KSU students lend a helping hand to San Pedro

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 12, No. 20            May 30, 2002

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KSU summer program students

Four motivated young students from Kansas State University (KSU) recently arrived in San Pedro to lend a helping hand to various organizations on the island. McKenzie Reifschneider, Alexis Bennett, Sara Alderman and Scott McFall will be in Belize for two months performing community service projects. This yearly summer program is sponsored by Rotary International which sponsors part of the student's housing and everyday living expenses.

    This program was initially organized by Dr. Wil Lala of Caribbean Villas through his affiliation with the school. It began with donations of medical supplies being sent from Manhattan, Kansas to Belize and developed into the current summer program. During the summer, students studying a variety of subjects and possessing diverse skills are sent to Belize and other parts of the world to assist with the basic needs of their "host community."

    "The community service is not a requirement for the students, but an honor," explained one of the team members. Though Dr. Wil Lala, their contact in Belize, the students will be working with Green Reef conducting a coral study and a survey on how tourism is affecting the reef, as well as helping to write grant proposals. They will also be working at the San Pedro Lions Clinic where they will implement a new management system and also help with other projects. In addition to this, they will aid the Mayor and the San Pedro Town Council in organizing and planning the new cemetery and other parks. They will also install the newly acquired computers and help organize the library at the San Pedro High School.

    Already the students have taken a "dip" in the Caribbean Sea while snorkeling with Green Reef President Mito Paz during an outing to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley. This was the first time the students experienced the wonder and beauty of the underwater world and all agreed it was "awesome".

    On behalf of the community, The San Pedro Sun welcomes McKenzie, Alexis, Sara and Scott to "La Isla Bonita" and thanks them, in advance, for their interest in the welfare of San Pedro.

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