“Green Team Participates”

 

IMG_3150The Hamanasi Green Team participated at the Holy family School Fair March 2013. This energetic team had 1 goal in mind, to create as much awareness about our environment and the impact we have on it, and to achieve this they set out to impart their knowledge to the local Hopkins residents.

They had a fresh supply of Lion Fish Ceviche for sale – and gave out interesting facts of what damage this fish does to our reef system and how we can help by eliminating or at least decreasing the numbers. Less than 20% of residents did not know that lion fish is edible and so tasty!

Fresh produce like lettuce, bok choy, cabbage and herbs from Hamanasi’s organic garden were on display and the team encouraged the benefits of backyard gardening and composting.

They also talked about the goals of each department within Hamanasi Resort and all the eco-friendly products that are used at the Resort.IMG_3160

The team also had lots of fun giving out some Prizes; all you had to do was answer an easy question to win a Hamanasi t-shirt, water bottles or a lunch voucher for the restaurant. 100 coconuts plants were given away to be planted. The feedback from the public was very positive and refreshing. Overall is was a successfully event for everyone

 

“2013 Hopkins Kite Fest”

SAM_0219On March 16th, 2013 Hopkins village had it’s 9th Annual Kite Fest and over 100 children participated between the ages of 6 – 14.  The kids came out with different sizes, colors and design kites and all were very creative.   It was another successful year and all the participants were awarded a small gift for participating along with a snack.   Most donations were done by the local business and resorts in Hopkins.  The winner was Tyrell Roches and his prize was a new beach cruiser bicycle.

The day was full with fun, local food and music.

“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

 

 

“Deirdre Drama Classes”

 

Deirdre Kelly Lavrakas, one of our repeat guests visited us for the second time in October 2012.  Deirdre volunteered time from her Hamanasi vacation to mentor the Grade V school children of The Holy Family Hopkins School with Drama classes. Deirdre is presently Production Operations Manager and a Teaching Artist with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Deirdre has directed over 75 plays, musicals and operas for both adults and young people.

The children were exited throughout the sessions along with their Language Arts teacher Mr. Troy Coleman.   The participation of the class was incredible, filled with lots questions and laughter.   At the end of the 3 days session, the children were given a certificate of participation and some yummy snacks for the Hamanasi kitchen.

 

 

“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.

 

“Back To School Project Sucess”

A BIG thank you to all our Hamanasi guests that somehow contributed towards the Back to School Project 2012, we could not have done this without you all.

From a pack of pencils, story books, crayons up to school bags, all these donations were given to the needed school children from Hopkins, Maya Center and Silk Grass which brought big smiles to their faces. 

“More and More Love For Our Furry Friends From The HBHS!”

The month of September was blessed with all the free clinics that the HBHS had for our animals from Hopkins, Dangriga, Silk Grass and Seine Bight.  They started the week with the Carroll County Vets Without Borders team of Tina Cone, Ramona Hambrick, and Anita Beeson — Belize veterans all. The idea was to have a half day clinic on Sunday, just to get back in the groove, and not be too rushed. Ha! FORTY TWO dogs showed up between 1pm – 4pm, needing surgeries (7), treatments and check ups! Thank goodness we had plenty of help! Volunteers from Saga Humane Society (Heather Beck and Kathy Marin), Humane Society International, and our regular crew managed to make some sense out of the starting gun dash out of the gate.

Next, ten of them caravanned to Seine Bight on Monday morning, to partner with the Placencia Humane Society for a two day clinic. PHS had secured the brand new Seine Bight community center, and they were blessed with plenty of space! Over two days, Dr. Tina Cone and Dr. Orlando Baptist treated almost 100 animals. The collaboration between HBHS, PHS, Saga Humane, Humane Society International, Dr. Baptist and the Carroll County Vets Without Borders was magical.   They returned to Hopkins for another busy half day clinic on Wednesday, seeing 33 animals, 12 of which were surgeries. Then on to Dangriga on Thursday, where they partnered with Dangriga Pet Care to treat EIGHTY FOUR animals between 8am and 4pm. They were working Dr. Cone all full capacity, when Dr. Kathy Kvam, arriving for her clinics the next week, stopped by having just arrived at the Dangrgiga airport… and jumped right into surgery. They were grateful she was such a trooper.  Dr. Cone, having well earned a rest, then passed the baton to Dr. Kvam.  Dr. Kvam and her team of Kerry O’Donoghue, Karin Mixon, Kevin Guyer and Tom McNeely then hosted 3.5 days of clinic in Hopkins, treating 98 animals, 50 spays and neuters and 4 other surgeries.  IN TOTAL…  Dr. Tina, Ramona, Anita and Dr. Kvam, Kerry, Karin, Kevin and Tom treated 376 animals, did 88 spays and neuters, and 10 other surgeries, including broken legs, tumor removal, exploratory surgeries and various wounds.

“Giant Stride For C-Dog”

While we were closed in September for yearly renovations, Dive Master Shawn Lozano better known as “C-Dog” took time out of his vacation to go to Honduras and attend the PADI Instructor Development Course with Utila Divers. The course is run by Andy Phillips and it took two weeks to complete. It  entailed long days of class and water works culminating  in a two day exam which he sailed thru. C-Dog has now join the ranks of PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and he is very enthusiastic for this coming season as a Hamanasi Instructor. He is looking forward to creating fantastic new divers and impart his knowledge of the marine environment with his new students.  Hamanasi is very proud of his efforts and wishes him the best of luck!

“September Green Newsletter”

                                                     Hamanasi Organic Garden and Current Production

With the addition of Mr. Juan Tun, organic gardener and environmental conservation activist from the Cayo district, as a part of our Gardening and Green team, our organic garden will further develop and become officially certified by Belize Organic Alliance, organic control and certifier in Belize, as being a sustainable garden. Moreover, we are now partnering with BOA to encourage and promote sustainable crop and livestock production in Belize.

 

 

 

 

Outside the cover structure, the organic garden is landscaped with fruit trees that attract birds and other wildlife around the property; and inside the structure, basil, mint, green onion, oregano, and cilantros have been intercropped as repellant crops amongst cash crops such as tomato, habanero and sweet pepper, cabbage, lettuce and cucumber to control pests and diseases.  (Report done by Francis Flores)

 

“Donation to Summer Bible School”

The Sittee River Seventh Day Adventist Church hosted a summer vacation Bible School program for a week where over 32 children from Sittee River Village attended. Mrs. Shelmadine Robinson, born and raised in Sittee River was the organizer of this event and was very happy with the attendance. She is a children lover and is very passionate of giving back to the kids and community. Art and Crafts, singing, acting classes and many more fun activities were all included in the program.

 

Thanks to all our guest who have contributed and continue to supporting our Back to School program, with your assistance we were able provide suitable supplies along with school bags to the children  who attended this year  Summer Bible School Program.