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Minister of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation and Area Representative for Belize Rural South, Andre Perez, held a press conference on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, to share the preliminary finding of the Audit Report commissioned by the Minister on the financial state of affairs at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Based on the preliminary audit report up to 2020 alone, the key areas of potential loss and cash flows mismanagement amount to a grand total of $1,747,455 in potential loss and an estimated $4Mil in potential mismanagement of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

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The Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation is pleased to announce its achievements since November 2020. The Ministry has successfully commenced the establishment of a Policy and Planning Unit to guide the process of developing the Ministry’s five-year strategic plan. Additionally, the Ministry will develop policies to facilitate the implementation of the strategic plan.

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The Office of the Prime Minister has announced the appointment of Dr. Griovanni Solorzano as the new Chairperson of the National AIDS Commission (NAC)/Country Coordinator Mechanism (CCM). Dr. Solorzano’s appointment came into effect on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. He replaces previous Chairperson, Mrs. Laura Tucker-Longsworth.

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Belize is slated to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines as early as the end of February, along with Caribbean countries. Through the diligent work of COVAX and the World Health Organization, Belize has officially guaranteed vaccinations for approximately 30% of its population, starting with Front Line Workers that includes all resort and hotel staff.

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A toy pirate ship, named Adventure, launched by two young brothers, Ollie (11) and Harry(8) Ferguson, from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, had previously sailed the high seas to Scandinavia and onwards to Barbados before being lost at sea. A new toy ship was then launched off the coast of Guyana to continue the transatlantic adventure. Today, Wednesday, January 27, 2021, it arrived in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

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On January 14, 2021, the Ministry of Health and Wellness announced plans to expand testing to include persons requiring negative COVID-19 tests for entry to other countries. To this end, the Ministry has published a list of approved COVID-19 testing sites. Additional testing sites will be added to the above-mentioned lists over the next six weeks.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on January 12, 2021 that it will require a negative COVID-19 test from all passengers arriving in the United States, as of January 26, 2021. Posed to have severe impacts on Belize’s tourism sector, The Ministry of Health and Wellness has announced that it will expand testing to now include all persons requiring a negative COVID-19 test to enter other countries.

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“I would like to congratulate the young men and women of Belize Rural South on their first day of work at RCC BPO!” stated Hon. Andre Perez, Area Representative for Belize Rural South and Minister of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation. He addressed the first group of island residents employed by Ready Call Center (RCC) BPO. On January 15, 2021, 34 employees reported for an orientation where they began their journey at the call center that is looking forward to hiring additional workers over the following months, creating a total of 200 jobs on the island.

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Belize City, Belize, Monday, January 11, 2021 - The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce that Belize has achieved the Safe Travels Stamp, granted by the World Travel &Tourism Council (WTTC). The Safe Travels Stamp, the first global safety and hygiene stamp, was awarded to Belize in late December 2020 in recognition of the country’s enhanced health and safety protocols.

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Monday, January 11, 2021 - The San Pedro Town Council and the Liquor Licensing Board hereby informs the general public that a new board has been appointed effective January 2021. The Board hears and determines applications for the issue, renewal, or transfer of licenses and all matters connected therewith or the forfeiture, cancellation, or suspension of licenses within its jurisdiction. The new Board members are as follows:

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Yesterday, the United Democratic Party officially announced their mayoral candidate for San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye 2021-2024, as being Ruben "Rux" Gonzalez. The release stated: 'With an Associate’s Degree in Business Management and over 25 years of experience in accounting and administration, Ruben is the perfect candidate to serve as the future Mayor of the Town of San Pedro. Not only his administrative skills are an asset, but his commitment to San Pedro can be reflected in his 6 years of dedicated community work as a Councilor.

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The new Miss Universe Belize 2020/2021 is 24 year old Iris Salguero from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Iris Salguero grew up in Ambergris Caye in Belize. As one of twelve siblings, Iris learned the importance of being patient and how to be a team player at a very young age. In High School, she had to finance her own education and was proud to graduate as Salutatorian.

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Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries, Hon. Kareem Musa has posted a list of Belize’s Public and Bank Holidays for 2021 that include a new Holiday on January 15 (George Price Day) and August 1 (Freedom Day). Pan American Day (October 12) has been removed from the list of holidays.

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The Office of the Prime Minister announces the death of Dame Elmira Minita Gordon, GCMG, GCVO. She died yesterday, January 1, 2021, in Inglewood, California. Dame Minita Gordon served as Belize’s first Governor General from 1981 to 1993, the first woman in the Commonwealth to assume the role. The Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño and the Government of Belize express condolences to the family and friends of Dame Minita Gordon. Details of her burial will be shared at a later date.

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Ready Call Center BPO will be opening in Ambergris Caye in January 2021. This is an initiative from Hon. Andre Perez and the PUP BRS Executive and RCCBPO to create jobs for the people on the island as it is greatly needed. They will be working to open 200+ call center jobs. Applications are now open: https://cutt.ly/rccbpo_applynow Skills Required:

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On Monday, December 28, 2020, the Forest Department with support from the Belize Zoo and the Ya’axche Conservation Trust responded to a report of a young male jaguar which was captured in Pine Hills, Toledo District. The jaguar was successfully relocated to the Belize Zoo.

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Caye International Bank’s Chairman, Joel Nagel, Together With Pastor Ian Zaldivar Spread Cheer at Living Word Church's 10th Annual Holiday Toy Drive -  The holiday season is a time of giving, of celebrating life, and spending time with those who matter the most. Through its annual Holiday Toy Drive, Living Word Church wishes to spread as much positivity and love to the people of San Pedro, bringing families together and putting the biggest smiles on children’s faces. On December 18, 2020, 1,000 toys were distributed at the Hon.

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On December 22, U.S. Embassy Belmopan delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) to Central Medical Lab (CML) staff in Belize City. The PPE, valued at over $47,500 USD, was donated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and was initiated by the CDC Central America Regional Team based at U.S. Embassy Guatemala. The PPE was purchased and sourced through a Belizean vendor, Belmopan Medical Laboratory Supplies.

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ST. LOUIS, Missouri -- Zee Edgell, Belize’s foremost author of fiction, has died at the age of 80. She passed away on December 20, in her home after a battle with cancer. Born in Belize City, British Honduras in 1940, Mrs. Edgell was the daughter of the late Clive Tucker and Veronica Tucker (nee Walker). She was married to the late Alvin Edgell for 52 years. Together they raised two children: journalist Holly Edgell, 51, and physician Randall Edgell, 45.

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Belmopan. December 15, 2020. 11:00 a.m. - At its meeting on December 8, 2020, Cabinet approved the constitution of an Economic Recovery Advisory Team. The group will make recommendations to engineer sustainable economic activity, protect and create jobs and successfully emerge from the current economic crisis stemming from the 2019 UDP administration recession, the COVID-19 pandemic, weather-related shocks, and the resulting collapse of the tourism and other sectors of the economy.

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