living Maya Experience Marigold Womens Group Maroon Creole Drum School Maya Bags Belize Crafts Ltd. Mountain Spirit Wellness Community Prudencio Cucul ReefCI Remax Requena's Charter Service Robert Pennell The Farm Inn The Lodge at Big Falls Tide Tours Toledo Cave & Adventure Tours Toledo Tour Guide Association Warasa Garifuna Drumming School Yum Kax Women's Group
630-4069 / 630-4432 722-2878 607-8250 732-4747 624-0166 722-0070 / 604-3548 670-1338 702-2414 662-4475 742-4050/ 660-2840 626-2338/ 632-7938
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.hickatee.com firstname.lastname@example.org Indian Creek Village
627-7408/ 632-4585 620-6084 668-7733/ 632-7841 722-2175
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ana Arzu
Prudencio Cucul Polly Alford David Kafka Julio Requena Robert Pennell Renee Brown
602-3906 626-1429 631-9622 722-2070
Anita Cal & Marta Chiac Sarah Shol Emmeth & Jill Young
Rob Hirons Delonie Forman Bruno Kuppinger Keren Recinos Ruth & Ronald McDonald Concepciona Coc
732-4781 732-4444 / 671-6677 722-2129 604-2124 637-2000 632-7701 662-8539
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
CLASSIFIED: Distillery in PG hiring qualified Industrial Electrician and Maintenance Mechanic for mid-October start. Email resume firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Calendar of Events Venue/Time
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Julian Cho Technical High School, Dump Area 7:00 p.m. Fr. Francis Ring Parish Hall, Punta Gorda
High Schools Battle of the Drums
Ms. Yurumein Contest
Children’s Garifuna Talent Show
7:00 p.m. Fr. Francis Ring Parish Hall, Punta
Primary Schools Garifuna Translation Contest
9:00 a.m. Fr. Francis Ring Parish Hall, Punta Gorda Town 8:00 p.m. – 1:a.m. at the Social Security
Battle of the Drums Food and Fete
BATTLE OF THE DRUMS 2015
Public and Bank Holiday—Garifuna Settlement Day
Various activities around PG Town
Public and Bank Holidays - Christmas and Boxing day
Various activities around PG Town
Public and Bank Holiday—New Years Day
Various activities around PG Town
BTIA 3rd Annual “Keys to the Heart” event
Garbutts Marine, PG Town
Beya Suites - 722-2188 Beya Suites - 722-2188 Beya Suites - 722-2188 Beya Suites - 722-2188
Beya Suites - 722-2188
Building Beya Suites - 722-2188
Visitors Voice SP: Tell me about yourself. BF: My name is Brian Falk from Santa Barbara, California. SP: Why did you choose Toledo? BF: I wanted to see a different part of Belize that was less touristy and crowded and heard that PG was a good place to start and explore the surrounding areas. I’ve been here for three days and I’ve got to do many things and I explored the surrounding villages. I went to Indian Creek and went to Nim Li Punit that was very nice in the afternoon. There was nobody there so I had the whole place to myself. SP: Almost like a private tour? BF: Yes! When I returned from the hill I met a bus driver who told me that I just missed the last bus into town and I would have to wait another hour. He offered to take me to his house and he took me in his bus to his house and gave me some homemade tortilla and chicken soup and we got to talking and he showed me his house, his family and I felt so welcome. It was a unique experience and I was not expecting that. It was just a day to the ruins and then I got to meet a very nice man named Thomas. SP: What else did you do? BF: I also went kayaking out on the water here, along the sea and up Joe Taylor Creek and that was exciting and wonderful to be out on the water and the ocean was very nice. I had fun at Backa Jammas bar and restaurant, I was treated very nice there, drank some beers and played some pool. I also received a massage from Sharane. I definitely recommend that, she was very good. SP: What did you like the most or what is the most memorable? BF: I chose to come to Toledo because of the town and the surroundings areas. There’s a lot to do in a day. PG is a good home base to explore the surrounding areas. What I liked most was meeting the people and I was treated very nicely here, friendly people long conversations. That’s the most memorable, all the people I met here. SP: Did you visit other places in Belize? What would you tell others who
want to visit? BF: I visited other places in Belize, Dangriga, Tobacco Caye, Maya Centre but PG is unique there’s a lot of schools and universities and it’s a little bit cleaner here too and just a different feel and energy and I felt very safe and comfortable in PG. My best moment ....that’s difficult because I don’t have one. They are all very special. I like the eco awareness that they have in PG and Toledo. It’s very attractive to me. I would say to travellers who want to come here it’s a friendly place, good home base, food is great and the people are nice, pretty safe!
