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#489908 - 04/24/14 07:41 PM Trailblazing Women of Belize
Marty Offline

Since Tuesday, April 8, the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children has featured a special lady on its Facebook page each week. The initiative is being called “Trailblazer Tuesday” and according to the Special Envoy it is an extension of the Women's Empowerment Campaign started by the office with the 20,000 Strong Rally on March 6.

The Facebook page is Special Envoy Belize and three women have been featured since the launch of Trailblazer Tuesdays. Those women are Mrs. Marie Sharp, Mrs. Sandra Bedran and Mrs. Rossana Briceño. They are featured on the page along with their photo and information about the accomplishments that make them worthy of recognition as trailblazers. A new trailblazer will be featured every Tuesday and the general public is encouraged to nominate female trailblazers from their community. Nominations can be made by emailing the Office of the Special Envoy at specialenvoybelize@gmail.com or messaging the Facebook page at Special Envoy Belize. A trailblazer according to the Office of the Special Envoy is a woman who has “defied great odds to excel in her professional career or in politics; given selflessly as community activists; overcome the hardships of parenthood to provide the best for their children or led the way in non-traditional roles and set great examples for our girls”.

The Guardian Newspaper has joined the campaign to celebrate the accomplishments of trailblazing women of Belize and will be featuring the weekly hero posted on Trailblazer Tuesdays. Here are the Trailblazers for April 8th, April 15th and April 22nd.

April 8th:
Mrs. Marie Sharp is one of Belize’s hottest ladies. She graduated from High School in 1958 and passed the Senior Cambridge exams; at this time there were no Universities in Belize. Before starting her own company in 1981, Mrs. Sharp worked as a teacher in the Elementary Schools for six years after which she worked for the Citrus Company of Belize for ten years ending up as an Executive Secretary. In 1988 with the help of U.S. AID and Chamber of Commerce, Mrs. Sharp attended Clemson University and pursued a course in Food Packaging. In August of 2000 with the help of the Government of Belize, Mrs. Sharp did a course at Samorano in Honduras on Food Processing and undertook a course at BIM in Belize on "Starting and Managing a Small Business". With the help of Chamber of Commerce in Jamaica and Barbados, Mrs. Sharp was able to undertake several courses on Marketing and Good Manufacturing Practices. In her words, “I had to grasp everything that was offered to help me in my venture. I tell everyone that I am a graduate from the UNIVERSITY OF HARD KNOCKS.” This year Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods will be 33 years old. Her products are exported internationally and include places like Japan, Taiwan, Korea, India, China, Germany U.K. Canada, U.S.A. Mexico, Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras. The fiery lady hopes to extend her product lines to Ireland, Dubai, Lebanon, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.


April 15th:
Mrs. Sandra Bedran is the first female to serve in general management positions at the Belize Marketing Board, DFC and Atlantic Bank. She continues to be the only female Managing Director of a commercial bank in Belize. Over the years, Mrs. Bedran has served on numerous boards and committees. She was the first female invited to be a Rotarian and has served as Assistant Rotary Governor, Rotary President and as a member of the board. She has also served many years on both the Mercy Clinic and Mercy Kitchen BOD. Mrs. Bedran holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business administration and an Executive Masters in Banking. She is married to Amir Bedran and they have three daughters, Nazle, Bridget and Chandra.


April 22nd:
Mrs. Rossana Briceño is the Principal at St. Peter’s Anglican School in Orange Walk Town; one of the few schools in Belize that offers special education classes. Mrs. Briceño holds a Master’s Degree in educational leadership and has been in the teaching profession for over 25 years. Her first teaching job was at Stella Maris. Her passion is working with special needs students and underprivileged children. Her works includes expanding the Special-ed Center in Orange Walk which now boasts a remedial program at the school. She has lobbied on behalf of the feeding program and continues to fundraise for its sustainability. The feeding program feeds 55 students every day! Mrs. Briceño has made education easier by providing an annual scholarship for a lucky young lady to attend high school. This exemplifies her passion for the empowerment of women through education. Her works have not gone unnoticed. This year, Mrs. Briceño is a nominee for the Outstanding School Leader award in Orange Walk. With her diligent work, St. Peter’s Anglican School has risen from the bottom of the list to one of the most improved schools in Orange Walk and in the Anglican Management.




