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Apr 6, 2011

Salvador’s Foreign Minister signs agreement with Belize

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of El Salvador, Hugo Roger Martinez Bonilla, is on an official visit to Belize. During the two-day visit the minister held meetings with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington during which a memorandum of understanding was penned to better the lives of Salvadoran Belizeans who account for twelve percent of Belize’s population. The following footage of the signing was provided courtesy of the Government’s Press Office.

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Wilfred Elrington

“We have not had the kind of cooperation we should have and indeed this is the first time that we are having an official visit to our country from the Foreign Minister of El Salvador. And this is the case that despite the fact that almost twelve percent of our population consist of people who originated from El Salvador. We had extended arms of welcome to Salvadoran refugees in the 1980’s and I think we had achieved perhaps one of the most outstanding integration process because the Salvadorans  were able to become woven into the fabric of Belize almost without incident. Meaning we have not had any negative experience at all. They have been fitted in well and they have been contributing tremendously to the growth and development of our society. Since I became Foreign Minister, I have been insistent that we get a visit from the Official Foreign Minister of El Salvador so that he can come and see the hospitality that we have extended to the Salvadorans and the condition in which they are living and I also had at the back of my mind and hoped that once he came and saw what was on the ground,  he would be influenced to cause more funds to be directed towards the Salvadoran Community in particular so that they can become even more productive, more skilled, more educated, more informed. By so becoming, they would in fact enhance our country even more. So we were very, very glad when he decided to come and we have been very glad to welcome him today. And we can tell you the news has been good. We have arrived at agreements in principle which should see more resources, more assistance coming from El Salvador to Salvadorans in the Belizeans Diaspora those living here in Belize and by extension for the wider Belizean community.”

Hugo Roger Martinez Bonilla

H.E. Hugo Roger Martinez Bonilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of El Salvador

“It is a great honor for me to present at this first official visit to Belize. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to carry out such a visit earlier. This is an appropriate moment to establish and strengthen our relations. It is important to cultivate our official bilateral relations as well as those with communities in Belize that are populated with Salvadorans who found a helping hand in a country that welcomed them with open arms during difficult times. As we all know, many of these people had to leave El Salvador because of the war. We are immensely grateful to Belize, its people and its government for all that it has done for our people. And now it is the time within the bilateral and corporative framework to support these communities in more decisive ways and at the same time support each other in areas of: commerce, national security, trafficking of people, scientific and technological advancement—whereas in some areas, Belize has greater advantages and in others, El Salvador does. And that will carry us towards a more fluid and complementary relationship between Belize and El Salvador.”

Late last year, the president of El Salvador was among the presidents of Central America who came to Belize for a one-day SICA Summit in San Pedro.

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10 Responses for “Salvador’s Foreign Minister signs agreement with Belize”

  1. rod says:

    big deal this means nothing el salvador is worse off than we are so they can contribute nothing to our country except gang members and drugs so why is this gov. putting this out as an accomplishment shows you how desperate this gov. is to show something positive good luck oliver twist.

  2. Earl Grey says:

    As long as WE DON’T GET SHYNED ON THIS ONE……………………………………..IT’S ALL GOOD!!!!

  3. annoyed says:

    @Rod that is not true!! u r such an @$$ for saying that. My mom is a survivor ffrom the war and she came to belize asking for help, i was born here and im a born belizean but im half salvadorian and now im working at a private institution and helpin my family my sisters are housekeeper and they are strong, hardworking womans. not all salvadorians do that you know. we have that bad part but that doesnt mean we are. just rem 35,000 salvadorians leave in Belize and if it wasnt for them maybe belize wouldnt have that piece of mind of speaking spanish!!!!. you should never ever judge one group of people if you dont know what you have gone through. I am a belizean and i am proud el salvador is standing up on helpin there people abroad atleast they are regulating something instead of stupid barrow who doesnt do anything for his own people!

