Minister of Human Development, Families, and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs*, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia was in the south this weekend for a tour. Minister Balderamos-Garcia was accompanied by Minister of State Gilroy Usher and CEO Tanya Santos. According to the Minister, the purpose of her visit was to familiarize herself with the staff and better tend to their needs to carry out their duties.*
Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families, and Indigenous People’s Affairs: “We’re doing our level best to give the kind of support to our staff that they need. Again we will not be able to solve all the problems overnight but we want to start by showing them that we care. So we started in Independence, Mango Creek. Later in the afternoon we met with our staff in Punta Gorda and some of the similar issues came up: child protection issues, support issues, that kind of thing. So I just want to say that a major purpose of the visit was to have the contact with our staff in the south and so that we can try to give the support that the Ministry offers. Now if you allow me, later in the evening in Punta Gorda we were very very pleased to meet with eight members of the National Garifuna Council Peini branch and we heard about issues of the St.Vincent bloc, the hill they call Cero, we heard about land issues of that nature. We also received a proposal from them that they would like to have a resource cultural center in Peini Punta Gorda for the National Garifuna Council members and our Garifuna sisters and brothers there in PG. And I have to tell you that the consultations have gone exceedingly well.”
Balderamos-Garcia also spoke of her visit to the Mayan community of Conejo where the appointment of Froyla Tzalam to the post of Governor General was celebrated.
Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families, and Indigenous People’s Affairs: “When we arrived I have to tell you it was like a Bazaar in Conejo that morning the Marimba was out there, the children had beautifully decorated in front of the church with the cohune palms and the hibiscus. We had a bus load of people from Barranco, we had villagers from the buffer communities for example of the Sarstoon Temash Reserve and it was really like a festive fiesta atmosphere. We had Mr.Lopez from Barranco play the national anthem on his harmonica and we had wonderful little program. Accompanying us throughout the visit was our Minister of State Honorable Gilroy Usher and he was a great support and I think one of the things that the villagers mentioned to us is that they are so happy to see the ministers of government actually visit in their very own community.”