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Boise State-Corozal, Belize Peace Village Initiative Builds Cantina Addition for Elementary School

Donald Beck has assistance in hammering screen on cantina addition
Donald Beck, Construction Management major, helps put the screen on the addition.

Eleven Boise State faculty and students spent their spring break participating in the Boise State–Corozal, Belize Peace Village initiative. The Peace Village initiative creates strategic partnerships that address root causes of poverty and disparity in emerging economies. The program, led by Tony Songer, professor in the Department of Construction Management, and Karen Breitkreuz, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, is a collaborative effort by the Colleges of Engineering and Health Sciences, the Honors College, and the University Foundations program. The collaborative effort provides Boise State students unmatched educational, cultural, and professional engagement and enrichment. This was the third year of participation by Boise State.

Students enrolled in the cross-listed service-learning course “Global Citizenship and Social Responsibility” spent their spring break in the small village of Chan Chen, Corozal District, Belize working in the Chan Chen primary school. Since the Chan Chen school was able to find funding for a school lunch program, the Boise State visitors built an addition to the Chan Chen school’s cantina, their little snack and lunch prep room. Now the children have an area, with a concrete floor and roof, for their cantina and food service.

The Boise State students also conducted a “Healthy Lifestyles” camp at the school and a Community Fair for the primary school children on the last day of their visit. Additionally, the five College of Health Sciences students enrolled in the course were able to tour the Corozal Community Hospital. The two nursing students were also able to spend one morning shadowing a nurse in the pediatric clinic of the hospital. A Corozal public health nurse also came and conducted a seminar with the Boise State students one evening, in order to help all the students in the course understand the health issues in the Corozal community.

Prior to the in-country experience, the class spent time studying global citizenship, social responsibility, cultural aspects specific to Belize, and designing and planning the healthy lifestyles camp, the cantina addition, and the community fair.

The Peace Village initiative creates a long term relationship with village partners. Anyone interested in more information on the Boise State University – Corozal, Belize Peace Village project should contact Tony Songer (