Guifiti - “A Gift of the Plant Spirits” The origin of Guifiti is a mysterious secret indigenous tradition. The word “Guifiti” in Garifuna means “a gift of the plant spirits.” It belongs to a group of drinks known as “bitters” made from an arrangement of plants known to be beneficial for the health and wellbeing of humans. The drink is made by infusing a proprietary mixture of various roots and herbs in alcohol and water, and allowed to cure over time. Even though it’s a rum based drink, it can also be made with boiling water. The final concoction is meant to be a medicinal vitality and total wellness tonic, to be taken daily and in minute quantities. The Garifuna Guifiti stands alone in that it was originally made to be a medicine. It is used across the Nation as a preventative and cure for many ailments specific to the cultural lifestyle such as stress, digestive disorders, weak blood, malnutrition, and low vitality. The herbs contained in the brew are mostly antiparasitical, antibiotic, fertility enhancers, blood builders, and nerve tonics. Guifiti is prescribed by traditional healers for total health maintenance, convalescing, and to enhance fertility and sexual performance. It is used sort of like a love potion for both genders. The inclusion of one particular herb designates the main brew as gender specific, to be either “fi de man” or “fi de woman”. Wild yam is added to slant the brew in the female direction and Gein Weyu is added to slant the brew in the male direction. Men and women have to be careful to not mix up their bottles or things could get complicated. Within Garifuna settlements, individual recipes are kept secret and transmitted only from generation to generation and life to life. The recipe for genuine Guifiti is much coveted and one must abandon any thoughts of ever having it if was not “handed down” to you. The basic recipe never varies, but certain herbs do vary from one region to another, resulting in every area having their own flavor and secret recipe. The recipe I use was handed down by my grandmother to my older sister, who handed it down to me quite ceremoniously once I became an adult. A genuine Guifiti bottle made in Garifuna tradition can keep the healing herb spirits for an incredibly long period of time and even years. The bottle can be refilled with a mixture of water and rum to allow the herbs inside to continue to “give” their gift of medicine. Real Guifiti will have all the herbs inside the bottle
uterine pains, cramps, PMS, and regulating the female menstrual cycle. No. This is as far as it goes. I cannot give you the entire recipe, but I can share some guidelines on determining whether the Guifiti you are drinking is genuine or not. First of all, you will never find Garifuna Guifiti in a Chinese store so don’t look there. Guifiti is traditionally purchased from bars in Garifuna communities in Belize and along the Caribbean coast, where they will serve it to you by the shot (the recommended dose). If you are lucky, the best thing is to purchase a bottle from the one who prepared it and ask them all the questions about dosage, longevity, and refills. But please do not ask them for the recipe, for the hard won Garifuna Guifiti heritage will forever remain closely held and highly guarded.
