belize picture

Road Party

I am not the only one who had a birthday party recently – yesterday Holy Cross Anglican School turned four years old. The school enjoyed a big celebration  on Friday – please see photos on the Holy Cross School blog. The students made birthday cards – gathered together to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ – shared yummy cupcakes and everyone received a very special present. Thanks to the incredible folks at Southcrest Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas each student (and teacher) received an age appropriate copy of the Bible for their very own.

As for my party Cindy and Molly picked us up a 7:50 and we all headed off to the bridge to meet Eric. First stop was the computer lab at Holy Cross to watch Current tv doc by Travis and  Gigi Harris video as a reminder of why we were there. Next we collected the wheel barrows rum punch and headed out to the new road.

I have to say even though it was Eric and Paul who were pushing the wheelbarrows it gave me a whole new perspective on walking the London bridges watching them. Luckily someone came along to help Eric by taking the rum punch and making his wheel barrow more stable. Paul said he found it very difficult to navigate – imagine if that was something you had to do on a daily basis with kids groceries or anything you needed to get to your home.

We met Cindy and Richard along the way they are back in town and as always out there volunteering and lending a helping hand in more ways than one – it was nice seeing them again.

When we got to the new road people were already in full force work mode so we set our stuff down and joined in. Paul opted for doing sand – mud and rock duty as that was heavy lifting. Cindy and I went for slightly lighter work taking wheelbarrows back and forth down the road and lifting smaller rocks. Cindy was also on tire pump detail and I tool loads of pictures as you can see. I really believe that everyone needs to see this effort and hopefully it will help encourage people to join in and help in what ever way they can. Cindy and I both agreed that we could have easily been cleaning up the garbage if we had long rubber boots good rubber gloves and a place to put it. Hoping to find some answers to that solution soon –  in order to really detoxify the land and make it safe for the community the garbage has to be gone.

It was a great experience to take part in the road building and I really hope that my documenting it will help bring more awareness to the San Mateo Empowerment Project and encourage people to get involved to help them in their goal to get the road finished. Their work is not easy  – almost every week Eric and members of the community show up to work on the road – they are averaging 25 ft a week. If you look at the pictures of the long stretch of road and then see how it turns a corner that amount of road was 4 months work. I wish there was some way to make it happen faster but am glad it is happening regardless.

After a hard mornings work we all headed back to the school for a delicious lunch made by Chef Victor and Miss Rosalie. Everyone sang a round of happy birthdays one for me and one for the school.

12 thoughts on “Road Party

  1. tacogirl says:

    Mary it was said the students need to raise 10 grand a month for 2 years to make this happen so that is a rough estimated time. I will put you in touch with Miss Kim so you can ask her about bringing a volunteer group in to help – great idea.

  2. Mary Mooney says:

    How long do you think this will take. I was thinking of trying to get a group together to come in Nov. to volunteer to help build the road.

  3. tacogirl says:

    Sounds good Amy where do we sign up to get them. The real kudos go to the people out there every week and the ones who started the ball rolling in the first place. Saving a few for those who see this and hopefully decide to help somehow too. 🙂

  4. Amy says:

    Laurie you and Cindy need a “vichy spa” uniform. It’s like fishermans waders with gloves that go to your shoulders. Now where to put the garbage might be alittle harder. Kudos to everyone for the great work by the way!

  5. tacogirl says:

    I agree Jan this road is the beginning of great things for the community. I hope more people will get involved in what ever way they can – near or far to help this project.

  6. tacogirl says:

    It was Debra feels like a small drop in a giant bucket what we helped do yesterday but I am hoping writing about it will help make it far reaching and get more help for the San Mateo Empowerment Project.

  7. tacogirl says:

    Thanks Jana. I agree it is unbelievable the amount of work happening there. As for it being something most people take for granted I would recommend anyone who is visiting here to take a walk back there and see it for yourself – you will not take sidewalks and roads for granted afterward. If you can make a donation or help on a Sunday to build the road.

    The 1st phase of the project will cost $285,000. The students need to raise $10,000 a month for 2 years. If you want to donate contact one of us! The cost is $1 per cubic foot, $36 for a linear foot of road and $108 dollars for a linear yard of road. [info from SMEP fb page]

    This is a fundraising campaign created by students in the University of Mississippi Dept. of Social Work to support a community-led effort in San Mateo, Belize, to replace miles of dangerous plank bridges with gravel and sand roads. The construction of roads will remove a serious safety hazard for children and lead to wider access to water, electricity, and sewage systems for thousands of San Mateo’s residents.

    You can help by pledging a donation of any amount and spreading the word! Please contact one of the group’s administrators if you’d like to get involved. Please join the San Mateo Empowerment Project facebook to keep updated on progress

  8. Jan says:

    This is fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing your birthday with the folks — and the road — of San Mateo. I wish I could have been there to help. I miss Holy Cross and everyone there. Keep working on that road — it’s the beginning of great things for that community.

  9. Jana Reed says:

    The pictures are great Laurie!! It’s unbelievable the amount of work going into something we take for granted and expect here in the U.S. Hopefully we can help at some point! I really appreciate you documenting all of it, you are a special and caring lady!

  10. tacogirl says:

    Hi Harold the wheelbarrows came in so handy. They are a great road crew it is very hard work. They rocks were barged in. That one stretch of road took 4 months to do [Sundays only] and they average about 25 ft on the road a week.

  11. harold says:

    hi tq , pic are great . the road crew must be a good lot because that don’t look easy . where does the rock and the sand come from and how much can they do in a day

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