Population migration has been key to the development of communities, nations and continents.
When man first set foot on planet Earth, there were two burning human instincts that to this day has helped to form the backbone of human nature. That is the innate curiosity to explore and to use exploration and relocation, which is essentially migration, as a means to improve his own standing and a better life. Whenever humans determine that their present condition and subsequent location is in fact a hindrance to personal development and established personal goal, they seek better places to move to. And this is the reason why every corner of this World has been populated – from the arid dessert of the Sahara, the frigid regions of the Artic and the humid jungles of Africa and the Americas.
Likewise our nation has seen its fair share of immigration and migration. The majority of Belizean migrants have moved to the United States and to a lesser extent, to England. It is estimated that there are more first and second generation Belizeans living abroad than they are living within the country. Belize is just one of a handful of nations in the World where the diaspora community and their generations are actually larger than the population of the home country. The question is – why is this the case? This is not a statistic that we are to be proud of. The answer was basically narrowed down the one thing; opportunity. The quest for a better way of life and an unbiased opportunity to accomplish this, is what has lead thousands of Belizeans away from our shores.
While there are opportunities at home, they are extremely limited and are not designed to move one into the middle class. Any other real opportunities are reserved for the political elite, the rich, those of certain social and upper class and people of lighter completion. Have no doubts that the class system in Belize is like the caste system in India which has an extremely strong influence on where you will ultimately end up socially and in the hierarchy of society. Racial unity has in some cases helped to bridge this gap and those cultures and races which have united fare off better. The political divide has been extremely successful further dividing and exploiting citizens.
Belize has remained a Third World country because we have oppressed the one thing which makes a nation succeed and that is its human resources. While the idea of diversity is excellent and does help in nation building, you cannot on the one hand strive to improve the standard of the country and on the other allow your human resources to leave. Pretty soon the nation will be a nation of expatriates and like our diaspora community; their generations will be the new citizens of Belize. If that is the goal, then we are almost there but if that is not the case, then we need to start cultivating the environment to keep and bring our people back home.
I challenge any Belizean to look at the racial, social and societal composition of their immediate neighborhood and compare that to the one you grew up in and then you will see my point.
I must confess I am pro Belizean.
It’s all about the people!
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