and will not be just liquor. So what’s in it? Without letting the cat out of the bag, I can tell you that one of the main ingredients in Guifiti is Lemuru, a hailed and highly regarded plant in Garifuna ethnobotany. If you want genuine Guifiti, it has to contain this plant. People have learned to use garlic in its place because they smell the same but there is really no substitute. Lemuru is a serious medicinal plant used traditionally against autoimmune diseases, urinary problems, and balancing blood sugar levels. Its presence in the Guifiti serves to stimulate the immune system and protect against infections. Another known contributor to Guifiti is Gein Weyu, a root herb used traditionally to make overall tonics that build strength and restore vitality during convalescence. In the Guifiti mix however, Gein Weyu offers aphrodisiac properties that enhance sexual drive, and other benefits to the male reproductive organs. It is this root along with miniscule amounts of Contribo that make the Guifiti man tonic a “MAN TONIC” fi di man! Slanting a Guifiti formula “fi di woman” involves the inclusion of Wild Yam in the bottle. Wild Yam has a sweet bitter flavor with very warming energy. The biochemical constituents of Wild Yam are comprised of precursors to the female hormone progesterone. When taken in a tonic, these hormone precursors trigger “inner healing” of the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes; which explains why traditional healers rely on this plant for healing the entire female reproductive system. Wild Yam tinctures and extracts are currently being utilized in natural hormone replacement therapy as an alternative for progesterone. This medicinal plant is known to balance female hormones as it stimulates the production of natural progesterone; making it the perfect modern day herb for alleviating menopausal symptoms,
It is not unusual to see someone proudly selling the unlabeled dry herbal Guifiti mix in a glass bottle, to which you can add the alcohol of your choice. Though white rum is the popularly preferred liquid for concocting Guifiti, it can just as well be made with water and vodka or gin or rum or ouzo or grappa or aniseed, and the like. The choice is yours, for it is the balanced medicinal herbal mix that makes Guifiti, and NOT the alcohol. Those who are fortunate enough to be holders of traditional indigenous Guifiti formulas understand how plastic adulterates the spiritual balance of medicinal plants. For this reason, you will never find traditional Guifiti in a plastic bottle. I suggest you buy it only if it is in a glass bottle. How do you take it? For best results, one to two tablespoons taken daily is the recommended dosage. Your herbalist may suggest a different dosage depending on what you are taking it for, and if you have a special condition or complaint. When taken in large quantities, Guifiti ceases to be medicinal and becomes just another alcoholic drink for drunks. It is borderline sacrilege to consume Guifiti for the mere sake of getting drunk. There are other alcoholic drinks to serve that purpose, and such is not the mission of this closely held ancestral concoction. Recognized as a reverent gift graciously given us by the plant spirits, we drink Guifiti tonically by the shot, in celebration of life; to commune with the ancestors; to relax the body; to enjoy each other’s company; to enhance lovemaking; to be happy; and enable us to appreciate the gifts we temporarily have on this Earth. Written by Arzu Mountain Spirit Master Herbalist, Teacher, and Traditional Garifuna Healer http://www.wagiyafoundationbelize.org/ services-and-products
Liquor License Notice Notice is hereby given under the intoxicated Liquor License ordinance chapter 150 of the Laws of Belize, revised edition 2000, that Rob Hirons is applying for the renewal of Restaurant and Bar Liquor License. To be operated at The Lodge at Big Falls, Big Falls Village, Toledo District.
Nim Li Punit - New Finding!
continued from pg 4
renovation, which itself was already more than 400-years old. We suspect it is no coincidence that the burial of the wind jewel took place during a time of great climatic instability. That such a precious relic of the past was given a dedicatory burial at a time when the rains brought by the wind god—and by his representative on earth, the divine king of Nim li Punit were scarce and unpredictable seems to be no coincidence.
texts from Nim li Punit, probably because the date it was carved (A.D. 672) falls roughly 50 years before the first known stela was carved at the site. Janaab Ohl K'inich’s mother was a very important lady with many titles. Part of her name appears at Cahal Pech, so it is possible that she was from that site in western Cayo District. Janaab Ohl K’inich’s father died very young, at less than 20 years of age. His name, K’inich Bahlam, is known from various sites in Peten, Guatemala, including Waka-El Peru.