INTRODUCING TRAILBLAZER TUESDAYS!

As an extension of our Women's Empowerment Campaign, every Tuesday we will be featuring a different Belizean woman who has excelled whether it be in her professional career, as a community activist, as a parent, in politics as well as in non-traditional roles. If you know of local trailblazers in your community who should be highlighted, feel free to send us their information so they can be recognized on Trailblazer Tuesdays!

CLICK HERE!


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#490180 - 04/30/14 08:02 PM Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Hon. Sylvia Flores is Special Envoy’s Trailblazer of the Week

It's time for another Trailblazer Tuesdays feature! This week we present to you, Mrs. Sylvia Flores:

Sylvia Flores should be well-known to you. She is a former Minister of Defence and National Emergency Management as well as a former Minister of Human Development and Women. In 1988, representing the People’s United Party, she was appointed the first woman Mayor of Dangriga and was subsequently elected to serve a second term.

In 1998, Mrs. Flores became the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives. Among other responsibilities, she was tasked with maintaining the Standing Orders and Parliamentary Procedures amongst representatives who were not always particularly well behaved—and 27 of the 29 were men! She also served Belize as President of the Senate.

In the General Elections of 2003, she became the first woman elected as the representative from Dangriga. It was then that she was named as Minister of Defence and National Emergency Management. As Defence Minister, she secured additional funding and support for the Belize Defence Force and partnered with the U.S. Embassy to strengthen national security and drug eradication. In 2005, she was named Minister of Human Development and Women.

As the Minister with primary responsibility for women’s rights, she made immense contributions in areas of women’s advancement and gender equality and was instrumental in revising the Domestic Violence Act, which assesses stiffer penalties for perpetrators of violence against women and girls.

After retiring from public service, she returned to Dangriga, and her first love, teaching. Mrs. Flores taught Spanish at the Stann Creek Ecumenical High School and Economics at the junior college for a total of twenty-six years. She also taught both Spanish and English for five consecutive years, for free, when the management of Delille Academy had no funds to pay teachers. Besides teaching, she also raised funds to enable girls to attend classes and meet the cost of books. She was recognized in 2013 as Belize’s Woman of the Year by the Embassy of the United States. Mrs. Flores will be the first to tell you, that there’s no greater joy than helping young women to realize their potential and be independent women.


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#490659 - 05/08/14 10:59 PM Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

This week's trailblazer is a little late but here's a look at the accomplishments of Mrs. Faith Babb!

Mrs. Faith Babb’s political career is best defined not by the office she once held, but rather the journey that led her to it. She was exposed to politics in her early childhood by attending political meetings with her patriotic grandparents. She became a member the UDP in her teenage years and has worked her way through the ranks of the party from foot soldier to a decision maker in the Party’s Central Executive Committee as National Director of Women. She later, along with other women, formed the UDP – National Organization of Women which certainly helped to propel her to become a candidate for National Election.

Mrs. Babb is the first UDP woman elected to the National Assembly and the first woman to serve as Area Representative for the Collet Division. She was also the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and was appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development, Woman Affairs and Youth in the UDP Administration of 1993-1998. She served as acting Minister, responsible for this portfolio on many occasions, and was eventually upgraded to being a Minister.

She was able to achieve many projects designed to improve the lives of many in the community, especially in the Collet Division. Under her leadership as Minister of State, she led the Belizean Delegation to the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt in 1994, and to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing China in 1995. Mrs. Babb served as the Principal Delegate to the Inter-American Commission of Women and signed on behalf of the Government of Belize the Convention-Belem do Para, the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women.

She was the Chairperson of the National Committee for Families and Children and during her tenure was able to get the Families and Children’s Act and the Sexual Harassment Act passed into law.

