“Hamanasi Green Team Makes Presence on Cacao Chocolate Festival 2013″

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Members of the Hamanasi Green Team took time out of their busy schedules to attend this year’s annual Cacao Chocolate festival. It was a 3 day event and the finale took place at the central plaza of Lubaantun San Pedro Columbia in Toledo district on May 26th, 2013. The participants were: Juan Tun, Chalita Salam, Suzet Matute, Chris Che, Martin Carr, Therese Roches, Jackie Gamboa, Audrey MaCaulay (cashier) and Francine Matute (organizer).

Our Green Team love to get out there and create awareness about our environment. They set up a stall bursting with information about Lionfish and the threat that it has on the reef, Hamanasi organic gardening, Composting, Vermin-culture and of course they are always handy with some green tips. IMG_3740

Prizes were given out to all the people that visited and participated with answering specific eco-friendly questions. There was Lionfish ceviche and coconut water for sale. They had a very successful day.

“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ January 2013″

“Exceptional without hampering an excellent vacation experience!”

Scott and Judith Lindquist, Minneapolis, MN

“Everything is top-notch here! One of the finest places we’ve ever stayed.”

Gary and Carol Gibbs, Elgin, IA

“I don’t think we could have thought of a better honeymoon if we tried! Fabulous trip.”

Corey and Kelly Gurkovich, Silver Spings, MD

“Our entire family had a fantastic time. Thank you to each staff member for creating such a warm, relaxing atmosphere.”

Robert Schussman and Family, Orinda, CA

“We enjoyed the eco-friendly nature of the facility; also the emphasis upon local sustainability.”

Greg and Tammy Clifton, Telluride, CO

“How in the world do you remember all the guest names? Nice people – personal touch.”

Darline Darr and Anne Croghan, Seattle, WA

“Wonderful staff, very personal (knew our names), attentive, responsible, conscientious, well trained, try very hard; you should be proud of them.”

Gordon Radley and Amy Fable

“Excellent service – very thoughtful, accommodating and friendly. Went out of the way to make our stay enjoyable.”

Zaid Haider and Aakanksha Pande, Washington, DC

“It was amazing! Everyone was so wonderful, couldn’t be better!”

Jason Pokorny and Family, Thiensville WI

“It was un…Belize…able!”

Barbara Sullivan, La Grange, IL

“Service was perfect – can’t think of anything to improve upon.”

Kristin and Andrew Tennessen

 

 

“Hamanasi Takes Home The Taste of Belize Cake Decorator & Master Chef 2012 Awards”

December 1st was a big night for Hamanasi as 3 of our staff members competed in the Belize Tourism Board’s “Taste of Belize” event held in the Cayo District. This competition determines the best chef, cake decorator and bartender in Belize. Hamanasi’s chefs took home 2 of the coveted prizes and our bartender came in second! The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia opened the event, which consisted of 3 different competitions, Cake Decorating, Bartending and Master Chef for 2012. The evening kicked off with Hamanasi’s very own Executive Chef Sheridan Polanco creating an absolute masterpiece. The cake, which had a Mayan theme in honor of Maya 2012, took her just under 3 hours to decorate and won her the title of Belize’s Cake Decorator of the Year. Her inspiration was the Mayan chocolate fruit also known as “Black Sapote” which she tied into the whole story of the Mayan calendar and the history of the Mayan traditions here in Belize. Yum!! (Chef Sheridan image courtesy of San Ignacio Hotel)

The second event featured three bartenders competing for the title of Belize’s Top Bartender. Hamanasi’s “mixologist” Mark Jacobs invented 3 outstanding cocktails. The first was a Belizean Beauty, second was The Energizer and finally he wowed the crowd with his Monkey Business Creation. The final challenge was a mystery box in which he only had a few minutes to create a drink with Craboo Cream and Traveller Bitters. The result was the tangy Belizean Stinger. Mark earned second place in the competition!

