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May 20, 2022

Industrial Zone

This week, Sabreena looks at a positive alternative to crime and violence amid the scourge that has gripped the Old Capital. She visited a group of young men and women who are intent on making a change in their lives for the better by occupying themselves with work inside what they call an industrial zone. Here’s Sabreena on the Bright Side.


Sabreena Daly, Reporting
Where the busy streets of Belize City meet passers-by, so does the haunting feeling of coexisting criminal activities. Gang warfare and violence plagues the south side. The lingering question: What does it take for the crime to end?

Brent Garoy

Brent Garoy, Carpenter
“We been through a lot ina life to and now this dah wah time fo we change fo we life and the brethren them as well. They ready fo change to and they di work with me with this program weh we di organize. We di try orchestrate wa industrial zone inafo we community to bring back wa lee kinda lifeina we society because all they years, lotta crime and violence dih go on ina the streets ah Belize city so we decide fo start something new inafo we community as elders yuh understand me.”


Brent Garoy has seen his fair share of fearful eyes. Residing inTaylors alley on Orange street Belize City, he admits to a dark past, one after a five-year sentence prompted him to make a critical change.

Brent Garoy, Carpenter

“This da something weh they mi di push me fo do. So, I noh just come do this right soh. I plan all ah this while I mi dehina prison, while I di work. I does be the head carver da Belize Central Prison. I carve out the dorey fo so much years, the La Ruta Maya dorey and I come out now and I beg and ask fo the contracts so I coulda mi do it and da dehn deh help me. With people weh buy things from me and donate ah lee one and two thing. And tha that da weh I push my effort ina fo try turn round my youths they because everyday they come round ya and they like see what I di do. I tell they come so we could learn more.”

An effort to leave the past behind and thread on positive ground birthed the concept of the Industrial Zone. It’s an open lot that Brent and his associates believe will put a stint in crime and give an option to youth.

Errol Andrews

Errol Andrews, Mechanic
“We di try turn wa new leaf. We di try show people that noh because people dehinawa lee corner and dih sit down, they di organize crime. No, we noh di organize crime, we di organize wa new entity of production, like you said, the Industrial Zone. This wah cater to youth learning, like a program. Without anybody, this dah weh we di do fo we youths deh and any youths outside could come and learn same way.  Lotta youths dih come outa school. Some ah they wa graduate fourth form and noh got no headway. Soh betta yuh just try something and design yuh own job and yuh life skills. That da weh we dehya fah.”


The Industrial Zone caters to anyone willing to learn trade basics in carpentry, vehicle mechanics, landscaping or something simple as the do’s and don’ts in car washing. But the best part is the harmony it builds among the stakeholders within the community.

Brent Garoy, Carpenter
“From we start this thing no problem happen ina we community and we di try keep up this. If we keep up this, the people they give welotta lee job. They people hail we, we pressure hose they building. They come, they park they business car right ya and we wash they car and they get back they vehicle safe and everything alright. They nohfraid now. They noh fear we no more. We noh lead no fearness ina fi deh heart no more from what we di do ya cause they could sih. Everyday we hail they, “yes mami”, “yes dads”. They hail back a nice way and they support we ina anyway they can. So, they find it a good way and you could check with they to if unu want know and they wa tell unu.”


And so, we did. Vendors within the community shared their view of what it means for an initiative like this to take place.

Karina Sutherland

Karina Sutherland, Hair Dresser
“Well, I feel that the young men are trying to evolve and do the right thing to uplift the community. I am very proud of some of them who are trying to make the community a better place and a safer place to be around.”

Rojerio Lisbey

Rojerio Lisbey, Store Owner

“That is a good thing for the youth in our area to change their life.  I feel it’s a positive initiative and we support it as a business. I believe that everyone should get a chance, noh. Not because it is the first mistake you do in life. Everyone deserves a chance, a second chance.”

Jamillett Cus

Jamillett Cus, Store Attendant
“At first when we came here, a lot of people told us it’s a bit dangerous but we had that lee friendship with them and they always check on us or they are always giving an eye on us when it’s a busy time, they always keep an eye because sometimes we take some stuff out there. I feel happy about them because they will entertain their life in that way and left the streets if they were doing something back then, they will improve in their lives.”


Charles Middleton

Charles Middleton, Car Washer

“Mek ah explain, the biggest thing da people watch we like we da monsters and we want mek people know da noh monster deh round yah. Lotta people noh expect this from we. And ina my point ah view, you noh watch weh nobody seh. Yuh have to live fih you, yuh understand me. Lotta youths dih follow people weh older than they, so if you di teach the youth they the right thing then they wah do the right thing, yuh understand me.”


And…the perfect example of youth following suit presented itself… right across the street from the Industrial Zone.

Deon White

Deon White, Food vendor
“I recently come out ah jail ina October 2021, you know, the 28th of October. I decide, I noh really want goh da jail again soh ah dih start up this little business yah and by the grace ah the father ih elevate.  Sometimes I noh want sell anything and I get a lee discouraged and noh want really sell anything because barely any people buy but my brothers encourage me and always tell me fonoh give up because they like see what I dih do and that motivate me and give me strength and power. And also, I da wah artist too right, song writer and thing. Soon ah wah publish a lee album soh the society could see mih talent and get the message I di she ina mi song the right.”



“So, doing this supplies the dream?”



“Yes ma’am. By doing this I could get equipment you know. Buy riddim and get studio time.”


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


If you would like to support the Industrial Zone in donation or business, you can contact Brent Garoy on Facebook or contact him by cell 633-8570.

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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