Mrs. Babb endorsed many initiatives such as the Youth Start Plan that benefited young people the National Youth Commission, National Youth Award and the National Youth Policy. She is currently the Coordinator of the Collet Education and Resource Center in the Collet Division.


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#490920 - 05/15/14 11:03 PM Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

It's time to highlight another great Belizean woman on Trailblazer Tuesdays! This week we feature Mrs. Pearl Stuart.

Mrs. Pearl Stuart, born in Dangriga Town, spent her teen years in Belize City where she started her secondary education at St. Catherine’s Academy and completed it at West Philadelphia Catholic High School in the United States, placing second honors in a school of 8000 students. Mrs. Stuart graduated from Holy Family College with a major in education. Her first job was as a 4th grade (Standard II) teacher in United States elementary school – Our Lady of Victory in Philadelphia.

She was the wife of the first Honorary Counsel (unpaid, part time), Paul Warren and supported his work in facilitating Los Angeles based Belizeans and visitors to Belize. This work was done out of their home. The support was provided because of the large number of Belizeans who had settled in the California area.

In August 1993, Mrs. Stuart was invited by then Foreign Minister, Dean Barrow, to become the first Counsel General in Los Angeles. Within two months the first Diplomatic Contingent arrived in Los Angeles. This ‘baptism by fire’ experience was a herculean task that did not daunt Pearl in the least. She successfully held meetings with US Secret Service personnel, necessary vetting and set up an office in anticipation of Ministers of Government that included then Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel and then Minister Philip Goldson. The Consulate provided services to Belizeans and visitors in the western states of California, Las Vegas and Arizona.

Pearl Stuart served as the Executive Director of the National Committee for Families and Children from 2008-2013 and is now the Committee Chairperson. She resides in Belize City with her husband, Mr. Glenville Stuart. Mrs. Stuart has three daughters and four stepchildren, seven grandchildren and seven step grandchildren.


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#491240 - 05/22/14 06:15 PM Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

This week's Trailblazer Tuesday features a woman we all have fond memories of, an icon in Belizean culture! Mrs. Beverly Smith Lopez (1957-2002)

At the tender age of nineteen, Beverly Smith Lopez diversified Belize’s artistic scope by becoming the “First lady of Comedy”, the first National Drama Coordinator. In 1957, Beverly was born to Earl and Hazel Smith. She attended Belize Pallotti High School. She later attained a scholarship to Santa Clara University in Northern California and graduated in 1991 with a Bachelors degree in Theatre. Beverly’s acting debut was her performance of her hit monologue – BELIZEAN GOSSIP at the Square Peg Players at Carifesta 1976 in Jamaica, which quickly raised her popularity.

By 1977, she was internationally known as Belize’s “First lady of Comedy”. With this beloved title, she represented this country at various international festivals such as Carifesta 1979 in Cuba, Carifesta 1981 in Barbados and Commonwealth Festivals in Edmonton, Canada and Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1991 she received the Charles Lampkin Award for outstanding stage performance at Santa Clara University. Her senior acting recital was said to be one of the most powerful the university had ever seen.

Beverly lays claim to credit for the emergence of drama programs all over the country, from school-rooms to jail cells, Beverly did it all with agility and zeal. As a part of her life work to nurture Belizean culture through the performing arts, she paved the way for the first National Music and Dance coordinators, and in the midst of all her success, Beverly wedded Andrew Lopez and had one son, Troy. Beverly Smith Lopez upheld her title of Director of Culture since 1994 until her death on October 9, 2002.

Mrs. Lopez is commemorated as an actress, dramatist, comedienne, educator, and administrator and more importantly, Beverly Smith-Lopez was a uniquely Belizean personality


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#491597 - 05/29/14 09:20 PM Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

This week's trailblazer made waves in one of the most important areas of a nation's development; education!
Ms. Sadie Vernon (1918-2008)

No truer words were spoken of Sadie Vernon than a 1983 description of her as an “advocate for the voiceless and the powerless.” Sadie had no idea that the outcome of her 1963 proposal writing efforts would result in a permanent home for twenty-five times as many girls and boys in similar situations to those of the four mothers who first sought her help more than three decades earlier. On September 6th 1999 a ceremony was held to rename the Belize Continuation School Sadie Vernon High School.

