Belize is a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. It is the only nation in the region with a British colonial heritage, but as a part of the Western Caribbean Zone, it also shares a common heritage with the Caribbean portions of other Central American countries. In this way, even if it is the only country in the area where English is the official language, Creole and Spanish are widely spoken.
Belize only occupies 23 thousand square kilometers of land, but there has been a considerable amount of conflict and claims over its land and sovereignty. It also has a long documented history of slavery, with men, women, and children having been brought by ship from Africa to work for British landowners. Africans and other communities were exploited for their labor, while rich landowners took all the benefits.
Contemporary development challenges include accentuated poverty in rural communities, unemployment, high HIV rates, gender inequality, illicit substances abuse and poor public health.
Our current projects in Belize include:
- Educational infrastructure in rural communities.
- Prevention of HIV/AIDS programs.
- Environmental education programs.
Currently, RJI is working in the following communities: