Please note that while it says above that this is benefiting Christ Church UCC, the funds are simply going through Christ Church and going directly and fully to this project in San Victor, Belize. Onto the story...
An Introduction from Rev. Howard Storm
The people of San Victor are indigenous Maya and Mestizo who have been in this area for many thousands of years. During the colonial times they were massacred and reduced to economic slavery. The primary source of income has been the Sugar Cane industry. Some owned land and others harvested. Average household income was $1000 per year. Most lived in houses made of stick walls and thatch roofs with dirt floors. In 2001 there was no electricity, no water system, no telephone service, and only a few vehicles in the entire village. Only a few of the people had ever visited a doctor and average life expectancy was fifty years. All the women were homemakers who worked from before sunrise into the dark keeping the family going on diet of mostly rice.
Of the fewer than 900 people in the village 200 children attended San Victor Roman Catholic School which did not have enough classroom space so many of the classes met outdoors, weather permitting. The school taught first to eighth grade. Very seldom did a child go to high school, and the closest was six miles away, which charged six hundred dollars for tuition year.
These are hardworking people who have been marginalized by the global economic system living in a nation founded in 1981 struggling to provide basic services. There are no social services or safety nets as we know them.
- The community center will create pride, cohesion, and empowerment for the 900 residents of San Victor.
- This building will serve as a hurricane shelter for all the people of San Victor.
- There will be an internet room available for all residents to have access to computers for nominal fee.
- There will be a Women’s Center equipped with sewing machines available to all women.
- There will be classrooms for continuing education opportunities.
- The Center can be rented for wedding receptions, confirmation parties, baptism parties, graduation parties, community meetings, and other occasions.
- There will be a small apartment for a resident guard/caretaker.
- The building will be constructed for maximum security, hygiene, and simple maintenance.
- The center will be own and operated by a non-profit corporation located in Belize.
- This Center will significantly improve the lives of the people of San Victor.
The Site of the Community Center and a Conversation About What It Will Mean to San Victor
We have just completed our 28th mission trip to San Victor. Beginning in 2001 in San Victor we have built three of the school building, the large Catholic Church, 78 homes, and helped several other small churches. We have paid tuition and sent hundreds of students to High School, College, and Graduate school. We have had many health clinics. We have conducted dozens of VBS’s and many daily worship/ evangelism services in the village. Over a thousand Americans of various ages have participated in these missions. There are many more things we have done too numerous to mention.
Reverend Howard Storm has been the leader of these missions.
Projected Budget for Community Center
Purchase of land $3,000
Materials $70,000 est.
Labor $30,000 est.
Project manager $4,000.
Equipment $30,000 est.
So far, we have raised $81,250 and we are seeking to raise the remaining $60,000
The Community Center in San Victor
The building will be hurricane proof and serve as a shelter in the event of hurricanes. The building will be secure against vandalism. The center will serve the needs of the people of San Victor through education, empowerment, development and celebration of life
- Dimensions 60 ft. by 35 ft.
- Two stories.
- All steel reinforced concrete with concrete block infill.
- Steel ground floor doors and aluminum windows.
- Hurricane resistant upper windows.
- Two bathrooms upstairs and downstairs.
- Apartment for security family.
- Small kitchen.
- Computer lad.
- Women’s center.
- Large hall.
- Mayor and council offices.
- Electrical throughout building.
- WiFi in building.
- Sewer system.
- Entrance porch.