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Aug 26, 2013

Channel Five nabs 2 Regional Awards…

Great Belize Productions has won two major awards from the Caribbean Broadcasting Union. The awards were announced at the recently concluded annual general meeting of the CBU held in Georgetown, Guyana at which the award ceremony was a major event.  Entries were submitted by members of the union in both television and radio in a number of categories. Judging is carried out based on the highest standards for excellence in journalism and is a rigorous process undertaken by an independent panel of judges. As they have in the past, Isani Cayetano and cameraman, Chris Mangar, walked away with the award for the best news feature. And I’m humbled to report that a story I worked on with cameraman Rick Romero entitled ‘A Paraplegic’s Olympic Dream – Jerome Flores’ won the award for Best Sports Feature….that story was first aired in an episode of Healthy Living and focuses on the struggles of a young man who has been an inspiration to me and to so many others. I am overjoyed that with this award, Jerome’s enduring spirit has gained regional recognition.


Marleni Cuellar, Award Winning Journalist

Marleni Cuellar

“In what I do on a daily basis we meet people so often, we have a snippet of time with them to maximize…sometimes twenty minutes, to be able to get as much information out as possible. Oftentimes it’s in the breaks that you find out so much additional information…and that’s what happened with Jerome. Jerome has been an activist in Belize for the past couple years and we’ve seen him take on what are very large tasks for any average human being…but for him as a person with disabilities it’s even more so a challenge and even more so an inspiration for others. And he was on the show speaking on behalf of an organization he formed as a person with disabilities and he said you know I want to go to the Olympics…it was right after the Olympics had passed…and he said I want to go to the next Olympics because there’s a parallel event called the parolympics that takes place along with the Olympics each year and it’s for persons with disabilities. So he had mentioned it to me and I followed up and I decided to travel to his home in Burrell Boom and see a little bit of what his life was like and why he was inspired by that… His sense of optimism in the life that…he wasn’t born that way, he had an accident…the sense of optimism that he had was one of the things that I questioned. And then meeting him and seeing him in his home and the support system that he had and finding out how he made himself self-sufficient. I think the story just told itself in what he had been doing. And we all need a source of inspiration at times. He had a bad accident that he made the most of. And when we have bad times in our lives we want to know that there’s a silver lining to it and I think in his story he proves that it’s possible. My passion lies in people who have difficult circumstances. Most people know this about me…I’m a sap…whether it’s kids or children with disabilities or people who struggle and find ways to overcome it or find ways to live through it in a positive way. I find it so inspirational and I think that for those of us who feel that sometimes life can be overwhelming looking at people who overcome things that we couldn’t dream of is really a way to keep the hope in us renewed. So its stories like that I’d continue to look at…”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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