November 2014

Education And Information Center

Heredia Speaks on Education And Information Center

Updated: November 27, 2014

manuel herediaThe Xunantunich Education and information center was opened today at a special ceremony.  Correspondent Elaine Berry was there and has the details.


“The opening of Xunantunich Education and Information Center was held this morning at the Xunantunich Archeological Site in the village of Succotz in the Cayo District, a project that was funded by the European Union and the Government of Belize. Opening remarks were done by Dr. John Morris, Director of the Institute of Archeology, Kevin Gonzales of the Belize Tourism Board and representatives from the European Union Technical Support Office. Minister of Tourism, Culture and Aviation Manuel Heredia Junior delivered the main address. Love news spoke to Minister Heredia about the Education and Information Center.”


“There were nine archeological sites that were targeted under the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archeological Sites and we have been at Altun Ha, we are now here today opening this education center which will facilitate our archeologists to be able to train over here. We can also do training for tour operators, tour guides, students some local and abroad. So I see this as a huge opportunity that not only are we taking advantage of the archeological sites, the temple and everything that we have over here but also to be able to educate our own and educate tourists as to the importance of why we have the archeological sites.”


“Following the ceremony, the unveiling of the plaque and ribbon cutting took place which was done by the minister and a representative from the European Union. A tour of the education center took place followed by a tour of the different archeological sites. Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archeological Sites.”

Belize Training & Employment Centre Prepares Belizeans for work

Energy Efficient Sugarcane Bio-Electricity Plant to Reduce Belize’s Dependence on Imported Electricity

In a bid to address the energy shortage affecting the country, GSR Energy Limited (GSR) fully developed a project, a sugarcane bio-electricity plant and a bio-ethanol distillery in Belize, which will produce electricity for domestic use and ethanol for export.

Belize boasts an excellent electrification rate with the national grid reaching 90% of its population. However the country is highly dependent on Mexico to meet their energy needs – with up to 75% of dispatchable electricity being imported. GSR’s mission is to build and operate the most energy efficient and cost effective bio-refinery possible which will relieve Belize of this energy dependency and help secure the electricity grid.

By creating an energy efficient bio-refinery, GSR will have the means to produce 25.4 MW (203 GWh) per year of dispatchable electricity (88% of the electricity currently being supplied from Mexico) and 30.8 million gallons of ethanol per year, a percentage of which will be used for sale in the export market, whilst the electricity would be sold to the national grid for a much lower and more stable price than the customers currently pay.

To ensure they have enough sugarcane to use as a raw material to fuel the plant, GSR is working with the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) and sugarcane seedling developers who have agreed to provide seedlings to local farmers. GSR will then buy the sugarcane grown by these farmers for use in their bio-refinery, creating job opportunities in the area. Local farmers own sufficient land and will utilize the best sugarcane management practices to maintain and manage the demand with a 5-year ratoon (replanting) cycle so as not to impoverish the land.

Farmers within the Mennonite community in Belize have set up a co-op and expressed intent in participating in the project by planting and selling the sugarcane to GSR. Their proposal is to partner with GSR and to plant 40,000 acres of sugarcane for the project. In addition GSR has partnered with a Brazilian Engineering Firm, Uni-Systems do Brazil, for the design, Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) and operations of the Bio-Refinery.

Since winning the IDEAS2 Energy Innovation Contest, GSR has used the grant funds to carry out 12 pre-construction optimization studies for both the bio-refinery and the supply chain. They include; identification of the best site for connection to the Central American Grid, expected electricity demand, the best options and conditions for selling the ethanol as well as the supply chain management and logistics issues involved in executing this Project. Additional growth opportunities were also identified, and as a result, the bio-refinery has been designed and will be built to allow for optimum growth and expansion.

GVEP has been providing GSR with business and strategic support to make the project bankable. Preliminary discussions have already taken place between GSR and some potential regional and international investors.

‘This project will make a huge difference to the communities in Belize, as well as creating stable income for farmers involved in the sugar cane supply chain. The provision of electricity at a lower rate than many currently have to pay will have a significant impact on household budgets.’ Explains Leighton Waterman, County Manager, GVEP Caribbean.

GSR’s Belize Bio-Refinery Project was selected as one of the top three projects at the CAFCEF Finals on October 22, 2014 in Antigua, Guatemala.

