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sick children in San Mateo

Posted By: pamkillen

sick children in San Mateo - 07/11/08 06:41 PM

I know that a number of people are going to jump down my throat but....... Vern Wilson has stated in a letter to the tres cocos neighborhood watch group that he could not attend a meeting because the family of one of his students has lost a child to a severe skin infection caused by contaminated water. I have been screaming myself hoarse about the lack of the proper septic system in the shool. Last rainy season, the head ( whatever that thing is that goes into the system with watse) was a foot under water. The school board needs to address this issue and clean the area around the school that the kids play in or walk through. And where the heck will the new playground go, over contaminated soil? And totally forget dredging anywhere near that property because it will loosen contaminates from the soil to the water. They need to bring in a specialist. He said that child died, this is very serious.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/11/08 08:39 PM

Pamkillen nobody is going to jump down your throat because you point out the obvious. What is less obvious is the solution.

What Vern said is that one of the kids died from contaminated water by her house - not the school. It might be better to actually post what he said rather than picking out parts of what he said.

I would have been there but had a meeting with Manuel Heredia last night discussing the sanitation or lack there of in San Mateo.. A 3 year old child died this week from a infection after falling into the water around their house 2 weeks ago and getting a skin infection and fever... the little sister of one of my students... very sad..
We are awaiting the autopsy report to confirm the exact offical cause of death she was running a temp of 104 when the hospital sent her home.. she never made it home....
We have 37 reported cases of skin infections from contact with the water back there, that we have treated at the school. Heredia now has the names also to use as a tool to push the issue in Cabinet..
Heredia will be going to Cabinet and seeing if they can get a grant to fix and fill that area so we do not have this happen again.. I have been fighting for this for the last 4 years and now hope that finally something will get done..


IHS
Vernon

I am by no means a huge advocate of Vern Wilson - I don't know him and I don't talk to him, but I do know that whether it is ideal or not, Vern has managed to take 450 kids that were not going to school and provided them with an education, 3 meals per day, a reason to be happy and an opportunity to be kids. They get to play, they get to learn, they get to eat and also realize their potential.

I believe that the outrage should stop being aimed at Vern, Francis and the Holy Cross school and be focused on getting the GOB to relocate the school to a more practical, less hazardous area.

Whether these kids are legally Belizean or not the fact of the matter is that they live here and they will either become contributing members of our community or troublemakers in the future. I would much rather see them getting an education, getting ahead, and enjoying life on the island.

The school board doesn't really need an expert to come in and tell them what their problems are, I am fairly certain they have a very good idea already.

Solutions anybody?

Posted By: bywarren

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/11/08 09:22 PM

Solution: There have been many issues brought up on this board concerning the declining quality of life on AC - too many to itimize. There is always talk of getting the GOB to come and solve the problems. It is not happening. There have been other efforts to have tourists donate to solve problems. IMO, it is pasts time for San Pedro residence to find workable solutions to their problems. AC is the richest place in Belize. Time for AC to use those riches to solve their problems. Quit expecting taxes from tourism and business taxes to solve all the problems. Sure, in a perfect world with a resonably competent national government that might happen. It is not a perfect world and a long way from GOB being competent.
Tax yourselves and the people like me who own property there who want what we are not getting and solve our problems.
You can wait for GOB and income from tourism to do it and watch AC continue to decline in quality and NECESSITIES of life, or take charge of your own destiny.

PS Amanda: if you have a little extra time, figure how much tax dollars would be generated if people like me, forget for now the "local people" who some argue could not afford a higher real estate tax - although another discussion, if I were to pay lets say one forth of the tax I pay on other similar properties I own as opposed to what I pay now for my condo and see how much revenue that would generate on the island.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/11/08 10:09 PM

Thanks for the input Bywarren. I guess I have some homework to do!

Amanda
Posted By: bywarren

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/11/08 10:15 PM

Here is a little help for your "homework". I am not sure exactly what I pay in tax, but I think it is around 2 or 3 hundred US - my bills are in Belize and I am not. If that condo was almost anywhere else, the tax would be 5 to 10 thousand US. So if I were to pay 1500US multiply that times the number of condos on the island assuming mine would be close to average in value and see what that amounts to - just out of curiosity.
Posted By: natalie p

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/11/08 10:21 PM

I and other members of the NAC NW met and spoke with the mayoress about the sewer problem(or lack of it)about a year ago. She told me they were meeting with BWS about installing a sewer system there that very day. I asked how could future situations of this kind be prevented in the future, as more and more will build in swampy areas. She assured me that now that the Town Board has authority to approve or deny building of any houses, they would stop any more houses being built without adequate sewerage. Yet houses continue to be built in San Mateo all the time. I'm told BWS refused to put in a sewer because there are no designated roads and they cannot install water or sewage pipes unless it's thru deisignated roads. So the residents continue to dump their waste buckets directly into the lagoon.Solution?? I don't know. Not long ago I pointed out to the Mayoress that buildings were still going up, and she said she hadn't known and that she would check on it.
Posted By: pamkillen