Sadie started the institution in 1964 in the borrowed spaces of the YWCA. After they ran out of space at the YWCA they moved first to the Catholic Extension building and then to a leased space on Dean Street in 1994 before a permanent space was secured for the now Sadie Vernon High School at the end of that decade. Almost a quarter century after Sadie had begun the Belize Continuation School she established the high school preparatory institution ‘Friends Boys School’.

In practical terms Sadie was an educator, nurse, counselor, missionary, grant writer and administrator. She was born March 20, 1918 to Elsa Agatha Maheia Vernon and Frederick Vernon. Sadie began her schooling at the Shepherd School, a kindergarten operated by St. John’s Church, before going to her aunt’s private school (Ms. Annette’s private school) and the Diocesan High School (St. Hilda’s College/Anglican Cathedral College). She completed high school and worked for a little while before she left then British Honduras with a group of missionaries for a life of experiences in the Caribbean and the United States. When Sadie assumed the duties of Executive Secretary of the Christian Social Council in 1963 all the training, skills and experiences she had acquired in her ten year hiatus came into full use in Belize. Sadie Vernon passed away in December 2008 at the age of 90 but her legacy lives on!


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#492138 - 06/11/14 11:30 AM Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Trailblazer Tuesdays brings you another great Belizean woman who has contributed significantly to the country's education system.

Dr. Cynthia Eve Aird is an accomplished and dedicated educator. She worked for 18 years in tertiary education as a Teacher Educator at the University of Belize and at Galen University and is now President and Principal Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio.

Dr. Aird has served as Chair of the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions in Belize (ATLIB) for 3 terms, and Co-Chair of the Consortium on Belize Education Cooperation (COBEC), a group of Belizean and US universities and community colleges working for the improvement of education in Belize.

She is also a member of the Belize Board of teacher Education (BBTE). Dr. Aird researches quality assurance issues in higher education in developing countries, and, as the Chair of ATLIB, is working with other partners in the field to develop a National Higher Education Policy and to improve tertiary level education in general within Belize. She has presented on these themes locally and internationally.

Dr. Aird is also member of the Rotary Club of San Ignacio in District 4250. She has been involved in a supportive capacity with the Belize Literacy Project since its inception, and is now the Chair of the Belize committee.

Dr. Aird holds a M.Ed. in Secondary English Education from the University of New Brunswick, Canada where she was a Canadian Commonwealth Scholar, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction and Administration with a minor in Higher Education from Boston College where she was a Fulbright Scholar.


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#493499 - 07/18/14 08:09 PM Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Well, here's one of the first female priests ordained in Belize; Reverend Lynda Moguel!

Reverend Lynda Carmita Moguel shares the celebrated historic spotlight of first female priest with Reverend Ilona Louise Smiling; both were ordained as Priests on May 15, 1999. This celebrated occasion followed a four-year course of studies at then newly established Anglican Theological Institute in Belize City where, for the first time, all training for the priesthood, including advanced theological training, was completed.

Reverend Lynda served as a Deacon at the Orange Walk St. Peter’s Church, St. Paul’s Church in Corozal and in Unitedville, Cayo. She has been Itinerant (travelling) Priest in churches countrywide. She has worked as Assisting Priest for St. John’s, All Saints and St. Mary’s and Priest in Charge for the River Mission and for the Belize District western group of churches (Hattieville, Gales Point, and Gracie Rock). Reverend Lynda is currently the Priest in Charge for St. Steven Church in Flowers Bank (Belize River Valley area).

Following her early education at St. Mary’s Primary school and St. Hilda’s College, Reverend Lynda started her teaching career in 1957 at St. Mary’s primary school. She has worked as a teacher at several levels of the education system, from primary to highschool and higher education levels. She received her professional teacher training at St. George’s Teachers’ College in Belize, Exeter University in London, University of Calgary at Alberta Canada and Western Kentucky University.

