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Abstract

Teachers for a Better Belize (TFABB) is a partnership of educators from North America and Belize who volunteer their time to improve the training of teachers and the education of children in the rural Toledo district of Belize. TFABB aids Toledo's primary-school teachers and principals with training, supplies, and facilities required to help their students achieve academic success and escape poverty. Toledo, in southernmost Belize, is the least populated and most remote area in Belize. In the 2007 midyear population estimate, Toledo had a population of 29,700 which included at least five distinct ethnic groups who have settled in Southern Belize. Punta Gorda, the largest town in the area, consists of many cultures, however, 64% of the population in the Toledo District is made up of the Mopan and Kekchi Mayas living in over 30 different villages (Statistical Institute of Belize, 2008). According to findings from the September 2007 Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate in Toledo was 16.4%. This was the highest unemployment rate in the country. The rate among women in Toledo was even higher with one third (33.8%) of females in the labor force unemployed. Almost one fourth of youth were unemployed (24%) (Statistical Institute of Belize, 2008).

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