The third and final event saw chefs countrywide going head to head for the title of Master Chef. The challenge: cook three meals with four mystery ingredients in one hour. After preparing a full meal made with all the mystery ingredients the panel of four judges chose Hamanasi Chef Marcia Nuñez as Belize’s Master Chef for 2012! The first elimination round was an appetizer, where Chef Marcia made a Zucchini & Sardine fritter sprinkled with a watermelon salsa. The second challenge was the main entrée. This time she created a delicious pan-fried pork chop and hibiscus cilantro potatoes drizzled with a papaya, cashew & white wine sauce. This put her into the top two ending the final challenge with dessert. This time Chef Marcia made a bacon, peanut & cream cheese wrap served with a stout reduction. Chef Marcia exclaimed, “I was so happy to win! I enjoy cooking and love to experiment with food and create new dishes filled with flavour.” And we love to eat your food, Marcia! Well done. (Chef Marcia and Bartender Mark images courtesy of The San Pedro Sun)

Hamanasi congratulates Chef Marcia, Chef Sheridan and Bartender Mark for competing well in Taste of Belize 2012. We hope to share their delicious creations with you!

“The Garifuna People of Hopkins”

During the 1600′s, several slave ships were wrecked off the coast of St. Vincent, an island in the southern Caribbean.  The Africans who had been aboard soon found the Island Carib Indians, who inhabited St. Vincent and several nearby islands.  In defense of their land and freedom, Africans joined with Indians and the Garinagu culture was born.

By the early 1700′s the Garinagu population began to predominate the islands.  For years, equipped with muskets and ammunitions, they successfully defended the island of St. Vincent from European encroachment. In a final eventful battle however, the Garinagu were defeated, rounded up, and deported on a hired ship called ‘Experiment’ to the island of Roatan, off the coast of Honduras. It is from this island location, under the leadership of the now legendary Alejo Beni, that they made their way up the coast to Belize, which was called British Honduras at the time.

Between the years 1832 – 1900, the Garinagu made several settlements along the coast of Belize. Today, the Garinagu are known to be people whose main livelihoods surround the natural abundance of the sea and diverse coastal ecosystems. The Garinagu communities of Belize are primarily located in the south, in the beautiful seaside villages of Barranco, Sein Bite, Georgetown and our very own Hopkins. Dangriga Town is the largest community, and is often referred to by locals as the ‘culture capital of Belize’.

In 1941 Thomas Vincent Ramos founded Garifuna Settlement Day and began the celebration in Dangriga. By 1943 it had spread to include the southernmost district of Toledo and was declared a public and bank holiday in the south.  It was not until 1977 that the Government declared Garifuna Settlement Day a public holiday throughout the country of Belize.  Today, November 19th is celebrated by hundreds of Belizeans, in Garinagu settlements countrywide, with cultural drumming, singing and sunrise re-enactments of the boats arriving on shore. Like many other cultures in Belize, the Garinagu has maintained the integrity of their native tongue by raising the younger generations to proudly speak their language. Their language is called ‘Garifuna’.

This idyllic little village of Hopkins is quickly becoming the cultural center of the Garinagu population. The vile was created in 1942 to replace the village of Newtown, which was devastated by a hurricane further up the coast.  Hopkins consists of approximately 1’000 villagers, and is separated into two parts; the Northside (Baila) and the Southside (False Sittee). It is surrounded to the west by the majestic Maya Mountains and the lush Cockscomb Range, and to its east, by the Caribbean Sea. The people have traditionally lived from farming and fishing, but more recently have found work in the growing tourism industry. The residents are known for their friendliness and genuine hospitality, and welcome visitors to their village. Hopkins was recently voted “The Friendliest Village in Belize” by Belize First Magazine, and Destination of the Year 2010 by the Belize Tourism Board. Hopkins has a selection of gift shops, restaurants and small bars.

 

“Hamanasi Guest Book – August 2011″

Below is a selection of comments from guests at Hamanasi this August.  From the Hamanasi staff to all our guests this last month, thanks for coming and we hope you had a great time and we can’t wait to have you back!

“The service was the best we’ve ever experienced at any resort.”

Brian and Marybeth White, Louisville, KY

“Your people are the reason why we are talking about coming back.  I have been around the world and your staff is the best of the best.  If you stick to your current standards and philosophy you can’t go wrong.

Cameron and Andrew Jeter, Chicago, IL

“Every staff member was EXCELLENT!”

John and Claire Warren, Pearland, TX

“Keep up the personnel attention. Thank you for the perfect honeymoon.”