She has also been very engaged in social services from the early 1960s as a member of the Church’s Mothers Union and as a founding member of the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), the Michigan Partners Alliance and the Belize Organization for Women and Development (BOWAND).

Reverend Lynda Moguel, born in the leap year of 1940, married Lewin Moguel in 1960 and became the mother of three sons and three daughters. She is the proud grandmother of thirteen.



This week Trailblazer Tuesday's looks at Tiffany Simpson, a young Belizean woman making her mark with technological inventions!

Tiffany Simpson, President of Belizean Artwork Publishing, has been designing educational software to guide Belizean and Caribbean students on their academic path since 2009. She is credited with the creation of Global Apps for Mobile Examination (GAME) Prep Software for the Belizean Primary School leaving Examination (PSE) and the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC). Tiffany has received relevant licenses to make her educational software available on Google Play and at the App store to increase client accessibility.

Tiffany is quickly becoming familiar with excitement and interest she is generating as a young entrepreneur. This interest has manifested in several awards in 2013. She was one of several winners of the Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC). She participated in the 5th Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship in South Africa. She won one of seven cash awards from the Taiwanese government in Belize.

This young innovative entrepreneur hopes to extend the range of her outreach, setting her design sight on software creation to encompass the Belize Junior Achievement Test (BJAT) and regional and international post secondary education practice applications.



It's time for another Trailblazer Tuesdays feature and this week we're highlighting Dame Elaine Middleton, who has done more than her fair share for Belize!

Elaine Middleton was born in Belize City, the third child of Leolin and Elston Kerr Sr. At the age of four years, Elaine went to live with her Aunt Mrs. Ethel Marshall and her husband Mr. Dudley Marshall a senior Officer of the Belize Police Force.

After passing the necessary local examinations, Elaine began her teaching career at the Salvation Army School in Belize City. She later transferred to the Methodist Mission where she taught in various schools in Belize City, Gales Point, and in Dangriga Town. During these years of teaching Elaine continued her community work as a Girl Guide Captain, Youth leader and Sunday School Teacher. She was also one of the first 15 teachers to attend the Belize Teachers Training College.

In 1957, Elaine left the teaching profession to become a Probation Officer in the Social Development Department. This department was at that time responsible for all general Welfare work on behalf of families, Women and Youth work, Probation and Court work, Work with Village Councils and Disaster Relief work. She rose through the ranks in her department until she became the Head – the first woman to be made a Head of Department in the Belize Public Service. She initiated and developed many programs, including the expansion of the 4-H movement in Belize, and establishing the National 4-H Training Center at the National Agricultural Show Grounds in Belmopan. In this movement she promoted the expansion of an exchange program between Michigan, USA and Belize in the areas of 4-H and Home Economics.

Her compassion for the wellbeing of children led her to establish the Youth Development Center at Mile 22 on the Western Highway, a Residential training facility for boys 14-21 years, where they were taught agriculture, trade skills, and personal development. After establishing the boy’s center, Elaine went on to develop a Home Economics School in Belize City for young girls and a Home for girls with behavioral problems. She also founded the first Home for neglected children, now called the Dorothy Menzies Home in the Kings Park area in Belize City.

Because of her work and passion for women, she instituted the first Women’s Bureau, which has been expanded and upgraded to become the Women’s Department, in the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation. Elaine forged on with determination to institute some of her other major work and programs which included work with the Village Councils, promotion of Rural Women’s Groups, Welfare and Court Work for Women and Children, and Disaster Relief throughout the country.

In 1981 Ms. Elaine left intact a well-developed Social Development Department to become the Director General of the Belize Red Cross. In this capacity, she worked to acquire new offices for the Belize Red Cross, which is now situated at Gabourel Lane and Handyside Street in Belize City today. She expanded the various programs at the Belize Red Cross, one of which has grown into the present day Belize Council for the Visually Impaired. A major part of her tenure as Director General was beginning the process of getting the Belize Red Cross recognized as an independent society.