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/12/08 12:34 PM

You bring students from areas other than San Mateo where there are crowded classrooms but adequate sanitation to the school in San Mateo where classrooms are overcrowded and water is so contaminated that kids are getting sick and 1 died. A large number os the students come from town and south because of financial incentives such as free lunch. But they also add to the sewage overload at the school and are put at risk themselves. All I am saying is that this school must meet basic sanitation measures and for some reason have been given a pass. We all are responsible for allowing this to happen.
Posted By: natalie p

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/12/08 01:21 PM

The school is an absolute necessity. I have no idea if sanitation inside the school is a health problem. I do know that the residents dumping toilet buckets into the lagoon is.
However, I believe there was some sort of agreement with the Vernon's and the Town Board that if they were allowed to build their resort or Marina or whatever it is they were planning, that they would install an adecuate sewer system to San Mateo.I seem to recall that they had not done this as Town Board had not kept their side of the agreement, perhaps now that they have been given the go ahead they will see to the San Mateo problem?
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/12/08 01:29 PM

You are kidding, aren't you ?
Posted By: elbert

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/12/08 02:46 PM

This whole deal smells.
Do you remember who's Idea It was to build the frigin school in the swamp. now its hostage to grant an environmental raping.Is anyone a little suspicious of this?
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/12/08 02:51 PM

Have been for a loooong time.
Posted By: pamkillen

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/12/08 03:09 PM

The school septic system is an outrage and over 450 children use it. Last I heard , water was brought in and there was no running water. How do the kids wash their hands after using a toilet that flushes in to a backed up and flooded septic? Vern Wilson told the town that he would build a school that functioned as a hurricane building, bring septic and water to San Mateo, and in exchange he would get a building permit. Francis told me this, I am not spreading rumors. He has not fulfilled any of his agreements but has applied for more property and wants to dredge 22 acres.My major concern has always been the development of a biohazard. And now a child has died. I am actually having a hard time processing the information that this is happening, it seems so profound to me.
Posted By: pamkillen

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/12/08 03:09 PM

And just so sad
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/12/08 05:10 PM

A child has died due to the unsantitary area around her home - she was not a student at the school.

Please don't confuse the issues. There are more than just one.

Yes there is a sanitation problem in San Mateo.

Yes the school could do with improvements.

Yes a child has died in San Mateo. Allegedly due to some water borne illness (autopsy pending.)

NEMO has stated that all coastal areas must be evacuted during Tropical storm threats - this means we will not be building hurricane shelters on the caye. No responsible government is going to build shelters and therefore encourage its people to stay in an area that can be severely impacted by a storm surge.

4 storey buildings on the caye have been granted before and will be again. No special promises would need to be made in order to secure the building permits.

The Holy Cross school came into existence due to the crises in lack of student spaces in other schools. The San Pedro Town council was desperate to find a solution, and along came the Wilson's with their promise to provide a school. The Town Council donated the land, and the Wilson's, in conjunction with the Anglican Archdiosese have achieved what they had set out to do.

Perhaps some kids from other schools have switched to an area closer to home, or because of the nutritious meals, or because there is a full time nurse on staff. That is their perogative. The Roman Catholic school is bursting at the seams and needed the relief any way.

I don't have the figures but considering I seem to observe about 5 babies + being born a week, and about 1 death each month - this town's population is continuing to grow at a very rapid rate. We need the school.

With all due respect I humbly say:

Asking for solutions doesn't mean write more words, experess your outrage louder and longer until you are hoarse, it means roll up your sleeves and help find ways to improve the situation - or please back off and let those that are working tirelessly to make improvements get on with it.




Posted By: SP Daily

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/12/08 05:46 PM

"Asking for solutions doesn't mean write more words, express your outrage louder and longer until you are hoarse, it means roll up your sleeves and help find ways to improve the situation - or please back off and let those that are working tirelessly to make improvements get on with it."
AMEN!!!
Posted By: natalie p

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/12/08 06:46 PM

Scott Harnish, new prez of NAC NW , and all the other NW prez', meet with the town board every month. If you all think it might be helpful, I could ask him to find out what he can about that agreement. I did mention the problems of the homes built on water to NEMO when I was last at a meeting with them.I think there was a team that recently did a walk around San Mateo to see the conditions there and MAYBE find a solution but I don't know the details of who and what.The Belize Red Cross also did a study on the appalling conditions there, but did not offer any solutions except to appeal to the Town Board to relocate or do landfill and stick to not allowing dwellings to be built without proper waste utilities or water supply.
Posted By: pamkillen

