The fledgling community at Harmonyville has brought the issue of squatting to the fore of national attention. Indeed, it is viewed by many as a practical means of land acquisition, particularly when all other attempts at securing a piece of land has failed.

In the rich, wide open lands of the west, it is a common practice among immigrants - and yesterday - we had an opportunity to visit an area down the road and across the highway form Harmony-ville where a new community of squatters are taking root on private land.

It's at mile 38, just a few hundred feet west of the Beaver Dam Bridge - off the More Tomorrow Road. We found a squatters community that has already taken root…

Jules Vasquez Reporting
This farm off the More Tomorrow Road is covered with all kinds of trees

Marcelino Umana, Squatter
"Plantain, lime, bananas, sour sop, mango, pear and....."

And about twenty other things - Marcel Umana has been on this 25 acre spread for land for 7 years and grows everything.

The naturalized Belizean who says he came here from El Salvador in 1979 - says he has worked the land.

Jules Vasquez
"You like this piece of land."

Marcelino Umana, Squatter
"Yes because I sweat to clean this land."

But what if it wasn't really his land - even after all that work? Documents provided to us show that this and at least eleven other homes, farms and recently cleared areas off the More Tomorrow Road are on private property owned by Chinese Investors.

This farmer - also a naturalized Belizean - who has only been here for a month - wouldn't speak to us on camera has a watermelon orchard including corn and peppers.

They've put in work, but they may be forced to give it all up:

Jules Vasquez
"If someone come and say you have to move. This is someone else's land, what would you do? You have 25 acres."

Marcelino Umana, Squatter
"If someone comes? What do you mean?"

Jules Vasquez
"If someone comes and says 'I am the owner and you are invading' what would you tell them?"

Marcelino Umana, Squatter
"I don't have to move. I think I will have to fight to this land."

An understandable sentiment; they say they have authority to be here:

Marcelino Umana, Squatter
"I am not squatting. Somebody put me here."

Jules Vasquez
"Who is that someone?"

Marcelino Umana, Squatter
"The chairman of More Tomorrow."

Another farmer even told us they paid a mystery woman one thousand dollars - but the fact is these squatters want permanent status.

Marcelino Umana, Squatter
"I want the paper from the government."

Information suggests that possibly by mid-year those squatters - Umana and all his trees included - will be served with notices of eviction. We'll keep following the story….

Channel 7