A Year in Review

This post under construction.

Photo Courtesy of Cullen Walker and Astrum Helicopters. 

The school has grown a lot and never stops growing just like the kids who go there and get so much out of having somewhere close to home to feel important and safe.

Here are a few random bits and pieces of this school year  of pulled out of emails.

Audiologists.....Two volunteer Audiologists came to the School this past Friday and tested students who had been identified with possible hearing issues.  Several children were fitted with hearing aids, a few had major infections and were sent to the PolyClinic for treatment and one little girl was found to have a perforated ear drum.  Unfortunately, she will have to have surgery to repair the damage.  The next step will be to send her to Belize City for additional evaluation.  Many thanks to Dr. Linda and Dr. Edith!

Computer Teacher....The Ministry of Education finally approved the salary for a designated Computer Teacher!!!!  Starting tomorrow morning, Mr. Shane will be keeping the computer lab filled with students anxious to learn with this incredible new technology.  YIPPEE!!

In all, hundreds of people through out the nation of Belize and the world contributed their time, talents and/or treasure to make this miracle a reality.  The 513 students of Holy Cross will be blessed for years to come by this incredible educational facility!!

I'll also try to mention how the A/C message board fund raising drive provided the funds for the second (ocean) leg of the journey. Thanks go out to Fr. Mal Roberts of Peace Church for all of his assistance in holding the money for us. This started out as a simple idea some time ago, and simple ideas sometimes get more complex as time goes on, but perseverance, flexibility, and the generosity of some fine people have finally gotten this idea ready to roll South. Thanks go out to everyone who has touched this little project. I think there is enough paper to last a year or more, enough hand sanitizer to last 2-3 years, and enough of some of the first aid supplies to last even longer, even for 500 kids and staff.  We are very pleased to see this material on it's way to the school. Thanks again, Ed and Sandy Settle

2 emails in particular that deserved their own post - a dialogue between Father Sam and Mis
s Francis. 

We saw the parade on Friday. It was great to see all the kids get excited and spread the word about recycling. 

Good Morning, Laurie!   Hey if you haven't already started on the blog stuff, I would like to add a little info.   Our daughter is a 3rd grade teacher and she has her class and actually the whole elementary school, making monetary donations for the playground transportation fund.  They are all bringing in pennys one day, nickels another, dimes another, and so on.  The kids even made me a card that she gave me on Mother's day explaining their donations!  I just thought this may add another element to the efforts that are taking place to get this playground and all the donated supplies to the school. Sandy

The students from Georgia are so fortunate to be allowed to come and learn and work with the faculty and staff at Holy Cross.  Students worked in various faculty and staff roles at the school.  Holy Cross was a gracious and welcoming host to our volunteers and the experience that GSC students gained while in Belize was priceless.  Gainesville State could not have asked for a more practical and beneficial host school. 

I will mail out the package tomorrow. Just added a Science book and
Workbook as well. As for the kites, 2 Hello Kitty, 2 Nemo, 1 Toy Story, 1 Spider-man
2 packs of colored construction paper with crayons 1 sidewalk chalk.
Thank you for mentioning the kids speak loud and clear post, I will check it out.
The San Pedro Artists Group has donated 21 paintings and drawings of the children of Holy Cross that will be sold at Sunset Grille on February 14 and all the proceeds will go to the school.

2 emails

Here are 2 emails that show some of  spirit at Holy Cross and how people are wanting to help the San Mateo community - especially the kids.

Hi Miss Wilson,   My name is Sam Rose, an Anglican priest in the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland & Labrador.  I am currently involved with the CLB Mission Project 2009.  I am the onsite Program Co-Ordinator.  Part of my role is to plan activities for the CLB when we are in San Pedro in the late afternoons and evenings.  I am wondering what types of activites can we offer to assist your ministry in the village?  We want to engage the local people, especially the young people.  Would a Vacation Bible School be a good idea?  We hope to have 30 youth and 15 adults on the mission trip.  

