Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pre-trip affinity groups

Over the last few weeks the Belize gang has been meeting during elective time to work on our fundraising and to start thinking about our trip to Belize.  Through our discussions we divided ourselves into three affinity groups based on shared interests.  In those groups, students came up with questions that they were interested in around their topic and then researched those questions and shared their answers with their affinity group.  Below, is some selected questions from each group.

Group 1: Equality Group
Members: Rachel, Elisa, Eliza, & Jimin

What are the roles of women in Belize?
The women of Maya Center, for the past few decades, have gotten together and created a way to support themselves. They’ve been working together to sell homemade arts and crafts. By doing so, they maintain their rich history, spread aspects of their culture to tourists, and support their lifestyles with the money they make. The women, varying in age from teens to seniors, wear traditional clothing and jewelry to show the pride they have in their past and their work. This project has received a lot of support from other businesses in the past, yet the women still need help procuring the necessary resources. For example, they need help getting sewing machines, fabric, and other materials.

What are the different jobs for men and women in Belize?
In the country one of the most popular industries is real estate. You would have to be licensed and certified to work in Belize. The economy of Belize greatly depends on tourism. That includes working in a service industry, guiding tourists, working in a restaurant or other similar service jobs. Other popular jobs would be merchandise, agriculture, construction, and exporting of oil and petroleum.

Group 2: Health and Human Services

Members: Brendan, Happy & Allegra

What are the disaster preparedness methods of Belize?
The Belize government has teamed up with the Pan American Health Organization and several European organizations and The Red Cross. These people visit Belize before, during and after natural disasters, mainly hurricanes. The PAHO trains the health care providers of Belize with Incident Command System concepts on how to defend against disasters and how to care for injured people. Clinics and shelters are set up all over the country to help the people of Belize. The Belize government has spent millions of dollars to help make health care services more available for the women and children of Belize, to set up hurricane shelters and clinics and to protect their people from dengue and malaria.

What is the health care access & what is being done to increase it?
Belize has about 60 hospitals for its population of 300,000. Most of these are in Belmopan and Belize city. This could be problematic in the event of a natural disaster. While Belize was hit very hard by Hurricane Mitch, the devastation that it caused sparked the government into spending large amounts of money to increase hurricane resistance. It built large amounts of hurricane shelters and is working with the United Nations Development Programme to lower the toll that hurricanes take on the country. The Red Cross is also currently working in Belize to train local people in health care. These newly-trained workers will benefit about 55,200 Belizeans. The Belize National Emergency Management Organization coordinates disaster response and prevention in Belize.

Group 3: Education
Members: Bobby, Aidan, & Armando

How does our education system compare to that in Belize?
Here in certain parts of the U.S., we use technology to do homework and other school materials. We use iPads for textbooks, and our computers for assignments, but in Belize they may not have access to all of the same technology. For example, over 87% of Americans use or have access to the internet, and only 25% people in Belize have access to the internet. Not only could this affect the online assignments that we have in this school today. Not all students in Belize are able to go home and just look up a word on google.


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