By Aaron Humes : The spirit of Christmas is in the air, and those most under its spell are the children, who dream of their favorite toys under the Christmas tree at home, deposited by Santa Claus himself.
But the reality is that many of those children’s parents will not be able to afford to spend on toys, not with the necessities to take care of.
Today, courtesy of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), 200 lucky little ones from across Belize City spent a day out at the Fort Street Tourism Village, in the middle of a busy cruise ship day, listening to music, eating a nice meal and enjoying the antics of Ozzy the Clown, not to mention getting their own Christmas gift sponsored by the cruise lines.
The BTB’s director of cruise and regional initiatives, Valdemar Andrade, explains that this is the season of giving, and the cruise industry wants to do its part.
The children were selected with the assistance of the Ministry of Education. This year they came from Wesley Lower, Ephesus SDA, Unity Presbyterian, James Garbutt SDA, Queen Street Baptist, Calvary Temple, Trinity Methodist, Bethel Primary, St. John’s Anglican and Central Christian. As noted they will be spending the afternoon on a tour of Belize City sponsored by Calypso Tours.
The cruise ships are happy to help, as explained by Claudia Mitrea, Group Services Coordinator for Norwegian Cruise Line, who says this is their way of celebrating a busy holiday and bringing smiles to children’s faces.
A second party is scheduled for December 22 in Independence on the High School grounds, to be sponsored by Norwegian Cruise Lines, for ten schools in the Placencia/Independence area where NCL is building its Harvest Caye cruise port.