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Dec 8, 2015

FCCA Hosts Christmas Party at Tourism Village

Some two hundred primary school students from Belize City were hosted at the Fort Street Tourism Village for an annual Christmas party organized by the Belize Tourism Board and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association. A total of ten primary schools participated. Duane Moody was there and has this report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The annual Florida Caribbean Cruise Association’s Christmas party was held today at the Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City. Some two hundred primary school children from ten Belize City schools were treated to gifts from Santa, electrifying entertainment and a tour of the city courtesy of Calypso Train Tours. The event was organized through a partnership between FCCA and the Belize Tourism Board in which they give back to the country by sharing in the spirit of Christmas with the children.

 

Valdemar Andrade

Valdemar Andrade, Director of Destination Planning & Cruise, B.T.B.

“Annual holiday gift program where we contact the schools—we have been doing it only for the Belize City port at this point—we contact the schools in Belize City and we ask them to send the kids that don’t otherwise would be able to get a gift during Christmas. This year we have done a little bit more because we have partnered also with our tour operators, with our services providers as the buses today were provided by Challenge Charter and Tours. Calypso Train and H2O Tierra teamed up to provide the clown and entertainment that was here today. And Calypso Torus is also going to do a tour for the kids today after they receive their gifts. But this is basically a bit of B.T.B. giving back to the community. It is also a bit of the cruise industry giving back to the community as much as we can.”

 

A total of twenty students each from Wesley Lower, Ephesus SDA, Unity Presbyterian, James Garbutt, Queen Street Baptist, Calvary Temple, Trinity Methodist, Bethel Primary, Saint John’s Anglican and Central Christian Schools were invited and they all received Christmas gifts provided by the crew from Norwegian Jade.

 

Claudia Mitrea

Claudia Mitrea, Group Service Coordinator, Norwegian Jade

“We definitely got lots of support from our corporate office; they have organized and purchased all the gifts and they have sent it to us to the ship, together with an inventory. We received it, looked over and everything seemed to be perfect and we coordinated with the Port Agent here in Belize as well to ensure that we get the clearance to unload the items off the ship into port. And definitely I got help from the ship you see and I have some of the team members who are happy as well to be here. We have the gifts here and we can’t wait to give it to the kids.”

 

For ten-year-old Tyler Awardo and twelve-year-old Joanna Colindres, the joy of Christmas came alive, especially so with the great entertainment from Ozzie the Clown.

 

Tyler Awardo, Student, Bethel Primary School

“I like Ozzie…Ozzie the Clown.”

 

Tyler Awardo

Reporter

“What part of that presentation did you enjoy the most?”

 

Tyler Awardo

“The picture taking because it showed you funny things.”

 

Joanna Colindres

Joanna Colindres, Student, Queen Street Baptist School

“It is fun; you can enjoy it with all the snacks and the food they give you and drinks.”

 

Reporter

“What part did you enjoy the most?”

 

Joanna Colindres

“When Ozzie the Clown came and made some tricks.”

 

For the ship crew, it was an important event for them because they too get to experience the spirit of Christmas, which they don’t really get to celebrate at home with their families or onboard the ship.

 

Claudia Mitrea

“For us, we don’t have a chance to celebrate Christmas onboard; Christmas Day is one of the most busiest days for us. So Christmas is somewhat dead on the side. But coming here to be with the kids for this event actually gives us the Christmas itself. So definitely for us it is a huge help to supporting the team morale as well. And for the kids as well, we saw the smiles, we saw them dancing, we saw them being entertained. I think it is one of the most important events that each port should have every year.”

 

The children were also treated as local tourists to a twenty to thirty minute tour of the city from a different vantage point. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

On December twenty-second, B.T.B. will partner with Norwegian Cruise Lines and Belize Island Holding Limited to host another two hundred children from ten schools from Placencia to Independence 

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