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Belize: A Spanish Accent in an English-Speaking Country

Belize: A Spanish Accent in an English-Speaking Country | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | 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.

 

-Belize given its history is already a well set off country in the sense that it remained an English speaking country though all its neighbors were spanish speaking. It is crucial to understand that many Guatemalan & Salvadoran individuals were going through their own econimic crisis and civil wars where they had to seek refuge and work somewhere else. Many of these individuals migrated to the US and others as we see in this article went to Belize. The issue I guess that is raised in this article is the fact that the spanish speaking workers have come in to this country and have not taken the time to learn the language. Rather they are more interested in convincing the employer that they can work for smaller wages and forcing the country to learn the spanish language. As a personal reference, my uncle who lives in El Salvador, left to work in belize for about 8 years. During that period he traveled back and forth between both countries and learned to speak English. He stated that it was the language most commonly spoken and that if you want to effectively communicate then you learn it. Now, it seems as though Belize is in the same situation as the US is/was. Many migrant workers come to the US, do not necessarily learn the language and work for less. It has created an unemployment surge because many employers seek people who will do the same job for less. In Belize howeve, they are too suffering an unemployment rate because these workers from Guatemala and El Salvador are outperforming the Belize citizens.

The economy should not be affected as having more individuals work for you should create a numerous amount of profit from exporting goods from Belize. At the same time we need to realize that just as the money comes in from profit it also has to be distributed to the workers and who ever is unemployed if they have a program for that. Learning a different language is not the issue, the issue is both sides learning eachothers and working together to push the country forward. - M.C

 

 


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Chris Costa's curator insight, September 23, 2015 2:18 PM

It's interesting to compare and contrast the reaction of Belize's English-speaking population to an influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants with that of the United States. I enjoyed reading that the welcoming of immigrants by the ruling political system has done much to lessen racial tensions, with the various ethnic groups scattered along the political spectrum. This contrasts sharping with the American political spectrum, where there is a clear racial divide between conservatives and liberals. Americans could learn a lot from Belize in this regard, although the transition has been far from smooth in the nation. Although Spanish is now taught in schools as a result of the reality of the immigration wave in the country, there is some push-back from English speaking groups. Many employees of service industries are losing their jobs to those who can offer bilingual services, as well as some other economic changes as a result of the influx of new immigrants. However, the degree of this tension is a lot lower there than it is in the United States. It will be interesting to see how this debate shapes up in the future; it could very well serve as a helpful model for American politicians.

Alex Smiga's curator insight, October 4, 2015 11:49 AM

You won't BELIZE this link.... get it.

I'm hilarious.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 7:48 PM

This country of Belize seems to be a very interesting place. I never knew that in Central America, there was a country who's official language is English. It is made up of a lot of retired British soldiers and North American "sun seekers." Migration into Belize comes from other place in Central America, of its 300,000 person population, 15% are foreign born. It is now becoming a very mixed country and Spanish is making a gain on English. Schools teach in English, but Spanish lessons are mandatory. A  population boom both helps and hurts the economy. Most migrants are of working age and are willing to work low wages in brutal conditions. A lot of Belizeans tell census that they are not working and with Spanish gaining ground, a lot of monopolistic people are losing jobs to those who are bilingual. Although there are frictions between ethnic groups, in general things are good and political party lines are not divided by ethnicity. 

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Europe's failure to integrate Muslims

Europe's failure to integrate Muslims | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it
Laws restricting Islamic symbols in the public sphere are fuelling political distrust and a shared sense of injustice.

-Laws restricting Islamic symbols in the public sphere are fuelling political distrust and a shared sense of injustice.

-I believe that this article is important for the simple fact that today we still see this discrimination among religion. Now, it is not necessarily said that it is a discrimantory act what is being done to the Mulsims but we can clearly see that it is close to it. The fact that 9/11 happened put the people who are a part of this religion in a tough predicamnet but people still do not see that the actions of one or a few are not of all. A country should not base their laws or try to govern their people based on their religious beliefs because if that were the case where would all the population go that were protestant or catholic? Just an example. Muslims migrate from one place to another and only look to be accepted within the community. Economically it makes sense for Muslims to be accepted for the simple fact that they create new structures for their religion, they work hard, and without offending anyone they live their lives and are a key element of population and economic growth. The fact that other countries are helping Muslims would clearly make them see that they can take their life somewhere else and bring a long with them the potential of new jobs, and more people that can give any country a higher minority rate beneficial to their economy. A good nation will realize that by having ANY race with their beliefs brings in a higher interest of people and also allows for assistance in grants etc. a country will always be diverse and if they look to change how they feel, dress or act only creates a deeper problem. What would happen if they roles were reversed? -MC

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Geography Jordan & Danielle's curator insight, February 7, 2014 1:18 PM

Religion: freedom of religion is not a law is some parts of Europe 

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 23, 2014 8:59 PM

The Muslim community was never really accepted in Europe looking back in history. Now more and emigrating and in mass numbers in certain areas.  While the European Union is a stronghold keeping Europe together, the argument can be made that the countries are falling apart in terms of identity, economy and production. A new wave of immigrants will not help increase their national identity and strength.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, September 9, 2015 2:58 PM

I feel that the rejection of any attempt to integrate Islam into European society is, at least in part, a reaction to the declining native population of most of the major Western European nations. They are attempting to keep anyone they cant assimilate out, while insuring that any Muslims that they can assimilate are dressing and acting close enough to the existing culture so as to blend into their native population.