First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pick Up

This is Belize: Looking a bit more like the Paradise we always imagined

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Look, Ma! No trash! A rare and joyful sight on Ambergris Caye, after yesterday's First Friday trash cleanup.
Look, Ma! No trash! A rare and joyful sight on Ambergris Caye, after yesterday’s First Friday trash cleanup.

Moppit and I walked to Ak’Bol and back this morning and for the first time in a long time this always beautiful walk dazzled me.

And I know why, too.

Not only is the shoreline almost completely recovered from Hurricane Earl but the beaches are as full and lush as I’ve ever seen them.

But, most noticeably, THERE IS NO TRASH TO BE SEEN. This is a rare and incredible sight because even the most charming sections of beach up here are usually littered with plastic refuse and bottles. I urge you to take a walk north from the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge as far as you can up the beach. Read the rest of this entry »

This is Belize: Last sunrise of 2016, first sunset of 2017 and stuff in between — some fake, some real

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Last sunrise of 2016 on Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Last sunrise of 2016 on Ambergris Caye, Belize.

The last sunrise on Ambergris Caye for 2016 was a real beauty. A diaphanous gold, like spun cotton candy, filled the air out to the reef as an early morning sun shower cleansed us, washed away this most unusual year.

Happy New Year to you all! May your every dream find its path to fulfillment in 2017.

Thanks to the recent addition of Moppit to the household, sunrises are becoming a daily thing. In pre-Moppit days, I would awaken at a civilized hour and think, “Wow. That must have been a nice sunrise. Maybe tomorrow.” Read the rest of this entry »

When the power goes out on Ambergris Caye, the feet start walking

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Walking north through Tres Cocos, this property (a couple of residences, actually) is a real success story -- albeit an expensive one. A year ago, the water extended to the dock ramp and where you see sand now, there was a thick layer of stinky sargassum seaweed.  Tons of the stuff were pulled off the beach but keeping up with it was impossible. Now a stone wall and tons of fresh sand hold back the seaweed and keep it moving south with the current.
Walking north through Tres Cocos, this property (a couple of residences, actually) is a real success story — albeit an expensive one. A year ago, the water extended to the dock ramp and where you see sand now, there was a thick layer of stinky sargassum seaweed. Tons of the stuff were pulled off the beach but keeping up with it was impossible. Now a stone wall and tons of fresh sand hold back the seaweed and keep it moving south with the current.

True to its word, Belize Electric Ltd. (BEL) shut down the entire island’s electricity at 6 a.m. Saturday morning for some maintenance projects.

I suppose that sounds a little strange to you, my First World family and friends, but that is how things are done here. When something is taken off-line for repairs, the whole island goes black. I guess we just don’t have the redundancy systems that would allow them to bypass a transformer, feeder, substation or whatever.

By BEL does have a Facebook alert system and the utility posted warnings as early as Friday about the shutdown.

So, you adjust, roll with it and move on. Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s to living a trashy life in San Pedro, Belize

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Our mighty Saturday morning crew from the Phoenix Resort, plus San Pedro Councilwoman Flora Ancona. The Angela Maya saying on the wall of the Blue Water grill is: "
Our mighty Saturday morning cleanup crew from the Phoenix Resort, plus San Pedro Councilwoman Flora Ancona. The Maya Angelou quote behind us on the wall of the Blue Water grill is: “Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better,  do better.”

There are so many great things to do here on Ambergris Caye and I don’t think picking up other people’s trash is high up on anyone’s list.

And yet, many of us do find ourselves doing exactly that from time to time.

I’ve written so often about the First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pick-up group that you might think that’s all I do. Truth is, I am quite fond of this bunch. They are neighbors and friends and island visitors who willingly give up some time to make the first stretch north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge look nice, for a day or two.

It doesn’t last but we keep coming out swinging . . .  swinging out trash sticks and garbage bags. Read the rest of this entry »

Just a whole lot of great people showing some #islandlove today

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The First Friday Roadside Cleanup crew is about to begin --- redubbed the Second Friday crew because, seriously, who would have wanted to pick up trash on the mornng after New Year's Eve?
The First Friday Roadside Cleanup crew is about to begin — re-dubbed the Second Friday crew because, seriously, who would have wanted to pick up trash on the morning after New Year’s Eve? Above, Sue Blair (left) addresses the troops before some head north, some head to the shore and the rest start at the bridge (background) and work our way up the road.

Road trip: It is crazy wonderful how many people showed up this morning to pick up roadside and beach trash north of the bridge on Ambergris Caye today! Certainly our hard-core regulars were out in force. And so many folks were here for the first time.

Including the drone.

That’s right. We had a drone filming us as we picked up trash! Read the rest of this entry »

Holy Cross kids join our monthly trash attack

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First Friday gang assembles for our traditional pre-trash pickup picture. Not that is how you attack trash! Students from nearby Holy Cross Anglican School swelled our ranks today.
First Friday gang assembles for our traditional pre-trash pickup picture. Not that is how you attack trash! Students from nearby Holy Cross Anglican School swelled our ranks today. That is their school in the background.

They came, they saw, they picked up trash.

I’m talking about 100-plus kids from Holy Cross Anglican School here in San Mateo who joined our growing band of First Friday Roadside Cleanup volunteers yesterday.

As we gathered in front of the Paradise Cinema, as we have on first Fridays for half a year now, the students came walking out of the nearby school, one form at a time. Soon we had three grades, eagerly grabbing rubber gloves and black plastic trash bags. Read the rest of this entry »

Trash talkin’ on Ambergris Caye in Belize

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Our First Friday crew, gathering for the traditional group shot just before we hit the street and beach in the Tres Cocos neighborhood of Ambergris Caye.
Our First Friday crew waves our new trash pick-up sticks as we gather for the traditional group shot around one of the new trash barrels, just before we hit the street and beach in the Tres Cocos neighborhood of Ambergris Caye on November 6, 2015.

Mary Wells, a Houston real estate agent, and her family came to San Pedro recently in search of a second home. They brought a dozen trash sticks with them to donate to our First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pickup group.

Ironically — and sadly — they chose to take a pass on Belize as their second home. It was, in Mary’s words, just too dirty. Trash everywhere. Read the rest of this entry »

First Friday of the month means time for some island love in Tres Cocos

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After two hours picking up trash in the broiling sun, why is this group smiling? Island love, for sure as well as iced coffee and cookies from Marbucks and chilled and scented washcloths from Pilates by Rose sure help.
After two hours picking up trash in the broiling sun, why is this group smiling? Island love, for sure as well as iced coffee and cookies from Marbucks and chilled and scented washcloths from Pilates by Rose sure help.

It is a new month and a first Friday has come and gone and if you live north of the bridge on Ambergris Caye, you know what that means: There is less trash on the side of the road.

Our monthly project, First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pickup, is yielding some real dividends. Read the rest of this entry »