Wednesday, September 7, 2011

REFURBISHED MASKALL COMMUNITY CENTRE INAUGURATED

The Refurbished Maskall Village Community Centre

SIF's Executive Director, Daniel Cano and Hon Edmond Castro, cutting the symbolic ribbon


The refurbished Maskall Village Community Centre was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, 31st August 2011 at the project site. The project will benefit over 1,200 residents of Maskall Village, located along the old Northern Highway.


The project was implemented by the Social Investment Fund and financed by the Government of Belize at a total cost of $178,000 under the Commonwealth Debt Initiative (CDI). The community of Maskall contributed labor towards the project.   

 The works scope included the replacement of the existing corrugated zinc roof with T-beams and concrete slab and  properly connecting the walls to the roof, strengthening of the building’s foundation and construction of 2 feet 2 inch-sidewalk around entire building, improvement to the walls, replacement of the wooden windows with aluminum louvers, installation of  metal doors with timber core, converting of the existing library into a four-unit bathroom facility, rehabilitation of the kitchen area, construction of a partition wall closing off the bathroom from the kitchen, construction of kitchen counter with sink, and rehabilitation of the electrical system including the installation of ceiling fans.    

The  upgraded community centre will bring a sense of pride to the residents of the Village and provide them with a sense of security in the event of a natural disaster since it will serve as a hurricane shelter while visitors to the village will enjoy better facilities.  Although Maskall has lost its centrality as a hub for travelers passing through to the northern districts due to the construction of the new highway in 1980, it still prides itself as the largest village on the old Northern Highway and the host of the annual sporting activities such as football where other communities in the proximity are invited. More importantly, the upgraded facility will be used for numerous social activities including teachers in their homework program as well as members of  the Public Health Department and the Belize Defense Force, and the soon to start first aid training program. 
Residents of Maskall Village at the inauguration of their community centre
Maskall Village is located 38 miles North West of Belize City and 27 miles south east of Orange Walk Town on the Old Northern Highway.  It is a predominantly Creole community but there has been a recent settlement called Spanish Town comprised of Mestizo persons.  Maskall is a very old community, which was very vibrant before the construction of the new Northern Highway and is the second to last of eight villages on the Old Northern Highway including Boston, Lucky Strike, Rockstone Pond, Corozalito, Santana, St. Ann’s and Bomba. 


Farming has remained the mainstay of Maskall Village, but  recent developments in eco-tourism are now providing jobs at local resorts for tour guides and manufacturers of wood carvings that are mainly sold to the tourists. With tourists coming from San Pedro and entering the river from the sea, landing at Bomba and taking a tour bus to Altun Ha, sometimes stopping at the well known Maruba Resort, this Village is once again recovering its vibrancy.  A few of the residents travel to Belize City and Ladyville Village where they work as teachers, public servants and in the service industry.


The guest speaker at the inauguration was the Hon. Edmond Castro, Area Representative for the Belize Rural North Constituency.   Other speakers included representatives of the Social Investment Fund and members of Maskall Village.

Hon Edmond Castro, Belize Rural North Area Representative, delivering the keynote address

For further information please contact Mr Mike Hernandez Jr. J.P.,  Director of Public Relations of the Social Investment Fund, at Tel: 822-0239 or via email at mike.hernandez@sifbelize.org or cell 634-4002.

Belmopan, Wednesday, 31st August 2011:  Press Release No. 23 - 2011



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