BNTU members representing all ten BNTU branches nationwide, participated in an event that took them to the Belize Guatemala border at Jalacte in Toledo. We hear more in this report from correspondent Paul Mahung.
“In connection with the Belize National Teacher’s Union convention on Wednesday and Thursday of this week in Punta Gorda an activity entitled “Stand up for Belize was held yesterday as a group of BNTU members headed onto the Belize Guatemala border at Jalacte in the Toledo district. Before moving onto the border location at Jalacte the teachers assembled at Pueblo Viejo village where they were addressed by BNTU national president Luke Palacio.”
Luke Palacio, President, BNTU: We have decided that we start the convention with a “Stand up for Belize” rally. We are going to have a “Stand up for Belize” activity that we intend for our convention to pass a resolution that will lend support to the activities we intended to undertake. We are bringing teachers from throughout the country to understand the seriousness that the Belize National Teacher’s Union puts on this Guatemala/Belize issue. We are not going there to aggress anybody, we are going there to peacefully express our solidarity with our country because this country belongs to all of us and we are saying that no political party is involved, we are not going to treat this as any partisan political issue. It’s a national issue, we are prepared to work with government we are prepared to work with the opposition, we are prepared to work with any entity that is going to treat this as a national issue so we can bring about a peaceful resolution to this Belize/Guatemala differendum.
Paul Mahung: The group was also addressed by BNTU Punta Gorda branch president Hilton Garbutt.
Hilton Garbutt, BNTU PG President: We want the country of Belize to know that our teachers and our union is not about party politics, it’s about unionism and standing up for Belize. Our trip was based on standing up for Belize and I want to take this opportunity to thank all those teachers who travelled all the way from Corozal to be a part of this Stand Up for Belize demonstration at the Belize Guatemala border.
Paul Mahung: Thereafter by means of two buses and several private vehicles the teachers moved onto the Belize Guatemala border at Halacte where during a brief and very peaceful ceremony the teachers joined hands and said the BNTU prayer, sung the National Anthem of Belize while waving their Belizean flag. As explained by the organizers with the mission to the Belize Guatemala border accomplished the motivated group of teachers then moved onto Punta Gorda for BNTU for the 6th annual teacher’s convention.