Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » People & Places, Social Issues » A Hostel’s way Home
May 13, 2022

A Hostel’s way Home

The Princess Royal Youth Hostel is being renamed this weekend, after carrying the name that it was inaugurated with several decades ago. While the administration and residents have come up with a more fitting name, they share an enduring bond that also makes them a family. Tonight’s episode of On the Bright Side focuses on the youths who are residents of the facility and how their lives have changed for the better. Here’s Sabreena Daly.


Samantha (Alias)
“I came here with a cold, bitter, no-loving heart to be honest. I came to the hostel with hate in my heart for what my family did to me for years and years. It builds up and it can’t come out.”



Sabreena Daly, Reporting

These are the emotions felt by most children who walk through the gates of the Princess Royal Youth Hostel for the first time. Abandonment, a common theme, would be the curse to be cured. Samantha, an assumed name to protect her identity, has lived in this system for the latter part of her teenage years. In fact, she has committed all those dates to memory. Her first trip, the day she left, the day she returned and the day when she will be able to leave.

Samantha (Alias)
“I feel like the world was against me, like I didn’t have anyone on my side. I’ve hated coming here far away from my family, my friends, my freedom, to go anywhere I want, to stay up late, to be myself. I didn’t like coming here at first. I didn’t see it as a place for me.”


For children like Samantha, cases like these where they are placed in a live-in facility are all too similar. For most of these kids, theirresponse to feeling like no one is there for them or no one will protect them is rebelling.
Samantha (Alias)
“My family would watch my father do me things, but they wouldn’t do anything because they are afraid of him. He was very abusive. He would let me kneel on a grater with two cement blocks in my hands and tell me to stay on that grater for 12 hours without eating, using the bathroom or anything. If I wanted to urinate, I would urinate right there or defecate right there at the same spot.”


And if families don’t, it’s hard to think strangers will show care to strangers.


Anne Cuvas

Anne Cuvas, Program Coordinator, Youth Hostel
“Each of them come with different circumstances. But it all culminates to the fact that those who are supposed to take care of them cannot for whatever reason. And it’s very important that we do what we can for them because it’s not really their fault. They had nothing to do with this. They were just kids who were brought into this world, and the people that brought them in weren’t ready for them.”


Samantha loves to read.
Samantha (Alias)
“I started to read more frequently and that makes me feel happy. Ms. Palacio, she’s always encouraging me, always getting me books, how much books I need. She would give me a book for one week and the book would be very thick like this and she would say, “You have already read this book?” and I would say “Long time! I just can’t come any time”. She said well, you read fast, get another one.”


One of her latest reads is from Belizean Author, Arthur Daly who tells his life’s story of being in the same system Samantha is a part of — The Hostel, decades ago. Arthur visited the kids at the hostel and shared his books, but that wasn’t the only thing Samantha got.

Samantha (Alias)
“A boy called Black Mint, yes, I read that book in three days’ time. That book is very inspiring to me because I like books like these, to learn about your life. To me his life was almost similar as mine because he was abused just like me and that really made me get more and more attached to the book and wanted to read it more and more. He let me feel like I can do the same thing as him and to be accomplished in life and never give up on my dreams just as he did. I really appreciate and thank that he has agreed to pay my school fees so that I can continue my studies and to be someone in life.”


And, in reading his book, she realized early on that her career choice may need to change.

Samantha (Alias)

“I said I was going to take science so I could be a nurse but I changed my mind. I’ve started writing a book. I’m writing my own story of my whole life in one combination so you guys could know everything and how you can change because not everyone will stay one way in life everyone has a time and a period to change.”
Anne Cuvas

“We want to say this, we are a family. We are a family at this facility. Those children are ours and we treat them like that and we take care of them like that. When they see all these people who love them and what to take care of them and want to listen to them, its like, “I am important, I do have a role to play”. That dynamic changes them in an instance because then they start to believe in themselves.”


Samantha is ready to prove just that. She is a few months away from her eighteenth birthday, a date that marks a new beginning.

Samantha (Alias)
“I feel kinda sad because I want to stay here but I’m about to turn 18 and I’m going to finish school right here in June so I have to go and start off my own life.”

Anne Cuvas
“That’s the greatest feeling ever because that’s our end result. Everything we do here is for these kids to get back with their families and loved ones. It’s not for them to stay here forever, that’s not the goal at all.”
Samantha (Alias)

“Obstacles will always be there in front of you. You only have one thing to do: Go around, across or under, or you could just stop and give up and that’s not an intention for me to do.”


A new beginning is on the horizon and while Samantha is leaving to make her fresh start, to commemorate the International Day of the Family, the Youth Hostel is doing something special for the kids they call family.

Anne Cuvas
“On Sunday of this week, we are unveiling the new name the facility and it was named by the children. Again, what we do here is inclusion. It’s their place. It’s for them. They tell us what they want us to do and we do it for them.”



“So, we can get a sneak peak of what the new name will be?”
Anne Cuvas

“No! Not yet, not yet. It has to do a lot with starting afresh. We’re starting afresh. We won’t let what the past happened be our present or our future.”


Looking on the Bright Side, I’m Sabreena Daly.

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