Volume 20 #03 issue of The San Pedro Sun had as a front page story the University of Mississippi (UOM) initiate new San Mateo Road, where information was revealed that students from UOM had committed to assisting the residents with the construction of a road. UOM students had arrived in Belize as part of their Education, Health and Child Welfare Class. Their class took them to the San Mateo Subdivision where upon seeing the living condition of the residents, they decided to do something to help. In meetings held with residents of the area, students discovered that their number one need was the construction of a road. Currently, residents have to traverse through London Bridges which extend for as far as the eye can see. These bridges are situated on top of what is believed to be heavily contaminated water that rises with the tide.
After a meeting, prior to their departure, residents and students committed to working hand in hand in trying to get San Mateo to their feet. Students promised to assist financially while residents promised to take care of the planning and construction of the road. As soon as the meeting was over, both entities have gotten to work.
For their part, UOM students have begun work back in the States. Initial funding has been accrued and sent to San Mateo residents through Kim Shackelford, social worker and liaison between the groups. With the $500US sent, San Mateo is registering as a non-governmental organization and opening a bank account. Students have also opened a Pay Pal account through where donations will be accepted and in an effort to disseminate information, a Facebook page has also been opened in the name of the San Mateo Empowerment Project. Plans for fundraising projects are in the works and the students are hopeful that funds should start trickling in soon enough.
On the other hand, San Mateo residents have also begun to plan. Committees have been formed and the executive has already formulated a plan of action. In order to get ahead, they have requested a copy of the subdivision plan from the San Pedro Town Council but they have as yet to receive it. The Executive Committee has also began to request bids for gravel and sand for the construction of the planned 30 feet in width road. Transportation of the materials has been organized between the residents who were more than eager to help.
Together the residents and students invite everyone to assist in any which way that they can. Fundraisers both in Mississippi and San Pedro Town will be organized in the near future and once more details are released, The San Pedro Sun will be bringing it to you.
Residents and the general community are invited to a meeting which will be held at the Iglesia de Dios (Church of Christ) in the San Mateo Subdivision tonight, Thursday at 7:00 p.m.