“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.

World Spay Day 2013 a success!

February was the month for World Spay Day.   For the third year in a row, HBHS hosted World Spay Day clinics to spread the message of spaying and neutering pets for the betterment of the world’s health.  HBHS has recently extended their coverage area to the south, servicing the smaller villages of Redbank and San Roman. Taking on these new villages in addition to the five we have currently been servicing has been a joy. The need is so great, and the desire for pet health care is huge.

With Dr. Orlando Baptist taking the lead, the HBHS team spayed and neutered 42 animals over the four day event, while also performing several tumor removals, eye surgery, beef worm removal, treating skin conditions, and many other things that present themselves during HBHS free clinics.  HBHS is so incredibly proud of out team of workers, volunteers and supporters.  Because of you, the animals AND people of Belize are healthier.

 

“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 Guest Book ~ December 2012″

Wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous 2013.  A big “Thank you” to all our December 2012 guest! Thanks for coming and we hope you had a great time with us and we can’t wait to have you back soon!  From the Hamanasi Team.

“The service was impeccable. Every staff person we encountered went out of their way to make this the best vacation.”

Deborah and Mark Buel, Gainesville, FL

“Love the attention to detail. Top notch – Perfect. This resort could teach service and hospitality to other!”

Zocher Family, Clyde Hill, WA

“Don’t expand too much. The small, community-like feeling of the resort is part of why it’s so great.”

John and Brenda Schulz, Hamburg, NY

“Everyone was special and gracious. Keep doing what you are – place is fantastic.”

Florence Sofer, Mount Kisco, NY

“Service was very, very good! Appreciated all of the personal attention.”

Tracy and Mike Killion, Humble, TX

“Amazing and very personalize service. Everyone made my stay very enjoyable.”

Mary Grabowsky, Albuquerque, NM

“It’s beautiful here! Don’t change a thing.”

Mike and Arletta Hitch, Rose Hill, AL

“Exceptional service, thank you all so much. We will be back many times, our wedding here was perfect.”

Omar and Shalane Rodriguez, Wichita, KS

“I always wondered what it would be like to be treated like royalty – now I know. Thank you for a wonderful vacation.”

Helen and Christine Hill, San Francisco, CA

“Everyone did what they could to help me solve problems and enjoy my stay – more than expected!”

Jim Mahoney, Greensboro, NC

“Service was exceptional. Value with the package was exceptional. We stayed inland for the first half of our vacation, it was nice but Hamanasi had them beat in every category! Great job!”

Theodore Rinehart and Sandra Callez, Los Angeles, CA

 

 

“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.

 

“Hamanasi Guest Book – October 2012″

Thanks to our entire guest that visit us on October 2012. We hope that you all had an amazing Hamanasi experience! Below are some of the comments from guest that visited us during the month of October. We do hope to see each and every one of you again sometime in the near future. All the best from Hamanasi staff and Management.

“We had our perfect “UNBELIZEABLE and beyond our expectations” 10th year anniversary. Thank you! Hamanasi, you were al amazing.”

Chris and Elissa Langeuegger, Austin, TX

“We’re happy that the eco friendly efforts is such a strong part of Hamanasi’s culture and that the guides stress it.”

Scott and Keri Agin, Chicago, IL

“The personal attention and hospitality of the entire staff was excellent. The food was first class. I am happy to see the commitment of the resort.”

Bobby and Paul Vargo, Lancaster, CA

“We can’t say enough about the wonderful atmosphere at Hamanasi. Please stay small! It makes it so much more welcoming. Your staff is what absolutely makes this place attractive. Very family feel here, totally pampered us. Thank you so much!”

Dorothy and Mike Ewenel, Ontario, Canada

“Everything was so wonderful! We loved every minute of our stay and are so sorry to leave. We had a wonderful and beautiful honeymoon. The staff is unbelievable! We will miss them.”

Shannon Atkins and Robert Schulenberg, Herndon, VA

“What a magical way to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. We’ll be back again for sure! Thank you Hamanasi and Hopkins for being such lovely hosts during our stay. “

Allison and Wade Sisson, Knightdale, NC

“Keep doing what you are doing. First class place!”

Collin and Jenny Steward, Harlingen, TX

“We can’t imagine better service. The staff obviously happy and proud to be here, we want to take them home with us!”

Caryn Wolf and Ford Frazier, Oakland, CA

 

 

“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.

“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ September 2012″

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

“I have travelled many places in my life and this is by far one of the most fabulous boutique resorts I have stayed at.”

Maureen Evaskevich, Alberta, Canada

“Our stay has been absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for all your eco friendly efforts.”

Marsha McArthur, Parker, CO

“Don’t grow too much and too fast to lose that venture one on one service attitude, that personal by name friendship your staff builds is perfect. We’ve spend many vacations in the tropics over the years and I wish we’d have found Hamanasi sooner.”

David & Pam Metzger, Amherst, OH

“What a welcome change to stay with a family who cares so much about leaving as little negative impact as possible.”

Jana & William Sprayberry, Boerne, TX

“Continue doing what you do. You’ve got it down right!”

William Roell and Family, Waynesville, MO