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Geography 400
Justin Roscoe
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Belize: A Spanish Accent in an English-Speaking Country

Belize: A Spanish Accent in an English-Speaking Country | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
BELIZE has long been a country of immigrants. British timber-cutters imported African slaves in the 18th century, and in the 1840s Mexican Mayans fled a civil war.

 

Justin Roscoe-It’s interesting to see this movement of Salvadoran and Guatemalan immigrants entering into a country that is geographically so close but yet so culturally different especially in this day and age where globalization brings cultures closer together. This is most likely due to relatively poor economies in many of the Central American countries where global communication isn’t easily accessible to the general public. As the article states many of these immigrants are entering the country not having to learn the local language but in many cases forcing the local to learn their language. Service jobs are being given to those who are predominantly Spanish speaking to appeal to the growing Spanish speaking population. It is difficult to think of a nation so willing to adapt to the immigrants rather than having a sense of what Americans would call patriotism and attempt to preserve its current culture and make the new comers adapt. In Belize this more acceptable especially given there history where there country has “long been a country of immigrants.” It seems as though the people of this country have it in their blood to adapt and welcome the immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador. This is not to say the spike in population does not come with its faults. In the article they discuss the migrants offering to work for less than that of what many of the current citizens work for. Which has increased the unemployment have almost a quarter of Belizeans saying they are currently unemployed. As this immigration movement continues it will be interesting to see what the future holds as far as whether the national language will stay English or be change and how the country’s culture, which is always changing, will adapt to the immigration.


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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 6, 10:50 AM

This article was interesting as it shows that the problems faced in the United States due to immigration are not unique.  The friction between old and new immigration seems to be universal.  How different counties handle and adapt to the changing demographics of their people is challenging and shows the character of the population.  I was unaware of the makeup of Belize‚Äôs population or that they were an English speaking country.  This article told me a lot about the people of this country. 

Paige Therien's curator insight, February 11, 1:24 PM

Belize is surrounded by nations much less well-off than they are themselves, which makes them attractive for migrants.  This is greatly changing the cultural make-up of this resource-rich, coastal country.  Fortunately, the countries inhabitants are welcoming to the newcomers and ethnic differences are not seen negative.  However, the large influx of culturally different people are creating issues that the present working-generation has to deal with, especially land availability and job opportunities in an increasingly Spanish-speaking market.  If Belizeans can maintain their positive views of those different then them, they will hopefully adapt to these changes.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 28, 1:48 PM

Accents are a part of life. They can be developed over time for many reasons. Belize is a country full of immigrants and constant migration. Once upon a time, Belize may have spoken Spanish.Languages are developed every day within countries. Belize happens to be an English speaking country with a Spanish accent. No surprise there.

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Haiti: Legacy of Disaster

Haiti: Legacy of Disaster | Geography 400 | Scoop.it

"Even before the earthquake Haiti's environment teetered on the brink of disaster. Brent and Craig Renaud report on the country's deforestation problems."

 

Justin Roscoe- Seeing this video and understanding the effect the people have on the environment and that the environment has on the people/economy is an amazing sight. It is a fitting depiction of exactly what a vicious cycle is. Due to a less than poor economy the people are forced to live off of the land, unfortunately doing this affects the nation, geographically, in a negative way. Since the country is 97% deforested it makes it that much more likely for natural disasters to occur. When it rains in Haiti there is nothing to slow the rain down or to soak it up. Mudslides occur often and the flooding has devastating effects on agriculture and on roadways. Haiti is currently in an economic state that is very difficult to get out of. The land has little use left to it and one of Haiti’s only assets is tourism although the resort areas of Haiti are fenced in and are a far cry from what is really happening in Haiti. While it is inevitable that natural disasters will occur in certain places, the damage to these areas depends greatly on the affect the people have on the land with which they are occupying. The recent earthquake in Haiti was devastating mostly due to how the people were living. The number of people injured would have been much less if all the people where in proper housing and in areas deemed safe for building. Haitians are living in huts, traveling by dirt roads, living off of the little profits they receive from charcoal sales and the government does little to help increase the standard of living due to what many believe is corruption. 

 

 


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Tracy Galvin's comment, January 30, 2:54 PM
This is an example of how civilizations can be hovering on the brink of destruction. The earthquake was the final straw it caused collapse of the whole system. The environment became a wasteland because humans that so not have their basic needs met cannot think about long term consequences of their actions. Need is immediate. If we want to help the country it needs to be in very small doses over many years. Their situation wasn't created overnight and the solution won't happen overnight either.
Tracy Galvin's curator insight, February 4, 5:56 PM

This is an example of how civilizations can be hovering on the brink of destruction. The earthquake was the final straw it caused collapse of the whole system. The environment became a wasteland because humans that so not have their basic needs met cannot think about long term consequences of their actions. Need is immediate. If we want to help the country it needs to be in very small doses over many years. Their situation wasn't created overnight and the solution won't happen overnight either.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 28, 1:49 PM

Natural disasters occur because of two things; the environmental reason and how people react to it. This earthquake was only half the reason Haiti is in a natural disaster state. The people who don't know how to respond to such "natural disasters" are the real reason of problematic changes.