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Dec 22, 2015

A Christmas Party for Kids in Placencia

For the first time, the children in the peninsula have been hosted to a grand Christmas party. As you know, Norwegian Cruise Lines is investing heavily in a tourism port at Harvest Caye so it has partnered with local agencies to give a special treat to the children. Today, they came out in numbers to celebrate the spirit of Christmas. Duane Moody has a report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The auditorium at Independence High School in the south came alive today as over two hundred children from ten primary schools between Placencia and Independence were hosted to a Christmas party.  The event was organized by the Belize Tourism Board, the Florida Carnival Cruise Association, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Harvest Caye Port Agent, Belize Island Holdings Limited (BIHL).

 

Valdemar Andrade

Valdemar Andrade, Dir., Cruise Tourism & Destination Planning, B.T.B.

“We did the same like in Belize City where we contacted the Ministry of Education; they gave us a list of schools and we chose ten of those schools and there are twenty children from each of those schools in the south. It is basically the route from Placencia to Independence; we chose those schools along that route.”

 

Duane Moody

“Talk to us about the importance of having this event on an annually basis…of course, this one being the first here.”

 

Valdemar Andrade

“The importance of having this event is for the tourism industry, in particular, the cruise industry giving back to the citizens of Belize, giving back to the kids, including them in something that is worthwhile. So as corporate citizens and as the industry we are giving back to the kids and in particular to the communities. We are try to have this in every port that we would have in Belize, the southern port being the second. And yes, we are trying to ensure that we decentralized from Belize City. In the south, there are a lot of needy kids, a lot of needy communities that we can have an impact on. This is the kind of thing that this industry will bring in the future. We pushed it this year to ensure that next year we are able to organize it and show that we are able to bring the communities together. It takes a little bit more logistics to do it here because of course in Belize City; the schools are all surrounding in the city. Here we have to bus them from village to village and then into a central area.”

 

The event had all the features of a children’s party: food and drinks, music, dancing and entertainment from Ozzie the Clown. Santa Claus also made a grand appearance, bringing educational board games and toys for all the boys and girls in attendance.

 

Valdemar Andrade

“Basically there are two hundred plus kids here today because we had parents and also chaperones and teachers that came along with the kids and they got a program that included Ozzie and a show by Ozzie including magic tricks, including dancing and the kind of stuff that Duane really likes. And so the kids participated. They also had an appearance of Santa who gave them gifts; we had some snacks and food and at the end of the day, we will have some goodie bags for them to take home along with them along with their gifts. So that was the lineup.”

 

The event is the second of its kind for 2015 organized by the B.T.B. as a way for the cruise tourism industry to give back to the community. And the children were very appreciative because it’s the first time that a Christmas party is being held for them.

 

Julie Villanueva

Julie Villanueva, Student, United Community Primary School

“We had activities in which they involved clowns and it was exciting. I enjoyed the show.”

 

Reporter

“What else did you get?”

 

Julie Villanueva

“I got some gifts; I got some toys and some party bags and snacks. I want to say thanks to the B.T.B. for all the activit6ies that they had here.”

 

Janay Wade

Janay Wade, Student, St. Alfonsus RC School

“We get to see the new schools and we loved the show. We got some gifts and had a lot of fun today.”

 

Reporter

“What was the most amazing part from the clown show for you?”

 

Janay Wade

“The part with the two teachers.”

 

Duane Moody

“Would you want something like this again here for you guys?”

 

Janay Wade

“Yes.”

 

Duane Moody

“Why?”

 

Janay Wade

“Because it is the first time we came to something like this.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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