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Oct 25, 2021

FECTAB Says Causeway IS Vital Part of Port Coral Project

At a press conference this morning, the President of the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, David Almendarez, provided a one page electronic copy of what appears to be an Environmental Compliance Plan written by the Department of Environment. The one page electronic copy is dated September 2013. It notes that that the ECP is for the “Cruise Development Project on Stake Bank Caye” and a “Residential Development on North Drowned Caye.” The front page of the document, at least, does not make any mention of causeways. The document however, does offer some electronic proof that an ECP may exist for the Port Coral development. But just how far reaching is it? We have not been privy to a full copy of the document. The document was provided at the end of the press conference they called to rebut Cabinet’s position on the causeway and proposed development on North Drown Caye. In a release dated October nineteenth, Cabinet considered the cause way and North Drown Caye to be, “real estate related, and therefore, unlike Stake Bank, not foundational to the cruise tourism sector. Well, FECTAB says, it is more than that.


Tom Greenwood

Tom Greenwood, Member, FECTAB

We at FECTAB are proud to tell the nation of Belize, those years ago, not long ago in fact, we managed, under the last administration, to get a twenty five years bona-fide, guaranteed, contract with Port Coral access, complete, unfettered access. It was given, I know about it and so does the president. It was given in great glee, the Feinstein group was happy to do it. And when we showed it to our membership of tour guides, operators, taxi drivers, etc. everybody was quite happy, and thinking only of we are waiting for this thing to happen. The accusation is that the causeways are not a vital component as North Drown Caye is not a vital component of Port Coral. It is the most vital component of Port Coral. Because Stake Bank is a tiny little island, it has been expanded, because we need to so people get off and there is an area where they go to, to be met by representatives to be taken across by a causeway to North Drown Caye, where there is a facility there that can easily park two hundred vehicles, buses, vans etc, two hundred vehicles. That is where the guests will meet their tour operators if they have bought tours. Also, that is the main area where tourist goes to buy tours. So again, the tour operators, taxi drivers are going to be there. So, that is a controlled situation in which they get the first choice of the meat. Today, out at the tourism village, we get dregs, we get bones. Lucky when you could scrape a piece of meat off. That is how we have existed for years and years. No man, no man, this is Belize! We can’t have a thing like that happening.  It is shocking, it is disgusting, and it is angering. And, here we have a scenario where somebody in GOB is trying to hammer away at the causeways and North Drown Caye in such a way that it could destroy the entire thing.”

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