Wagiya Foundation

Wagiya Foundation

Fundraising for:
Seine Bight Rising

From Wagiya Foundation

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Tourists casually drive by a lively village of artists and entrepreneurs just because the houses aren't pretty enough.  People associate the tin roofed shantys with danger, when the reality is just the opposite.  The villagers suffer from economic stagnation, simply because they cannot afford to compete with the aesthetic appearance of the nearby resort properties.

This is a common problem for the natives of any area.  Should the local people be forced to give up their creative entrepreneurship to seek bottom level jobs for resorts run by outsiders?  Or, can we, through a little support, help them to retain their independence by making Seine Bight an ideal place to visit?

Seine Bight Rising is a Wagiya initiative to help the Garifuna community of Seine Bight, located in Stann Creek District, Belize – adjacent to the tourist destination of Placencia. 

Hello, my name is Nikala Asante and I am partnering with Arzu Mountain Spirit, founder of Wagiya Foundation Belize, to support efforts to create economic opportunity in village of Seine Bight through artistic beautification and cultural tourism.

In a recent meeting with locals, including over 40 community members and the town council, Wagiya has outlined  a beautification plan. The plan has four parts: (1) a thorough cleaning of garbage and debris from the village seaside, (2) painting all of the roughly built 300 houses in bright colors with high quality weather resistant paint, (3) landscaping the grounds with colorful tire planting beds, and (4) planting 300 sweet water coconut trees in tire planters along the seaside and lagoon to safeguard against erosion and provide revenue streams.

On the ground, to assist in launching these new initiatives, the community will establish a monthly “market day” which will include a “fish fry”. The first Seine Bight Market Day is scheduled for May 14, 2016.

The villagers have been discouraged by watching thousands of tourists drive through the village without even looking or stopping, as though they did not exist. Yet, instead of giving up, they have transformed their dismay into self-determination to change the way that outsiders view their community.

We require assistance and financing to purchase the paint to transform Seine Bight. The estimated cost of water-resistant, weather-resistant, anti-fungal paint is $150.00 per five gallon bucket. Each house will require about two gallons of paint each. We will start with 25 houses,  along with the painting of donated tires for decoration.  The most popular colors requested by home owners are yellows, greens, white, and pinks.  The total needed for this first step is only $2,000USD.

We will also be planting 300 sweet water coconut trees, which have already been donated, to add to the beauty of the area while providing delicious coconut water for locals to sell to tourists.

For the overall project taking place between April 2016 - November 2016, we need to mobilize funds for enough paint for the 300 houses of Seine Bight. The men of the village arranged a painting crew, and measured the houses to determine how much paint would be needed. The painting is scheduled in three phases: 104 houses will be painted in phase I (May-June 2016), one hundred houses will be painted in phase II (June-July 2016), and the remaining houses will be painted in phase III (July-August 2016). Our target is to have all of the houses painted by mid-August 2016.

These online fundraising efforts combined with on-the-ground fundraising efforts and solicitations of paint donations will fuel the first phase.  Documentation of the first round of houses being painted in June through photo and video will assist with raising attention for the second and third phases.

When completed, Seine Bight is going to look amazing. The colors will lift the spirits of the villagers, bring good positive attention to the village, and make Seine Bight a cultural tourism destination to remember.  Thank you for your support!

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