In 1983 Ms. Elaine left her beloved Belize with her 3 young children, Yvette, Dean and Terese and husband Winston to live in Los Angeles, California. Once there, she dedicated her time to the welfare of her family. By now she was well known by Belizeans at home and abroad for her public service; therefore, she was sought out and became a member of the Consortium for Belizean Development and worked with other NGO’s committed to the improvement and welfare of Belizeans.

After watching her last child graduate from college in the US, she moved back to Belize in 1994 and was offered and accepted the position of Executive Director of the National Committee for Families and Children, (NCFC) from 1994-1998. In 2002 Elaine worked as a short term Consultant at UNICEF for the formation of a project “Towards a National Consensus on a Comprehensive Policy and Plan of Action for Children and Adolescents in Belize.

Through her hard work and perseverance, Elaine achieved numerous awards and grants from around the world: 1965 - Leadership Grant from the US Government to study Social Work Practices in the United States. 1976- Awarded Member of the British Empire by the Queen of England for her services to the Belizean people. 1998- Awarded the Dame Commander of the order of St. Michael and St. Johns (DCMG) (equivalent to Knighthood for men) from the Queen of England for her outstanding services to the Belizean people.

Today, Dame Elaine Middleton continues her unwavering work for the people of Belize as she served on the board of YWCA of Belize, as President from 2002 – 2009, as a member on the Board of Management of Wesley College in Belize City, and member of various committees in the Methodist Church.

She earned a Degree in Social Work Practice from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. , has an Associate of Preceptors degree from College of Preceptors in the United Kingdom, Diplomas in Social Welfare and Administration and Applied Social Studies from the University College of Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom, and a Trained Teachers Certificate from the Belize Teachers Training College.



Trailblazer Tuesday's brings you Belize's first female architect Ms. Esther Ayuso!

Belize’s first trained female architect, Esther Josefina Ayuso , was received as a small bundle of joy to Belizean father Oscar Ayuso and his wife Josefina Ayuso nee Medero one late November morning in 1958 in Caracas, Venezuela. Her father returned to Belize with his young family and Esther settled into her Belizean life. She graduated from St. Catherine Academy eager to move her adult life forward. Training in her professional area of interest was not available to her in Belize so Esther went to Venezuela where she had family support and completed a five-year technical undergraduate degree in architecture at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas.

She attempted to find work in Belize but a lack of employment in her field resulted in her move back to Venezuela to start her career in 1983. Esther met and married a fellow architect and started her family in Venezuela but a military coup in 1992 provided the impetus for Esther and her family to return to the safety of Belize. Esther worked with Professional Engineering Services for three years following her return home then opened an architectural business with her husband. Hurricane Keith in 2000 totally destroyed her business and ushered Esther into another phase of her career. She started using her skills to monitor construction projects. The first of this was the Universal Health Services Hospital (Belize Healthcare Partners Limited). The most recent was the Inspiration Center which, Esther notes, was designed by a young Belizean female architect.

Esther’s architectural contributions are featured throughout Belize for private individuals and business establishments. One major architectural design was the extension of the Belize Medical Associates hospital. Other works include the remodeling, flow and extension of both Cleopatra White and Matron Robert polyclinics. Custom furniture and interior designs architecture are evident in the Hoy Eye Clinic, the main branch of Atlantic Bank and several of its branches throughout the country.

Belize’s first female architect is pleased to note an increase of women the field and dreams of the day when the fundamental courses for this field will be taught in secondary schools to better prepare young people, particularly women, for the field of architecture and other architectural related areas.


