It’s understandable that a country as small as Belize (about the same size as Massachusetts) and as young (it only became fully independent in 1981) is not especially well-known outside of Central America. Recently, when the American television program Criminal Minds Beyond Borders decided to base an entire episode (“Love Interrupted”) in the country, locals and resident expats were thrilled to see international attention given to Belize.
Unfortunately, it became evident that the writers of Criminal Minds Beyond Borders had little real knowledge of the people, customs and geography of Belize. As such, we warmly welcome the cast and crew of this prominent American television show to come and see the “real” Belize.
Located between Mexico and Guatemala, the tropical country of Belize is widely known as one of the friendliest, most welcoming places on Earth. A melting pot nation harmoniously blending indigenous peoples like the Maya, Creoles, Mestizos, Garifuna, Lebanese, Mennonites, Chinese, and North American expats, Belize is a mostly rural, friendly country where sipping on beachfront pina coladas and barefoot dining on fresh-caught lobster describe an ideal day on the mainland.
Offshore, divers and snorkelers from around the world enjoy some of the most vibrant, diverse marine ecosystems in the world. The Belize Barrier Reef is home to thousands of colorful tropical species, including anemones, sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, snapper, dolphins and the largest fish species in the ocean, the whale shark. The largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere, the Belize Barrier Reef is home to half a dozen of coral species, tiny creatures whose calcium excretions form the backbone of this unique biosphere.
Should the cast and crew of Criminal Minds Beyond Borders take us up on our invitation to come see and explore Belize, we highly recommend a trip to the beautiful Placencia Peninsula in the southeast of the country. With 16 miles of gorgeous coastline along the Caribbean and miles of lush mangrove lagoons, there’s plenty to see and enjoy. We also recommend a trip to Placencia Village at the southern tip of the peninsula, home to some of the most friendly people in the country.
For the ultimate experience in Belizean hospitality and luxury, a stay at Chabil Mar is highly recommended. With its own stretch of private beach, the guests in the 19 well-appointed villas can enjoy a full range of modern amenities as well as fine dining at the on-site beach front restaurant.
Chabil Mar is a proud sponsor of the Annual Placencia Regatta, an event where sailing clubs from all over Belize, about 20-25 Opti sailing boats, compete for a ranking Regatta. Organized by the Placencia Sailing Club ( PSC), the event teaches children how to race and sail and will be held in Placencia Village on May 21 and 22.
According to the description on the PSC’s Facebook page, the event helps youths to realize that sailing does not only play a huge part of their rich heritage but the learning, skill, fun and excitement involved in it can help strengthen their mental and physical capabilities as well as improve their leadership skills, self-confidence and self-esteem.
Established on January 2012, the Placencia Sailing Club was founded by Shelly Bradley and Alan Usher of the Belize Sailing Association and Alvin Cabral Jr. and his wife, owners of Placencia’s Belize Sailing Adventures and South Waters Resort.
The race for this year will start on a part of a beach that is located in middle of Tipsy Tuna and Cozy Corner. The spectators of the race are advised to bring binoculars so they can see up-close the exciting action unfolding throughout the race.
Come and join us in supporting all the sailors from various clubs and from all over Belize who will compete for the ranking Regatta.
For more information about the Regatta, please click on the link below:
In an effort to titillate viewers, the American television series Criminal Minds Beyond Borders recently portrayed the idyllic town of San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize as a den of thieves, murderers and criminals. In an episode entitled “Love Interrupted”, the peaceful island that served as the inspiration for Madonna’s 1986 hit “La Isla Bonita” was transformed into a ghetto of criminality and international intrigue.
It’s difficult to know whether the producers of the program were trying to be intentionally insulting or were just demonstrating ignorance. Aside from using a few seconds of stock footage of the real San Pedro Town, the entirety of the episode was a mishmash of incorrect information and scenes shot on a Hollywood sound stage.
