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Jul 3, 2014

Belize Camping Experience 2014

Almost twenty acres of rice have been cultivated in the north by children from Belize City who are participating in the annual Harvest for Kids initiative.  In collaboration with Circle R’s Rice in Orange Walk they harvested sixty tons of rice for the local market.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Harvest for Kids…It’s an initiative founded back in 2011 by the Belize Camping Experience and sees farmers working along with the organization and a large number of Belize City kids to plant and harvest a crop. The first project was the cultivation of corn in the Cayo district and this year, the initiative has shifted to the cultivation of rice; using farmers from Orange Walk’s Circle ‘R’ Rice. Director, Alexander Perez, spoke of the harvest.

 

Alexander Perez, Director, Belize Camping Experience

“We had an amazing successful harvest right in Orange Walk, Blue Creek. We harvest twenty acres of rice and each acre gives us three tons of rice per acre. And one of the most amazing thing is seeing the farmers coming out, the community at large. We had a lot of volunteers and we had a lot of kids from the City and also from Orange Walk to experience it. One of the things that was very remarkable was that we were pushing to raise the support to cover the cost of the field and we’re still missing some of the cost…five thousand dollars to cover the complete cost. If not, out of the profits of the rice, we have to pay in return to cover the expense.”

 

Hundreds of youths from the City and Orange Walk were in Blue Creek last Wednesday to witness the harvesting. It was a thrilling experience for Jameer Young.

 

Jameer Young, Participant, Harvest for Kids 2014

“I have ride on one of the turbines, saw how they harvest the rice and I had a lot of fun doing it.”

 

Duane Moody

“Tell us what you learned over the process?”

 

Jameer Young

“I learn that these farmers worked hard to help the Belize Camping Experience, give us summer camps and come to our schools for chapel service. I would advise a lot of children because all these things are very fun to do. You can ride in the turbines, learn bible verses, learn new topics about god and have yourself some fun.”

 

The funds generated from this year’s rice production are used for the entire year of activities held under the Belize Camping Experience. The Belize City based N.G.O. was established back in 2008 and this year will be having camps not only in the City, but also in Orange Walk.

 

Josee Gongora, Camp Director

“Harvest for kids is the fundraiser, the finances to go along throughout the year. We go visit the schools and we have chapel programs; that’s around all the school year. We visit the schools, we go there, we interact with the kids, we get to know the children. We do skits, dramas, worship songs and teach them valuable lessons such as respect, humility, endurance…those are the topics that we go about teaching the children all throughout the school year. So this is what happens behind the scenes.  The camp ends mid-August…we started this Monday and it ends mid-August around two months or so. What happens throughout the year is the chapel programs. So we visit the school every week, every week go with them. That’s a good question; we are trying to reach Orange Walk District. So this same month we are going to Orange Walk and we are going to have a camp there.”

 

Camps are currently underway at Grace Primary and Trinity Methodist School. Duane Moody for News Five.

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