No matter what country you are from or live in, children are the most precious part of a community and it is important to ensure that they are well nurtured. Belize Kids are no different, however the need for assistance is. Without government funded schools many hard working two income families still struggle to send their children to school, never mind be in the position to buy them items that may be considered a luxury such as a back pack. It’s so special when a young person who although not born in Belize has grown up in San Pedro, recognizes a need and decides to do something about it. Faith Noel is just that somebody to start the ball rolling.
It quickly went beyond Faith and many started stepping in to help.
I got an email from one of my blog readers, Patty Jacquez saying she was talking with Renita a local business woman and she mentioned that Patty should message me. This is in response to San Pedro Scoop aka Rebecca’s recent blog about “Giving in San Pedro, helping local kids“. In it she mentioned Jansport backpacks for the kids. She went on to say more about the blog post on the high school collecting backpacks for underprivileged kids.
After checking into this further Patty believes this was the brainchild of Miss San Pedro High as part of her senior project. She was so impressed. This was her inspiration to put out the backpack challenge.
Patty wrote me and asked if I could be their voice and get the word out for them. She decided to call it the “backpack challenge” from Ramon and Patty Jacquez.
Patty and I did a lot of back and forth and I suggested she try reaching out to JanSport Corp. and she said she would when she got home to Texas.
I will do my part and reach out here;
- Do any of you reading this have a backpack connection or know of anyone that does and would be willing to donate backpacks for Belize kids?
- Are you coming down anytime soon and have room in your luggage to bring backpacks with you? If so please do.
- I am also going to suggest why not fill it up a bit with a few notebooks and all the good stuff a student needs to be successful in school.
A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss
Patty was already on the ball and had two other couples joining them in San Pedro this week. They brought backpacks and wanted to put out a challenge to all visitors coming to SP for the next 2 months to also bring a Jansport backpack. The group was so humbled to do this, to be able to give back to the islands most precious resources, the children.
A Personal Note
I can tell you this from our hearts, we have been coming to San Pedro for the last 8 years. As I walk the beach, sit poolside, visit other resorts and stop by some of the more popular bars I can’t help but think about all the things that have brought people to this beautiful island. What people don’t spend enough time looking at, are the amazing people that make up this island, the people who are the housekeepers, the grounds people, the bartenders, hotel staff, teachers and parents and of course the children. As a mom, grandmother, soon to be retired nurse, I keep coming back to the children. Those beautiful smiling faces, even though they don’t have much they are always happy and smiling. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the island or just island life but I feel blessed and happy when I’m here. So why not give back to the island for the peace and tranquility it brings me, and no better place to start than with the children. When I read about the need for the backpacks, my husband Ramon and I thought why not challenge every visitor to bring just one backpack. Just think, if everyone did that for the next few weeks there would not be a reason for any child to go without a backpack. Such a simple gesture. So we put this out in Houston and our friends Ralph and Julie and their daughter Riley jumped on board and brought an additional 5 backpacks with them. Our other friends from Texas arriving Tuesday, T’mara and Kerry are bringing some too. -Patty Jacquez
If you do not have room for JanSport Backpacks in your luggage, you can find them on the island. This first pics shows a bit of the selection at Caye Supplies on Back Street.
Another San Pedro Shopping option is A&R on Middle Street near RC School. They have a large supply of backpacks. You can easily get a couple from there and walk over to Blue Water Grill to make a donation.
Here are a couple of my favorite kids pics since I started my first Belize volunteer experience at Holy Cross Anglican School back in 2007.
5 thoughts on “Making Life Easier for Belize Kids”
Thank you very much,
This is Tammy Lemus.
I am Faith Noel’s mom. I am very proud of her and her thoughts for her fellow students here. She has been raised here since she was four years old and considers herself a local San Pedrana. She had a goal of 80 back packs and raised 89. She donated 19 to the children that were victims of the fire with the school supplies she also received and 70 for the 66 students that high school had determined needed them.
She also took the donation from the Phoenix and got the families of the fire victims all gift certificates to Linos to feed their families.
She has taken on new lunch palapas at the high school that Mr.Alex suggested was a need of the high school. Presently there are only three that over 600 kids are to have lunch and break under every day (two have seats the other doesn’t even have seating to sit at). She has raised money for 5 more palapas (not seating as we were originally told) and they will be being assembled over the next month before school starts for 2016/2017.
Faith also has a school project that will start and is very creative once school is back in session and includes many kids. I personally am very excited for this part!
Please continue your support of the high school students and Faith as Miss SPHS. You can follow her on Facebook on Miss San Pedro High a page she started to show all she is trying to accomplish. The high school kids are the near future of Ambergris Caye and sometimes not always remembered as much as even the Primary school.
Laurie (Taco Girl) is correct. There is no government high school to attend for free. Parents work very hard to send their kids to high school and it is not cheap. They have to pay for books, uniforms as well as tuition and fees.
I am coming to Belize in July; read this post so I just bought 2 back packs & have asked go workers to throw some in, too.
Where can we drop them off?
Great initiative that will be beneficial and help some needy children.
Excellent Rebecca and much appreciated. I tried to surf your back pack it up and go site but it would not load on my phone.
I will be traveling to and from the states and will absolutely bring some bags back!
I agree, the people of the island are so sweet, such a treasure.
Happy to help!