Screen_Shot_2016-06-09_at_7.54.58_PMThere are a number of Guatemalan students who travel into Belize on a weekly basis with the sole purpose of attending school in Benque Viejo Del Carmen in the Cayo District located just across the border which separates Belize and Melchor de Mencos.

And while there is an on-going territorial dispute between both Countries which has resulted in a number of hostile confrontations mainly over the Sarstoon River, there is presently heightened scrutiny on all activities that occur between the two countries, which brings GOB’s decision to freely allow these students to enter Belize, into question.

During an interview with the media on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber was asked about the reason behind this decision and this is what he had to say about it.

Honourable Patrick farber – Deputy Prime Minister of Belize

“I am aware that the ministry’s policy is that if it is that a student attends one of our schools that is grant in aid, if that student cannot prove Belizean nationality that student is asked to pay much more. In fact, when you look at even the subsidy; if that student cannot prove Belizean nationality then that student should not get the subsidy. Now if something is going on contrary to that, then I would be surprise to that. But there is no policy that excludes students from other countries from attending schools in Belize other than the simple fact that we may have a different payment plan for them, so to speak. I am not aware of any mass number of students trying to register at Mount Carmel, as you pointed out, but again, because I don’t know I would not be in a position to say any much more than that.”



“But I imagine it is the regular number of Guatemalan students who register on a yearly basis because we know that that occurs.”

Honourable Patrick farber – Deputy Prime Minister of Belize

“Well I know that it occurs, but to tell you that I know it happens at that alarming rate in this year or any other year for that matter, I am not able to say. I don’t know those figures so I cannot say.”


“And as it relates to their immigration documents being in order?”

Honourable Patrick farber – Deputy Prime Minister of Belize

“Well I know that as a part of Belize and Guatemala’s confidence building measures that we had allowed some of this. But look, there are many Belizean students as well who are attending school in Guatemala. We have a number, a large number of students for instance studying medicine in San Carlos and do so at a very low rate; they are not charged a foreign rate or they are not excluded from studying there. While it may not be happening or maybe it is happening right there at the border, in terms of the border municipalities; this is something that we would want to carefully consider because if we reject Guatemalan students just like that, then there might be some repercussions on the other side. But as I know it, this is a part of our confidence building measures that we have agreed to and unless there is a larger decision by the cabinet to back off of this kind of agreement, then I am sorry, we have to follow suit in the Ministry of Education.”

As mentioned by Minister Faber, the Ministry of Education will take actions on the matter if the decision is altered by the cabinet.

Share this post

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comment.

Headline News