The number of young people involved in crime is increasing rising in Belize. The primary cause of this worrying trend is the high dropout rate of students after elementary school. Many young children return home elementary school and often suffer from hunger and lack of familial support. In this environment they become easy prey for criminals who pressure them to rob, sell drugs, or even kill. Their vibrant youth is stolen from them, and they are often driven to imprisonment or even death.
Cherene Rivero is one of the many educators who believe that education is the key to fighting violence. She puts this belief into practice by leading a youth development program, as well as training counselors and teachers across the country to teach important life skills to this vulnerable population. This holistic approach focuses on positive reinforcement and is already transforming the lives of many young people who decide to dream hard and work hard.
It is believed that Belize is named after a river. While English is the country’s official language, the recent influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants is rapidly changing the diverse population structure, where native Spanish speakers already comprise a large percentage. While about 16% of Belizeans live abroad, 15% of immigrants from neighboring countries constitute part of the country’s population, accounting for an increasing share of Belize's population growth rate.