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May 27, 2021

First Belizean Elected to Commonwealth Youth Council

The first Belizean to be elected to the Commonwealth Youth Council is a twenty-four-year-old young woman from south side Belize City. This week, C.Y.C. announced that Dominique Noralez was elected as the regional representative for the Caribbean and Americas.  The Commonwealth Heads of Government recognizes C.Y.C. as the official voice for over one billion young people within the fifty-two Commonwealth nations. Established in November of 2011, a Belizean has never sat on the council.


Dominique Noralez, Regional Representative for Caribbean and Americas, C.Y.C.

“As a young Belizean, the second to contest to this post, the first to win, it is, there are no words.”


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Dominique Noralez will represent the Caribbean and Americas as liaison officer between the Commonwealth Youth Program and the Commonwealth Youth Council. She succeeds France George from St Vincent and the Grenadines.


Dominique Noralez

Dominique Noralez

“A lot of time we get drowned out in the world stage. I think he did a lot of work in that respect, making sure that we exist. And making sure that the national youth council, which is a huge part of, the core really, of the Commonwealth Youth Council, making sure that we get the requisite training. One of things that is a sort of down fall of the national youth council is that many young people come into un-institutionalized spaces and then we ourselves do not have the capacity to lead. And so that was a huge part of his work, making sure that the young people build their own capacity, but also that they have an institution to walk into that is made to succeed.”


Noralez is hopeful that one day she will be given the opportunity to represent Belize as a parliamentarian. Her election to the Commonwealth Youth Council is another step towards that end.


Dominique Noralez

“I do not think it is a secret at this point. Everyone knows my affinity for public service and of course as I mentioned, politics and elections. It was really one of the most heartbreaking things to not be home for two of the most recent elections we had. I don’t know if its natural progression and I tell people I don’t know if it was peer pressure or actually me who wanted politics. But I think this is where I belong.”


As a product of South Side Belize City, home to some of the most impoverished and underprivileged communities in the country, Noralez says she intends to use her success to make successful individuals of Southside youths.


Dominique Noralez

“I know that the young people of the south side of Belize City we face a lot of challenges, and a lot of decaying social systems, from families to church to school. And so my success is something I don’t take lightly. And it is not even something I could call success yet. And I am getting very emotional because I am thinking of all the young people who have not made it, people I grew up with who are now deceased, and so spaces like this and opportunities like this are ones that I don’t take lightly. And I make sure I carry all the people who I have grown up with who are struggling to make it, who have not made it, with me. That is what keeps me focused and centered.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.


Noralez says she is also interested in expanding the knowledge of her Garifuna culture and people through this global platform.

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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