November 2020 \ Diaspora News \ INDIAN DIASPORA IN CENTRAL AMERICA

The following is a synopsis of a Zoom public meeting ...

By Dr Kumar Mahabir
  • Ms Sylvia Gilharry Perez

The following is a synopsis of a Zoom public meeting held in September on the topic “The 12,000 persons of East Indian descent in Belize, Central America: Embracing the challenges of maintaining their ancestral roots in a multi-ethnic society.” The pan-Caribbean meeting was hosted by the Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre (ICC).

The speakers were Curlette Ramclam-Palacio, a resident of Toledo and the President of the Yellow Ginger Festival of Belize, Dr Albert Williams, an Associate Professor of Finance and Economics at the Nova South-eastern University in South Florida, and Sylvia Gilharry Perez, the Founder and President of Corozal Organization of East Indian Cultural Heritage (COEICH). The discussant was Dr Kumar Mahabir, an Anthropologist and former Organization of American States (OAS) Fellow.

Sylvia Gilharry Perez provided the following overview of the history and present status of the East Indian community in Belize:

Only English-speaking country in Central America

Belize is an 8,867-square-mile tropical paradise tucked in the heart of the Caribbean basin, and bordered by Mexico (North) and Guatemala (South-West). It is home to a multi-ethnic population of over 300,000 persons. Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America as well as the only Central American member of CARICOM [Caribbean Community]. The country has approximately 3.9 percent (12,452) persons of East Indian descent.

Tags: Belize, PIO