The episode featured an American couple defying the laws of physics by arriving at the tiny airfield in San Pedro in a jumbo jet while showing B-roll footage of the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City on the mainland. The episode’s couple then further defied reality by renting a car in San Pedro, an impossibility as the only form of transportation available to the public are bicycles, scooters and electric golf carts. The hapless couple then got lost in a series of mountains that have yet to be mapped on an island that is almost entirely flat before getting chilly enough to build a fire in a tropical country where temperatures rarely drop below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hollywood “creativity” then transformed the welcoming and friendly people of Belize into coldly rude hotel employees serving as foils for the kidnappers who ultimately ruined the honeymoon vacation of the protagonist couple. Adding racist insult to injury, an American actor badly mangled the Kriol dialect popularly used throughout Belize, inappropriately adding Spanish words. In the final twist, one last indignity to Belize was included when local Mayans were depicted as savage cannibals who prey on tourists.
Placencia, one of the most beautiful spots in Belize, was not featured in the show. But below are some photographs of the real Belize to contrast with the Hollywood images portrayed in the episode:
The staff of Chabil Mar applaud the prominent American television program spotlighting Belize but strongly urge producers to conduct more research before attempting to portray the country in the future.
After an exciting weekend of football in Belize, two teams remain standing and are heading to the finals in the Belize Premier League. Notably, the Placencia Assassins beat the Police United in a very heated game, and they will take on the Belmopan Bandits FC in the finals in the near future.
On Saturday, the Placencia Assassins went head to head against Police United at Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town. The first score of the game came when Dalton Eiley of the Assassins took advantage of a penalty opportunity, and the excitement built up as Byron Usher answered the call and tied the game with a penalty shot for the Assassins. Harrison Roches scored a second point for the Police, but it was not enough. Both Kareem Haylock and Gilbert Swazo scored for the Assassins, but the game when into overtime. With no additional goals scored during overtime, a penalty shootout answered the question of who would win this showdown. Both teams scored equal goals initially, but it was Police United who missed their penalty shot in the shootout.
The Assassins will meet the Belmopan Bandits FC in the finals. The Bandits beat BDF FC on Sunday at the MCC stadium in Belize City. In this game, the first score of the game took place in the first half by Elroy Smith of the Bandits during a penalty shot. The only other score of the game was by Leon Cadle of the BDF team. This tied the game at 1-1, which was the game ending score. This tie was all that was needed to move the Bandits FC into the finals to meet the Assassins.
The Assassins worked hard all season to reach this incredible accomplishment, and this includes the intense work by Prince Baca. Prince Baca is a long-time employee and server at Chabil Mar and the resort wishes to congratulate him and the entire Placencia Assassins team on their accomplishment.
Chabil Mar boasts a fabulous location in the heart of Placencia and is widely known as one of the top resorts in Belize for both adventure-minded travelers and visitors who are interested in kicking back and relaxing on their vacation.
One of the most exciting cultural events in music is set to kick off this Friday in New Orleans, Louisiana. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will be held in the Cultural Exchange Pavilion at the Louisiana State Fair Grounds, and this year will feature a strong focus on the nation of Belize.
First founded in 1970 after a spontaneous meeting between gospel legend Mahalia Jackson and jazz great Duke Ellington, the New Orleans Jazz Festival has since blossomed to become one of the premiere musical festivals held in the United States. Every year, the festival includes a spotlight on a specific nation, with Belize holding this special honor in 2016.
Attendees will see a special demonstration of the music, culture and history of the Central American nation of Belize, showcasing its unique heritage of Maya, Creole, East Indian, British, Mestizo, Garifuna, Lebanese, Mennonite, Caribbean and Chinese history. Long a British colony, today Belize is an independent nation and the only country in Central America with English as its official language.
At this year’s Jazz and Heritage Festival, Belizean local Florencio Mess, a master craftsman of the traditional Mayan K’ekhchi harp, will give both musical demonstrations as well as workshops on how he and his son make the centuries-old instrument. Belizean storyteller Natividad Obando will present a traditional Day of the Dead altar at the festival for Belizean musicians while basketweaver Marta Chiac will give a workshop on how to make Mayan jippi jappa baskets from materials sourced from the rainforest.
Daid Matus, the award-winning costume designer, will have an exhibition to showcase some of the many Carnival costumes he’s created over the past 18 years. Artist Elmer Panti will hold demonstrations on how to carve slate according to traditional Mayan techniques and the Talla Walla Vibrations band will give a performance of Creole Sambai and Garifuna drum music.
The staff and management of Chabil Mar support all the artists and craftspeople who will be giving demonstrations and performances at the festival and thank the organizers for this special opportunity to promote the music, history and culture of Belize.