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Jan 19, 2011

Scotia Bank and Hand in Hand give a home to family of 3

The family of William Portillo is safely home tonight. They got the keys to their new house this afternoon and moved in after it was handed over to them by Hand in Hand Ministries and Scotiabank. The house is only one component of the Building for Change project; the intention is to build families, an initiative that the bank strongly supports.   News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

William Portillo, his wife Irma and their baby girl Michele, today received the keys to their new home in Belama Phase Four.  The house was built through a joint initiative by Hand in Hand Ministries and Scotiabank and Portillo was extremely grateful.

William Portillo

William Portillo, New Homeowner

“I feel very happy and I am also thankful to God, to Scotiabank and to Hand in Hand for providing us a home. At first we were paying rent and we really couldn’t afford to get much things. But now we have our own house and we are not paying rent. We can see towards the future; to a brighter future for our child.”

Douglas Bowen, Commercial Banking Manager, Scotiabank

Douglas Bowen

“This was actually the brainchild of the staff getting together and deciding that we wanted to provide a home for a needy family. It was initially envisioned to be one home and when we started our fundraising efforts we approached the bank as well to see whether the bank would, as a corporate entity, provide some matching grant.”

Bernard H. Panton, Dir. of Programs/Special Projects, Hand in Hand Ministries

“Hand in Hand has this project called Building for Change that we have started since 2003. The objective of Building for Change is that we build a house for the most needy and the main objective is building family, the house is just a vehicle.”

Hand in Hand was responsible for the selection process and the technical side of the construction, but the bank staff also got their hands dirty to complete the structure in just a few days.

Bernard H. Panton

Bernard H. Panton

“They have a Construction Coordinator and an assistant and what we do is we partner with groups, schools, anybody who wants to help. And these organizations, they raise the funds or donate the funds and they also come and do the labor.”

Douglas Bowen

“We actually came out two weeks before the Christmas on a Saturday and Sunday and we actually started from scratch. With the help of the Hand in Hand Ministry, they were able to do the technical work and we actually got the concrete structure completed the Saturday and we began construction of the wooden portion and completed it on Sunday.”

But it was a free ride for the Portillo family.

Bernard H. Panton

“It is mandatory that they help build the house, it is mandatory that assist with building a house for somebody else and also we have an education component added on to this Building for Change Program.”

Landy Salazar, Sr. Relationship Manager, Scotiabank

“It makes us feel really proud when we see what we’ve accomplished here today; not to mention the impact that it has on William and his family. So we will be going out there and continue to ask corporate houses for their support like always.”

That’s because Scotiabank plans to build more house and take the project countrywide.

Landy Salazar

Landy salazar

“We were successful enough in raising enough money to build this one home at this point. We still have a little bit extra but as Doug mentioned, we are aspiring to get matching funds from our head office which would allow us to build additional homes in the upcoming year or two.”

Douglas Bowen

“Our initiative also will not be solely based within the Belize City area. It will be throughout the country and of course the reason for that is because our staff countrywide has been a part of the initiative in selling tickets and getting the monies raised.”

The house is valued around fifteen thousand dollars and has utilities already installed. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The Portillo’s home was number one hundred and forty-eight of the one hundred and fifty houses that Hand in Hand Ministries has built.

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8 Responses for “Scotia Bank and Hand in Hand give a home to family of 3”

  1. The People Had Enough says:

    After they rape and pillage this country with usury; they give a family (yes, they need it) a house and pat themselves on the back for this. This is sick and a slap in the face of all Belizeans in this country. Nothing but a damn publicity stunt, give a man a chiling and take his wallet with your free hand, nothing more, nothing less.