  4. annoyed says:

    @Rod that is not true!. My mom is a survivor ffrom the war and she came to belize asking for help, i was born here and im a born belizean but im half salvadorian and now im working at a private institution and helpin my family my sisters are housekeeper and they are strong, hardworking womans.. we have gangs but that doesnt mean everybody is a gang member. just rem 35,000 salvadorians leave in Belize and if it wasnt for them maybe belize wouldnt have that piece of mind of speaking spanish!!!!. you should never ever judge one group of people if you dont know what they have gone through. I am a belizean and i am proud el salvador is standing up on helpin there people abroad atleast they are regulating something instead of stupid barrow who doesnt do anything for his own people!

  5. Proud Belizean says:

    Rod, your statement is definitely not true. I am proud Belizean that migrated from El Salvador at age 2.

    My family moved to Belize in 1980 at the beginning of the war in El Salvador. We walked out of our house taking nothing and leaving house, farm land, family and friends.

    We found paradise in Belize and forgot the material things we left behind in El Salvador. We found that Belize had so much to offer: fertile lands, lots of forest, beautiful rivers and the list goes on.

    My family wondered all over Belize from farm to farm finding a way of life: from orange orchards where the whole family reaped oranges and planted vegetables and fruit trees for a living. My father even ventured off north to cut sugar cane. I remember as a little boy that when we dreamed of a toy, dad would say, don’t worry, I will buy you a brand new machete so you can work at the farm. We worked hard everyday.

    In the late 1980′s my parents had a vegetable stall across from Brodies in Belmopan. Finally in 1989, my father bought our first piece of land, a small house lot and house in Las Flores, Belmopan that we could call our own. He died one year later en route to El Salvador to visit his parents. To make things worst, our little house burnt in 1991 and we lost everything.

    My mom and my oldest sibling who was 15 at the time, pushed us forward and kept us in school. I did all my studies in Belize, graduating from sixth form (UCB at the time) in 1997 and got my first job thereafter. It was then my turn to push my younger siblings through school which I did proudly.

    In 1999, I entered the public service and served for just over 10 years before moving on to finish my dregree. On 28 January 2011, I graduate from the University of Belize with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Sector Management. Next year, if God permits, I will enroll in a Master’s Degree program.

    I am a productive, proud and law-abiding citizen of Belize and I thank God everyday for my parents decision to move to Belize and pray so that we can find a solution to all the crime that is plaguing our nation. Belize is my home…i have lived here for 31 years. I am, just as the Salvadoran Minister of Foreign Affairs said, thankful to Government of Belize for providing a safe haven for Salvadorans.

  6. anonymous says:

    question…..wasn’t Obama just Salvador the other day????How come he didn’t come isit his GOOOOd friend Barrow. Didn’t Barrow say Obama would be coming to Belize to visit him…llolol..Barrow is just ridiculous

  7. Al says:

    Very interesting, a country that is not doing enough for their own is looking to give bread to foreigners. The Belize people need to be educated and they need skills to make them productive. How much support can a country that is in the same boat as you give to help you. Those people left Salvador to come to Belize because they could not make it there, the same as our own people. Do you think Belizeans can go to Salvador and squat on land and refuse to move. Educate your own people first, the saying says charity begins at home. Seek to educate your own people first, develop their skills, help them to be productive, then stretch a helping hand to ohters. Get some common sense people of the Belize government.

  8. c says:

    I vote that we feed Rod to the gangs…salvadorean or belizean

  9. check it out says:

    For the people claiming El Salvador is worst than Belize you are so WRONG, Obama recently visited Chile, Brazil and El Salvador and his trip was advertised as a trip to 3 Latin Amercan success stories. El Salvador has done a lot of improvement in the last 30 years, check their quality of life indices , it is improving as oppose to Belize’s. their economy is thriving, they are ready to sign a free trade deal with the US. So lets not jump to criticise before we look at ourselves

  10. realistic says:

    not only ‘rod’ but ‘Al’ too such ignorant ppl when it comes to development, look at how el salvador looks in comparison to belize. I think they only know how to get to channel5belize.com..lol try finding out how el salvador is doing before u even write here………but that’s just d ignorant talking cause educated ppl dont behave like dat

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