The San Pedro Sun

US Embassy hosts Town Hall meeting for citizens in San Pedro Town

On Thursday, May 11th, the United States of America Embassy in Belize hosted its Town Hall meeting at the Blue Water Grill in San Pedro Town. Along with National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), the US Embassy shared beneficial information regarding consular services, security, and hurricane preparedness to more than 30 American citizens in attendance.


Consular Section Chief Yomaris MacDonald welcomed guests, and spoke about the Embassy’s Consulate Section. In order to stay informed and alerted, she encouraged all US nationals to sign up for the Smart Traveler Employer Program (STEP). It is a free service geared towards those traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Once registered, you’ll receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, help assist the Embassy to contact you in an emergency or relatives and/or friend during a natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

Acting Deputy Chief of Mission J. Nathan Bland explained that the Embassy’s main goals in any country are to: improve US citizen security, develop economic prosperity, and to strengthen a strong and open democratic government. He said that the Embassy recently endorsed a morgue for San Pedro Town. He also explained that the Embassy is capacity building in Belize by having police officers trained in the Gang Resistant Education Awareness Training (GREAT) program, and providing donations to non-profit organizations.

Assistant Regional Security Officer Tim Reid Arso explained his responsibility securing the safety of Americans in Belize. He discussed several safety and security measures that the Embassy introduced, including the recent handing over of tools to detect weapons of mass destruction. He indicated that the Embassy continues to work along with the Immigration Department, Customs and Excise Department, and the Belize Defence Force. He also reminded Americans to adhere to the Belizean system, and to follow the laws of the country.
Representing NEMO was Central Regional Coordinator Jeromey Timrose Augustine-Cayetano and NEMO Coordinator for Belize Rural South Vanessa Parham who spoke on hurricane preparedness before, during, and after a storm, and even provided brochures and booklets for guests to take home. The leaflets highlighted emergency information, items to include in a hurricane supplies kit, how to properly store water, and safety precautions when the storm is over.

A Q&A session ended the meeting, with the panel providing answers to several questions regarding passports, retirement in Belize, and regulations. The meeting was also rendered assistance to citizens to over 20 Americans who needed notary services or renewed passports.
The US Embassy thanks Blue Water Grill, Sunbreeze Suites, Vanessa Parham, and Jeromy Augustine-Cayetano for their assistance. You can contact the US Embassy at 822-4011, Monday through Friday, 8AM to 12NOON and 1PM to 5PM. For emergencies, call 011 + (501) 610-5030. You can also email embbelize@state.gov or visit their website at: belize.usembassy.gov. To find out more about STEP, visit:
step.state.gov/step/