YMCA Belize

Belize – National Council of YMCAs

Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1987
Membership Status:
Related Movement

Brief YMCA History

Belize is a very young and independent country (1981) who is still struggling to meet the needs of its people. The community has needs of education, sports and training which is primarily what the YMCA of Belize provides in its limited capacity and scare resources.
Established in 1987 and incorporated April 7, 1995, the YMCA of Belize began with a group visiting from a Louisiana YMCA. While visiting they were interested and saw the need for a program for boys. They were informed of a perfect fit to head their task, which was Mr. Justin Nicholas. Nicholas accepted the position and sought out some of his friends to work with him namely, Paul Hunt and Santos Diaz. The group met at the Fort George Hotel, which was managed by Paul Hunt at the time and gradually began offering swimming programs using the Fort George Pool where they realized the need to extend to Recreation and Sports. Thus they sought after and hired Mr. Rodney Davis an avid sports player and enthusiast, to be the first Director of the newly formed organization. After serving in the position for several years Davis was succeeded by David Gomez, who continued the active and somewhat fast development of the organization, getting it registered as an NGO and other logistical and program details. Gradually his successor was Ms. Melissa Balderamos, one of the organization’s then Education Coordinators, who after a few years resigned to pursue educational goals, which are highly encouraged at the YMCA. She was succeeded by Mr. Mervin Lambey and his successor was Ms. Carolyn Gentle, MSW the present director of the organization, who took office after an interim period of Ms. Mirna Paul serving as the Director and continued the struggle for financial headway.

The YMCA of Belize was formed in 1987. While it is not a church, and there is no creed to which all members must agree, all of the YMCA’s objectives are based on values, which come from our Christian tradition. In all our programs, YMCA’s first commitment is to the personal development of those who participate. We then, through character values, put Christian principles into practice by what we do and whom we serve or seek to represent. Regardless of race, color, creed or monetary status all are welcomed and not exclude in our goal to continue the development of our Belizean community, in spirit, mind, and body.

Mission Statement

‘The Young Men’s Christian Association of Belize is a Christian organization committed to the development of the Belizean Community in spirit, mind and body and to the promotion of social justice and peace.’

Main Programmes

The YMCA of Belize since 1987 has been offering:
 – English as a Second Language Classes
– High School Prepatory & Remedial Program
– Annual Summer Programs inclusive of-
– Sporting (basketball, volleyball, tennis etc.)
– Education (Reading, High School Prep. etc.)
– Camping (1 wk. environmental, one day environmental & Adventure & Day
Camps)
– Swimming (Adult & Children learning camps)
– Swimming instructor & Life Guarding
– After School & Saturday Classes
– A Weight Room
– A Library with computer access
– Leadership training (via Voluntary opportunities, Life Skills Training & Development)
– Resume Writing & Job Training Assistance
– Literacy Training & Education
– A Countrywide Campus Y network
-On-going community Fun (Annual Latin Dance Competition, Marble, Basketball, Traditional Games competitions, Eco-tour and other projects)
– A Youth center (w/ 1/7. basketball court & kitchen area)

Address – National Office

YMCA of Belize
Ms Clara Cuellar
P O Box 1836
7539 Faber’s Road Ext
Belize City
Belize C.A.
E-mail: ymcabelize(at)btl.net

No YMCA accomodation available in Belize

Website

YMCA of Belize