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Scholarship Program – Indian Church Village, BELIZE


• Program coordinated and made possible by Karen Pierce (see About Us)

• Currently there are 9 scholarship students from Indian Church (see below)

• Students attend high school AWAY from their home, they must stay near school during the week

• Schools attended include BHSA (Belize High School of Agriculture, Trinidad; Bishop Martin, High School, Orange Walk; and New Hope High School)

Beyond Touring (hopefully with your help) will continue to help with this endeavor!

 

EDUCATION IN BELIZE………….DID YOU KNOW

that when children in Belize finish a US equivalent of Grade 6 at about age 12, that in order to continue in school they must pay?

In order to put a child through Belize High School (Bz$2=US$1) it costs:

School fees & registration: $350Bz
Books & workbooks: $250Bz
Shoes, uniforms & PE clothes: appr. $200Bz

SUBTOTAL FOR DIRECT SCHOOL EXPENSES:
$790Bz ($395US)

Fares for bus: appr. $800 BZ/yr
Lunches at school: appr. $1,000 BZ/yr
Room & Board at $100.00 BZ per month x 10 months = $1,000Bz (For Monday-Friday with breakfast & dinner--some students stay some weekends and pay $200 BZ a month)

SUBTOTAL FOR LIVING EXPENSES AND TRANSPORTATION: $2,800Bz ($1,400US)

TOTAL PER YEAR (APPROXIMATE)= $3,590Bz ($1,795US)

Families of these students cannot pay this tuition, and certainly cannot afford the room & board and other fees!
Your contribution to Indian Church Scholarship Fund is needed !!

 

 
Brenda Arevalo, one of 
the Indian Church Village
Scholarship recipients
   

Your contribution to the Indian Church Scholarship Fund is welcomed!
For additional information contact:
Karen Pierce or Laura Howard

Donations to the Indian Church Scholarship Fund are tax deductible in Canada, but we no longer have a charitable organization to donate through in the USA. Please send your checks to either Karen Pierce in the USA or S.H.A.R.E. in Canada.

Karen Pierce
PO BOX 3241
Evergreen, CO 80437-3241
Phone: 303 674-2104
Make checks to: “S.H.A.R.E. Scholarship Fund”
S.H.A.R.E. Agricultural Foundation
c/o Les Frayne
R. R. # 3 Fergus, Ontario CANADA N1M 2W4

Website: www.shareagfoundation.org. Please be sure to indicate that the money is for "Indian Church Village Scholarships", as S.H.A.R.E. provides scholarships in other areas in Belize too.

BACKGROUND:

Indian Church Village is named for the ruins of the 15th & 16th Century Spanish churches at ancient Maya site called Lamanai, formerly the site was called Indian Church before archival research was done in Seville Spain and the Maya name for the ancient city was discovered. Population of the village is about 250 people. This a fairly rural community located near the edge of a 21 mile long fresh water lagoon & adjacent to a tropical forest preserve & the Lamanai Archaeological Reserve. Lamanai, an ancient Maya city-state is a popular site visited daily many tourists. The Royal Ontario Museum in 1974 started a long-term large-scale project at Lamanai, which did not end until 1986. The ROM Expedition Team was directed by archaeologist Dr. David Pendergast. Under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth Graham the Lamanai Archaeological Project (LAP) began in the summer of 1996 by offering a field school & since then field schools have run almost annually from 1997-2007. From 2001 to 2004 the GOB (government of Belize) conducted the TDP (Tourism Development Project) at the ruins of Lamanai to consolidate & excavate pertinent structures & construct new facilities to offer the increasing visitors to the site.

Currently Indian Church does not have electricity & water is pumped daily by a generator (from LOL, Lamanai Outpost Lodge) from a well into the village water tank. There is only a bus to the area 2 days per week and the alternative route via the New River is very costly (the bus & river transport begins in Orange Walk Town). Telephone service in the village is unreliable and there is only one community phone at a distance from some houses. Most of the residents came to this area as refugees from Guatemala in the mid 1980’s and were mostly milpa farmers at that time, and many still are. 

Some people now work at Lamanai Outpost, for the archaeology projects, and for Lamanai South Lodge, the Mennonite agriculture and close by lumber mills, the ICVA (Indian Church Artisans’ Center) and some of the family owned and group run restaurants. There are three who are teachers for the Government primary schools of Indian Church & San Carlos. Most of the available work is only part-time, seasonal or day-labor at fairly low pay rates, about $10 to 15 US a day (typical) and some may earn $25 a day if skilled. The school is not that high quality and many residents of the village were only able to finish primary school and some have not gone to school at all. There are numerous adults who have on average a 3rd grade education and there are many who cannot read. Even though English is the official language many of the residents only speak Spanish. English is supposed to be taught in the primary school, but is not typically spoken in the homes and around the village, and as a result the children’s English skills suffer. Overall this community is quite poor.

 

BELIZE SCHOOL SYSTEM: 

The free public school only goes to Standard 6 this is an equivalent of US 6th grade. In order for a Belize student to go beyond Standard 6 they must pay all fees for this.  This next level is a four-year program; the closest high school to the village is BHSA, Belize High School of Agriculture in Trinidad (village), which is about an hour bus ride.  Orange Walk the largest town closets’ to Indian Church has 4 other schools, this is about a two hour bus ride from Indian Church but remember the bus only comes twice a week. 
 
If these children could not go to school it really would be a shame giving them this opportunity would be wonderful.  Although the cost is high for tuition, books & uniforms, the largest expenses comes from paying for room and board & also for the bus. Students must live with a family in OW (Orange Walk), the village of Trinidad, or other close by villages to their school since they cannot get to and from Indian Church Village on a daily basis on the bus. There are no dormitories at the schools, the only one that does is King’s College, but it is fairly expensive.

S.H.A.R.E., a Canadian organization helps by providing 10 tuition scholarships at $300 US, for students in the village. These scholarships only pay the cost of school tuition fees. There are currently twelve or more students that would like to go to school. Students will have to pay for some of their books and book rental, gym clothes, uniforms, shoes, other school fees, room and board and bus fare. Many of the student’s families are too poor to cover tuition, let alone the other expenses that they need to help their child through school.

We set up a program to re-use the school books last year. The books are now cataloged, labeled and are then turned back into the library after the school year is done to be used by new students the next year. We have about 150 school books in this system and we will re-assign these, one down side is that every year each school changes there book and reading list slightly so we have to then purchase new books.

There is now a library in the village of Indian Church, we have received donations of books and donations of funds to add an addition to the bedroom sized library, we are still in need of funds to pay the librarian salary and to acquire more books and run programs.  Please contact Laura Howard of Beyond Touring Inc (www.beyondtouring.com) if you are interested in helping with library needs: laura@beyondtouring.com. We hope to have all the books the children need from year to year at some point; if you would have books or would like to donate to our cause we certainly need it and thank you!!

 

 

 


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