I spent five months in Placencia Village in Spring/Summer of 2000, working under Bishop Romero.  He took myself and Fr. Jerry Drino to San Pedro for a few days.  Working in Belize had a major impact on my preisthood and I have a fondness for the country.  I greatly admire the work that you have been doing to bring attention to the Holy Cross School and the students.  I knew Fr. Wright as the principal at the Belize Theological Institute.   

If there is anything that you know we could do to help you when we are down there, please let me know.  If there are activities that we can offer or assist you with outside of the construction project, just tell me and we will make it happen!   

Peace, Fr. Sam+

Dear Fr. Sam,  Laurie forwarded your wonderful email to me.  Thanks so much for being in touch!!  We are already looking forward to having your group here at Holy Cross - smile.  There are so many things you can do, besides helping build and maintain the school.  Such as.....
VBS program;
after school tutoring;
soccer, softball and basketball activities for some of the older children;
puppet shows;
music presentation
a Bible Beach Party - I don't know what that is but it sounds good and I'm sure your team could creat it
The sky is really the limit so let your imagination soar and see what the Holy Spirt comes up with - smile.
I worked with Bishop Romero for 6 years until he left to be the interim Bishop in the Diocese of Camino Real (California).  He is now interim in the Diocese of New Jersey.  Fr. Wright grew up to be Bishop Wright and has been leading the Diocese for the last 2 and 1/2 years. 
Vernon and I arrived in Belize in September 2001.  I worked in the Diocesan Office setting up the volunteer mission team program and assisting Mrs. Carol Babb, General Manager of Anglican Schools for 5 years.  Husband Vernon, a retired jewelry designer and goldsmith, set up a training facility at the prison in Hattieville.  We moved to San Pedro about 2 1/2 years ago and started working on Holy Cross.
Please be in touch and we'll plan (with God's help!) a blessed adventure in faith.  Many thanks, francis 

Rocks for Christmas

It's the Holiday Season and gift giving is in the air!  Although legend says only 'bad' little girls and boys get rocks in their Christmas stockings, the staff and students of Holy Cross Anglican School were recently delighted to receive tons of large rocks!!   

A local businessman, who wishes to remain anonymous, gave the School $2,810BZ to be used for land fill and suggested that rocks be purchased to provide a breakwater for the much needed sand.  It was the businessman's hope that his gift would encourage more folks in the San Pedro community to share their blessings with Holy Cross which offers low tuition, fees and a free feeding program to 512 children on the Island.
His generosity has already inspired Mr. Martin Martinez of Martin's Boat Service to reduce his regular price of a boat load of rock and to volunteer his time in positioning the rocks.  Mr. Martinez is shown below with several students from Holy Cross who are assisting in this project.  In addition developer, Mr. Jeff Pierce has promised to fill three acres of School property as soon as the rocks are in place.
One gift can certainly inspire others and Holy Cross Anglican School is very thankful to the San Pedro businessman, Mr. Martin Martinez and Mr. Jeff Pierce.  Donations of land fill, food for the Feeding Program, gently worn tennis shoes and cash contributions are always needed and greatly appreciated!!!  

Please contact the School Office at 226-3456 or Mr. Vernon Wilson at 610-3425 to share the blessings of this joyful season with the children of Holy Cross Anglican School.