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#493820 - 07/24/14 08:10 PM Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Kaina Martinez is Trailblazer of the Week

This week's feature is on a young Belizean athlete who has made us proud countless times and is currently in Scotland to represent Belize once again in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Kaina Martinez, known to many as Kaina Arzu, is a well-known accomplished Belizean athlete; both locally and internationally. She was born in Independence Village, Stann Creek District and was raised in Seine Bight by her single mother who never failed to teach her the importance of building character and being a good citizen. Kaina's love for sports dates back as far as 1999 when she attended the St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Primary School and participated in the 4th National Primary School Sport Championships. She was a part of the 1999-2000 National Primary School Volleyball, Basketball, Softball and Football champions. Here history was made as St. Alphonsus was the first Primary school to win all four national championships in one year. That year, Kaina was awarded MVP (Most Valuable Player) for both basketball and softball. She went on to Independence High School where she continued in her love for sport and represented her school on numerous occasions.

While she excels in various sporting disciplines, Kaina focuses primarily on track and field. Belize’s own local track star is presently the Central American 100 meter and 200 meter record holder and was also 2010 champion in the Central American Games. Kaina has represented Belize in many countries including, India, Korea, Brazil, London and all of Central America, just to mention a few. In the past ten years, she has competed in the Central American and Caribbean games, world championships, Central American championship and the Olympics, which is one of the world’s highly anticipated games. Kaina is now in Glasgow, Scotland to represent Belize in The Commonwealth Games 2014, which started on Wednesday, July 23rd.

Kaina has received several awards among them are some prestigous honors including “Outstanding Young Belizean” by the Ministry of Education and Sports 2004, she received the Youth in Sports award twice, a certificate for community service from NOPCAN and the Sports Star Award among others.

Kaina has seen sports as a key driver on life’s road to success; she believes it builds character, determination, self-discipline self-motivation and has made her a courageous achiever who is willing to go beyond limitations. Having learned these and many other attributes, Kaina is now using sports as a catalyst to help as many young people in her community and hopes to reach out to many other young Belizeans through her summer break track and field camp games (KMTCG).

Kaina is a member of the Belize Coast Guard and was appointed an Officer Cadet in 2012. She holds an Associate’s Degree from the University of Belize. In January of December 2013, Kaina was granted a full scholarship to attend Texas A&M University in Kingsville Texas where she is presently working on a Bachelor’s in Speech Communication. She is an honour student and a track star as record holder for her school as well as the winner of Cactus Cup. She is also the All Star Conference Champion in the 100m and 200m. She is Belize’s 100m record holder and looks forward to take the 200m record.


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#494379 - 08/07/14 08:34 PM Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

It's Trailblazer Tuesday! Today we celebrate the arts and the first Artistic Director of the Belize National Dance Company, Ms. Althea Sealy.

Althea Sealy, born to Cutbert Sealy and Mitt Smith on December 26, 1960 in Belize City, is renowned for her love of and dedication to the arts. Unknowingly, Althea earned her place among outstanding Belizean female firsts when she became the first Artistic Director of the Belize National Dance Company (BNDC) in October 1990.

Althea Sealy has been dancing since she was eight years old, starting with the late Bob Reneau in the 1960s and 1970s. While her academic training was completed at Holy Redeemer primary school and Wesley College, she travelled regionally and internationally for her professional training in the USA, Cuba and Jamaica. She trained under the late talented Professor Eduardo Rivera of the National Dance Theatre of Santiago de Cuba.

“For the love of dance and country” may be the best way to describe the contribution of Althea Sealy over the past two decades in her volunteer role as Artistic Director. Her dance career has evolved through various leadership roles in several dance groups, including Creative Dancers. Today she leads a company that creates and choreographs an array of dances that reflects the essence and diversity of Belize. Under her direction the creations have included modern, classical, folk and interpretive dance that depict many social issues such as HIV, cancer, domestic violence, street crimes and others.

As Artistic Director, Althea’s responsibilities include decision making, event planning, and productions as well as development of short and long term plans for this nonprofit artistic group. Her most important future role is the transitioning of the BNDC in the 21st century to continue to grow and reflect the culture of Belize in all its relevant essence and diversity. She looks forward to the celebration of the BNDC’s 25th anniversary in 2015. This anniversary coincides with her own twenty-five years of service as Artistic Director.

Althea Sealy is the proud mother of two adult daughters who have amplified her joy with her teenage grandson and preschool granddaughter. Althea has one brother and one sister.


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