The Beauty of Belize
Why We Are Committed to Creating Beauty in Belize
Belize is a country full of beauty - lush rainforests, idyllic beaches and incredible people. But unlike the United States, equity and opportunity are lacking, especially for the country's youth. In order to ensure a bright and prosperous future for Belize, access to quality education and economic opportunity for young people is crucial. That is why we have partnered with the Ministry of Education as well as Excelsior High School to help young Belizean people learn how to take ownership of their education and career paths through learning how to start and run their own businesses.
We know that when basic needs are a struggle, focusing on the future is impossible. That is why Beauty in Belize is also committed to providing resources to help address urgent and basic needs such as food, clothing and medicine to families in Belize City.
Education in Belize
Modeled after the United States education system, education in Belize is compulsory but is not free, with primary and high schools charging tuition for attendance. On average, primary school tuition rates vary between $35 (about $70 BZD) per semester to over $3,000 (about $6,000 BZD) per year at some private schools. For high school, tuition averages about $500 (about $1,000 BZD) per year. According to UNESCO, approximately 65% of students graduate from high school and the overall population of Belize only having 8.1 years of education.
Economy in Belize
The Belizean economy is based primarily on agriculture, tourism and services, making their economy extremely vulnerable to disruptions by outside natural and economic forces. The Belizean dollar is 1/2 of the US dollar which equates to about $2 BZ for every $1 USD.The average salary in Belize is around $800USD per month but most people earn $200 BZ per week ($100 USD). When you see how much tuition is for children to attend school, it is obvious that, for some families, they have to choose between paying tuition or paying for necessities for their family.
Poverty is a sad reality in Belize with over 41% of the population living at or below the poverty line and nearly 50% of children living in poverty in 2016. Unemployment is a huge problem in Belize, with over 9% of the workforce unemployed.
Violence & Gang Activity in Belize
Belize has one of the highest crime rates in the world, ranking #4 in global murder rates. In 2018, the murder rate in Belize was 44.7 per 100,000 inhabitants. Because of the high poverty rate, especially within large towns and cities, gangs are common and young people are extremely vulnerable to gang involvement and exploitation. Due to the country's location in Central America, Belize is becoming a major drug trafficking hub with routes going through Belize from South America to Mexico and the United States.