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Nov 22, 2021

Newly Paved Road in Hopkins Brings Relief to Tourists/Employees

Tourism represents forty percent of G.D.P., forty percent of employment opportunities for the workforce and the vast majority of investments in Belize come via tourism investments. Tourism also injects a bulk of the foreign exchange used for the purchase of imported goods. On Saturday, one point two miles of paved road was officially launched in the up-and-coming tourism destination of Hopkins and News Five was there.


Duane Moody, Reporting

If you’ve travelled to Hopkins Village over the years and headed past the Garimaya Art Center towards Hamanasi and Jaguar Reef Lodge, you might have been making your way through muck – as do many tourists and residents employed in the tourism sector.  The cries for an upgrade did not fall on deaf ears and now that stretch of dirt road has been transformed into one point two miles of smooth paved street.


Ian Lizarraga, Spokesperson, Hopkins Business Community

Ian Lizarraga

“A year ago, this would have been a sloppy mess. We wouldn’t have been able to sit here today without getting splashed with – and it was a special kind of mud. It was that orange kind weh noh matter how hard yo try scrub it off, it noh come off. And the irony is that it rains a lot here coming into the peak season into when we start to get busy. So we would have had tourists out here a year ago, wading through the mud to get from one hotel to the other or from one restaurant to the other, or from the restaurant and hotel community to the village and it was a mucky mess.”


Rodwell Ferguson

Rodwell Ferguson, Area Representative, Stann Creek West

“When I was a child, Hopkins was a little fishing community. Hopkins has transformed over the last twenty years to become one of Belize’s number one tourist destination. And so when this initiative came about, the Ministry of Tourism and the Minister of Infrastructure [Development] along with the village community, I said that I fully support because Hopkins is making their contribution to our national treasury.”


The upgrade came by way of an MOU signed between the Ministries of Tourism and Infrastructure Development and the business community in Hopkins. Now, eight months later, at a cost of approximately eight hundred thousand dollars, the road project is complete.


Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations

Anthony Mahler

“Hopkins is s fast growing destination for tourism in Belize and you need the requisite infrastructure to support the development of hotels, restaurant, bars, gift shops, etc. We got together with the private sector here and we sat down and we said let’s do it together. They were onboard and so it was a public/private sector partnership to get this road completed.”


A request for a connecting road to be asphalted was also brokered during the official launch of the road.


Julius Espat

Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development & Housing

“I said Minister Mahler can we partner with you to not help only the investors for the hotel industry in the village, but the villagers themselves. We need to make sure that this happens and I must say the Minister of Tourism has pledged to assist in the paving of the back road, which is the exit road that we see here leading up to the main entrance. Apart from that, our ministry had equipment presently in the village, but the rain has held us back a bit. Have a little bit of patience, once the weather eases up, our equipment will be grading the other roads that are in Hopkins.”


Rodwell Ferguson

“For us to complete this project, we have to link the back road with this road. So he has given me that guarantee that we are going to see that happen within maybe the next year’s budget. Hopkins infrastructure was down for many years and with this on stream now, we will see where Hopkins will become on the level with San Pedro and likewise Placencia.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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