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Living in Belize

Cayo bound, Blood Drive and San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

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When I last left you tacoboy and I were on our way out the door for a second acupuncture treatment. It was as good as the first and it knocked both of us out big time, that was such a which is a good thing I needed the extra rest before this weekend. So much happening it is one of the many instances where I could benefit from a clone and a few email elves between the Volunteer Encounter in Cayo area, Blood Drive and the Lighted boat parade there is just no way to be everywhere at once.

Aiden and Anthony already had my name on the San Pedro Red Cross travel list for before I even said yes, I can’t wait it is going to be a super fun time. At  6:00am tomorrow morning 25 of us will be catching a private boat thanks to Caye Caulker water taxi and heading to Belize City where we will take a bus to Roaring Creek.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements from around the world celebrate International Volunteer Day on December 5th annually. As a result, this year The Belize Red Cross is showing their appreciation to volunteers from around the country by hosting a Volunteer Encounter and Award Ceremony on Dec 7th at a Mission Grounds in Roaring Creek, Cayo District.

On the first day of this fun filled two day event, there will be an initiative where volunteers will be able to participate and showcase their skills and trainings acquired as a volunteer of the Belize Red Cross. The 7 Branches of the Belize Red Cross will compete in areas such as NITS [National Intervention], First Aid, Disaster Response and Preparedness, HIV/Aids awareness and the History of the International Red Cross and Belize Red Cross Movement. The challenges and activities will be both physical and mental, and by getting everyone working together, it will help bridge the gap between the youth and adult volunteers. I am looking forward to meeting people from all the different branches and seeing how they work together as teams.

On day two of the event, there will be an award ceremony where the Belize Red Cross will be acknowledging it’s volunteers for the hard work they have been doing throughout the year as well as presentations for the active participation and the wining branches for the activities on the first day will be done as well.

The awards to be given out are as follows: Governor Generals Award, Health Leadership Award, Outstanding Volunteer Award, Youth Volunteer of the Year, Outstanding Performance in a project, Board Member contribution and Outstanding Staff Performance. Our San Pedro Branch Board qualified us for 3 of the 7 awards this time around – yay team. Philip Ramsey, Atlantida Eiley,  Nurse Natalie Palen and I were all nominated by the board. The first two for Governor Generals Award, Nurse Natalie for Health and I was nominated for the outstanding volunteer award.

Aiden called it at our Tues night meeting – San Pedro Branch is “In it to Win it.” So on Wed afternoon 5 of us went to the high school to prep the new Youth division of the San Pedro Red Cross about the weekend. Aiden, Antony and Frank gave them crash courses in history, disaster management and first aid so they would all have an idea of the areas we we will be focusing on over the weekend.

san pedro high school belize

Aiden Anthony and Frank talking to the Red Cross Youth Group aka the San Pedro high school students

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While Aiden, Mike, Shirlee, 21 San Pedro High School teenagers and I  will be in the full swing of our mainland volunteer vacation fun, Anthony, Amy and Steve will be teaming up with Sarah and the Med School to do a much needed blood drive. Our goal is to build stock  for Ambergris Caye in the Belize City Blood Bank, which is where the blood will be stored. Staff from the Belize Blood Bank will be in attendance with proper refrigeration system and the blood will be flown back to the mainland after the blood drive over and safely kept on reserve for the island.

The  San Pedro Belize Red Cross will be teaming up with Washington University and organizing regular quarterly Blood drives and we are encouraging both locals and tourists to participate. Did you know many places will not let you donate for a year or more after visiting Ambergris Caye due to the malaria factor? We are all to happy to receive your blood before you go,  you could help save a life one day.

For more information on donating blood while you are in Belize or how you can help this much needed ongoing effort, please contact  Sarah Thompson at 601-0345, Shirlee Arnould: 666-6144, Amy Stevenson kaplana2@yahoo.com or Laurie Norton : tacogirlbelize@gmail.com

[Featured image for this post showing on tacogirl.com courtesy of Google and Ambergris Today News Paper]

belize red cross

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Sadly I have to report last minute that this event is canceled.

Last but not least Saturday night holds an annual tradition, the San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. It starts at sundown and the boat parade route will run from Wayos Beernet south to Caribbean Villas and then back to the park – this is a route of approximately 3 miles.A good spot to catch the parade from Caprice Bar at the Holiday Hotel, this is where the judges will be hosted. This years judges have been selected and will overseen by Lara Goldman of Lemon Crush Belize.

The San Pedro Business Association are still actively seeking the support of the local business community to assist them in ensuring that this will be a successful, fun event that can be enjoyed by the many spectators on the island. They ask that any local business consider making a donation. They are seeking gift certificates and cash awards as the prizes for the Best Boat, Most Creative Boat, Most Religious boat etc receive prizes. The Mayor and Minister present lovely handmade trophies which are highly coveted.  The school Christmas Carol competition is a great hit at the Central Park Block party and this year we again enjoy the Photo with Santa Booth hosted by Saga Humane Society.

The park will be the center of activity with food, drink and gift booths offering locally made items and seasonal specialties.  Saga will decorating the stage and DJ Habo (David Marin) will be Master of Ceremonies.

So far 5 boats are signed up for the parade and there is still time for last minute charlies to get in the game.  Local businesses are offering great discounts for the boat parade participants – please check out the great variety of decorations and lighting available at Castillos Hardware, Wings and Caye Supplies.

San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade Committee would like to thank Quick Silver Messenger Service for its donation of $250, Cholos Beach Bar for $100 and Lemon Crush Belize for the donation of a wonderful gift basket filled with locally made products with a retail value of $125.

Dolphin Productions is finalizing the t-shirt designs – which will be on sale at Central Park during the event between 6pm – 9pm.

If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact the SPBA to find out how you can help to keep this annual Holiday tradition going strong.  Telephone the office at 226-2799 or email the committee at <info@sanpedrobusiness.com>

 

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2 Comments

  1. tacogirl December 6, 2013

    I Agree Emily, it is a shame. Even though I had heard participation was not as strong this year, I still surprised at last min cancellation notice from San Pedro Business Association.

    Reply
  2. Emily December 6, 2013

    I can’t get over the lighted boat parade being cancelled due to lack of participation. It has been such a big deal and such great participation in the past. We got to watch it from the deck of Caliente and were so impressed. What a shame!

    Reply

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