Gift giving is in the air - Miss Francis

Dear Friends,  Right now Holy Cross Anglican School is a quiet place without the noisy sounds of our 512 energetic students.  School closed on Friday following a blessed Chapel service and a joyous Christmas party made possible by many generous donations.  A special thank you goes to Art Vaquez from Azusa, CA; the owners of Re/Max Isla Bonita and Mr. Jim who was a terrific Santa!  The happy laughter of students will return on Monday, January 5th, 2009 when school reopens.  In the meantime, teachers and staff will enjoy a much deserved vacation, our children will anxiously await the arrival of Christmas and we'll try to get some much needed work done around the compound! 
We love the Holiday Season here in Belize when gift giving is in the air.  Thanks be to God, many of you have put the children of Holy Cross on your Christmas List.  We appreciate every penny that has been donated and pray many more are on the way!!  Every gift is precious and desperately needed.  I only wish I could share the stories and letters that accompany each one.  Maybe a few examples will brighten your heart and remind us all what true Christmas giving is really about.....
* Several weeks ago a young student from Ambergris Caye Elementary School won a raffle and received a large turkey.  He decided to donate the prize to the Holy Cross Feeding Program but not before he involved his parents, classmates and teacher in his gift giving plans.  Everyone pitched in, the turkey was baked and turned into delicious sandwiches.  The children made and then delivered the sandwiches along with pasta salad to the children of Holy Cross at lunch time.  A big thumbs up to those generous young folks and a special thank you to the Hungry Monkey Sub Shop, Cristal Supermarket and Casa Pan Dulce for helping make this wonderful gift possible! 
* A donation of $250 was sent to Holy Cross by a newly married couple in Ohio.  Their letter explained their decision to give the money to the School instead of using it to buy wedding favors for their guests.  They told their guests about the donation and explained how it would enable the children of Holy Cross to also participate in their wedding celebration!
* Although legend says 'bad' children get rocks in their Christmas stockings, we were delighted to receive tons of large rocks!  A San Pedro businessman, who wishes to remain anonymous, gave the School $2,810BZ  for land fill and suggested that rocks be purchased to provide a breakwater around the School.  It was the businessman's hope that his gift would encourage more folks in the community to share their blessings with Holy Cross.  His generosity has already inspired Mr. Martin Martinez of Martin's Boat Service to reduce his regular price for a boat load of rock and to volunteer his time in positioning the rocks.   In addition developer, Mr. Jeff Pierce, has promised to fill three acres of School property as soon as the rocks are in place!

*Last year a couple from California visited Holy Cross and instantly fell in love with our wonderful students.  They returned to San Pedro this year just in time to help decorate for the Christmas party, serve as Santa's elves and give an incredible donation to the School.  Unbeknownst to us, Kris and Jeff sent a beautiful letter to friends and family explaining the story of Holy Cross and how many disadvantaged children were receiving free breakfast, snack and lunch, dental and medical care, greatly reduced or free tuition, uniforms and school supplies.  They received almost forty checks and lovingly brought them to Holy Cross.  In addition, they personally matched EACH donation.  Those contributions enabled the School to make a significant dent in our Computer Center building debt.  Now we 'only' owe the hardware stores and lumber yard $53,000US!!!!

*And, just yesterday cases of apples and grapes 'appeared' on the School doorstep with instructions to give them to needy families in San Mateo. Three of our teachers gave up part of their vacation to come and decorate Christmas bags and almost 100 families received a delicious treat!  Apples

One gift can certainly inspire others!!  Holy Cross Anglican School is incredibly grateful to EVERYONE who has shared time, talent, treasure and prayers to keep this School thriving and moving forward.  We thank God for the outpouring of His grace and continue to seek His guidance in all we do.  Donations of  land fill, food for the Feeding Program, gently worn tennis shoes, school supplies and cash contributions are always needed and greatly appreciated!!!  Please send your gift to:

                                    Holy Cross Anglican School
                                    San Pedro Town
                                   Ambergris Caye, Belize

We hope that you will share the blessings of this joyful season with the children of Holy Cross Anglican School.  May God richly bless you and those you love in the coming New Year!!

Santa's Elves at Holy Cross

Holy Cross Anglican School

 Christmas is a time of great excitement here at Holy Cross Anglican School.  Christmas carols are sung, the Nativity Pageant rehearsed, Christmas gifts lovingly made and the Birthday Party for Jesus anxiously anticipated.

 In the midst of all this excitement we tell and re-tell the story of Jesus╩╝ miraculous birth over 2,000 years ago.  Our students learn about the angels and shepherds, the star shining bright, the visit of the wise men and the incredible good news of Jesus!  We are blessed to be able to share all these wondrous events with our little ones!! 

