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Aug 29, 2018

Machakil Ha Students Walk through Mud to Get to School

Machakil Ha is one of the most southernmost villages in the Toledo district and has a small population. The children from the village have to attend school at Corazon Creek Village which is about fifteen miles away. It might not seem difficult if they commute by public transportation, but for the students of Machakil Ha, the task of getting to school involves trekking five miles on foot through bushes, walking through mud and then taking a ten-mile bus ride. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The images show a group of students trekking through some bushes and in thick mud. These students are from Machakil Ha, a Mayan village hidden deep in the Toledo District. The images were captured on video three months ago in May before the hurricane season began. The heavy rains caused what should have been a cleared path to become a pool of thick mud-inches deep, making it a challenge for whosoever wants to get across. These students have been doing it for quite some time. They attend Corazon Creek Technical School, miles away from their home village. The students first have to trek some five miles through narrow pathways in dense jungle to Dolores Village. From there they would hop on a bus which would then take them to Otoxha Village where more students would be picked up. The bus would then take them to Corazon Creek Technical School for classes. It is about a fifteen miles journey in total, a journey they must be prepared for early in the morning in order to be on time for classes. But with the Atlantic hurricane season upon us and with primary schools opening shortly, the sporadic torrential rains have caused the path from Machakil Ha to Dolores to become much, much worse.

 

Teacher

“Why are you children walking in the mud like that?”

 

Student #1

“We are attending Corazon Creek Technical High School. If was dry when we left this morning but coming back on our way home it started to rain and it got really muddy.”

 

Teacher

“Why can’t you stay with a family where the school bus runs?”

 

Student #1

“We would love to stay with a family but our parents do not have the money for us to pay rent. Education is very important for us so we cannot stop our education just because of this.”

 

Teacher

“What do you want the Government to do for Machakil Ha?”

 

Student #2

“We want the government to rock our road. I want to continue my education.”

 

Some of the students trek through the mud with their feet bare; others have the protection of rubber boots.

 

Teacher

“Do you like to walk in the mud?”

 

Students

“No sir.”

 

Teacher

“What do you want?”

 

Students

“A better road.”

 

Teacher

“By whom?”

 

Students

“By the Government.”

 

Teacher

“Hopefully the Government will listen to your cries because I know you guys need a better future.”

 

And like that, the students continued on their way through the thick mud. They have gotten accustomed to but the reality is it the students of Machakil Ha should not experience such ordeals, especially in the year 2018.

 

Student #3

“My Name is Alfonso Cucul and I want to be a teacher.”

 

Student #4

“We are the future of Belize. We love Belize.”

 

Student #5

“My name is Susana. I am Machakil Ha.”

 

Student #6

“I love Machakil Ha.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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