Belize, still in the squalid shadow of British colonialism, reminds us of the value of independence 4

Stumbling on-line I found this insightful article that actually made me mad; not mad at the person writing it, but mad at us. YES, mad at US, WE have allowed ourselves to be this way; for what reason? I have no idea. I know many will read this article and start to say negative things about the author, but I ask that instead of doing that, sit back and ponder on what the message is saying about us. THAT is what we look like to the world. Do we want to remain that image or do we want to change? Now ask yourself this question and try to answer it honestly.. What am I willing to do to ensure that our nation changes for the better and that future generations of Belizeans will not have to live and be seen by the world the way we are today.

EL PASO – Every year around the fourth of July, I am reminded of a trip I took many years ago to Belize with two UTEP colleagues, engineer Scott Starks and biologist Lillian Mayberry. It was for a NASA grant investigating whether remote sensing (e.g. pictures from satellites) could help predict specific areas where malaria would be most problematic. My role as a sociologist had to do with human behaviors that would be either protective or increase the risk of malaria.

After the most harrowing airplane ride of my life, we traveled to many parts of Belize, except the tourist cays of this small country that was originally a Mayan city state. It subsequently became British Honduras and then in 1981 an “independent” commonwealth. Until 1992, Guatemala contested this status, and there are outstanding territorial disputes that remain unresolved. The country is smaller than the state of Massachusetts and the population is also small: a little more than 300,000 mostly consisting of Mayans, Creoles, Garifunas (Carib Indians and blacks), and refugees from Central American wars. There are a smattering of Asian Indians, other Asians, the proverbial Lebanese, ex-pats from the U.S., Brits in high places, and Mennonites who seem to grow all the food. If you can believe it, the official language is English although it isn’t the most prevalent by a long shot.

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4 thoughts on “Belize, still in the squalid shadow of British colonialism, reminds us of the value of independence

  • Mike Heusner

    It amazed me how many falsehoods and twisted interpretations can be printed in your publication. I hope I never see it again. Mike Heusner

    • FWB Post author

      These are not my words Mike.. I’m simply bringing to light how people are seeing us. I don’t tell people how to see what they are looking at.

  • Peggyrose

    I know how you feel! But please? Please don’t take it to heart. That article was meant to be hurtful. It is neither a true picture of Belize, nor its people. The use of academia to validate or endorse the claims made is a misuse of the worst kind. Yes, there is much that needs to be addressed in Belize, and constructive criticism is important. But that article was not meant to be constructive. Remember Ubuntu, a powerful concept, a powerful way of seeing…now that, to me, is something which defines Belizeans as a worthy people, as a rich people. With Ubuntu as a guide – anything can be overcome.

    • FWB Post author

      Thanks Peggy. All I was trying to do is bring to our attention how we are being seen by people outside of Belize and people have a right to their opinion whether we like it or not. We can dismiss it all we want, pretending the problems are not there or closing our eyes to them does not make them go away. True, Belize is a beautiful nation as are the people but there is a lot wrong with our nation and people that need to be addressed and unless we learn to see that other people around the world are seeing us in a negative light we will remain where we are. We have to learn to accept the negatives, not just the positives that come our way.

      Sure I can paint a beautiful picture for you of Belize where there never seems to be anything wrong by ONLY focusing on the good things but we all know that would not be true. I try to keep the site an open one here any voice can be heard, good or bad; on any topic and with that comes things that some will not like to hear. As for the constructive part, feelings sometimes are not meant to be constructive; and I think that article was more feelings than trying to be Constructive. Everyone does that at times, show me one person that has not communicated their feelings in one way or another for what it is not not to be constructive or destructive.

      Now Ubuntu is a philosophy that we have featured on our home page and one that we strive to live by. I am because we are.