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Sep 23, 2022

Joshua’s Park is Back; the Victoria Alvarez Park is Officially Reopened

Eleven years ago on September twenty-first, 2011, Joshua Abraham, a nine-year-old student was fatally shot on Victoria Street in Belize City.  In the wake of his senseless killing, his mother Marcia Argalles worked to revitalise a neighbourhood park on North Front Street, which had been left abandoned. Multiple attempts were made, but today, the Victoria Alvarez Park was officially inaugurated in honour of the slain child with hopes that it will serve as a safe space for young people from Fort George and Pickstock divisions. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

A short ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this morning to officially reopen the Victoria Alvarez Park on North Front Street in the Fort George division.  The park is being opened in honour of Joshua Abraham, a youth from the area who was callously murdered back in 2011.


Marcia Argalles

Marcia Argalles, Mother of Joshua Abraham

“It is a blessing to my heart; it’s a blessing cause from I have lost Joshua in 2011 that was my greatest desire. We didn’t even have the fence up anymore, the swings had gone, the benches – everything was just dismantled. I don’t know how or whatever happened, but it was really down. Whenever I would come by I would just see the kids playing with nothing to play with. And I said mien I gotta put in some work and try, but then Mister Usher he reached out to me and said Marcia, I want to do something with the park. I was so happy; I said yes. Now I assure the community that we are back.”


For Fort George area rep Henry Charles Usher, the newly retrofitted space is more than just a park.


Henry Charles Usher

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George

“A park is more than just a place for children to come and play. It is a safe space, it is a place for them to be creative, it is a place for them to feel that they are a part of the community. And that’s why this is a community area for the communities of Pickstock and Fort George to be a part and to be one. So certainly, this was one of our very first initiatives, our very first projects that we wanted to accomplish using the community development funds that the prime minister, minister of finance was able to secure for all area representatives in all constituencies.”


Abraham’s mother, Marcia Argalles says that the park will now be the venue for many community activities and Minister Usher believes that the possibilities are endless.


Marcia Argalles

“They need some place. They can’t always be on the street. People would say, “Oh, they always di heng out on the street, but where will they go. So now they did a basketball court and every evening you see the guys going in line and I thank God and pray that they do the up keeping. Joshua’s life is still going, his memories are still there and it’s back.”


Duane Moody

“So definitely we are going to see more activities happening?”


Marcia Argalles

“Oh yes. Christmas is coming so my preparations will start now.”


Henry Charles Usher

“We certainly want to call on the community to assist us in keeping the park clean, keeping all of the equipment in place. And we want to do more in the park. We want to have a basketball tournament here soon; we want to maybe do an urban garden here in the park, a story book area where the kids can come in learning and so on. So there is a lot more that we want to do and in time we can do so.”


There was also support from the Belize City Council. Mayor Bernard Wagner handed over a cheque of three thousand dollars to the Fort George Committee to assist with the community initiative.


Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“We have to be able to, as leaders, as a government, as a city council continue to create safe spaces, inclusive spaces because it has to be when yo di create these spaces that the people weh live in the immediate area be a part of it because then they take ownership of it. When you have more safe spaces ina yo city, yo have less crime. We are not mandated to deal with crime, but we could impact crime in a positive way by engaging in such activities.”


The total cost of the project is eighteen thousand dollars and included the installation of the basketball court, upright and rim as well as the swing set. The fence was also repaired and a mural painted. 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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