The Marines are one of the elite armed services in the US Military. We usually read about their stealth operations on international news and see them in documentaries and action movies. Well, in real life, about 7 of those US Marine Officers will now be living in Belmopan. Now they are not here to carry out any top-secret mission - they are here to provide more security to the US Embassy in Belmopan. But security is only one part of the package, today the Embassy held a short ceremony to commemorate the start of 2 major projects that the US Ambassador says will generate more jobs for residents in the area.
Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador
"We are about to embarked on two large construction projects that will significantly alter the landscape that you currently see before you on our embassy grounds and they will significantly reduce our environmental impact. I also want to just mention the economic impact that these two construction projects will have on the local economy. You know looking to my good friend Joe Mena, we were talking earlier about exactly that economic impact and the ripple effect it will have on the local Belizean economy and I think that's crucial. Both of these projects together will cost in excess of US$25 million. In excess or approaching 80 Belizean workers will be working here on those two projects. A significant of that amount of 25 million will go towards paying the salaries of those construction workers. The ripple effect in question is those workers will have their take home pay, they will obviously spend that money on the local economy buying food, groceries - everything else."
"The first project as I mentioned is a marine security guard residence which will be built in the area directly behind me, to house a detachment of marine security guards. Many of you know that this kind of assignment for our marine personnel to be stationed at an embassy is highly prestigious assignment for those in question. It's also an assignment I think that will enliven the ambiance here at the embassy and will be a delight to have them here with us."
"The second project I want to say a little bit about that as it's equally important and as I mentioned that's focused on reducing our carbon footprint. The State Department is committed to building green buildings and retrofitting existing buildings with energy efficient products and here in Belmopan, we will be capitalizing on year round heavy sunshine and I can feel the sun coming out right now, so don't be dis-illusion. The days of sunny days are coming and we will have 2 solar arrays; one outside by the parking lot in a canopy style arrangement. So that will have 2 beneficial functions, one providing shade for our employees cars that are parked out there as well as providing solar energy."
Works have already started and are expected to be completed in June 2017.