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Hamanasi Happenings: Tales of Belize Vacations

Pictures and stories of Belizean events and adventures from guests and staff of Hamanasi Dive and Adventure Resort in Hopkins, Belize.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Home for the Hamanasi Blog

The Hamanasi Happenings blog has a new home:

We moved to a self hosted Wordpress blog and we have a lot more control over design and features than we had here with blogger (published via ftp). We love the new look and new interface so much that we're definitely going to be publishing more updates. Check it out here and let us know what you think!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


The Organization of American States in collaboration with the Belize Tourism Board ...

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), in conjunction with the Culinary Institute of America, has been undertaking an ambitious program of training Belizean cooks to become Certified Chefs. In December 2009, 10 participants from a group of 18 passed the exam, which has afforded them the title of "Certified Culinarians". Hamanasi's very own Marcia Nunez is one of the newly certified participants! the graduates are now embarking on the Certified Chef De Cuisine Program, after which they will be come Belize's first native Certified Chefs. This certification will be conferred by the Culinary Institute of America based in New York.

Congratulations, Marcia!

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BTIA Hopkins launches Tourism Master Plan

PRESS RELEASE February 15, 2010...

Lead by BTIA Hopkins President and Hamanasi Resort General Manager, Andrew Usher, BTIA Hopkins unveiled it's agro-eco cultural tourism master plan on Friday, February 12, 2010. the plan was crafted with the assistance of the International Institute of Cooperation and Agriculture (IICA) Tourism and Agriculture Specialist, Ms. Ena Harvey, and included two months of consultations with the wider Hopkins village community.

The plan's key areas and projects seek to be realistic and representational of community needs. IICA Country Representative, Dr. Gabriel Rodriquez Marques, remarked on his pride to be able to have played a vital role in the development of the plan and formulation of a forward movement for the industry in Hopkins.

The plan focuses attention on critical issues of infrastructure, sanitation and environment, health services, security and fire service.

Andrew Usher, welcomed all invited guests and dignitaries, thanking them for their attendance, interest and partnership. He expressed the strong commitment that moving ahead will continue to employ the full participation of the entire Hopkins community. Village Council Chairman, Mr. Francis Lewis, remarked that the entire process was a welcomed one as it was a continuation of work with the partnership of the tourism community in Hopkins.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010


Imagine the big smiles and warm hearts of the staff at Hamanasi Resort when we received in the mail this beautiful hand-made quilt! There was a card inside the box, and the inscription read...

"To all the wonderful people of Hamanasi, this quilt pattern is called 'You are our Stars". I only thought it fitting to make it for all of you at Hamanasi. The colors in the quilt made me think of all the beautiful colors of Belize...Thank you again for making our trip wonderful!"

Thank you, Peggy & Byron Owen, for thinking of everyone at Hamanasi. It was truly our pleasure! This quilt now hangs proudly in our employee lunchroom as a daily reminder that each and every person makes a difference.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Garifuna Women Stand Strong in Belize!

Hamanasi Front Desk/Reservations Associate, Gilda Eligio attended a symposium for Garifuna women over the past weekend. The symposium was organized by a Christian Women's group from Minnesota, Open Doors, led by Anne Hinrichs. The group comes to Belize, specifically the Hopkins and the neighboring Garifuna villages of Seine Bight and GeorgeTown, for the purposes of ministering to women and teens about the role of women in the home, workplace, community and church, and to encourage women to be leaders and examples in all aspects of the Garifuna life. During their week-long stay, they have daily services at the church or villages to minister to the people. They also organize projects and activities to help restore hope to the less fortunate by refurbishing their homes and painting it or changing old boards to new ones so that the families can be proud. Open Doors also brings "goodies" for the children and school supplies. they walk around the villages and give donations to families that are in need. Pastor Herdie Castillo from the Hopkins Evangelical Church, Ligilisi Laureni Bungui, goes along with the group and introduces them to local families. Open Doors also follows up with each family to see how they are doing and send supplies, food and clothing to them after returning to Minnesota. The symposium and services were well-attended by the local women with more than 40 regular attendees... and crowds of children when the services are taken to the villages!

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Friday, January 22, 2010


We get SO many requests for Hamanasi's cinnamon bun recipe... so here you go, everyone! Click on the link and ENJOY!


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Wednesday, December 9, 2009


World's Top 10 Ethical Destinations Revealed

BERKELEY, Calif., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Are you the kind of traveler who wants to have a great time AND feel good about where your travel budget is going? Ethical Traveler's new report, "The World's Best Ethical Destinations," identifies the 10 countries in the developing world that are best protecting their natural environments, promoting responsible travel, and building a tourism industry which provides real benefits to local communities.

"There's no doubt that worldwide interest in mindful, responsible travel is growing - not only among travelers, but within the countries that host us," says Jeff Greenwald, executive director of Ethical Traveler and co-author of the report. "Now is the perfect time for savvy travelers and well-intentioned governments to evolve together, each encouraging the other. This is especially true in the developing world, where travel and tourism can be developed as lucrative, low-impact alternatives to forestry, mining, and the destruction of ocean habitats."
In alphabetical order, the best ethical travel destinations for 2010 are:

South Africa

"In drafting our report, we use scores of information sources -- including publicly available data -- to rate each country's genuine commitment to environmental protection, social welfare and human rights," says Christy Hoover, co-author of the report. "Data sources include the United Nations Development Program, Human Rights Watch, Columbia University, Reporters Without Borders, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and many others. Private interviews with NGO leaders are part of the process, as well."