memorable, comfortable, affordable ... Punta Gorda, Toledo, Belize

Hickatee's community project - Boom Creek village school

For many years, Ex-Servicemen Road (so named for the land granted to those who volunteered for services overseas in World War II) ended just past Hickatee Cottages.

In the early 1990s a road was pushed through a further five miles west to the tiny and, at that stage, recently-formed settlement of Boom Creek on the banks of the Moho River. Today, Boom Creek is home to 13 Kekchi and Mestizo families, who engage in traditional activities such as farming, fishing, and hunting, as well as logging.

Boom Creek's village school - the Living Word Primary School - is an independent Christian school that was founded in 1995 by members of the Living Word Church to fulfil the village children's needs for local education. Until then, the children had to paddle five miles up-river to the school in Santa Ana, which isn't the easiest of tasks as those of you who have experienced the rainy season might appreciate!

During its early years the school was based in the village church but, in 1999, a Government grant provided for the construction of a 5 classroom concrete structure with separate outdoor toilets. And the funding stopped there... the running of the school and education of its 35 pupils - from ages 5 through to 14 - is funded entirely through donations, largely from abroad.

Many of our guests ask us ahead of their visit if there are any items they can bring with them to help the local community. In response to both these requests and the urgent needs of the school, Hickatee Cottages has implemented a community project designed to help provide some of the school's basic supplies:

  • Pencils
  • Pens (blue, black, and red)
  • Notebook paper
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Construction paper (for posters etc)
  • White glue
  • Child-safe scissors
  • Individual pencil sharpeners
  • Glitter
  • Staplers and staples
  • AA batteries (safe-disposal brand)
  • Erasers
  • Dustless chalk and chalkboard erasers
  • Rulers
  • Coloured pencils
  • Copy paper
  • Manila file folders
  • Printer ink cartridges (re-filled HP21, 22, 56, and 57 compatible)
  • Children's books
  • Sports equipment (volleyball, jump ropes etc)

We have now received donations from over 40 guests - some in person, and some sent through the mail when they return to their homes - and we would like to thank all of you for your generosity. We must also thank the Belmopan International Women's Group for their donation of a year's supply of multi-vitamins for each child, which reportedly improved attention and energy levels within a matter of days! We also researched the benefits of vitamins, problems caused by the lack thereof, and created a nutritional poster for the School, identifying good sources of vitamins in easily available local foods.

The school is managed by Bob and Rhonda Farley, with Mrs Ruth Coleman as the Principal teacher, assisted by three teachers. If you have any questions or would like further information, please email us!