A group called the Belize Camping Experience has been working on a fascinating project called the Harvest For Kids.
So far, one thousand and fifty seven Belize City kids have been involved in summer camps and now they are preparing for a major harvesting events.
Organizer Alexander Perez says it's a way to broaden the perspectives of city children.
His organization asks farmers for land, machinery and labour while he provides seed, fertilizer and chemicals.
So far they have gotten 40 acres near Belmopan and twenty acres in Orange Walk for the children to get involved in. He tells us that the experience has been transformative:
Alexander Perez - Director, Belize Camping Experience
"The question was, can we study to be farmers? Can I study to drive a machine, or fix one like that? I said that you do have that opportunity. The career is there, but in Belize City, it has never been heard of, young people being farmers. That has been key to know that these children are now dreaming to be farmers, the 20 kids who are now experiencing planting, seeding, and harvesting. They are now saying that they want to live out in the districts. They don't want to their family to grow up in this neighborhood, or live on the swamp. They can actually plant on good grounds if they live in the outside. Now, 20 kids have been experiencing going in the fields, on the day of the planting, the day we put fertilizer, and just a week ago, when we took the kids to pull corn from the plants, right into the pot, and eat it right on the farm. Jules, you should have seen the face of the kids. Some of them couldn't believe it, that you literally can cultivate if you plant."
"You spoke about hopefulness that a lot of people feel that it is hopeless that these children - no fault of their own - grow up in a cycle of violence, and eventually, they will either become a part of the cycle, or become a victim of the cycle. But taking them out there into an agricultural environment, you've seen something different."
"When they get out there, they realize that the way that we live in Belize City is just a system of life, but the way that the people from Orange Walk and Belmopan live, they live differently in the country. One of the things that really touched me was this little girl who said, 'I live on George Street for 9 years, and I got accustomed to the gunshots. My father told get down, and I told him that this happened every time.' But now that she is 9, she realizes that one of her friends died, and getting used to gunshots is really bad. So, when they went outside, and they realized that there are no gunshots out there, driving through a village and only 7 people in the cemetery, they found it strange that they don't kill people out here. I realize that it's doing something for them to think outside the box, and to think that they also have an opportunity in beautiful Belize. And that is the hope that these 20 kids are getting, but we want the country of Belize to know that this is just one way of doing something to inspire those kids. The question is what are you doing? Are you going to do something or are you just going to let it go? There is hope."
for the major harvesting event to culminate the programme, Perez plans to put 15 massive motorized combines in a 20 acres field and simultaneously harvest those 20 acres in 12 minutes.
The date for that has not yet been announced.