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Aug 2, 2017

Belmopan Youth Engage in Agriculture as Opposed to Crime

Back in 2015, villages surrounding Belmopan had a spiraling in crime committed by youths.  After assessing the issue, the Belmopan Police decided to do a program to engage young people to offer them an alternative to crime. Youth Engaged in Agriculture was piloted last summer as an initiative where youths from Belmopan and surrounding communities learn how to work with plants and animals. In its second year, over a hundred children between the ages of nine and fifteen are participating in the program which will wrap up on Saturday. Superintendent Howell Gillett explains the importance of this kind of engagement.


Howell Gillett

Supt. Howell Gillett, O.C., Belmopan Police

“Yes, if we have young people engaged highly with law enforcement, we will be able to solve some of the issues affecting us. Because you know, as well I know, that criminals will take charge of young people during that formative age, and according to Dr Gayle, nine to fifteen, that is the age that we are targeting so that we can form them into people who want them to be; productive citizens of this country. Farming is one of the ways and as I heard this morning in the Minister’s speech, the average age of farmers is sixty-five and that is a sad record. Many young people question why policing and farming, but that is only one of the ways that we are trying to get to young people. We are pleased for this occasion, it is not just farming; these young people will learn budding, grafting, they will learn how to make cheese, salsa casera, horse husbandry; but there will be some fun part to it; there will be zip lining and a kids park that will be there and a big part of it will be Saturday when we have a kids rodeo. They will be riding the bull and doing barrel racing, just that is the smaller bulls than the big rodeo. The kids are very happy for this and looking out for that.”

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