Rise Up Belize! Partnership
When Enelda Rosado, former principal of Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School, walks around the island, she waves or calls by name nearly every person she passes. A boy in his late teens zooms by in a golf cart, reggae blaring from a boom box.
“That is a former student of mine,” she says, smiling. “We can always tell when he is coming.”
Enelda reads the pulse of the island’s youth perhaps better than anyone. Her smile and voice exude conviction and warmth. It’s easy to see why she garners so much respect.
Enelda has been an advocate and vocal supporter of the Rise Up Belize! training programs for primary school teachers and summer school programs for children since the organization’s inception. She has hosted both programs at Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School (CCRC). The school is a large, concrete, two-story building with eight classrooms. A school chapel stands beside it, separated by a small playground leading back to a modest basketball court and soccer field. For many years there was no high school on the island and CCRC was the only formal education most children ever received. Enelda Rosado figured prominently in their schooling.
Enelda has also served on the Caye Caulker Village Council and recently received the prestigious Order of the British Empire award for her devotion to the betterment of her country and community. Now retired, Enelda has agreed to join Rise Up Belize as a volunteer assisting with our scholarship program, summer schools and teacher training programs. She says, “I am so impressed with Rise Up Belize’s activities and the way it is conducted. Their programs really help move Belize toward a child-centered education.”
Rise Up Belize! is delighted and honored to be working with Enelda Rosado, says the organization’s founder Joey Garcia: “Her talent, experience and connections will enhance our ability to serve the children and teachers of Belize.”
Marilyn Batista devoted 30 years to educating primary school students in Belize. She faced daily challenges with humor, famously telling anyone who inquired: “Don’t ask me about my school! Ask me about my orphanage.” While serving as principal of Guadalupe Roman Catholic Primary School in Sandhill Village, Marilyn hosted a Rise Up Belize! summer camp program. “I was influenced by Joey to offer a summer camp,” she says. “It was an ideal opportunity for the children to acquire assistance because they really needed it.”
As an educator, Marilyn appreciated the Rise Up Belize! curriculum. “I liked the subject areas and the values that children were given. They learned responsibility, including the importance of being on time,” she says. Marilyn also noticed unexpected benefits from the summer camp program. “Many of our children are shy and quiet. The program helped them to become outspoken and learn how to voice their opinion.”
Belizean children who complete the week-long summer camp are given a packet of materials to complete, including novels to read, during the remainder of the summer. When school resumes, students turn in completed packets. Rise Up Belize! provides a stipend to a Belizean teacher to check each student’s progress and select winners for the first, second and third place cash prizes. “The students showed a lot of interest in the books they were given and their reading skills improved,” says Marilyn. “I want to thank all of the volunteers who came to facilitate the summer camps. They showed a lot of love to the children here. I know that it is hard to adapt to another culture but the volunteers didn’t complain. I appreciate that they had to leave their home and country to help our children. The students learned a lot.” Marilyn enjoyed the experience, too. “I’m retired, but I’m not tired,” she laughed. “I look forward to continuing a partnership with Rise Up Belize!”