san pedro town

CD Eating Fungus in Belize and How to Save Your Cart From Salt

I noticed a few of my CD’s suddenly developed transparent squiggly lines on the surface. In the picture below you can see how it started at the outer edge, and was spreading as it devoured parts of the thin aluminum. I was not interested in any household science experiment involving fungus, so I trashed the CD and opted for some research instead.

I Googled the term “CD eating mold” and it brought me right back to Belize. This is not a new phenomenon; the articles I read were dated back to 2001. The first one said researchers in Spain discovered a fungus that eats holes in compact discs and corrupts the information stored in them. They went onto say that after visiting Belize in Central America, Victor Cardenes of Madrid’s National Museum of Natural Sciences, found one of his CD’s discolored, transparent and unreadable. The next one I read was a BBC news article with similar information, citing the fungus which belongs to the common Geotrichum family was brought back from the Central American country of Belize. They also reported many e-mails were sent from Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala describing similar cases of a strange fungus eating CD’s that thrives in tropical heat and humidity.

belize weather
CD rendered useless due to tropical climate.

Another thing to consider is electronics care. I know some people who have set air conditioned spaces for all their important electronics gear and they keep it stored well to help it last longer. Since we do not use air con much at our house, one of my solutions to help our router (which can get very hot) was to raise it up a bit so that air could circulate underneath it and help it stay a bit cooler.

belize internet
Router raised on crystal caps to keep air circulating underneath.

This next bit of info is for our island vehicle owners; preventative maintenance goes a long way to helping your cart or other wheeled vehicles last longer. We all know that salt is a major contributor to rust and corrosion, and has a direct effect on a vehicle’s shelf life. I am taking that one step further for those living on Ambergris Caye, or thinking about it.

If you look at the first picture below, you will see one of the canals that leads out to the lagoon. This is where they get the spray water to keep the dust down. While the salt water spray does keeps things looking cleaner, it also mixes with the dirt and becomes a new kind of hazard, as it collects on the surface and underneath your vehicle. Not only can this cause rusting and corrosion which can have a negative impact on the mechanics, it can also be harmful your golf cart’s finish.

Make a habit of washing your vehicle once a week, especially if you drive on back roads like the truck in picture number two. This will help clean off the salt air and dust, as well as stop build up which can happen all too fast.

If you do not have the time or the inclination to do it yourself, I have seen a few reasonably priced guys with power washers on the island. Set up a routine wash schedule with one, you and your wheels will be glad you did. You could also show a local kid how to do a proper cart wash. Not only will you be teaching them how to care for things, you will be giving them a sense of responsibility and a way to earn some spending money.

san pedro town
This is where the water comes from that they use to spray down the roads and keep the dust down.
driving in belize
Salt mixed with the road sand and can cause faster corrosion on vehicles.

Worldwide kids are now happily enjoying Easter vacation and time off from school. The picture below shows some Belize kids enjoying time in their new pool on their veranda. I was so glad to see that versus the site I saw in my friend Dick’s backyard a while back, which was kids being allowed to take a dip in the canal; such an unsafe idea due to crocodiles.

easter in belize
What Easter vacation looks like in our neighborhood.

I knew this next picture would hit home when I posted it on tacogirl Facebook page this afternoon, and sure enough, the fruit man is popular with the ladies, as you can see by the following comments:

  • Martha Gibson: I miss that man. He used to ride by the house everyday.
  • Lisa Lee: I love to buy from vendors like that! First saw them when I went to Colombia. 
san pablo belize
Fresh fruit cart traveling through San Pablo area.

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