John & Carolyn on Taku Glacier
Banana Bank Lodge Newsletter
Under the Sea mural
Giovanni Cenna Carr is following his grandmothers footsteps.Gio painting starfish
He has a true passion for art and his mural skills are awesome. 
Bob and Shin who were spending their 30th wedding anniversary at Banana Bank gave him their approval of a job well done. We in turn want to congratulate them on 30 years of wedlock and thank them for allowing us to share such a special time. Giovanni does commission work in Los Angeles and is hoping to expand his art career and studies there. He can be contacted through
Valley of Peace Archaeology 2008 - Dr Lisa J Lucero
Lisa Lucero group
The crew of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign's 6-week archaeology field school was lucky enough to be able to stay at Banana Bank from mid-May through June, 2008.  Our goals included excavating features near some of the six temples at the ancient Maya center of Yalbac (occupied from 300 B.C.-A.D. 900).  The site is located about 13 miles from Banana Bank to the northwest on property owned by Yalbac Ranch and Cattle Corporation (Belize) Limited, a logging company. Permission was granted by landowners and the Institute of Archaeology of the National Institute of Culture and History, Government of Belize.
We spent most of our time excavating a 2 x 2 m unit at the platform of Temple 2F and Structure 3C, a relatively small structure (7 x 3 m, 1 m tall) in an intriguing location between two major temples (Strs. 3B and 3D) on a large semi-restricted plaza, Plaza 3.  Cross-culturally priests live near or in temples (e.g., Aztec Mexico, Medieval Europe, ancient Egypt, etc.).  Was this the case for the Classic Maya as well?  Could Str. 3C have been a priest's house?  Or did it house ceremonial objects?  Preliminary lab analysis, conducted at Banana Bank, indicates feasting activities, and perhaps a living space.  Sarah supervised Str. 3C excavations, while Melissa ran things at the Platform 2F test pit.  At the latter, she and her crew exposed several burned floors and platform steps; at first we were not sure what was going on until one of the sidewalls revealed a chamber!  The Maya, at c. 200 B.C. had buried something, likely an important individual; they continued to visit the chamber and make offerings (expressed via burned floors built against the chamber walls) for centuries.  Sometime, perhaps c. A.D. 250, they removed whatever was in the chamber, conducted more rites involving burning, and covered the entire chamber with platform steps.  We are pretty sure it was the penultimate resting place for someone who was important to the inhabitants of Yalbac-perhaps for their first king.  Unfortunately for us, the Maya had removed any objects that would have indicated its actual function.
Andrew Kinkella, a PhD student at the University of California, Riverside, collected the last of the survey data he needed for his dissertation on the settlement patterns between Yalbac and the Cara Blanca pools to the north and northeast.  We also had a brief visit by one of the top freshwater divers, Dr. Patricia Beddows, who starts a new position at Northwestern University in the fall.  We took her to visit some of the pools.  She was quite impressed with their location and geological significance, and has agreed to help me organize a diving expedition for May, 2009.  We will collect geological information and plot any ancient Maya artifacts. Several pools have ancient Maya structures nearby, indicating that the Maya likely made offerings into the pools.  They, like caves, are portals to the underworld or Xibalba. 
The students also took advantage of the swimming pool at Banana Bank almost every day after work and visiting the local sites.  Many hope to return next season.  We all had a wonderful time at Banana Bank. Everyone there made us feel so welcome.  See you all next season!

This is how we celebrated
July 4th 2008 !!!
Giovanni singing (yes same Gio that did mural)
Holguera came all the way from El Salvador to help celebrate Independence Day! To our delight not only Americans attended but many Canadians celebrated Canada Day along with us!! The BBQ was awesome and the key lime pie was out of this world! Music, drinks, good food good friends - what more could one ask for??
               Valley of Peace Archaeology 2008 Team
Teaching Assistants:
Melissa Baltus and Sarah Otten
Students: Cassidy Britton, Andrew Crawford, Peter Diebold, Becky Gates, Molly Haneberg, Katherine Kramer, Eleonor Olszewski, Sara Schroder, and Susan Wachowski
Excavation assistants from the Valley of Peace Village  : Cleofo Choc, Stanley Choc, Juan Lop├ęs, Don Luna, and Ernesto Vasquez
In This Issue
Mural Mural on the Wall !!!
Archaeology Students from U of Illnois
John and Carolyn in snow ????
Carolyn in St Louis for AFA Convention
Banana Bank Horse Camp 2008

Dear Banana Bank Friends,
Summer is sadly over. We couldn't have asked for a better one. The weather has been cooperative for farming (ok we got a little TOO much rain in the beginning insomuch as we had to re-plant BY HAND) other than that, it has been perfect. Read on about summer at Banana Bank !

PS - We are still offering our SUMMER SPECIAL
rate on all accommodations !!
See details below .......
Cruising Alaska & Trekking Glaciers 
    Helicopter view of Cruise Ship 
Above pictured is the Holland America Amsterdam docked in Juneau harbor.  We are in the helicopter returning to port from our trip to the glacier.  Awesome!!!! 
   AFA Convention ?? Sure ......
AFA Convention St Louis 2008 Looks like people just havin' a good ol' time to me !!! This is Carolyn at the American Federation of Aviculture Convention with 2 Aussies,  Neville Conners on Carolyn's right and his friend Wayne.  Neville and his wife own Casuarina Parrot Gardens in Australia.  The occasion is the annual meeting that brings bird enthusiasts, breeders, owners and merchants from all over the world.  Carolyn was a guest speaker on the topic of "A Birds Eye View of Belize".  Her power point presentation included  photos of birds of Belize, our beautiful country where birding ops are everywhere and photos of her several paintings of Belizean birds including our national bird, the keeled bill toucan. 
Stained Glass for Holy Redeemer Church
 Stained Glass window elaborated
by Leisa for Holy Redeemer Cathedral in Belize City
Horse Camp 2008 was a BLAST !!
Eddie & Samron Samron, Max, Adriana, Jody, Richie and Jose were our horse camp attendees and we had alot of fun together. Honestly - I am still not sure if the campers or the Banana Bank staff are who have more fun but it went great. We started off the week as strangers and ended as friends (horses included) Banana Bank teaches and trains our staff and horses as per horse whispering methods and it is amazing how many of these concepts can be carried on over into our personal relationships as well. We look forward to camp next year .... see more pictures of BBL Horse Camp 2008 (click here)  
Making a Stand for Horse CampHorse Camp 2008 Graduates
Opening night BETEX 2008 at Old BelizeBruno guiding at Lubaantum
BETEX 2008 

This year BETEX was presented in a different format. Kudos to Ideal Lab and their awesome organizational skills the new format was a huge success. This year all travel agents were able to experience Belize firsthand. Opening night (July 30) was at Old Belize and it was the only moment where all suppliers and buyers were under the same roof. The following 5 days we all met at different interest points (such as Lubaantum pictured above) so that the agents can realte to their clientele their experience. It was a great week and I encourage this same format for future shows.

Save 30%
Our SUMMER SPECIAL is still valid. Forward this Newsletter to a friend you know is planning a trip to Belize before Novemeber 30th and they will get 30% off any of our accommodations OR 10% off any of our packages. Travel must be completed by November 30th or cupon is not applicable.
Offer Expires: November 30th 2008