Zachary and Joanne  Koops, Harrison Burg, VA

“Stay small and service oriented. Staying at Hamanasi was like being with an extension of family! Everyone remembers your name from the first time they meet you.  Very impressive!”

Herbert Sharp and Family, Chandler, TX

“Service was top-notch!!”  Thank you for an amazing unforgettable trip!”

Sarina and Phyllis Meissel, New York, NY

“A wonderful resort that is a hidden treasure!’

Allison Thompson, Orinda, CA

“We had a truly wonderful time and the staff was wonderful.”

Joel Palesfsky, Redwood city, CA

“We had a wonderful visit – thanks so much for your hospitality.”

Craig Early and family, Durham, NH

“Hamanasi Resort Mother’s Day Dinner Menu 2011″

Photo by Sylvie Marrese

Photo by Sylvie Marrese

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sunday, May 9th, 2011

Bread

Roasted Pumpkin Bread

Soup

Corn and Potato Chowder with Crispy Bacon

Special Salad

Mango-Arugula Salad with Orange Citrus Dressing

Entrees

Chiya and vegetable tamales wrapped in fresh banana leaves

 

Bacon wrapped lamb chops topped with chunky salsa verde sprinkled with crumbled bleu cheese served with mint couscous

 

Linguinne tossed with succulent shrimp, white wine, broccoli, carrots and red chili flakes

 

Marinated grilled chicken breast with mango-watermelon-jalapeno salsa served with spinach and plantain frittata

Special Dessert

Strawberry Cheesecake Dream

 

Hamanasi Guest Book – January 2011

“All staff went the extra mile to provide the best service.”

Nancy Moore and Shannon Stanford, Apex, NC

“Keep it up ~ all prior guest comments about guest service were totally validated!”

Jason and Laura Glickman, Chicago, IL

“Hamanasi is the best ~ we felt like royalty!”

Betty Jacobs and Family, Brunswick, Maine

“Everyone as wonderful.  Resort and hotels tend to be wasteful, it was refreshing to see Hamanasi take the time to be eco-friendly.”

Haley and Darren Duquette, Jericho, VT

“All were very impressive and personable!”

John and Tim Dipietropolo, West Palm Beach, FL

“Keep on smiling!”

Laura and Kreyne Sato, Lafayette, CA

“We would recommend Hamanasi to anyone we know.  Overall ~ 1st rate experience.”

Julia and Denis Erlich, Orient, NY

“Everyone is excellent. Impressed with their knowing of names and friendliness!”

Joanne Dearth and Family, London

“Everyone who we met was very helpful.  You couldn’t have done better!”

Melinda and Sally Pullen, Chandler, AZ

“Great job on the eco-friendly efforts.  They are very worthwhile… such a beautiful and peaceful place.”

Kathy Brant and family, Cumberland, MD

“The staff was very organized and very knowledgeable about all the aspects of the resort!”

Thomas and Cathy Gibbs, Glen Ellyn, IL

Hamanasi “Clean Success” Part 1

“Community Cleanup in Hopkins Village”

Making our community a more beautiful place to live, work, and play is  our number one goal.  Hamanasi Green Team along with some volunteers from Hopkins village all came together on Saturday, January 30th for a comm–unity cleanup.  We started at the basketball court where we collected over 9 30 gallon bags of general garbage such as plastic, paper, wood sticks and fruit peels.

We all then walked down to Mrs. Bertie Library were we picked up all the garbage that was around the area and on the      street sides.   Our last stop was cleaning the area around the community center.  Total bags gathered after cleaning the 3 mention places were 15 bags.  Hamanasi provided transportation, biodegradable trash bags, gloves, water and snacks for the volunteers.

Thanks to a united effort, the cleanup was a huge success that all of us can be proud of!

“Hamanasi together with Hopkins School introducing children to Belizean History.”

On January, 27th 2011, Hamanasi sponsored a field trip to the Serpon Sugar Mill Reserve for the standard one class at Holy Family Primary school from Hopkins. “Field Trip! Woo hoo!”  was the reaction of Ms Johnson’s 22 students when she announced that they were going to go on a Class Trip. The excitement in their voices yet cannot be imitated. This is the same class which we have been working with for Christy Boyd Pen Pal Project.

