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Sunday, March 7, 2021
Home Letters Reboot, Belize Selectah!

Reboot, Belize Selectah!

Dear Editor, 
The delinquency rate at the Blue Creek Credit Union is zero percent. That’s zero with a “Z.” Check it out for yourself by looking up the last quarterly financial reports published in the Amandala newspaper or on the Central Bank of Belize website. All loans are paid on time, all the time! Amazing, isn’t it?

This is an enviable achievement for any financial institution, because, as the yearly business cycle fluctuates up and down, some members will struggle with loan payments.

Many years ago when I asked the manager at that credit union how these perfect payments were even possible, she explained that when one farmer cannot pay, the other farmers agree to pay for him.

Then she smiled.

My jaw fell to the floor in disbelief. Great things happen when people work together as a community. Don’t you agree?

The Bata store on Albert Street offered the best quality shoes in Belize when I was a child. Bata’s selection of shoes was limited, however, and its prices were mainly fixed.

So, when you couldn’t find a style or price that matched your budget, your choice of footwear quickly ran out. Eventually, Bata moved on. However, they remain a very successful enterprise in many parts of the world.

The “Hindu shops”, working as a community of retailers, offered a wider variety of brands than Bata. And their prices were much more flexible. The footwear quality was different, but whenever one shop did not have your shoe size, style or color, the shopkeeper would always check with another shop up the street, and a few minutes later, your choice was on its way.

This cooperative business model, mastered by “the Hindus”, benefits the customer even to this day.

You have to love and respect our Garifuna musicians. Working as a creative community, these “Griga-lizeans”  have pushed their genre of music beyond the envelope. Their collective efforts have rocketed the rhythms of southern Belize onto the world stage with one hit after another. Our congratulations to the talented artists, producers and technicians who have sailed to musical heights, even through stormy seas. We wish you many more years of success as we await the next great performance outta Griga!

There are many other examples of people working together for the common good inside our 8,867. But more are needed. Building successful communities in any country is no overnight task. It takes hard work. It takes sacrifice. It takes leadership.

Unless we want to become extinct after many years of official abuse and a stubborn virus that is grinding away at us, we had better stand shoulder to shoulder.

So let’s go. Let’s create even more connected (and profitable) communities in this global year of renewal, 2020.

Did you just scream, “Reboot, Belize Selectah!”?

Mek wi punta!

Emil Rodriguez
San Ignacio

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