 We pray that the joy of Jesus will fill your heart this day and always.

 The students and staff of Holy Cross Anglican School join with Vernon and me in wishing you a Blessed and Joyous Christmas Season!

Francis & Vernon Wilson

Donations can be made via check payable to: Holy Cross Anglican School San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize

To see Santa's Elves at Holy Cross please visit Ambergris Today blog.

Aids march and Boat Parade

Lots going on over the Holiday Season...
Holy Cross School has been active  in the HIV/Aids march as well as the third annual lighted boat parade. Thanks to both San Pedro Sun and Ambergris today for posting about both events. Due to tech troubles with this post please copy and paste the news paper links into a new browser to see pictures.

Students from Holy Cross Anglican School recently observed the National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day through numerous learning activities and by participating in a parade in downtown San Pedro.  In addition the entire staff of Holy Cross attended a two day HIV/AIDS Workshop presented by the Anglican Diocese utilizing a grant from Episcopal Relief and Development. This paragraph taken from an email update from Miss Francis with pictures below.

Holy Cross march against HIV/AIDS 
Valiant chants of "Protect yourself" and "Be careful and Abstain" echoed through the streets as students from the Holy Cross School took to the streets for the fight against HIV/Aids. With posters in hand promoting safe sex and ways you cannot get infected, students held high their flyers and the message was sent! The students marched from the bridge to town and back.
Courtesy of San Pedro Sun - to see pictures please visit San Pedro Sun blog... 

The third annual Holiday Boat Parade was held over the weekend to the delight of the entire town. Thousands gathered at Central Park to witness the spectacular lights over water as 18 vessels joined in the parade. Courtesy of Ambergris today - to see pictures of Holy Cross winning an award - please visit Ambergris Today blog...

Holiday Boat Parade lights up the sea! 
Boats of every shape and size were imaginatively adorned with decorations that captivated the senses and stimulated imaginations at the 3rd annual lighted Boat Parade. Seafarers and landlubbers of all ages were dazzled by the highly-watted, joyously-spirited and oh-so-bright parade that was anticipated by many. This year, the sparkling spectacle saw more than 10 decorated vessels parading against a dark December sky and delighted those watching from the shore. Courtesy of Dan Pedro Sun - to see pictures of Holy Cross at the awards ceremony please visit San Pedro Sun blog...

New Library

Kids from Ambergris Caye Elementary School came to Holy Cross School make a donation to the feeding program. 

While at the school the kids were enthusiastic about looking around, they wanted to see classes from their grade - Standard 3 and they were interested to see the computer lab and new library as well. 

The kids were very impressed by the computer lab and the new library. They enjoyed looking at the books. In addition to a large selection of kids books, the library has a small section for the parents, literary classics, and educational materials for visiting professionals such as Dentists and Doctors.

A group from St. John's Episcopal Church in Lynch Burg, VA. worked hard to make recycled craft decorations. They used boxes that books came in and some used books that were donated which were in too rough shape to make it in the shelves to make art sculpture in the library.

A big thanks goes out to several folks have made large donations of books including ...   Polly Richards, Texas and Tom Bell, Virginia.  Also the folks from All Saints in Fort Worth, TX and Pi Beta Phi Sorority.

To learn more about the kids donation to Holy Cross feeding program please check out tacogirlblog.

ACES kids

ACES kids

New Library


Books and more Books

Bins of books

Carol from Penguino helping to organize reading materials

Tree sculpture - reuse recycle

Recycled Art Sculpture

Garifuna Day Festivities

The kids were happy to celebrate Garifuna day at the school. They got to go to Boca Del Rio park and watch the landing, after they headed back to the school to enjoy some drumming dancing and learn more about Garifuna culture.

Pictures of Janet, John and My mom at school bringing some donations. Also pictures of Garifuna settlement day landing at Boca Del Rio park with Dita, Bill, Chunky, Ruth, LoansumAk and crew. 

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