The organization known as Belize Camping Experience has made waves with its innovative approach to getting at-risk youth involved in making a difference in their lives, both physically and spiritually. On the 12th of this month, at Banana Bank in Cayo, they demonstrated that approach with a massive harvest of corn which will be sold to benefit the program’s summer camp. With more here is director Alexander Perez.
“We have small acres, we have our biggest acres are 40 acres of land. So, we already harvest all of them, except for 20 acres more that are left in Orange Walk and we’re still looking for our first of our two weeks to cover the cost of those 20 acres. But the acres are spread out in the different fields where farmers give 3 acres, some give 2, and that’s what add up to our acres, but it’s the same concept. The farmer is giving us their land, their machinery and their labour, but we, as an organization, we have fundraise for the fertilizer, the seed; anything else. When we harvest that corn last year we had to pay all the fuel, the fertilizer, and so, at the end, we had very little profit for us to continue our program. But this year, when the harvest happened, we were able to cover all of our expenses, and that we give thanks to the Lord, that that was able to happen”.
The exact profit after expenses is not known, but Alexander Perez salutes the sacrifice of the farmers in the area who gave generously to the cause. Last year viewers were treated to the rare sight of 11 combines threshing the field in 17 minutes. This year, the number was upped to 15 and they took care of the field in record time. Mr Perez explains.
Mr. Alexander Perez
“Even though the rain could come tomorrow, even though we can have bad weather the next week. And so, you are talking that the farmers is risking. Yes, probably over 50 to 100 acres that they can harvest per day, but they are risking it for us to keep reaching to our kids in Belize City. And so, the excitement was that the harvest that we had over 15 machines more than last year, and we broke a record of 17 minutes harvesting the 20 acres of corn that was there”.
After all the thrill of Saturday, there comes the hard work – putting the money into follow-up efforts with this year’s summer campers as the basis for next’s year program. Alexander Perez tells us about that.
Mr. Alexander Perez
“Yes. Well, the summer camps went well. We definitely see that we can improve the program. We need more workers. We had a lot of children, a lot of young people getting involved with Belize Camping Experience. We also found out that there is a lot of people doing the work around. There is a lot of teachers, there is a lot of community effort and I think the Harvest for Kids is just a contribution of everything that is happening, all those good outreaches that we have in our city and also in the while country of Belize. So, camps went well and we are looking forward for our next year…for our next year’s summer camp. So, as we continue our follow up camps, or our follow ups that we were able to reach because of all the hard work that the community effort put together”.