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#19286 - 05/19/05 07:06 PM What is this bull****!  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,484
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
Sir Isaac Newton  Offline
Check this out and see how angry you get:


The Editors

As a long time journalist in Belize, I found your story of May 19, 2005, "Third grade feeds Belize" by Lisa Rogers erroneous, irresponsible and reprehensible.

Whilst I am sure that there are children in Belize who go to sleep hungry at night, there has not been a single recorded death by starvation of any child in Belize in our recorded history, and yes we do keep records.

Belize boasts one of the best and fast-improving health care conditions in the region, and a simple perusal of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization web site statistics would easily disprove many of the assertions, allegations and innuendos intrinsic to the article.

We are a developing country but one where such barbarism as described in the last paragraph, to wit: "Mrs. Deborah Vessels, who travels to Belize annually to fit school children with artificial eyes explained that in the culture of this area, a child with a deformity dares not go to school because others could stone them to death." is not only unheard of, but unthinkable.

Such a terrible slander requires more than an apology, but that every effort be made to right the wrong and repair the damage.

Belize not only has medical doctors, but persons with doctorates in arts, philosophy, science and so on. The damage this article does to our hard won reputation as a nation of friendly and hospitable people is incalculable.

The advent of the 'Net has made places like Belize virtually very, very accessible, and when you consider that we're only a two-hour flight from Miami International, well there is no reasonable explanation for this very poor piece except prejudice, carelessness, et cetera.

The editors of the Everglade News should pay penance by immediately visiting Belize, as hundreds of thousands, yes you read right, hundreds of thousands of American tourists do ever year. Come, spend some money with us - we use the cash to ensure that there are NO STARVING CHILDREN in Belize. Tourism is our primary industry, and you will leave with a 180 degree different opinion of Belize than the ones those of your readers who read the article and don't know Belize, no doubt currently hold.

And just perhaps, an investigation of the "Cornelius Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supplies the school with food and medical supplies" is in order since I never, ever heard of them in over forty years of living in Belize, either.



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#19287 - 05/19/05 08:27 PM Re: What is this bull****!  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 957
lovey and thurston Offline
lovey and thurston  Offline
Sin, I am in the States for another few weeks. I noticed the address for the Cornelius Foundation is in Carmel, In. only a few min. from me. I am going to check out the address in the a.m. and see what I can find out about them or the "Mrs. Vessels".

R.B. Mernitz
#19288 - 05/19/05 08:45 PM Re: What is this bull****!  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,484
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
Sir Isaac Newton  Offline
This is the website:

Cornelius International Foundation

I hope, for Belize sake, it is legit.

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#19289 - 05/19/05 09:23 PM Re: What is this bull****!  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 66
BDinAZ Offline
BDinAZ  Offline
I don't want to engage anyone in a political discussion on the board.
Let me just point out that this group is a member of the National Heritage Foundation.
Do a google search and draw your own conclusions.

My educated guess is there are more kids (proportionatly) going to bed hungry here in the states (for a myriad of reasons) than there is in all of Belize.
Beyond that, how many children require artifical eyes in Belize? If the article is to be believed the numbers must be staggering. I guess I'm a non-believer.
Me thinks the only people stoned are the individuals behind this fraud.

#19290 - 05/19/05 09:54 PM Re: What is this bull****!  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,886
reaper Offline
reaper  Offline
Sir I N, Sometimes organizations that are trying to raise money for projects like this magnify the problem to augment their fundraising ability. Also read a little into that National Heritage website and it will give you some insight on what this CIF is about! When my group visited San Pedro in February they all brought school supplies as instructed by Mayor Paz. The high school students approached me about donating for new band instruments, which I'm working on for next year's trip. No one mentioned the need for a school lunch program. If anyone is planning a trip to Belize I suggest bringing some school supplies. every little bit helps, just like schools here in the US need things. And the room you make in your luggage will work out great for some One Barrel and T shirts on the trip home!And to anyone traveling for the first time to Belize please don't worry about the medical care. A member of our group was injured and recieved very good attention and care. As usual the third graders did the right thing by helping out their peers in a foreign country, and the adults are out of line with their comments! SIN, in your 40 years just how many school children have been stoned(with rocks)? cool

#19291 - 05/19/05 10:26 PM Re: What is this bull****!  
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,001
klcman Offline
klcman  Offline
mebbe Ms. Vessels is teaching MLM techniques there too wink

_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman
#19292 - 05/19/05 11:51 PM Re: What is this bull****!  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 957
lovey and thurston Offline
lovey and thurston  Offline
I did feel moved to send a letter to the editor,to express my displeasure with their article. Hopefully, Mrs. Vessels is only trying to impress her Midwestern breathren with her "third world adventures" and not the con artist we fear she might be. In any event she's not wrapped to tight. Sadly, such an article can only give a black eye to the valid and needed philanthropic organizations that come to Belize. The government of Belize and citizens should be offended by such arrogance. I'm embarrassed.

R.B. Mernitz
#19293 - 05/20/05 02:38 AM Re: What is this bull****!  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,193
collyk Offline
collyk  Offline
What is far more concerning than this is the HIV/AIDS issue affecting, according to a report by Channel 7 news, nearly 1 in 10 Belizean children.

"Minerva Jolly, Cornerstone Foundation
"We're going to have a lack of manpower because these kids are the carpenters, the lawyers, the policemen, the teachers, and the doctors of tomorrow. So for one thing its going to be a lack of manpower and HIV is going to continue because if we don't educate our children, if we don't educate ourselves, we will just have more HIV. Its very very simple."

And simply put: 2,000 Belizean children are already orphaned and 14,000 more are believed vulnerable to HIV and AIDS. That amounts to one out of every 10 children. UNICEF compiled a report and Program Officer Roy Bowen says these children aren't necessarily infected with HIV/AIDS but they are affected by it."
Belize Wedding Photography

#19294 - 05/20/05 07:43 AM Re: What is this bull****!  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 66
BDinAZ Offline
BDinAZ  Offline
The Cornerstone Foundation of Belize looks like a wonderful organization that does noble work through volunteer efforts WITHOUT false sensational tales of stonings and starvation.
They certainly get my support.

On the other hand, the UMBRELLA of the Cornelius International Foundation, the National Heritage Foundation, always provides for interesting reading: confused eek

#19295 - 05/20/05 09:51 AM Re: What is this bull****!  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,391
Katie Valk Offline
Katie Valk  Offline
Just off the phone with Lions Clinic in San Pedro and Belize Council for Visually Impaired. According to the LC, never had an eye transplant on SP and only one cornea transplant in Belize, not performed by this organization. Surprised?

Belize based travel specialist
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