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Screen_Shot_2014-06-26_at_8.16.49_PMUnity is strength; we’ve heard that chant before and however cliché, there is much truth to this. And there is no better example to prove it than the consorted efforts of farmers and missionaries who have worked together to give underprivileged children an opportunity to not only have fun but spend quality time with others their age in an annual camping experience.


They are Belize Camping Experience and in an effort to ensure that the program is held every year, the organizers have been working with farmers to grow crops that are sold and all profits are directed to the program. This year, Belize Camping Experience worked with rice farmers and has harvested their product. Here is a look at the success of that initiative.


Dalila Ical – Reporting

This is the third year that Belize Camping Experience is holding the Harvest for Kids Project in collaboration with Mennonite farmers in southern Orange Walk District. For the first two years, the initiative focused on corn but this year two farmers donated twenty acres toward the fund raising. The farmers are the same who have been collaborating with the project since its inception.

Frank Rempel – Committee member

“Because we’re farmers we say it is an easy way or good way for us to contribute so we get together and anybody who is willing to donate some money and some fertilizers, seeds and work so we can plant and we can raise this crop and even harvest itself people come together with their machines and it is a joint effort.”

David and Paul Dyck are the primary donors for this year’s crop. It is an entirely new venture for the organizers at Harvest for Kids but nonetheless they are as enthusiastic about the project which was launched about a hundred days ago when the rice was planted.

Alexander Perez – Director, BCE

“To have something like this happening this is a big challenge twenty acres of land literally the farmers saying her is my profit if I make good and if I don’t make I give it to you guys and it took a step of courage for those farmers to give but then the expense of planting rice is totally different from the corn from last year, it requires more attention, more finances, it is more particular when your harvest it and everything and so what happened here today it is successful it is because of all those volunteers that are behind; the farmers, the community and even to all the business and the people who are bringing the combine and these are farmers saying this is the way how I will contribute I bring my machine so you guys don’t have to pay someone to harvest it so the successful story behind it is that when it comes to harvest for kids it really speaks volumes.”

Each acre is expected to yield about three thousand tons of rice or equivalent to 60 sacks. This translates to approximately a thousand dollars per ton in revenue.

As part of the entire experience, organizers of Harvest for kids take children to the farms to have a firsthand experience of the harvest, and for some of these children it is the first time they leave the city for a visit in the countryside.

And from the looks on their faces, it was a wonderful experience as the children mingled with other children in the Blue Creek Community and played games. It was all smiles and this is exactly what the concerted efforts are aiming for. Only a few months ago, Circle R products joined in the efforts and have pledged a percentage of each sale of their rice products towards the Harvest for Kids program.

Albert Rampel  - Chairman, Circle R

“If we sell a Harvest for Kids package rice we just take that one cent that comes from that bag of rice and we simply give it to BCE, the Belize Camping Experience which is under Harvest for Kids, and we simply just give it to them upon how many sales we make.  There is really no agreement as far as how long term but it is just something that Circle R came up with a way to contribute to the venture.”

Dalila Ical – Reporter

“When does this start or has it started?”

Albert Rampel  - Chairman, Circle R

“It has started four to six months ago it started already and it has been a success so far and these are products that can be bought across the country but we do distribute them to BFS, Belize Food supply, we have distributors in Orange Walk and Belize City  and it should be available everywhere.”

With all proceeds, Belize Camping Experience holds various camping schools for children of all ages and school programs throughout the school year. This year alone, the program is expected to host at least 1,500 children.


Albert Rampel  - Chairman, Circle R

“I’m just grateful that we can be a part of this program and we are very thankful that we have people like Alex that are doing such a great ministry in this country with BCE and I am happy to part of Circle R who has such a group of willing farmers to want to be a part of it is a great blessing to be a part of it.”

This year, the program is being expanded to Orange Walk and BSI has joined in the initiative by funding part of the expenses. This year also, the program officials are working with Chapel’s School.


Organizers are planning on continuing their collaboration with farmers to raise funds to finance the camping experiences for the children and the hope is that for next year, organizers can reel in sugar cane farmers to take part in the effort.

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