Hey Jennifer, Tell me about all.the.things. Belize!

 Belize sign on the shore in Belize City.

Belize sign on the shore in Belize City.

Let's chat: Hey Jen, I want to know all.the.things. Belize!

Good morning everyone!

Last week I had my summer service learners that are going in July to Belize City to host a summer camp do a text talk.  That is where I give them questions to answer about where they are going and they research and come back to the text and share with everyone what they found out.  This is a good way for them to understand where they are going and why.  I have to say my summer service learners ROCK!  I thought I would share with you today, a couple of their answers.  

Question to Aryianna (Criminal Justice Major):  Find out the main crimes committed in Belize City and how local law enforcement is dealing with those crimes.  Tell me why HIV/AIDS is so prevalent in the Belize City area and what law makers and health officials are doing to change that.

Aryaianna's answer:  "Good morning everyone!  For my first question I found that the main crimes committed in Belize City have to do with robberies, pickpocketing and hotel room theft.  And although those are the top non violent crimes committed in Belize City, tourists are never intentionally targeted it just mainly happens in that city.   Unlike the other cities in Belize, Belize City is pretty urban and not like the rural areas so if you call the police they will get there quickly but because they don't have alot of equipment like radios etc, due to funds, limited resources, and possible corruption, there isn't a while lot they can do but they will do their best, especially for tourist.  I couldn't necessarily find how HIV/AIDS started to become a pandemic, but I know that the main problem now is it's being spread from people who don't know they are infected, especially mother to child.  Although I found 30% of Belize is infected with HIV/AIDS it's mostly the poor areas of Belize as a whole.  People there refuse to get tested because they are scared or because it's considered a death sentence, so that estimation could be actually alot higher.  I found that for every 1000 infected there are 7000 more that have it and don't know it which is very scary.  They have recently had an anti retroviral medication that doesn't prevent or cure them, but it contains it and helps it from spreading, helping those who are infected live longer lives." 

WOAH ARYIANNA did her homework!!  Great job Aryianna!

 

 Question for Rebecca (History Major): Give me a brief history lesson on Belize.  Who lived there first, who colonized them and when or if they gained their independence and from whom. Be sure to throw in some fun facts for us and be creative! 

Rebecca constructed a four page paper on her question but here's her short answer: "Below you will find a brief overview of the history of Belize.  I actually read quite a bit, wrote four pages, and can probably answer any historical questions you have about this historically colorful country!  Should you want to know more information about Belize, please do not hesitate to send your questions my way.  **Historical overview of Belize** The history of Belize dates back thousands of years. The Maya civilization spread in Belize between 1500 BCE and 1200 BCE the first recorded European settlement was established by shipwrecked English seamen in 1638 over the next 150 years, more English settlements were established.  Great Britain first sent an official to the area in the late 17th century, but Belize was not formally termed the "colony of British Honduras" until 1840. It became a crown colony in 1862.  The official name of the territory was changed from British Honduras to Belize in June 1973, and full independence was granted on September 21, 1981."

HOLY COW!!  Rebecca was on it!!  Way to go Rebecca!

I added in a few fun facts as clues to what we would be doing during the week we are there, as I like to keep our activities a surprise until we get there!  So here are my fun facts!

  Clue number 1:  Built from bricks brought from England as a ship's ballast, St. John's Cathedral is the oldest Anglican church in Central America.  In days past it served as venue for the crowning of kings of the mosquito coast.  **Photo credit: Jennifer Young**

Clue number 1:  Built from bricks brought from England as a ship's ballast, St. John's Cathedral is the oldest Anglican church in Central America.  In days past it served as venue for the crowning of kings of the mosquito coast.  **Photo credit: Jennifer Young**

Clue number 2:  Around the mid 1950's a Florida vegetable farmer came to Belize with the intention of growing vegetables (among them cucumbers) and exporting them to the U.S.A. in the winter months.  He set up farms around the village of Burrell Boom and used this port to package and load vessels bound for the U.S.A.....hence the name "Cucumber Beach."

 

Our summer service learners will embark on a journey in about 40 days that WILL transform their lives forever.  They will embrace different cultures and customs, they will learn about a country and its people, they will meet global friends they will have for the rest of their lives and will come to understand the importance of education outside of the classroom while giving back to a community.   Please wish them well as they start their journey and change the course of their lives for the better.  

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, twitter and snapchat if you would like to see our service learners in action this summer!   Facebook: Ardenti Global Service Learning  Instagram: Ardentiservicelearning  Twitter: Ardentiglobalserve and snapchat: ardentiglo    We will be exploring the country of Belize July 15-22.

 

Our fall service learning trips are open for registration.  To find out more about them click below and see where you think your best contribution would be.  But whatever you do, Go.Passionately. 

It's been fun chatting.  Until next time...

~~~Jennifer