REPORT #11 1998

Status Report on the Belize Development Trust, May 5, 1998
Produced by the Belize Development Trust
The Best Practice
1. Name of the Best Practice
Belize Development Trust

2. Address of the Best Practice
Box 99, 64 Commerce Street
Dangriga, Belize, Central America

3. Contact Person

4. Type of Organization:

The Nominating Organisation (if different from above)
5. Using the same format as for the Best Practice, provide the name, address, contact person and type of organsation for the organisatin nominating the Best Practice. In some cases the Best Practice and the nominating organisation may be the same.
Same as above

The Partners
6. Using the same format as for the Best Practice, provide the name, address, contact person and type of organisation for at least one partner organisation


"The Reporter" (national newspaper)
Editor: Harry Lawrence, E-mail: [email protected]

"Amandala" (national newspaper)
Editor: Russell Vellos, E-mail: [email protected]

"The Village Voice" (community newspaper)
Editor: Wendy De La Fuente, E-mail: [email protected]

"San Pedro Sun" (community newspaper)
Editor: Dan & Eileen Jamison, E-mail: [email protected]

Community College Louisiana, U.S.A.
Faculty member: Brian Keating, E-mail: [email protected]     [email protected]

Florida International University, Miami, Florida
Library Staff: Silvia Pinzon,BA, MLS, Email: [email protected]

Casado Internet Group
Marty Casado, Webmaster. E-mail: [email protected]

Peter Singfield. E-mail:[email protected]

British Museum, London, England; (Entomology Department)
Scientific Project Coordinator: Curator/Jane Beard, E-mail: [email protected]

Many others: The list is too long. Contributions are voluntary, or donated as circumstances require.

Type of partner Support 7. For each Partner, specify the principle type of support provided:
Financial Support: X
Technical Support X
Other: X

MEDIA ( NEWSPAPERS ) Contribution of investigative articles, factual technical articles from local academics and other public awareness type of community dialogue to identify and achieve public consensus on development issues.

Brian Keating, founder of Community Colleges in Louisiana, USA. Technical advice, research, experience and support.

Florida International University, Librarian, Silvia Pinzon MLS. Grant Writing, donated research hours, Belize National Library Technology Survey and Plan. Belize Electronic Resource and Development Library.

Casado Internet Group, Oregon, USA. Webmaster for Small Business Project, webpage making and installation. (Voluntary labor, construction and establishing on the internet) ( Thousands of informative and small Belize business pages)

Peter Singfield (Business Title unknown): internet research hours, telecommunications "internet by E Mail" project expert, medical alerts for dengue fever, malaria and other current rural health problems.

Financial Profile (Optional)
8. By voluntary contributions, including materials and labor

Category of the Best Practice:
9. From the list below, select no more than three themes describing the focus of your work. Then, from the list following the categories select as appropriate, the sub- categories that best describe the Best Practice:

Economic development:
Entrepreneurialship; cooperative opportunities.

Social Services:

Urban Governance:
Legislation, public administration, resource mobilization, institutional reform, information systems, visioning, openness and transparency, constitutional reform.

Level of Activity
10. Select one of the following that best describes the usual level of activity:
National X
Provincial/State/District X
City/town X
Village X

11. Select the eco-system in which your initiative usually operates:
Coastal Continental High
Plateau Island
Mountain River
Tropical Subtropical X

12. In no more than 250 words, summarize the purpose and achievements of the initiative.

The Belize Development Trust was created in 1997 to formalize and coordinate the efforts of numerous individuals, technical expertise, good-will and volunteerism found through shared interests expressed by desires and contributions on a discussion and debate listserve created by a Belizean student abroad. The idea was to coordinate a fragmented effort by individuals from the past few years, into an effective group format and set by example, a method of tackling development problems in Belize.

Prior to this, individuals had contributed suggestions and ideas, wishes, hopes and dreams, printed books on political and constitutional reform, recommended changes in centralized education versus the ineffective European classical educational methods currently used for our Third World under-developed country. It was the intention of the Belize Development Trust to coordinate all these different desires and expressions of good will for the future of the country, into an organized group effort to make concrete changes for the betterment of society. This is an ongoing process.

The philosophy of the Belize Development Trust is to help people help themselves. It is believed that development can not be given but must be done by the individuals themselves. The Belize Development Trust wishes to create an environment of dialogue, discussion, and debate. Some technical assistance, perhaps a piece of machinery to start a group going, encouragement, research and expertise. Pilot projects on a cooperative basis, seed capital, and technical assistance done in a cooperative organizational format are envisioned in the near future.

Correctly done, the Belize Development Trust will get no credit for any endeavor, development, legislation changes, educational reform, constitutional reform, or any other community development project. The purpose of the Belize Development Trust is to be a CATALYST. If we do our development right, individuals, politicians, and civil servants will take credit for the changes effected on society.

