Congratulations to the 2018 Taste of Belize Winners

After several rounds of grueling competition involving the top chefs and mixologists in the country, the champions of the 2018 Taste of Belize culinary competition have been announced.

Taking top honors as Master Chef was Eliza Carr of the Hamanasi Restaurant. Junior Chef of the year was Rojel Ian Lisbey from the Guava Limb Cafe. Pastry Chef of the year went to Einar Marin, and Bartender of the Year went to Emir Sosa of Tony’s Inn and Beach Resort. The winners in all categories will go on to represent Belize at the upcoming Taste of Caribbean culinary competition.

“We celebrate the achievements of all of the amazing cooks and bartenders who participated in this year’s Taste of Belize competition,” said Larry France, marketing manager of Chabil Mar. “We also very proud of our master chef Daniel and our beverage manager Morris for representing the resort as well as the amazing job performed by our hard-working staff each and every day.”

Chabil Mar is a luxury resort located on the Placencia Peninsula in southeastern Belize. With its own private stretch of beach and a private sea pier for dining, Chabil Mar is home to the renowned Cafe Mar headed up by master chef Daniel. The Cafe Mar restaurant specializes in gourmet meals featuring innovative dishes that represent the multicultural heritage of the country all made fresh daily using local ingredients.

Chabil Mar regularly receives positive feedback for its restaurant, including:

“One of the great features of Chabil Mar is that they have a great restaurant. They bring your meal to you ANYWHERE on the property. How awesome is that? Talk about chic, elegant!” Guest Review, November 2017.

“We loved the serine and private atmosphere this resort gave us and we loved the food! Hats off to the chefs at Chabil Mar!” – Tripadvisor review, March 2018.

“The food was just amazing. We brought our fresh caught fish back and the kitchen sent up what is undoubtedly the best meal we have ever had. They started with sushi and then sent banana leaf baked, mango sauce, grilled fish and rice, potatoes and perfectly cooked vegetables. Divine.” – TripAdvisor review.

“We ate in town on three occasions but the food was much better at the resort to be quite frank.” – Tripadvisor Guest Review, March 2018.

If you’d like to sample the delicious foods and drinks on offer at Cafe Mar and get your very own “taste of Belize,” be sure to book your Belize vacation at Chabil Mar today!

Marcia Moody to represent Belize at Costa Maya 2018 

The International Costa Maya Festival is one of the biggest annual celebrations in Belize. The highlight of this multi-day festival held every year in San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye is the highly competitive Reina de la Costa Maya beauty pageant which features a roster of beautiful, talented, and intelligent women from across Central America.

This year, Marcia Moody, a native of San Ignacio, will be representing Belize at the beauty pageant. A lifelong resident of Belize, Moody is 23 years old and holds a Bachelor’s degree in teaching. She was previously selected as the first runner-up in the 2016 Miss Universe Belize beauty contest.

Moody will be competing against Adriana Moya Alvarado (Costa Rica), Naydin Madeline Valladares Renderos (El Salvador), Hilary Cumings (Guatemala), Cynthia de la Vega (Mexico), and Emigdielys Arlyn Samaniego Batista (Panama) as well as candidates that have yet to be determined from Honduras and Nicaragua at the this year’s Reina de Costa Maya beauty pageant.

Last year’s Reina de La Costa Maya beauty pageant winner was Michelle Estrella Nuñez from Belize. Ms. Nuñez will be handing over her crown to the next Reina de La Costa Maya on Friday, August 3 in San Pedro.

The International Costa Maya Festival was first held in 1991 and is a celebration of the wider Maya culture in Central America known in Spanish as the “Mundo Maya.” Eight countries are home to the Maya people and each sends musical acts, artists, and other cultural representatives to the multi-day International Costa Maya Festival which is always held in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye in Belize.

In 2018, the festival will begin on Thursday, August 2, with the opening ceremony at 7:00 PM. Friday, August 3, will be when Marcia Moody competes in the La Reina de Costa Rica pageant. Saturday, August 4, is International Night when top music acts from across the region will perform. And Sunday, August 5, is the last day of the festival and when a big beach party will be held.

Chabil Mar Resort wishes Marcia Moody great success and welcomes International Costa Maya Festival attendees to visit Placencia when the event is over. The Placencia Peninsula in southeast Belize is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and is located close to many of the top attractions in Belize, including ancient Maya ruins, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, and snorkeling and scuba diving on the Belize Barrier Reef.


