Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Environment, People & Places, Regional / International » FCD Hosts Exchange Programme with 5 Guat Communities
Jan 28, 2020

FCD Hosts Exchange Programme with 5 Guat Communities

F.C.D. held a two-day bi-national youth exchange programme with youths from five Guatemalan communities that fringe the Chiquibul National Park. The purpose of the exchange was to sensitize and help empower the young people to champion the protection of the environment, primarily the forest and water resources. The engagement with the rural communities in Guatemala was carried out by FCD with the support of the Asociacion Balam and the Canada Fund for local Initiatives. With help from our correspondent Aurelio Sho, we have put together a report of the event. Here’s the story.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The F.C.D. hosted an exchange programme with a small group of young people from five Guatemalan communities within the adjacency zone. The communities, La Rejoya, Nueva Armenia, San Jose Chiquibul, Las Flores Chiquibul and Puertas Del Cielo Chiquibul are located within the Chiquibul Maya Mountain Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala, which borders Belize’s Chiquibul Forest. This weekend’s activity was the first of its kind activity for these remote communities. Programme Director of F.C.D. Esther Sanchez Sho says this youth-led community approach is critical to the work that they do.


Esther Sanchez Sho

Esther Sanchez Sho, Programme Director, F.C.D.

“The purpose of this is to be able to reach out to these communities and partly to build the confidence among the communities in the area of environmental work.  For us at F.C.D., this is very strategic as well because a lot of times when you hear the names of these communities, you think about illegal activities.  We have the Chiquibul River which passes through these same communities where these persons come from today. So, we want to be able to discuss the issues and what they can do as young persons, as well in a way to expand the work that youths are doing as movement in both countries.”


According to the F.C.D., in recent times they have observed increased food and water scarcity where the two countries share resources. So to address it, they have engaged the communities to come together to find a sustainable ways of using the resources to conserve for future use.  To do this, the F.C.D. carried out a number of educational activities to educate their Guatemalan counterparts, with plans to launch sensitization campaigns for the children and youth in the rural communities.


Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia, Todos Por Mundo Verde Environmental Group [Translated]

“We are working specifically with children from the community to instill the importance of protection, conservation of the forest, rivers and the basin, specifically the Chiquibul River that they use. We are working with them to unite and strengthen the connection with the community. We are seeking that they get involved directly so that they are the agents of change in the community and that they can do projects that will protect and improve their quality of life but also respecting the natural environment and everything that surrounds it.”


The F.C.D. Environmental Youth Group has been doing work with neighboring communities for many years. They have seen the need to partner with and promote conservation among the border communities.


Rahima Espat

Rahima Espat, Communications Officer, F.C.D. Environmental Youth Group

“The benefit to being here today is that we get to meet new people; we get to spread the word. And three you get to actually fight for the environment. So far it is an issue; garbage disposal; deforestation; and we can see that on the Guatemalan side. We might think that’s just Guatemala but at the end of the day it is affecting us as community here in Belize. The garbage flows down into our rivers and if we don’t help them, they won’t be able to help us. So, we need to help them to help us to have a better environment.”


The partners, led by the F.C.D., will also be exploring sustainable livelihood programmes to enhance their conservation efforts with the communities. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed