For the first time, the Scout Association of Belize will have its very own headquarters. The $800,000 building is currently under construction and is expected to be inaugurated in February 2021. This is a major feat for the Scouts as they have struggled with hosting meetings and events without a place of their own. Executive Director of the Belize Scout Endowment Foundation, Hilberto Riverol spoke of the importance of the headquarters.
Hilberto Riverol, Executive Director, Belize Scout Foundation: “Over the years they have been depending on government to provide them an office space and they have had to be moving from space to space depending on availability. More recently in 2018 the Chairman of the Foundation Dr.Rene Villanueva heard about their plea of wanting to have their own headquarters and he put the idea across the board of directors for the foundation and everyone was in agreement that it should be a project of priority for the scouts so this is how the idea came about but keeping in mind that the foundation itself could not have done it by himself. I think that this will serve as a motivation to them to work harder to make membership group to provide better programs for young people. I think in a nutshell it should serve them as a motivation to improve scouting in Belize.”
One of the board members of the Belize Scout Foundation, Francis Woods, who is also behind the planning and construction, spoke about the facilities that the building will house.
Francis Woods, Cisco Construction: “It’s a three story building. We’re utilizing every floor including the roof where we’ll make a terrace that can be used to host weddings and parties and different stuff as a little source of income for the Scouts Association of Belize. The building it has an apartment that can be rented out on the bottom, there’s a parking garage, there will be a wheelchair lift in it that will take a wheelchair bound person to any one of the floors. It has a conference room, it will host the Scouts Foundation Museum. It has offices for executives from the Scouts Association of Belize, all bathrooms will be wheelchair friendly. It has a lot of very unique features. One of the features I’d like to talk about is that we started ground floor five feet above sea level that way if we have a CAT 1 hurricane the surge level wouldn’t bother – at least wouldn’t bother the ground floor. It is built to very strong standards so I hope that that part is not tested by a Category 5 hurricane but we did build it very strong and we’re very happy with the building.”
The building will be named after the Governor General, Sir Colville N Young. The name, along with the idea for the Scouts to have their own headquarters was that of the foundation Chairman, Dr Rene Villanueva Sr.
Dr.Rene Villanueva, Chairman, Belize Scouts Federation Board of Directors: “Scouting is something I’ve always held very close and dear to me because I know the character that scouting can build in our young people. With regards to this building I’m a person that I believe that things are achieved through faith, hope and love I always drop back to that formula and Love if you love something like we love scouting in Belize, we love our young people then we know what the needs are. So the goal for this building was set in faith. We started this building I think with $6,000 something like that and that was all we had. So we had to have a lot of faith and love inspired by the love we had to see something happening here. Then we had the hope that kept us going despite the fact that we were wondering “Can we ever do it?” but here it is today. For me it was important that we honor our Governor General who has served Belize well and Sir. Colville N. Young has served not only scouting but music in the schools. Sir. Colville has done a lot for our young people and he has a lot of interest in our young people he’s patron of the Girl Guides, the Scouts and what have you. So what better person to name a building after than Sir. Colville N. Young ? So I think really I am proud to say that this as far as I know is the only structure in Belize that will be named after a Governor General in his case his Excellency Sir Colville N. Young.”
Several agencies have contributed financially to the construction of the building, including the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).