Take Your Next Trip To Belize Without the Single-Use of Plastics

National Geographic, the world’s oldest and most respected travel publication, recently began a campaign called “Planet or Plastic,” challenging themselves and their readers to enjoy traveling without relying on single-use plastics.

In order to test their commitment to this idea, they sent Marie McGrory, an experienced travel producer, to Belize. They chose Belize because it is a developing country that relies on eco-tourism for a significant portion of its economy. Belize has also recently pledged to ban the sale and use of single-use plastic by April 2019, and its offshore reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was recently removed from the list of endangered areas thanks to strong conservation efforts by the government and local NGOs.

With more than 200 miles of coastline and the largest coral reef system in the Western Hemisphere, pollution from single-use plastic is an important issue for the people of Belize. After a referendum was overwhelmingly approved by voters, the government of Belize imposed a complete ban on all offshore drilling. More than half of Belize’s territory is a protected conservation area, and the government has strongly committed to preserving the health and diversity of the environment.

After spending more than a week in Belize, National Geographic travel producer Marie McGrory calculated that she had successfully avoided 79 pieces of single-use plastic while in Belize. Her greatest challenge, ironically, was on the flight over to Belize as drinks and snacks served onboard were only available in single-use plastic options.

McGrory advised travelers coming to Belize to pack a few handy items to make avoiding single-use plastic much easier such as a reusable shopping bag, toiletries and sunscreen in reusable containers, a few collapsible containers for snacks, a glass or metal straw, and one or two reusable water bottles. Tap water is not recommended for visitors, but most lodges, hotels, and resorts have purified water available so you can refill your bottles.

If you’d like to enjoy a great vacation in Belize, be sure to stay at Chabil Mar Resort located on the stunningly beautiful Placencia Peninsula. This luxury beachfront resort has its own tropical garden, two infinity swimming pools, and a seafront pier where you can enjoy gourmet meals and delicious cocktails made from fresh, local ingredients.

Chabil Mar offers eco-friendly tours such as scuba diving and snorkeling on the reef, hiking trips to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, boat tours of the well-named Monkey River, and trips to explore ancient Maya ruins.

Belize to Host FIBA Americup

Due to a series of unforeseen events, the FIBA AmeriCup has had to reschedule their playoffs, so all of the championship games will be held at the Belize Civic Center in Belize City from July 22-22, 2018. The FIBA AmeriCup was formerly known as the FIBA Americas Championship and is an international basketball competition between national teams in the Western Hemisphere.

Originally, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua were scheduled to host games in their nations, but a number of issues forced the games to be relocated. The first round of the playoffs will begin on July 20, 2018, where Belize will square off against El Salvador. On the following day, July 21, El Salvador will face off against Costa Rica. And on the final day of the playoffs, Sunday, July 22, Belize will go head to head with Costa Rica.

The winner of these playoff rounds will qualify for the next round of the FIBA AmeriCup championship in 2019. Several teams will then be chosen to compete in FIBA’s Olympic Games qualifying tournaments, and the winner will be eligible to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo Japan.

The FIBA AmeriCup championship game is held every two years. In 2017, the United States beat Argentina 81-76 in the gold medal game while Mexico beat the Virgin Islands 79-65 to win the bronze medal. Since its inception in 1980 (when it was known as the FIBA Americas Championship, Belize has never qualified for the medal round.

The United States has won the championship seven times and earned one silver medal in 1989 when it was narrowly defeated 89-80 by Puerto Rico.

Despite widespread enthusiasm across the country, the Belize national basketball team has very little international experience and has never competed in the Olympic Games. Since joining FIBA in 1973, Belize has struggled to successfully compete against regional teams. In 1998, Belize’s basketball team won the CARICOM men’s champions. And on 2001, Belize won the Central American Games championship.

“We warmly welcome all the FIBA Americup competitors to Belize,” said Larry France, marketing manager at Chabil Mar Resort. “And we wish all the teams the very best of luck!”

Chabil Mar is a luxury resort located on the beautiful Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize. Chabil Mar regularly organizes tours and activities, including transportation for any guests who want to attend the FIBA AmeriCup playoff games in Belize City between July 20-22, 2018.