My, my, my. The Editor Amandala hit the nail right on the head, and letter writer Wendy Auxillou couldn’t have been more insensitive to a poor Kriol lad like me.
Her letter, “Prefers Central America to CARICOM,” adds insult to the injury I and others of the “very small part of the population of Belize City,” that she refers to, feel at the sad orchestrated disappearance of people like us from this, our native land.
What world is Wendy living in? To say that, “even the other CARICOM countries only marginally think of Belize (and Guyana) as even remotely Caribbean,” shows a regrettable disconnect with our reality. I thought our eastern border was all the Caribbean Sea.
And her observation that, “over recent decades Belize has become overwhelmingly Hispanic,” is indeed food for thought. It is just “over recent decades”, indeed. When I visited Pomona Valley around 1970 with a Kriol high school classmate whose mother worked and lived on site at the citrus company barracks down there, the workers were mostly Garifuna and Kriols from Dangriga, and some Maya and Mestizos from adjacent villages. How and why did this dramatic shift in population take place?
It’s all about jobs and wages. Migrant illegals from Guatemala and Honduras worked for “slave wages”, and soon displaced Belizean workers, who were already accustomed to better. Our people themselves then chose to migrate, to the city first, and then to the USA, rather than accept what they perceived as a step backwards.
But then the same thing happened in the city. And with the schools overcrowded now, with heavy competition for spaces from the suddenly burgeoning immigrant Central American population, Kriols in the city were again out-competed for spaces in schools. Following Amnesty in the US, many children left behind in Belize City needed more school help with discipline, supervision and mentoring; but, instead of more help at school, they got less, as overburdened teachers (and many of the good ones had left also) were more inclined to kick them out, than try to salvage a lost soul. We’re reaping the results of this tragedy today.
Wendy, do you know anything about the Quadrangular Softball Games we had in Belize in the 1970’s, including Belize, Jamaica, Bahamas and Bermuda? From afar, you couldn’t tell which team came from where. And we are all English speaking, though with different accents.
I must admit that, indeed, in these last few decades, about three or four, the demographics have changed dramatically in Belize. It’s almost frightening what has occurred. And it is painful to some of us, the very thought of what has been orchestrated.
But we, the so-called Kriols or Kruffy, aren’t all gone yet. But, Wendy, oh Wendy! For you to actually be “outraged” at the CARICOM idea, is almost an inadvertent slap in some of our faces. But the greater slap is what now appears, in retrospect, to have been an orchestrated plan.
I don’t know of any other “refugee” program in the world where the refugees were given land, seed, and money to help them get their farms off the ground, in addition to housing and infrastructure – water, electricity. Getting a piece of this land has been such an elusive goal for most of us for so long, many of us have just about given up.
Be kind to us and don’t be “outraged”, Wendy. Be sympathetic, if you can. The crazy acting robbers, thieves and murderers, the vast majority of whom, coincidentally, are these same Kriols who now fill our jail, these are just the symptoms of a crushed and socially devastated people, a people that have been silently destroyed by those who said they were helping us to help our friendly neighbors.