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/12/08 07:35 PM

Amanda, I have great respect for you but do not agree with you in this matter. The Wilson's made promises regarding sewer and hurricane shelters according to Francis herself. I drove by daily and saw for myself issues regarding the sewer. Anyway, I have had my say and i am afraid no one will do a thing. The lagoon is disgusting especially around the school, go and check it out and ask some people who are at The Reef. Anyway, enough, have a great summer.
Posted By: Barbara K

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/14/08 04:19 PM

I hope someone will post the autopsy results when available. WAY scary. I would be on the lookout (and seriously boosting preventatives) for Cholera too with waste in the water. Not good. Overpopulation/undersanitation woes. You think it will harm tourism if the murder/crime rates get public, wait till this gets out...
Posted By: natalie p

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/14/08 04:56 PM

BTW--this problem was there LONG before the Wilsons or the school were there.
Amanda is correct, at least 5 babies a week are being born in San Pedro, and roughly 1 death per month, plus the many who are moving in from other parts of Central America, most very poor. The poor have larger families than those well off . One solution I have been trying to assist with is offering free sterilization to those that cannot afford to pay for it.When we deliver a baby at the clinic of a mother who has had several children, we offer to do a tubal ligation at the cost of $500 bze.If she says she wants to do it but does not have the money to pay for it, we cover the cost from a fund I have been quietly getting pledges for.
Posted By: pamkillen

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/14/08 07:15 PM

I would be happy to give some to that fund. I will see you mid August
Posted By: natalie p

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/14/08 07:16 PM

Thanks Pam, I will add you to my list of donors and I will let you know when your one is coming up.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/14/08 07:26 PM

I have always been dismayed that the GOB insisted on a woman having 5 kids or be 25 years old before they could opt for sterilization.

If you are 20 and have 3 kids, isn't that enough???

Posted By: Caye Connect

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/14/08 07:28 PM

Originally Posted by natalie p
BTW--this problem was there LONG before the Wilsons or the school were there.
Amanda is correct, at least 5 babies a week are being born in San Pedro, and roughly 1 death per month, plus the many who are moving in from other parts of Central America, most very poor. The poor have larger families than those well off . One solution I have been trying to assist with is offering free sterilization to those that cannot afford to pay for it.When we deliver a baby at the clinic of a mother who has had several children, we offer to do a tubal ligation at the cost of $500 bze.If she says she wants to do it but does not have the money to pay for it, we cover the cost from a fund I have been quietly getting pledges for.


I totally applaud these efforts and hope that you can combine them with education about STDs and condoms too... THANK YOU!
Posted By: natalie p

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/14/08 08:13 PM

Of course. What started me on this was a young mother who's partner was HIV+ and despite educating her on how to keep herself from becoming positive she appeared in the clinic pregnant.We delivered the child, who so far is testing negative. She could not afford a sterilization, she agreed to have one and we took on the cost.We still tried to help her understand how to prevent herself from becoming positive.Last thing San Mateo needs is another sick child born to that community.
We are not working for GOB and will sterilize any woman who wants it.
When the HIV committee passed out condoms to the High School and during their parade, there were objections from the religious elders. Hence, we do this quietly.
Posted By: collyk

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/14/08 09:35 PM

If there is anything I can do to help with HIV education as a volunteer, please let me know.

Colette
Posted By: natalie p

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/15/08 12:03 AM

Talk with Felix Ayuso at the Town Board, he heads the HIV committee and I'm sure could always use help.
Posted By: collyk

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/15/08 12:31 AM

natalie. I have. We did do some stuff for him, but we haven't heard about any activities since. Maybe I'll give him a prod. Thanks for everything you do here.

Colette
Posted By: Pedro1

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/17/08 11:32 PM

A school for illegal children was built by the Wilson's was built in a totally unsuitable area-we are not a charity on this island -there is no register to find out if the children are Belizean-the school gives free breakfasts and lunch(I have never heard of this being done anywhere in the world)-the school psychiatrist told me to rewrite the letter that was put in the paper 1 year ago-she stated that all the Wilson's want is numbers-basically it is wake up and smell the roses -imo the GOB is not to blame -the blame is that immigration should go and check the childrens and therefore their parents credentials if they did this at every school I would think we will have a lot of spaces in the various schools-added to this Rich Grimm told FRancis people would die if they did not improve their systems aa 1000% guess what they ignored the professionals advice-it is an open sewer back there.we need a new school but put it where the medical school is and this has been offered to the town board
Posted By: SimonB

Re: sick children in San Mateo - 07/18/08 02:07 AM

http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/breakfast/
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