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Jan 20, 2023

San Jose School to Get New School Building Courtesy the U.S. South Command

The San Jose Government School in Orange Walk District will be benefiting from a new classroom building for the upcoming school year, in September. As construction being carried out by the U.S. Southern Command team continues, today, Ministry of Education officials and U.S. Ambassador to Belize Michelle Kwan made a site visit to see the progress so far and to distribute school supplies to the student body. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

It was a festive program this morning at the San Jose Government School in Orange Walk. The primary school students put off several performances to celebrate Belize’s cultural diversity through dance and poetry. But even before these presentations, Miss San Jose Government School Shirett Escalante welcomed us all to the compound.


Shireth Escalante

Shireth Escalante, Miss San Jose Government School

“Good morning, I am so happy to meet you today. I heard you are special, kind and smart. I heard you’ve been blessed with a beautiful heart. This year is starting definitely bright all because you are such wonderful and distinguished visitors at San Jose Government School. With this, it is my pleasure to welcome you all. Thank you. (Applause)”


Among those distinguished guests were U.S. Ambassador to Belize Michelle Kwan, Minister of Education and Culture Francis Fonseca and Orange Walk North Area Representative Ramon Cervantes. During the brief ceremony, a symbolic handing over of backpacks was done for the four hundred and twenty-five students who attend the institution.


Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan, U.S. Ambassador to Belize

“Today was so emotional seeing the future of Belize, the students ranging from five years old to twelve years old. It was so beautiful from the prayer to the national anthem of both our countries and then passing out school supplies, backpacks to the students – really investing. This is our commitment; the partnership between United States and Belize.”


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“We are always working to try to improve access to education and the quality of education so we are very grateful to the U.S. Embassy in Belize, the United States Government for the contribution that they are making here.”


The event was also used for a walk-through of the progress of a new classroom building for the institution. That building will be ready for the start of the 2023 school year in September.


Francis Fonseca

“The more important project that is taking place here is the building of the four classrooms, the four new classrooms which will be ready for the 2023 school year. We expect that project to be completed around the end of June, just in time for the new school year. That of course will allow us to have additional kids coming to the school. Right now I think we have around four hundred and twenty-five students enrolled here. That will allow us to take on an additional fifty students or so. So that’s always important. So we are very grateful to the U.S. army corps of engineers and the entire team that has been spearheading this project.”


Michelle Kwan

“It’s in partnership with the Southern Command Humanitarian Assistance Program, really supporting this school and it is so much good.”


Duane Moody

“The value of this project?”


Michelle Kwan

“I think six hundred thousand U.S. dollars. Today, we contributed school supplies of about eight thousand U.S. dollars. The last couple days, I’ve been everywhere from the fire station to the Central America Regional Security Initiative, the economic support funds, supporting four different organizations fighting human trafficking, promoting good governance and doing good in this country.”


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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