The Nim li Punit jade pectoral is now safely in the hands of Geoff Braswell and his team standing over the findings at Nim Li Punit the Institute of Archaeology a different part of Belize or the Maya world. and the Government of Belize, and is being held in the vault of the Belize Bank. It is Because both Janaab Ohl K’inich and his father How did the wind jewel get to Nim li Punit? hoped that some day soon, it may come to a There are several possibilities. The first is that are said to have performed scattering rituals, final resting place in a national museum where it was created for Janaab Ohl K'inich and used we know that they were kings. But from by him at the site during his kingly duties. Per- all Belizeans may see it. where did they come? Janaab Ohl K’inich is said to be from the “Ninth Province” of the Maya, which is generally thought to correspond to northern Belize. On the other hand, he is also said to be from a “Three Stony…” place, which possibly is Caracol. Finally, it could be that this “Three Stony…” place is an ancient name for Nim li Punit itself, a name that was previously unknown to us. Sadly, there is not a single use of the Nim li Punit emblem glyph on the jade pectoral. This is probably because it was carved and used at a time before the polity became important enough to warrant a standard dynastic title. On balance, we suspect that Janaab Ohl K’inich was the king of Nim li Punit, but that his parents (or at least his mother) came from
Sustainable Tourism Project in Toledo continued from pg 10 Belizeans, and builds climate and disaster resilient “green” destinations to support tourism development. A working session held in September 2015, with the Toledo Local Tourism Committee touched on some of the recent investments in the district, reviewed the industry stats and identified the destination’s assets and challenges in a drive to develop a Tourism Development Plan for the area. Ultimately, Toledo’s Tourism Destination Development Plan will promote a common tourism vision for southern Belize. It will support partnerships, identify opportunities, and address local priorities to guide the development of tourism in Toledo over the next five years. All stakeholders in the industry and community members are encouraged to get to know their “Champions”, to provide input and actively participate. Bringing the plan to life will, without a doubt, require the dedicated and coordinated efforts of all.
haps it was a gift from a powerful relative from a larger kingdom. A second possibility is that Janaab Ohl K'inich was not a local king, but instead brought it to Nim li Punit and gave it to an unnamed ruler as a gift and a sign of over-lordship. Two scenes of scattering events at the site show a ruler accompanied by a standing lord— perhaps a visiting dignitary—behind him and on the left side of the monument. Janaab Ohl K'inich could have been such a visitor. A third possibility is that the pectoral was traded to Nim li Punit somewhat later in time or ended up at the site as a spoil of war. In that case, it could represent a battle between Nim li Punit and a site whose location is still not known. The fact that the Nim li Punit wind jewel hints at interaction with regions to the north is intriguing. There are no clear ceramic connections between Nim li Punit and the Belize Valley (the location of Cahal Pech) or Caracol before about A.D. 800. Connections with northcentral Belize or El Peru are even harder to demonstrate from the material record. The text of the wind jewel therefore implies political and familial ties with regions for which we had little to no evidence of economic interaction before its discovery. What is important to stress is the significance of context and provenience. Had the pectoral been illegally excavated, we would have no reason at all to connect it to Nim li Punit. We would not be able to identify where it was used or even the modern country in which it was found.
Acknowledgements. Excavations at Nim li Punit in 2012 were supported by the University of California, San Diego Faculty Senate and by the National Geographic Society (#9027-11). All excavations conducted in 2015 were funded by the University of California, San Diego Faculty Senate. We thank the many men and one woman of Indian Creek, Belize, who have worked on our project, as well as the staff and scholars at the Institute of Archaeology of Belize. We especially thank the three graduate students who participated in the excavations of Structure 7: Chelsea Fisher, Maya Azarova, and Mario Borrero. We also thank Mr. Rob Hirons of the Lodge at Big Falls for providing security when the wind jewel was first excavated.
Because the jade pectoral is shown worn by kings on two carved monuments at the site, collective memory of important scattering events involving the Nim li Punit wind jewel persisted long after it was inscribed and first used. Indeed, the final remodeling of the palace and the construction of Tomb 5 seem dedicated to the wind jewel, the royal rituals surrounding it, and the memory of the kings who conducted scattering rituals at Nim li Punit. The wind jewel itself—approximately 150years old when it was buried about A.D. 830 was placed within Tomb 5 along with fragmentary remains that may have come from an elaborate crypt burial encountered during the
Above: large eccentric chert, and the Nim li Punit wind jewel
Participants of Toledo Youth Empowerment Project, Kyra Jones (Finance Officer), Mark Miller (Executive Director), Tasha Petillo (Project Manager), Adelina Betancourt (Business Monitor), Kera Polonio (DYS Representative) On October 2013 Plenty Belize began working with 60 youth from in and around Punta Gorda Town to help empower them. The Toledo Youth Empowerment Project was funded by US Embassy Belmopan through the CARSI grant and Plenty Belize. It was a two year project that included assisting young people with finishing their secondary education, skills trainings, and small enterprises development. Three students graduated from Claver College Extensions in June 2015, one is attending Julian Cho Technical High school and 24 have started small enterprises. Small enterprises developed by the participants include catering, piggery, snack shops, lawn maintenance, souvenirs making, sewing, chicken rearing and hair salon. Partners of this project included Department of Youth Services, Toledo Association of Businesses, Institute of Technical Vocational Education & Training, Punta Gorda Town Council and Toledo Teachers Credit Union. For more information on this project kindly contact Plenty Belize at 501-702-2198 or visit our office at Jose Maria Nunez Street. Plenty Belize continues to work with the community of Toledo District.