Golden and Emiliano along with Mr. Woodeye, the ranger from Serpon Reserve conducted the tour where we all learnt about the sugar mill and it’s history. It is Belize’s first historical reserve established by the National Institute for Architecture and History.  Hidden in the jungle, one mile in on the access road to the village of Sittee River, is the important landmark in Belize’s colonial history.  It is the remnants of the steam powered Serpon Sugar Mill which was established in 1865, and marked the start of Belize’s industrial era.  The mill was bought by William Bowman and it, along with the Regalia, bought and owned by an American, fueled Belize’s economy for about thirty years.

Estimates are that at its peak, the Serpon Sugar Mill was producing and shipping 1,700 pounds of sugar a month.  In the late 19th century, Serpon was a technological marvel with its main crusher, boiler, beam engine, furnace, and hot air exchanger – all powered by steam.  That was a breakthrough when compared to the manual process used previously by the Mestizos and Mayans.

We also learnt about the medicinal trees and plants within the reserve and how they can locally be used.  Many birds were seen, including the Vermilion Fly Catcher and 4 Keeled-billed Toucan, our national bird of Belize.  The school children were all much exited to also see many of the Spiny Tailed iguanas from a very close range.

Once again we are happy and thankful to be working with the young students from the Holy Family Hopkins School and being able to introduce the young generation to the wonders that we have to offer in this beautiful country of ours.

Hamanasi Guest Book – December 2010

Wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous 2011.  A warm “Thank you”  to all our December 2010 guest!  From the Hamanasi staff to all our guest this month, thanks for coming and we hope you had a great time and we can’t wait to have you back!

“All  your staff member are a credit to your organization.  In this day and age companies have forgotten what the meaning of service represents.  You have found the secret to a successful business model/plan.   Keep up what you are doing.  It works and thank you for a great vacation.”

Hank and Linda Herdt,  York,  ME

“Awesome job done by all!!!”

Jill and RJ Wilhelm, Tecumesh, ON

“A beautiful place through and through! Very impressive work being done here.  Continue setting a great example.”

Daniel and Dave Cremons,  Minneapolis,  MN

“Great staff.  Each and everyone always ready with a smile.  They made you feel special in their lives.  Don’t every let it change.  Best vacation we’ve had.”

Shawn and Tommy Boyd,  Genoa, CO

“All the staff were fabulous and very service oriented, not a weak player amongst any of the people we came in contact with!!

Bret Walters and Family, Ontario, ON

“It was heaven!”

Hayden and Alysia Sample,  Garden Grove, CA

“Everybody was so engaging, upbeat, patient, sweet and articulate.”

Karl and Jane Sabo, Deerfield, MA

“Beautiful resort, exceeded expectations.  Staff is awesome!”

Joe and Patricia Masarek, Roswell, GA

“The Hamanasi team is simply the best!!!  They care about you and want you to truly enjoy yourself.  I was part of the family.”

L. H., Frisco, TX

“This is my 6th Belize dive adventure in the past 18 years and my best ALL around experience.”

Pat and Britt Moore, Ashland, OR

“Kudos to the owners for maintaining as much integrity for the land and her people as they can! Keep up the great job.  We so appreciate the time, effort and thoughtfulness for planning out what Hamanasi has done here.”

Terry and Nancy Borden, Lone, WA

“It felt like a week in paradise.  The wedding package offered was perfect for what we wanted.”

Parron Family,  Cape Girardeau, MO

“It was a fantastic experience that was even better than I thought it could be.”

Alex and Lana Rich,  Morrisville, NC

“Don’t grow – you are perfect!”

Kim Corbin-Lewis and Family, Logan, UT

“This was one of the best managed hotels I have ever been to.  Everyone was great.”

Kurt Kautz and Family, Lodi, CA

“Keep doing what you are doing already.  Very relaxing atmosphere, very cordial and fun to stay here at Hamanasi.”

Richard and Justin Lynch, Anchorage, AK

“Everyone was so friendly and helpful.  The staff all tried to remember our names.  The food was great and tours were amazing.”

Andrew and Christina Ehrhard,  Old Town, ME

“We loved this place.  Everything was great.”

Sarah and Chad Teachout, Dallas, TX