Posted: Sunday, July 4, 2021. 7:53 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Her Excellency Sandhya Murphy, newly appointed Ambassador of Belize for Diaspora Relations, has issued an introductory letter encouraging Belizeans living outside the Jewel to make contact as part of the new Government’s engagement with this important group of Belizeans.
Ambassador Murphy identifies the main purpose of the new Diaspora Relations Unit under the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations as “to facilitate, support, and include the diaspora as a part of national development, as well as raise Belize’s profile, grow the economy, encourage expertise exchange, and promote trade.”
At the moment, the Unit’s primary focus is on the Belizean community in the United States, with which it is busy organizing meetings with various organizations and the Government’s diplomatic outposts from New York to Los Angeles.
The Unit has opened a contact form at tourism.gov.bz/diasporarelations; a Facebook group (Diaspora Relations (Ministry of Tourism Belize)); and local contact, Senior Liaison Officer, Sandra Mahler at the Ministry’s South Street, Belize City, office at +501-227-2801 or email [email protected]. The Ambassador herself can be reached by email at [email protected].
According to Murphy, a certified public accountant (CPA) by trade, she is a “born Belizean” (from Belize City) and graduate of St. Catherine Academy and St. John’s College Junior College, with graduate degrees in Accounting from Boston College and Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. The married mother of three presently lives in Miami, Florida, but regularly visits Belize.
She says, “I, too, am a part of the diaspora and I recognize the need to reconnect with and support the diaspora and Belize. The Unit is 100% committed to serving the diaspora and creating a mutually beneficial relationship. We can do great things when we work together!!”
The United States Census Bureau estimates that there are approximately 160 thousand Belizeans living in the U.S., including 70 thousand legal residents and naturalized citizens, primarily in the Los Angeles area, New York City, South Florida, Houston and Chicago. Smaller numbers live in the United Kingdom (approximately 3 thousand) and in Canada, with a smaller population, mainly students, in the Republic of China (Taiwan) as well as El Salvador, Mexico and Jamaica.
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