The Hopkins Kite Festival Flies High in Belize!

The Hopkins Kite Festival was a huge success Saturday!  Kids of all ages had a great time and enjoyed the prizes of backpacks and school supplies donated by guests of Hamanasi.  Congratulations to all of the participants and winners for excellent work on the creative and beautiful kites of the day.  If you’re traveling to Hamanasi soon, you can bring new or gently used backpacks for our “Backpack Project”.   The backpacks are put to great use!

-the Hamanasi “Green Team”

Hamanasi's Audrey McCaulay hands out backpacks as prizes! Beautiful!

Hamanasi Award Winning Cook is Now Certified Culinarian

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!

BTIA Hopkins Launches Tourism Master Plan

Belize Tourism Industry Association LogoAndrew at BTIA

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.

Belize Named World "Top 10 Ethical Destination"!

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.”

Unsung Heroes Award In Belize!

Nurse Judy - Belize Unsung Hero

Two very special Belizeans have been selected as national finalists in the 2009 First Caribbean International Bank’s Unsung Heroes Competition. Nurse Judith Cuellar-Krieg and Paul Bradley were recognized at a ceremony held Wednesday , October 21, 2009at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel, Belize City.
“Nurse Judy”, as she is affectionately known, runs the Equity House Clinic in Hopkins Village. She was born and raised in Belize City but moved to the USA to make a life for herself in the field of nursing. Five years ago, the Registered Critical Care Nurse moved to Hopkins along with her husband and young daughter to retire… but duty called. There was a need for medical care in the area and that is when Nurse Judy sprang into action and opened Equity House which provides healthcare to residents of Hopkins and the surrounding villages. Nurse Judy doesn’t have working hours; she is on call all day and all night. She is the “go to” person for us here at Hamanasi Resort! But Judith says that doesn’t make her a hero. She says she is just doing what comes naturally and what her mom, who also was a nurse, taught her. She also works closely with the doctors and nurses at the Southern Regional Hospital, the Ministry of Health and the community she serves.
The two local finalists will now compete in the Regional Unsung Heroes Competition against finalists in all the other countries and territories in which the bank operates. The region winner will be announced in December.
Congratulations and Good Luck to our very own Nurse Judy!!!

Marcia (Hamanasi Resort Chef) wins "Taste of Belize" Award!

The Belize Tourism Board held its 8th Annual Taste of Belize Culinary Competition on Saturday, August 29, at the Old Belize Adventure Park. “Taste of Belize” is Belize’s signature culinary competition’ geared at developing the Culinary Arts in Belize. The competition included 12 professional chefs, 5 young professional chefs, 9 bartenders, 5 cake decorators and an audience of over 700 attendees.   Competitors in all categories were expected to create a unique dish using his/her choice of ingredients.  This dish could have been an appetizer, main dish or dessert and should have reflected Belizean or regional cuisine.  Marcia Nunez of Hamanasi Resort in Hopkins Village was awarded the Third Place win and received a trophy and a $500 cash prize.  Congratulations Marcia!  I’m sure many Hamanasi guests can attest that this award was richly deserved!

Hamanasi Attends Green Globe Eco-Friendly Workshop

Green Globe International Sensitization Workshop

Members of Hamanasi’s “Green Team” attended the Green Globe Sensitization Workshop on July 30th, 2009, in Punta Gorda Town, Belize.
This workshop was an introduction to the International Center of Responsible Tourism and Belize Third World Conference that will be held in October. The workshop was presented by Mr. Abil Castaneda. ICRT is based out of Leeds Metropolitan University in England.

Belize won the bid to have the 2009 Third World Conference to be held for the first time in Central America.
Special presentation was given by Mr. Guido Bauer, CEO of Green Globe International.
Mr. Guido gave detailed information on the process for certification, products and programs, and the benefits of Green Globe International certification for maximizing sustainability with RevMax, Green Globe Index and Green Pass.
Hamanasi’s primary goal is to be certified by this renowned certifying agency. We are in the process of registering for Green Globe certification and are on track to be certified by end of the year, 2009.

Minister of Tourism Visits Best Belize Resort

Belize Minister of Tourism, Honorable Manuel Heredia, holds the #1 Hotel in Belize award while staying at Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort in Belize. Hamanasi Resort was recently awarded the title at the 2009 Industry Awards Ceremony.

Hamanasi Resort named "BELIZE HOTEL OF THE YEAR" !!!

BTB Hosts 11th Annual Industry Presentation
Belize City, Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 –
The Belize Tourism Board, today held its 11th Annual Industry Presentation at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza under the theme “Be one in Tourism, Be one with Belize.” Over 350 tourism stakeholders and industry partners gathered to take part in this annual event where Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort was named:

On hand to accept the award were Hamanasi’s Owner, Dana Krauskopf; General Manager, Andrew Usher; and Food & Beverage Manager, Jessica Usher.

Trip Advisor names Hamanasi Resort Traveler's Choice Winner!

Everyone at Hamanasi is very proud of our 2009 Travelers’ Choice Awards! We were chosen by Trip Advior based upon real guests’ reviews, so this award is a great compliment, and validates the hard work that everyone on staff has put in.  It’s great to know we are appreciated and we’ll work even harder to live up to this award.