The Pallottine Sisters at the Convent in Belize City are seeking the public’s assistance in demolishing and rebuilding the convent. Over the course of the years, the building has severely deteriorated and after withstanding a number of natural disasters, the building is practically uninhabitable. Presently the sisters who live there are moving out as they prepare to have the building demolished. But, they need the assistance of the community.
Dalila Ical reporting…
The now dilapidated building that houses eleven Pallottine Sisters needs to be replaced. It was the last building that the Pallottine Missionary built in the country and has served the sisters and the community well says Sister Josefina Alamilla, the Superior at the Convent.
Josefina Alamilla – Superior
The convent was finished in 55when it was completed. When they had the blessing and so it was a three story building and it has several rooms. In the beginning they said, why such a large convent. By 1956 we had about twelve sisters here and after Hurricane Janet, ten more sisters came to live. This convent has served almost sixty four years to date and this convent was also the beginning of Pallotti High School.”
Over the years, the building began deteriorating and has not reached a point where the sisters must move out. Sister Steven Franco says that three years ago they began noticing small cracks in the walls.
Sister Steven Franco
“You take that it just passes on and you say ooh a crack here but I would think that over the last year we have seen the cracks just open up. Two major incidents that happened; the Hurricane Earl and the Earthquake between Guatemala and Mexico we saw big changes and so we begin to be very concerned because we no longer could say oh this will pass it will settle and then before it was just in certain areas of the building but now the crack has gone completely around and as you walk around you notice that the roof has almost detached itself from the main part of the building. In the end here, in the East end, it has a space of about a good six to seven inches and so we began to realize that this is getting serious so we became concerned and we started to get some architects in to check it out.”
The sisters have been told that the building is beyond repair. Following several inspections, they were told that the building is leaning and will eventually fall on the infirmary located next to the three storey building. They have started raising funds for the project because the structure is not insured.
Andrea Lou – Member, Board of Governors
“We are still in the process of setting up the Go Fund Me account but in the interim we have the HRCU Savings Six Account number 74447 for those who can make contributions or they can drop off their contributions here at the convent. We also have an email set up for those who would like to communicate with the sisters and that’s firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The demolition will cost about 104 thousand dollars, but the sisters need the funds to have the work begin. They are also hoping to raise funds to build a two storey Convent after the demolition is completed. The Pallottine Sisters are donating some of the items being recovered from the building to the poor in the city.