2022 Project Story: Belize Cayo

Belize is a small, often overlooked country in Central America with an incredibly diverse, multilingual community. But for all its rich history and interesting people, Belize’s education system faces some unique problems that result in systemic inequality. 

In Belize, only 45 percent of secondary school aged children are attending school. Out of that 45 percent, approximately 60 percent of these students complete school within the standard K-12 timeframe. Less than a third of children between the ages of 13 and 16 years complete secondary school on time. With the reduction of youth not completing their secondary school and increased dropping out rates, transitions to the labor market are more difficult and affect their overall quality of life. Overall, there is a greater risk of getting involved in criminal activities. Crime data indicate that more and more youth out of school are involved in gang activity and conflict in their communities. These stats only increase within rural areas as there is limited access to education in comparison to Belize’s urban areas. Privately run schools  in  urban  areas have received  up  to  20  times  more resources  per  student  than  schools  in  more disadvantaged  areas. By default, these rural areas are observed to have lower attendance, completion, and performance rates inequities and inefficiencies. In order to escape poverty in Belize, there needs to be an emphasis on education.

This summer, HumanitarianXP Builders will be constructing a school for the children of an underfunded community. Currently the school uses the village’s community center to attend their classes, but it is not their own space to use. When the community has a need for the building, the school does not have a place to meet and school materials are damaged in the process. There is no separating divider between the rooms which causes classes to become easily disrupted and kids to be distracted. This new school will also create a long term solution to the instability of using the community center. 

Source: Inter-American Development Bank