Thursday, April 18, 2024

Caye Bank and island community contribute to SPHS telethon, raising over $200K toward needed repairs


The San Pedro community and other generous donors came together on Friday, October 27th, to support a fundraiser for the reconstruction of parts of the main building of the San Pedro High School (SPHS). The school administration stated they need $350,000 to complete all necessary repairs in their main building. A telethon held throughout Friday saw donations toward this worthy cause from individuals and stakeholders. One of those stakeholders was Caye International Bank (CIB), who not only made a monetary donation but has created a GoFundMe page to raise funds on behalf of SPHS at At the end of the day, a total of $210,346 was raised in the telethon, a satisfactory amount that will aid in the ongoing works at the school.
The fundraiser started at 8AM via a live feed through Reef TV. Students, teachers, and volunteers also took part in dollar-driver through the main streets of downtown San Pedro. Different hosts and past students presided over the live telethon, reaching out to the community and anyone able and willing to donate to the cause. The phone calls and messages kept coming with donations and pledges. Even though the school’s Principal, Emil Vasquez, his Vice Principal, Conchita Flota, and their team were aware that $350,000 is a large amount of money, they were hopeful to at least raise around $200,000.
As the different hosts kept rotating, one of them showed up with a generous donation of $20,000. Gladys Urbina, Caye International Bank’s Chief Operations Officer, raised this amount mainly with support from her company’s directors and staff. Urbina is also working closely with Joel Nagel, CIB’s Chairman, to raise more funds via the GoFundMe account (link shared above) set to raise $200,000. Urbina hosted the live telethon event alongside their Loans Manager, Guillermo Rodriguez. They urge everyone to continue supporting this project to benefit almost 700 SPHS students. SPHS is also home to the San Pedro Junior College and the San Pedro Adult Continuing Education program.
The telethon was deemed a success after collecting over $200,000. The SPHS expressed gratitude to the community and everyone who helped them meet the goal on Friday. While more resources are needed, the ongoing repairs to the school’s main building will continue. The funds are to repair three school building sections. These include a portion of the floor in their computer laboratory, the entire ceiling of the staff room, and the science laboratory.
The damage to the school’s infrastructure was discovered on August 1st when Principal Vasquez found a portion of the staff room ceiling collapsed. As a result, several rounds of evaluation started, ending with a report from structural engineers suggesting the building was not unsafe, except for three crucial areas: staff room, computer, and science laboratory.
While repairs continue at the school, a shift system offering classes in the morning and afternoon will remain. The juniors attend classes in the morning and the seniors in the afternoon. This is due to limited classroom space and to enhance the safety of students and teachers. It is taking a toll on the students and teachers; however, they hope to soon return to normalcy after the repairs.
The telethon met its goal, but more funds were needed to reconstruct the three vulnerable sections at the SPHS main building. Anyone able and willing to donate can do so through the GoFundMe link shared at the beginning of this article. Donations can also be made by calling the school at 223-2045 or visiting their offices on Seagull Street in Boca del Rio.

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