Taiwanese Youth Ambassadors host Summer Camp Print E-mail
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Thursday, 25 July 2013 00:00

Campers executing a martial arts routineBelize has a large Taiwanese population but the majority of Belizeans are unfamiliar with their rich culture. Most of what we think we know about the Taiwanese culture is what we have surmised from observing the actions of our neighbourhood Chinese grocer. Since 2010, the Embassy of the Republic of China-Taiwan has hosted a summer camp in Belize City for youths ages thirteen to seventeen in an effort to share Taiwanese culture with young Belizeans. These camps are facilitated by university students from Taiwan. On Monday, July 22nd, a group of six “International Youth Ambassadors” from Taiwan opened a two week summer camp at the ITVET Conference Room in Belize City. 

The delegation is made up of students from the National Taipei University of Technology. They did not know each other before the program started. The group’s chaperone is a professor at the university, who goes by the name Fyoa. She explained that students interested in the program had to submit a proposal of what they would like to share about their culture and with which country. 24 individuals were selected and grouped into six member delegations. A professor from the university was assigned to each group and the delegations were sent to four different countries: Gambia, St. Lucia, Greece and Belize.   

His Excellency, David C. K. Wu, Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, says that the program has been very successful over the last four years. The groups share Chinese opera, magic, aboriginal dances, martial arts and other elements of Taiwanese culture with the Belizean youths. Ambassador Wu says the cultural exchange program has also allowed the ambassadors to learn a lot about Belizean culture. Fyoa said day one of the camp was exciting. The group enjoyed a lunch of rice and beans, chicken and coleslaw. She said it was the first time they had eaten a dish where the rice and beans were combined. They are used to eating beans as a soup dish. She said the group really enjoyed the food and they are looking forward to eat some fried chicken because they hear about it a lot from Belizeans that visit Taiwan.

Youths between the age of thirteen and seventeen can still visit the ITVET in Belize City to take part in the summer camp. While in Belize, the Taiwanese delegation will also visit Mayan temples and other tourist destinations.