The Way East Indians Lived Then Part 1 continued from pg 2
pers. That was the main decoration and then crepe paper came in afterwards. And if you did step over them to find a seat. And some people had the habit when you get up to let them not put new papers then you were out. And everybody chose the best pictures. And then pass they take your seat. You had to wake up at three thirty or four o’clock to get ready. And the baking of cake and the cooking started. when the truck is coming you stay by the road- And on Christmas day the house to house visits would start and go on all day long from one side and if it is not loaded then you are lucky end of the community to the next. and you get a ride. When we finally get to town our bottoms was bruised because the The food was mainly rice and beans with chickroad was very rough. en and salad. My mother had a big pot and would take a leg of pork and boil it and bake it Then we have some people who like to drink and that was the excitement of the trip coming and I always remember how it was so deliback. Before you reach halfway the men were cious. She would cook it all day on a slow fire with coal. We ate as much as we wanted - rice fighting. The poor women are screaming and and beans, pork and lemonade. It was also cushollering. And all that rum was made right tomary that every house you went in you had down here from the sugar cane. It was called to eat something – it was just a little bit but Rocky Run Rum. (The distillery was located at what is now Sirmoor Hill Farm near Fairweath- you had to taste whatever they had to offer. It er Camp Ed.) But in those days they socialized was such a good feeling – everybody was together in those days. much more than now. They would fight and
“cheecha” but we really enjoyed it. It was fresh kind of life. Everything was so natural. You could feel it. You walk in your back yard and chickens were running all over the place. It was mostly though on Sundays when we would have a special dish with chicken, rice and beans and stuff like that. During the week we would go fishing and get fish from the creeks and make Takari with yellow ginger and we had calaloo and string beans, plantain and cassava but we always had rice on our table every day. Well the East Indians, we used corn mainly to feed our chickens and pigs. But we eat everything off our farm and bought very little from the shop; salt, sugar and lard. And everything was so cheap. We paid two cents for a pound of salt and two cents for a box of matches.
I remember my uncle used to take three dollars earnings for the week to sustain the grotomorrow they are friends again. During the year my mother would make potato cery bill at the shop and sometimes he still had puddings and banana puddings but the only change from that. The daily wage was 25 cents At the weekends they would have dances in time of year we had light cake was at Christin those days. I didn’t go to high school. When I different people’s houses. But when it comes mas. And when I tell my children that they started my uncle got sick and I was the only to Christmas that was big thing. Everybody goes from house to house. From Christmas Eve don’t believe me! And we were very poor but I one left so I didn’t go to high school but stayed always remember no matter how poor we with him and my first job was chipping rosethe cooking starts and decoration and all of were at Christmas we were happy. wood. that. And what we used to use for decoration; we used to use the newspapers. We would We didn’t have much music. There was the ra- In those days there was an export market for paste it with flour and water. And we used to dio and then our own music with guitar and rosewood but we had to clean the wood by have string bags for our partitions framed with accordion and violin. Well the village had its chipping off all the bark. It was quite a job. I sticks and then we would paste the newspaper own little silent distillery too. They made their camped out at Deep River and got 50 cents a on. Everybody’s house was the same and every rum out of corn and rice and potatoes. We day. That was in the Sixties already. Christmas time we would have new newspacalled it “spuddy” and the corn drink was To be continued in Issue 10.1 in February 2016