I am glad that Peter was able to get his message across: That there are people ready to go right to work rebuilding and that Belizean construction workers should be hired to do this. And I am glad that Jeff got the info and will get these people working. Hopefully, others who need to hire will also.
BUT: I do not understand the personal attack on those of us who are trying to raise (and personally contributing) funds to relief and reconstruction needs and his claims that these efforts are some kind of conspiracy to "take over" and should be stopped. Perhaps I am naive, but, with the exception of one insurance man who was trying to hustle independent adjusting work (and got his head handed to him immediately by 4 or 5 people who responded to sales pitch) I have seen no evidence of anyone trying to take jobs away from Belizeans. How is fund raising for supplies taking anyone's job away?
Peter's attack on all "northerners" for our fund raising efforts seems unjustified and paranoid to me.
As someone who is looking in from the outside, my impression is that the free labor being provided by the military units here is immediate and needed and will not take jobs away from Belizeans. My impression is that the people who live on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker welcome this immediate help. If this is wrong, I would want to hear about it from people who live on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker (rather than from Peter, who does not and who has apparently not suffered a loss that these visiting troops are needed to address.)
There are a lot of things that should be done to ensure that micro-economies are preserved. For example, in a previous post, I expressed concern that the women who run the wonderful home cooked food vending operations on Barrier Reef Drive be contacted to see if they need help in getting their equipment and supplies replaced immediately so that they can continue to run their businesses and provided needed food for the community.
I don't know if there is a local community credit union operating, but if there is, we should find a way to fund it quickly, and if there isn't, money should be raised to help the local community start one and put it right to work making immediate funds available for local people to rebuild their homes, for local boatmen who lost their boats to replace them, and things like that.
Also, there may be things that the government of Belize needs to re-think (continuing to charge duty on reconstruction and refurbishing supplies is certainly one of them) but I think that constructive suggestions on such things can be made without personally attacking the many people who have offered their help on this message board.)
Just my two cents (well, maybe a dollar...)
Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: email@example.com