Friday, July 12, 2024

Ambergris Caye residents form “Change For San Pedro” movement


SAN PEDRO TOWN, Ambergris Caye, August 29, 2020 – During a time of national emergency under the latest State of Emergency for the country of Belize, San Pedro residents have formed a movement – Change for San Pedro – as a matter of urgency, in response to the economical, infrastructural, and provisional neglect the island of Ambergris Caye has experienced. While many San Pedro residents have shown their support for the movement by way of social media, online forms of communication, and via phone calls and messages, Change for San Pedro organizers have also received pleas from residents who do not have the benefit of owning electronic devices or have access to the internet, whom the organizers are in daily contact with via feeding and assistance programs.
As a result of improper monitoring of free-flowing traffic to the island prior to the latest lockdown, and a lack of procedural policy enforcement, Ambergris Caye has been labeled and scrutinized as being the “epicenter” of the Covid-19 virus. The immediate calls to concern by the residents are in regards to the current state of the lockdown of Ambergris Caye, and how it has been addressed and managed by the Central Government of Belize thus far.

For the first phase of their list of action items, Change for San Pedro formally requests the following actions and regulations be considered immediately by Central Government, and acted upon swiftly to create and enforce the following proposed regulations:

● Immediate change to the curfew start time to match the existing curfew of the rest of the country: Change from existing 8:00PM – 5:00AM curfew to 9:00PM – 5:00AM
● Until October 1, no one to be allowed onto the island of Ambergris Caye, with the exception of island residents and their family members that can provide proof of residence. Island residents have a right to be reunited with their families during the state of emergency.
● The Ministry of Health in San Pedro needs to be allocated with additional test kits in order to properly test residents, especially those displaying covid-related symptoms. Currently, the flu clinic is turning away many residents who are requesting tests.
● In order to offset the effects of the latest lockdown of Ambergris Caye, extend the Food Pantry program until September 19, 2020
● To immediately allow fishing for the purpose of sustenance, as all dock fishing by individuals without a commercial license is currently being barred by the Belize Coast Guard
● Until the State of Emergency is lifted throughout Belize, allow construction sites to resume their operations, utilizing San Pedro residents only
● Fair and equal treatment of San Pedro Town

San Pedro residents have expressed their interest in volunteering their time in order to facilitate any of these above requests, and are willing to liaise with the Central and local governments to ensure the following of proper protocols as set forth by the GOB.
“As the largest tax contributor for tourism dollars in Belize, San Pedro cannot continue to be cast aside and must do whatever it takes to be treated fairly,” says Melody Sanchez Wolfe, co-organizer of Change for San Pedro. “We need change.”
Change for San Pedro’s mission is to voice the collective concerns of the people in order to tackle ongoing issues that residents face on a daily basis, and to demand acknowledgment by local and national government by way of petitions, peaceful protests and actions.

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