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Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty] #526484
10/19/17 01:14 PM
10/19/17 01:14 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,068
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Belize's Wonder Women! Ms. Beverly Swasey

Meet our Wonder Woman for the month of October, Ms. Beverly Swasey, born on March 13, 1947 to Mrs. Carolyn & Mr. Louis Swasey. She earned her Diploma in Education at the University Of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England in 1977.

She was a very dedicated teacher and started teaching on May of 1964. She taught at Belmopan Junior School, presently known as Evergreen, as well as Belmopan Comprehensive School . Besides her professional life, she is one of the founding members of the Belmopan Cancer Society and was President for 16 years. She is also a Founder of Capital Culture drama group, as well as director and producer of several original plays, and is Representing Belize in El Proyecto Lagartija Centroamericano, which is a group of Central American actors and actresses trying to raise the level of acting in the region. In addition, Ms. Swasey is a Founder of Belmopan Women's Council, now Women Empowering Families.

This Wonder Woman also served as a Belmopan City Councilor and as Deputy Mayor. She received the Belizean Patriot National Award in September of 2016.

Belmopan residents also thank her for all the hard work she has contributed to BCS and our city on a whole. She has helped to mold many of us into the successful men and women we are today.

Congratulations Ms. Swasey!

U.S. Embassy Belize


Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty] #526561
10/23/17 06:03 AM
10/23/17 06:03 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,068
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Mrs. Athelo Endora Cabral (nee Smith ) was born in Belize City on December 20th 1911. She first visited Placencia on vacation in 1936, while a Ward Maid in the Punta Gorda Hospital. Soon thereafter, she caught the eyes of Leopold (poly) Cabral and with the permission of her mother he began to court Thelo. Four long years after, they were married.

In Placencia, she volunteered to teach young people and served as the midwife during the absence of the midwives of Seine Bight and Monkey River. In 1968, she received her Official Midwife Registration Certificate.

Because of her great contribution to Belize, she was honored in 1994 with the medal and title of, " Most Excellent Order of the British Empire."

Awesome lady! Will never forget the best Sunday classes under her house! Sweetest soul ever..... Awesome love and dedication to the human spirit within all of us. What a blessings indeed.


Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty] #526777
11/01/17 04:03 PM
11/01/17 04:03 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,068
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Belize's Wonder Women! Mrs. Rose Anderson

For the month of November we are proud to announce that Mrs. Rose Anderson is our Belize Wonder Woman!

Mrs. Rose Anderson is presently employed as the Health Coordinator for HECOPAB at the Western Regional Hospital. A resident of Cotton Tree Village she has been involved in several initiatives to improve the village including working with the village council and serving as the president of the Women’s group for four years. During her time as the president of the Women’s group the ladies ventured into pepper farming, sewing, fast food production and later established an internet café.

She also works with her local church encouraging and sensitizing leaders to work in areas such as HIV/AIDS, Diabetes and Elderly Care. She has a special passion when it comes to working with older persons. She regularly supports the local programming at HelpAge Belmopan providing health talks and support to the seniors. During her visits to the rural areas in the Cayo District Mrs. Anderson takes special interest in older persons, scheduling time to visit them and listen to their needs and concerns. She has often lobbied for bedding, food and clothing for these older persons and ensures that they are visited by community health workers regularly.

Recently, she has been instrumental in finding homes for the most vulnerable persons in her community; most notably an older woman in Harmony Ville who lost her home to a fire.

U.S. Embassy Belize


Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty] #527429
12/01/17 02:48 PM
12/01/17 02:48 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,068
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Belize's Wonder Women! Mrs. Julietta Burrowes-Lewis

For the month of December we are proud to announce that Mrs. Julietta Burrowes-Lewis is our Belize Wonder Woman!

Julietta Burrowes-Lewis began piano lessons at the tender age of five at Pallotti Music School and later graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Southeastern College of the Assemblies of God in Florida.

Julietta has been teaching music to children and adults alike since the age of 15. She has accompanied on piano and directed numerous children’s and adult choirs including the Belmopan Choral Society.

Julietta founded and currently directs the Panerrifix Steel Band and travels extensively both locally and internationally with the band. She believes that music is the universal language and she gives selflessly to the youths of Belmopan. She teaches with the intention to promote the Arts and to take Belizean music to the world.

U.S. Embassy Belize


Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty] #527475
12/04/17 06:14 AM
12/04/17 06:14 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,068
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Why I think Elfreda Reyes should be a National Hero of Belize

by Yasser Musa

We have two men on our flag. And we have two men as official National Heroes.

In an August 2017 Facebook post the thinker Valentino Shal wrote about the Global Gender Gap Report citing that in terms of political empowerment Belize ranks 133 out of 136 countries and with respect to Gender Inequality 107 of 136.

