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Jun 7, 2023

Hope Ignited, Hands United Vision Renewed: Belize@42

Today at the House of Culture in Belize City, the National Celebrations Commission unveiled the theme for this year’s September celebrations. As with previous years, the theme was the amalgamation of submissions made by two individuals. During the launch, a News Five team found out about the inspiration behind the selection. Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Hope Ignited, Hands United Vision Renewed: Belize@42” – it’s the theme that was selected for this year’s September Celebrations and was revealed this afternoon at the House of Culture in Belize City. Around two hundred and thirty submissions were made and the National Celebrations Commission narrowed it down to twenty. In the end, two themes were combined to make one. The Minister of Education and Culture is the Chair of the National Celebrations Commission.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education & Culture

“They shortlist twenty of them and then the celebrations commission goes through those twenty and we have a process where we vote and go round by round until we eliminate and get down to the final theme. As has been the case in the past, we’ve not had one theme and so we’ve had to form a theme out of a blend of two and that’s what we did again this year.”


Those two strong submissions were made by Dalila Moreno and Jose Avila, who received the winning cash prize.


Dalila Moreno

Dalila Moreno, Winner, Belize @42 Theme

“The first thing that came to mind was no matter what Belizeans are faced with – adversities, wonderful things, changes, economic hardships, even things like Hurricane Lisa that came along and changed many of our lives – Belizeans have faith and faith brings hope. Whether it is faith in God, a higher power or even faith in oneself, it brings hope and with hope, we are able to dream and dreams – once we unite together and work together – we can make those dreams into visions.”


Jose Avila

Jose Avila, Winner, Belize @42 Theme

“As people, adults growing moving, we all have a vision of where we want to go. But we find that as we grow and we mature, the vision can change or the vision needs correcting. And I believe that’s where Belize is at this point.”


The theme speaks to a united Belize and officials, including C.E.O. in the Ministry of Tourism Nicole Solano and Mayor Bernard Wagner, reflected on its significance.


Nicole Solano

Nicole Solano, C.E.O., Ministry of Tourism & Diaspora Relations

“Our theme speaks of hope, cooperation and focus – these are important factors in our future success. Hope serves as the guiding light that ignites our spirits and fuels our aspirations. It is the unwavering belief that as a nation, we have the power to overcome any obstacle and achieve greatness. Hope, combined with the power of cooperation and collaboration, will propel us forward. As Belizeans united, regardless of our differences, we can remain focus on the path that we must take. By working hand in hand, we unlock our collective potential and magnify our impact. It is through cooperation and collaboration that we can address the challenges that lie ahead and seize the opportunities that come out way. So yes, at forty-two we are no longer young and carefree, but mature enough to fully know ourselves and authentically embrace our identity as a nation.”


Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“It is really telling a story about hope being ignited; it di talk about us as a country, wi hands united, our vision has been renewed. And all of that speaks to like weh the minister said about the mood in the country – the mood of hope, of renewed vision; that people on a whole in general, when they look towards this September celebration, they are seeing a sense of patriotism towards the country, we are heading in the right direction. And so, we feel very good about this theme.”


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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