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The Children of Blue Creek

Education and the Future

How you can help the children of Blue Creek

The children in Blue Creek don't ask for much. There, we realized that little things made them happy. Young children were very excited about having the opportunity to color one page from one of the lodge's coloring books. Most don't own any colored pencils. None of them own a coloring book. Art and craft supplies are very limited. Some girls were even very happy to receive some plain rubber bands a guide gave them. They used them to braid their hair. They love to be read stories, even though they already know all the stories found in the few story books of the lodge.

On our last day, the girls played a softball game against another town. The baseball bats, gloves and balls were provided by the church-sponsored visiting team. The girls in Blue Creek didn't have any equipment. In spite of their lack of training opportunities, they won the game. We could see how proud they were and how important these rare recreational activities were for all the village children. Imagine if they could practice with their own bats, balls and gloves. . .Of course, this won't guarantee their future, but it could assist in building their self esteem and motivate them in school.

In school, all they use are very old text books, usually discontinued used versions from the States. It would nice if they could have more recent studying material (less than 10 years old). As well, more stationery and classroom supplies would bring a little more excitement and activity to the classroom.

They are fascinated with geography but in the class, the only map was one globe owned by the school. I showed the kids where I was born, where I lived and traveled, etc. They seem so interested. I wished I had had a large poster map so all could have seen the places to which I was pointing.

Once the kids have learned to read, they quickly run out of reading material. Even in Punta Gorda, the principal town of southern Belize, you can't find a book or magazine for children. Ignacio Coc, the Rainforest Lodge manager, has started working on a library project which will provide a lot of motivation and stimulus for many of the children.

A little will go a long way to help the children of Blue Creek. Any donation of books, school supplies or recreational equipment is welcome. In return, the children of Blue Creek will create a personalized Thank You letter to show their gratitude. This is a project CASKE 2000 is initiating with Ignacio Coc.

 

The following is a list of suggested supplies you could send. Nothing needs to be new. But please only send things that are in a good shape and that can be used for a long period of time. Electrical equipment even battery-powered isn't a good idea.

School Supplies: color crayons, coloring books, construction paper, pencils, erasers, markers, magic markers, rulers, ball-pens, notebooks, type writer paper, scissors, tape, etc.

Maps: World, USA, Central America, Belize (no maps can be found anywhere in south Belize).

Posters for the classrooms:  Anatomy, Animals, etc.

Recreational Equipment: Think about things that can be used by many children. Softball equipment  (old bats, gloves and balls you don't use anymore or the one your neighbor sells for a couple of bucks in his garage sale); Soccer balls, Volley balls, Frisbees, etc.

Books for the School: Students need more recent text books for all grades. 5 to 8 books from the same grade could be enough for teachers to change their teaching material and retire the antiques they are using. Children need books for all subjects from 1st to 8 grades. Additional books for high-school students will also help the most motivated ones to keep studying even if they can't afford high- school. Group donations are especially welcome. If you're a teacher, you could ask your students (or their parents) at the end of the year to donate their books, and send a box.

Books for the future library: We saw the preliminary building under construction. IZE (owners of Rainforest Lodge) and another company have donated a couple of boxes. It's a nice start but think how nice it will be for children to have a nice selection. Keep in mind that people, especially children, need book they can easily comprehend. Short stories, novels, and educational books would be good. Of course if you have an old collection of National Geographic, they would make excellent donations.

How can you be sure that your donation reaches the children?

This is one of the concerns with which I have approached Ignacio. He has taken various initiatives and responsibilities to help the people in the village and wants these programs to work. In his own words, he wants to focus on the children. When I offered to write this page and get CASKE 2000 involved in a donation program, I suggested to him that the children write a personal Thank You letter to people who include their return address. He adopted the idea instantly and promised to arrange it with the principal of the school. Just mention that you are sending a donation as part of the CASKE 2000 Project and write your return address if you wish to receive a Thank You letter.

Although we won't be there, you can also email us. We will keep in contact with Ignacio by email via IZE.

How and where to send your donation

In addition to the Customs form you will have to fill out, we're asking you to write a page which you will put inside the package. It should say that the full contents of the package is donated to the School, Library or the children of Blue Creek as part of the CASKE 2000 donation project. The content has no commercial value and is to be used in an educational manner and no duty should be charged.

Ignacio will have to open the packet at immigration in Punta Gorda to show them the contents and letter.

Please address your packet to:

Ignacio Coc
P.O. Box 133
Punta Gorda
Belize
Central America
fax (501) 7-22199

Thank you very much for your interest in helping the children of Blue Creek

Sincerely,

J-Philippe and Luke from CASKE 2000 and the village of Blue Creek

Photos

School Children 1  ;  School Children 2  ;  School Children 3  ;  School Children 4  ;  Child 1  ;  Child 2  ;  Child 3  ;  Child 4  ;  Children

 

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