Posted By: dawng
Stupid question - 03/16/02 04:17 AM
Am I just a overly cynical person or are the children from San Pedro schools really looking for donations for school trips, books, sports leagues, etc? On my recent trip at Banyan Bay they actually knocked on my door three different times looking for donations. That's not to mention all the children that approached us on the street looking for donations. I just hate to miss out on a opportunity to help a child, but I couldn't just hand out money to anyone that asked. Besides, I probably did my part alone by coming home with a total of about 20 bracelets, anklets and necklaces that I bought from the other children in town. Just curious.
Posted By: Chloe
Re: Stupid question - 03/16/02 07:25 AM
I know what you mean.......it does get to be a bit much.......we also came home with many anklets and such. We gave once to each group of kids asking for donations, and then just said, we already gave, they finally got the picture, even with the shaking of our heads. We did want to give and did, but not morning noon and night.
Posted By: scott meyer
Re: Stupid question - 03/16/02 04:48 PM
as sad as it seems when we questioned some of these kids they actually told us their parents encouraged them to hit up the tourists for money....belizeans by our standards are poor people so this panhandling for "donations" shouldn't come as too much of a surprise...that's not to say that some of the requests for donations are surely legitimate....
Posted By: sweetjane
Re: Stupid question - 03/16/02 05:02 PM
you'd hate to see it become like tiajuana, tho.
it looks bad to us, and doesn't reflect well on them as a people. it is not a proud way to make money, begging tourists, i mean.
as always, JMHO.
Posted By: Debbie
Re: Stupid question - 03/17/02 06:33 AM
I NEVER had any children "begging" from me. I did have a young boy come by the condo at night with home made goodies that his mom had made. The meat pies and the coconut tarts were out of this world, and we purchased every night that he came by..... It was legitimate sales... I also had a birhtday party at BC's. I had a huge, lovely cake made for me, and was cutting it and passing out pieces to my guests and those around the bar wishing me well. When I turned to pass out the next piece there were about a dozen children in line for a piece of cake. Their little faces melted my heart. What child wouldn't like to have a piece of cake? I was swarmed. I asked for more plates and cut the reamining pieces in half. I was happy to do it..... No one else ever begged me for a thing.... Your recent report does concern me...
We were kinda surprised that we were only asked twice (one bracelet...one "just because") during our five days there.
HOWEVER... (this is still among our favorite stories)
We had dinner outside at that perfectly awful place across the street from Ramon's...and from out of the darkness a young boy appears at our table and says,"Would you like to buy a Red Stripe to support our soccer team?"
I don't know if we were more stupified that all *we* got to sell as kids were magazine subscriptions or stupified by the fact that someone got Red Stripe on AC. Anyways, turns out the kid had a whole Red Stripe crate permanently affixed to his bike. Sold the whole crate's-worth within a few minutes.
As much as I love children, and the ones in San Pedro are adorable, I have to admit that we were approached by children almost every night that we went out to eat and some of them did ask for money. Most were very polite and went away as soon as I (or whoever was with us) told them that we already had bracelets or necklaces. I know that the kids that sell the jewellery and cookies are doing what our kids would be doing when having a paper-route type job, and there is nothing at all wrong with that, but would really hate to see Ambergris Caye turn into another tourist spot like Mexico with peddlers bothering you every step on the beach, so we only bought one bracelet. One child (around 10 yrs) was selling on a school day, and with the feeling that education is very important to the people in San Pedro, I asked why he wasn't at school. He replied that he was sick today, so he didn't go to school but would be going tomorrow. That's why I had a hard time buying from the children, as much as I wanted to give to them I know that if they could get money instead of going to school, that is what would start happening. It only happened once though, so I can't say that it happens all the time and hope that it doesn't. I know that I might get some flack over this, but thought it was important for people to know that if they are going to buy from the kids, that they do it when school is out. Then, it won't tempt them to skip school to sell their goodies.
Posted By: dawng
Re: Stupid question - 03/18/02 07:02 PM
One of the stories I was particully refering to when I posted this message- One day we riding in our golf cart back from town, 3 little boys, around ten years old stopped us for a ride. Once on the cart they asked us if we want to go on a "crocodile tour" For only $20 US each they would take us to the south side of the island in search of a crocodile. We declined and I explained to them that I'm afraid of crocodiles and wouldn't be interested. They gave me a long story about how their mother is going to Belize City tommarow to buy them school books and supplies and without this money she wouldn't be able to go. They needed to raise the money right away and really needed $100 US for their mother. I felt horrible about it but didn't feel right about giving them money. We dropped them off at the corner and went into our room at Banyan Bay. Wouldn't you know not 10 minutes later, the same boys showed up at the beach outside of our room with beer. These boys, who were about ten years old, were drinking Guinnesses with straws. They then proceded to start whistling and cat-calling at all the women that walked by like drunken sailors. I really wanted to go out and ask them what there mother was going to say when she found out they spend their school book money on beer. I've meet some beautiful and sweet children on the island and bought something from practicully all of them. It's the donations that I have a problem with. And the next day, which was a school day, I saw the same boys, who the day before where so concerned with their schoolbooks, trying to hitch a ride to the south beach again. Needless to say I didn't pick them up this time.