By Benjamin Flowers
The Public Utilities Commission held the closing ceremony for the first-ever Mobile Application Development Workshop and Competition on Friday.
At the end of the workshop the 45 participants presented the applications they built during the week and voted amongst themselves to decide which two were the best. The app Discover Belize, done by the team Bel-Cay, and Bel-Lingo, done by the team Living Speech, won by popular vote.
The discover Belize app is a tourism sector tool designed to help tourists and locals find tourist attractions in their area, while Bel-Lingo is a language-based application designed to help tourists communicate with locals by teaching common terms in languages such as Kriol, Garifuna and Mopan Maya.
At the ceremony, which was held at the Ramada Belize City Princess, each member of the winning teams received a tablet and a year’s worth of free internet access. The initiative was spearheaded by the PUC in collaboration with the international Information Technology organization, Bright Path Foundation.
The workshop began on Monday August 18, gathering participants from ages 12-18 from all six districts and the cayes. The participants who had no prior knowledge of mobile application creation were asked to come up with their own idea and then taught to build the application “from scratch.”
At the ceremony founder of the Bright Path Foundation, Bevil Wooding, said that while the ceremony marked the close of the workshop, in actuality the event marks a new beginning for Belize.
“Each one of these participants have given their commitment to continue working on innovating and creating new apps that can change the future of Belize,” Wooding said.
Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, attended the ceremony and assisted in giving out certificates of completion to the participates.