  2. nena says:

    Well i wish more Belizeans would be so lucky and get house and land like that. All Belizeans who got land at the back of phase four got their lands taken away. All the foreigners got their papers for their land, they were not moved. They put electricity for them and nothing for the Belizean people Why simply because they know that these people are not Belizeans so they will vote for who gives them lot and not for the betterment of the country. They are here to make money to fix lives for their own in where ever they come from. This is so not fair. This is Belize Belizeans should come first. Sorry this is the way i feel. I am inmy thirties and still cant get a peice of land. Everybody knows that through politics is the only way you can get a peice of land. Sometimes when you applications who are up at lands for five maybe even 10 years and still we dont get nothing so the only way to get is through UDP or PUP just to have it taken away. That is so not fair!!! OUR VOTES VALUE TRY TREATING US BELIZEANS THE RIGHT WAY. THIS LAND IS OURS NOT FOREIGNERS

  3. BZNinCALI says:

    Good job.

  4. Tiredbelizean says:

    I wouldn’t tell them “good job”. Giving foreigners a home and land is not a good job, scotia bank robbing people with senseless fees every month is definitely not a good job. Scotia Bank is a white collar crook!!

  5. MADDD says:

    I am a down to earth proud belizean, but i will never ever vote for any UDP or PUP, I am here for myself, cause none of those stupid fools government people put a single plate of food on my table. I am tired of seeing belizeans suffer. It is True that Here in Belize u will never get anything if u are not asociated with the Barrow cronies or some $#!@ like that. I plan on living my own way until God wishes to take me away.

  6. Biologist says:

    u damn efing right MADDD. I’m with you on that one!!!!!!

  7. BZNinCALI says:

    Tired Belizean, are they foreigners or Belizeans of Spanish or Mayan descent?

    All banks charge fees, none of us like them. If their employees are willing to take money out of their pockets as well as donate their time to help with the construction, they should be applauded. The bank employees work for a living, they don’t set the rules or the fees.

    Hand in Hand Ministries is like Habitat for Humanity & Belizeans should embrace more of these organizations because they are allow poor people who could not otherwise afford a home the opportunity to do so. I have dealt with Lands, they are annoying but we have to get beyond our something for nothing mentality. When BIGYEA was asking that the people who were benefiting from their efforts to acquire the 800 acres to pay a few dollars to offset costs, many complained, accused them of impropriety & insisted that the GOB pick up the cost. People, there is no free lunch, If you are not willing or able to pay to acquire title to the land, you will not pay to develop it.

    We as a people & a community have to get off our lazy behinds & work together so that we can build our own homes & communities. There a lot of people who would help if you all showed some initiative & stopped complaining about the things you CAN change. If you do not have the money, be willing to put in sweat equity. This family was willing to do that, stop hating.

  8. peacemaker says:

    How can you possibly change things when in this country its difficult to aquire anything. Not all of us are rich people that have money to purchase property. Many us belizeans are middle class and poor class. The only way we can aquire land or get something is either politically. Its unfair that in this country we belizeans come last. I see foreiners come in and they get land for each member of thier family. We can go over to chetumal or the states to do that. We should come first. You Mr or Ms. BZNinCALI. go take a walk at phase four and count how many belizean families live at the back of phase four. I think you will be able to count then on one hand. Many belizeans were given papers for lands at the back of phase 4. UDP claimed that they papers were not valid. I think when something is not valid then its not valid for noone. Everybody received papers the same day for those lands at phase 4 and all the people who were sent letters right after UDP won were all belizeans. Answer me then mr BZNinCALI., why werent the immigrants living behind there given letters too. Explain that to belizean person that they are not elegible nor important to receive a peice of land in their own country. You are probably not a belizean yourself that is why you can talk that way. Poilitics or not we belizeans do have a right to peice or OUR Jewel. So it has nothing to do with hating. This immigrant family has a husband and a wife and one child. They are far well off than many families and they are not belizeans. They have some belizean moms single in belize with five to eight children who really need the help. Scotia bank and everybody who wants to help help your belizean people first Thats how i feel. I go for my belizean people, black ketchi mestizo as long as they are belizeans. WE FIRST!!!!!!

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