There is also a huge void and gap in our learning about women in social studies and history.

Elfreda Reyes was born a British Honduras colonial subject in 1902 and died a Belizean in 1992. She grew up in the Mesopotamia area of Belize Town. She was a domestic servant who earned less than $2 per week. By 1924 she was a leading figure challenging colonial rule on the basis of class and gender. She was a fighter for the working class, a human rights activist before that was even a concept.

She championed gender inclusiveness which is a fundamental idea in modern citizenship.

In 1934 she took a frontline position with strikers against the oppressive Belize Estate Company (BEC). In 1935 she petitioned the BH Governor for the right to VOTE (sufferage) with the GOAL of creating a national democracy WITHOUT hierarchy, class, sex or race.

She became politically aligned to both George Price’s PUP and Phillip Goldson’s NIP. She was a militant leader for our nationalist aspirations, and a prominent pioneer for women’s political organization in Belize.

Our school system ignores Elfreda the same way it does African and Maya history and the same way that the Caste War of the Yucatan is a blank space in our imagination. There is no cavalry coming, we must restore the truth with creativity and technology ourselves.

When we teach citizenship or the concept of democracy Elfreda’s contributions must be essential learning. When we teach modern Belize she must be placed in the context of leader, activist, liberator, and grassroots mobilizer. When we teach society and culture she must be exalted as a person who in the face of incredible odds and discrimination stood up to power and inspired thousands of people to stand up too.

The big lesson of Elfreda’s life is that she embodied the active citizen who took to the streets so that the force of peoples’ desire for upliftment and liberation could be realized.

Two days ago Dorla Boman (Building People Movement) published a book Women Can Govern – The Development of Belizean Women in Politics. It is a great resource for teachers and students and should be made available across this country. I pay big respect to Ms Boman for her steadfast commitment in bringing important knowledge about our people into an accessible frame for us to use inside our classrooms.

Elfreda Reyes should be acknowledged as a national hero in Belize.


Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty] #528044
01/02/18 03:11 PM
01/02/18 03:11 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,068
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Belize's Wonder Women! Dr. Gwen Nuñez Gonzalez

For the month of January we are proud to announce that Dr. Gwen Nuñez Gonzalez is our Belize Wonder Woman!

Gwen Nuñez Gonzalez was born in Hopkins Village, Stann Creek District, to Julia and Victoriano Nuñez. She earned her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Higher Education from the Nova Southeastern University in Orlando Florida through the University of Belize and her dissertation focused on Intercultural Bilingual Education.

Dr. Gwen hopes that her dissertation will contribute to the literature on the subject matter in order to ignite interest from others to pursue the value of intercultural bilingual education in Belize. She feels blessed to be doing what she loves as an Education Officer for the Belmopan area at the Cayo District Education Centre.

One of Dr. Gwen's dreams is to publish books to assist in the teaching of the Garifuna Language and to write the many untold stories of Garinagu in Hopkins and Dangriga to ensure that people understand the mission of cultural survival. She is an active member of the National Garifuna Council and has dedicated her life to cultural preservation. Dr. Gwen has facilitated several trainings and has won many awards. She finds fulfillment in seeing others progress and has assisted many students at all three levels to achieve their academic goal by paying tuition, paying for CXC exams and purchasing school supplies.

Dr. Gwen loves to travel, read, write poems, meet new people and more importantly help others. She has been blessed to represent Belize and the Garifuna Culture at the United Nations in New York, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras. Apart from her regular job, she loves working with the media and was a radio correspondent from beautiful Dangriga. This has given her unique opportunities to assist the less fortunate, work with many people and embrace many cultures. She believes that her calling is SERVICE TO OTHERS.

U.S. Embassy Belize


Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty] #528687
02/01/18 12:50 PM
02/01/18 12:50 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,068
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Belize's Wonder Women! Mrs. Dorla Bowman

For the month of February, we are proud to announce that Mrs. Dorla Bowman is our Belize Wonder Woman!

Dorla Bowman started her public service trail-blazing in historic Belize City where she was born. She is the first of nine children of her parents. She launched out as a Sunday School teacher while still in elementary school, and continued on organizing and working with youth in the Methodist Church. She felt teaching was her calling, so she spent 11 years in the teaching profession and as an active trade unionist serving on the National Council of Belize National Teacher’s Union.

Realizing women’s rights are human rights, she became engaged in the issues of violence against women, using the organizations in which she worked and served, the Women’s Bureau (Women’s Department) and the The National Women's Commission to address these causes. And, taking action to further address these issues by establishing the Belize Women Against Violence Movement, the shelter for battered women and the Belize Women's Political Caucus. Likewise, lead the drafting of the Domestic Violence Bill and joined hands and voices with thousands of women countrywide for its passing into law.