Continue reading “Energy Efficient Sugarcane Bio-Electricity Plant to Reduce Belize’s Dependence on Imported Electricity”

Financial Stability Board to propose stricter capital rules for global banks

The Financial Stability Board, a panel made up of central bankers, finance officials and top regulators from the world’s largest economies, plans to announce proposals Monday that would double the amount of money that large banks would be required to have on hand to absorb losses, reports New York Times.

The purpose of the new rules, which would not take effect until 2019 at the earliest, is to curtail risk-taking and protect taxpayers from having to bail out large banks in times of crisis, as happened on a grand scale during the financial crisis in 2008.


The new proposals, which have been hinted at for several weeks, aim to shift the burden of bank failures so that it falls more squarely on bank investors and the banks themselves. But the proposals are certain to face stiff opposition from the banking industry, which is likely to argue that the rules would force banks to curb lending, hurting economic growth. Banks and other interested groups have until Feb. 2 to submit comments on the rules.

The rules would allow large banks to be shut down “without recourse to public subsidy and without disruption to the wider financial system,” Mark J Carney, the governor of the Bank of England and chairman of the Financial Stability Board, said in a statement.

The rules would apply only to so-called global systemically important banks — banks that are so big and interconnected that their problems can create economic and financial havoc. Banks in emerging markets would initially be exempt from the rules.

If adopted, the rules would probably have the most impact on lenders like Deutsche Bank in Germany or BNP Paribas in France, which use a high proportion of borrowed money to do business. These banks might need to divert profit or sell new shares to raise more capital, or else jettison some of their most risky activities. Continue reading “Financial Stability Board to propose stricter capital rules for global banks”

PADF Youth-Focused Entrepreneurship Program Launches First Group of Micro-Businesses in Belize City


Hearly G. Mayr
Director of Communications and Public Affairs | work: 202.458.6180 | cell: 202.280.3846

Belize City, Belize (November 6, 2014)The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) announces the official launch of two micro-businesses under the second phase of the Youth Engagement Services Project (YES!), a program that targets youth who have limited opportunities in order to support youth-initiated micro and small businesses that increase access to jobs and encourage entrepreneurship in Belize City.

The program, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Belize, is building on other services to complement ongoing activities by providing youth from marginal areas the essential elements of technical training and business advisory services so they can succeed in the labor market.

During Phase I, participants completed a 12-week tailored training program in entrepreneurship through SBDCBelize, under the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE). Youth participants received training on start-up and improved business tactics and business plan development in order to be prepared to start their own business or improve an existing one. Under Phase II participants submitted business plans for review by a Business
Launch Group comprised of private sector panelists. Following this process, four of the 10 business plans submitted received seed funding.

On November 6, 2014 two of the businesses were officially launched during an event attended by the Representative of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Belize, Mr. Starret Greene; Sr. Business Advisor at SBDCBelize, Mr. Omar Castillo; Business Advisor at SBDCBelize, Ms. Gabriela Del Angel; Sr. Programs Director at PADF, Ms. Caterina Valero; and Project Director in Belize, Ms. Minerva Pinelo. The grantees are Ms. Reyna Ramos and Mr. Channing Garoy from Mayflower Street and North-Creek Road, respectively.

Ms. Ramos’ business goal is to expand her home food vending micro business with support from the YES! Program through Elt’s Grocery Store, an establishment located in her neighborhood. She plans to offer local snacks, beverages, stationeries and toiletries. Her greatest motivation is to ensure a stable future for her 6-year old son. She also plans to begin saving money to continue her education as she has completed only the first two years of undergraduate studies at a local community college.

With support from YES! the second grantee, Mr. Garoy, plans to expand his existing frozen drink micro business by marketing a local sweet frozen drink known as “ideals” and selling it under the brand name “Milky Squeez Ideals”. Mr. Garoy, who created the business in partnership with his mother, expects to start meeting growing demand by investing in cold storage equipment, transportation (bicycle and eventually a cart), and sealer materials for optimum packaging. The product, which is a result of experimenting with local flavors such as bananas, peanuts, and papaya, is currently being sold at a local hardware business where Mr.Garoy’s mother works.

About PADF

PADF is the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American States, established in 1962 to implement integral socio-economic development programs for disadvantaged people, to strengthen civil society and community groups in support of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and to aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In 2013, it helped more than 10.2 million people in 22 countries. Headquartered in Washington DC, PADF has field offices in Haiti, Colombia, Suriname, Honduras, and Belize, and projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

For more information on program details, and other issues, please contact:

Minerva Pinelo
Project Director

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