August 2, 2021
Ambergris Caye, Belize (The Island) has emerged over the past 50 years into a global vacation and expat community. This Caribbean Island hosts a population between 15 to 20 thousand residents which in large part are Belizean, Guatemalan and Hondurian citizens. The majority of these individuals and families have relocated to The Island for employment. This influx of people looking for work has caused a swell in social needs which include schools, medical facilities and youth programs (music, sports, camps, etc). However, there is a very rewarding path of educational opportunities that have developed during this explosive growth for hundreds of children to attend High School and post High School study.
The current challenge on The Island for these graduates is employment opportunities. With the local economy centered around tourism and the service industry, in a large part, many hard working students upon graduation find themselves competing for the service jobs (housekeeping, waiting tables, construction, etc). Currently the options for these graduates are to stay on The Island with minimal skill employment or relocate. Furthermore, with the debilitating covid-19 situation, tourism went from record numbers in January 2020 to zero in June 2020. (The Country of Belize began a border lock down to prevent the spread of covid-19.) With the tourists leaving, the lack of employment left many searching for the bare necessities. Therefore, these educated young adults went from being frustrated by not having career opportunities to no opportunities at all.
To help fill the gap of career opportunities for The Island and at the same time give exposure to an alternate revenue stream (outside of the tourist industry), Living Tree Academy proposes a technical internet related “Training by Internship” process. A process that will initially seek these scholars from The Island. Once these capable students are identified, then LTA will vet those who would like to pursue training in varying areas that have commercial value. As the interns learn and prove their skills that are marketable via the Internet, they will be instructed and introduced to Upwork for contract employment.