Her goal was always to provide user-friendly service for the vulnerable population, especially women and children. The full integration of women at every level of the country’s development was her rallying cry. The recognition of women’s contribution to the development of Belize, and their inclusion at policy and decision-making levels have been her life’s human services, monitoring and advocacy work!

Serving as Deputy Mayor of Belize City Council she exemplified what it means to enable a city, a country to move forward together in equality, development and peace. She insists that together we can, and that educating and developing Belize’s human capital is everybody’s business.

Dorla’s latest involvement has been working with entrepreneurs through economic empowerment activities, at risk children through the Children Safe Space Project, and addressing gender-base violence through the LIVE IN PEACE project. These three projects are being implemented in the Toledo District. At the national level through the project, Empowering Women to Run for Elected Office in Belize, she has been leading a series of district and national level activities, which included the research and publishing of the book Women Can Govern- the Development of Belizean Women in Politics, and a policy conference to include her story and the stories of Belizean women who have contributed to the development of Belize in the primary and secondary schools curriculum.

U.S. Embassy Belize


Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty] #529161
03/02/18 02:59 PM
03/02/18 02:59 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,068
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Belize's Wonder Women! Mrs. Anna Silva

March is Women's History Month and we are proud to announce that Mrs. Anna Silva is our Belize Wonder Woman as well as Woman of the Year 2018!

Mrs. Anna Silva is a mother of three children, has two grandchildren, and is the co-founder of Mary Open Doors, established in February 2008. Mary Open Doors was one of two emergency shelters in the entire country of Belize when it first opened its doors. Mrs. Silva draws from her experience working in the NGO community. For a number of years, she was the CEO of Cornerstone Foundation. She is someone who takes action to respond to social issues and is motivated by her passion to serve others. Mary Open Doors became Mrs. Silva’s vehicle to address the scourge of domestic violence in Belize. She, herself, is a GBV survivor.

Mrs. Silva, affectionately known to everyone in her community as “Ms. Anna,” has a profound commitment to serving those who are most vulnerable. Her passion to reach undeserved populations in Belize cannot be more evident than through her role at Cornerstone Foundation when the organization partnered with UNICEF in 2006 to address children affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Belize. She strongly believes in community led efforts and utilizes her skills to mobilize people to address social issues afflicting children through UNICEF and other organizations.

Ms. Anna is driven by optimism, and remains positive in spite of the many challenges her organization faces. She has invested her personal time and money to help families through Mary Open Doors. Her approach is not simply to place a Band-Aid on the problem but to chip away at the issue until it is resolved.

Ms. Anna strongly believes in caring for those who are most at-risk and remains committed to the plight of women and children affected by domestic violence in Belize. Her organization’s mission is her guiding path to her approach to working with families. As a survivor herself, Mrs. Silva is one of Belize’s unsung heroes and an inspiration to women who are currently in abusive relationships.

Keep on doing exceptional work Mrs. Anna

U.S. Embassy Belize


Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty] #529674
04/03/18 01:19 PM
04/03/18 01:19 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,068
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Belize's Wonder Women! Rhea Rogers

We are proud to share, that for the month of April, Rhea Rogers is our Belize Wonder Woman as well as 2018 International Women of Courage Award Nominee!

Ms. Rhea Rogers is the Staff Officer for the Ministry of National Security of Belize. She liaises on behalf of the ministry on projects and public policy issues, including especially for women and youth, locally and internationally. She is the ministry’s gender focal point and an activist for gender equity and equality. Rhea has been advocating for women’s full participation in Belize’s development since 1995 and promoting equity and equality for women in the national security sector since 2003. She is a member of the National Gender Based Violence Committee and is active in a variety of government led initiatives for gender mainstreaming of public policies.

Recently, Rhea led the committee which produced Belize’s National Security and Defence Strategy (NSDS) 2017-2020. Thanks to Rhea, the Strategy now includes a gender component for the first time since its inception. Currently, Rhea is leading a Ministry of National Security team to develop Belize’s first Women, Peace and Security Policy (WPS) to address outstanding issues of equal opportunity, gender-based discrimination, and violence and to end the archaic unofficial “cap” on women’s participation in Belize’s defence sector. Rhea’s passion continues to be to improve the lives of women and girls in Belize.

U.S. Embassy Belize


Re: Trailblazing Women of Belize [Re: Marty] #529675
04/03/18 02:58 PM
04/03/18 02:58 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,460
Belize City
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Katie Valk Offline

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Katie Valk  Offline
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Proud to have served with Rhea on the Weed Decrim Committee. She well deserves these accolades.


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