Key Dates
13. Provide no more than five dates and describe in no more than five or six words, their significance. None

14. In 2,000 words or less, use the following headings to describe your work, giving consideration to the questions that follow:


1. What was the motivation for developing the initiative?
- The motivation was to coordinate fragmented efforts into an organized whole

2. What was the nature of the relations between key partners before the initiative?
- People with different fields of expertise interested in the country of Belize

3. What was the social, economic and environmental context of the location?
- Internet Belizean listserve (Belize Culture Net)

4. What were the issues/problems to be addressed?
- Whatever the interests of the participants, followed by debate and consensus.


1. How were the stakeholders involved?
- Volunteerism

2. How were intiative priorities set and refined?
- By consensus and availability


1. What were the objectives?
- The betterment of Belizean society in all its facets

2. What actions were taken?
- Civics and government books about democracy, were published for High Schools by volunteers at their own expense. An Early History of Belize book for schools was published by volunteers at their own expense. An Electronic Resource and Development Library was established by volunteers on the Internet . Numerous Internet small business web pages by volunteers donating expertise, time, and server space.

3. How were the actions chosen?
- Selected by the Trustee according to volunteer's capabilities.

4. How was political support mobilized?
- N/A

5. How were resources mobilized?
- Through the coordinating Trustee

6. Who assumed leadership roles in formulating the objectives?
- The Trustee, the Board of Advisors, and voluntary contributions

7. Who assumed leadership roles in implementing the initiative?
- The Trustee and contributing volunteers

1. What problems were faced implementing the initiative?
Lack of seed capital and volunteers' time

2. How were they overcome?
Still struggling

3. Which important problems remain?
Time, money, and volunteers to do grant writing


1. Were the objectives described above realized?
- Coming along wonderfully!

2. How were your results measured?
- By national newspaper articles and results

3. Were indicators used to measure results/impact?
- No. Social change is slow and subjective. It is not the policy of the Belize Development Trust to claim credit for social change.

4. Was better coordination and integration achieved?
- Yes.

5. What impact has the practice had on local/national social economic and environmental policies/strategies?
- We like to think our contributions have had considerable impact as a CATALYST for social change.

6. What impact has the initiative had on institutional capacity at the national, sub-national and local levels?
- Contributed greatly to creating an atmosphere of free debate with less fear of pervasive political persecution.

7. What impact has the initiative had on local or national decision making, including the institutionalization of partnerships?
- Considerable

8. Where there any special opportunities for change?
- Many. Educational reform, library reform, legislative reform, constitutional reform, telecommunications reform, and especially creating a propitious climate for the free flow of ideas.

9. What impact did the initiative have on the use and allocation of human, technical and financial resources at the local/national level?
- The debate on government decentralization is still going on.

10.What impact has the initiative had on changing peoples' attitudes and behaviour?
- Noticeably different and more open over the last two years.


1. How was the integration of the social, economic, environmental and cultural elements of sustainability achieved?
- Through use of the national and community newspapers and the Internet Belize Culture Net Listserve.

2. How were resources leveraged?
- Volunteerism from the 200 subscribers of the Belize listserve and the cooperation of newspaper editors.

3. How was cost recovery employed?
- N/A

4. How was dependance on external resources addressed?
- N/A

5. Is there a time-line for achieving self-sufficiency?
- We only operate on a self-sufficient basis.

6. If loans are involved, how are they being paid back?
- N/A


1. What were any lessons learned from other inititatives that were incorporated into your initiative?
- The Coordinating Trustee is operating on experience over forty years with national fishing cooperatives and community development projects.

2. What were the three most important lessons learned?

  • a. You can not do things for people, they have to do things for themselves
  • b. You can supply ideas, technical expertise, and occasionally a piece of equipment or a small amount of initial seed capital, but the responsibility for development is solely that of the participants.
  • c. Self-motivation and self-interest are the fuel for development.

3. How have the lessons learned been incorporated into the initiative?
- See philosophy of the Belize Development Trust above.


1. What can others learn from your initiative?
- That self-motivation can achieve the desired goals.

2. Has your initiative been replicated/adapted elsewhere?
- Possibly, but we are not aware of any

3. Where?
- N/A

4. By whom?
- N/A

5. What is the potential for transferring all or parts of your initiative?
- Great potential.

15. Articles and publications?
None. See http addresses:

Wish List:

1) Tilapia Fish Farm Project: 8 tanks; forty-foot diameter, cement block. 2,000 lb. per week fish fillet production farm, for remote, isolated Mayan Indian jungle hill community, as a sample cooperative, to show how to increase protein/meat intake and to provide a cash crop, by sale of fillets to coastal towns.

2) USD$84,000. One year amount of research-hours needed to expand the Belize Electronic Resource and Development Library.

3) Distribute 1,000 Belize History books to ALL the schools in the nation (two dozen books already distributed).

4) Establishment of a Community College Server, autoresponder, and software to enable E-mail subscribers access to the Internet.

5) For the Curator in London, England, that we would like to build a NATIONAL MUSEUM to house a National Collection and repatriate all those permanently loaned archeological and biological Belize collections from abroad now in foreign institutions.

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Maintained by Ray Auxillou, Silvia Pinzon, MLS, and Marty Casado. Please email with suggestions or additions for this Electronic Library of Belize.