Belize is a Central American country neighboring the region, usually referred to as part of the Northern Territories, comprised of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The people fleeing from the latter countries are seeking refugee protection against violence in their own countries, linked mainly to gang activities, exacerbated by the drug route forcing itself through Central America.
Many of the refugees are vulnerable women and children taking this journey out of desperation, to flee violence and, in particular, gender-based violence. Belize, so close to this epicenter of the crisis, is host to those seeking asylum. Accordingly, Belize shows a high unemployment rate and low secondary school attendance rates, creating the requisite conditions for similar violence to take hold and leaving youth to face a real lack of opportunities.
RET began its operations in Belize in October 2015, with interventions centered in Belize City and the Cayo District, which aimed to open income-generating opportunities for vulnerable youth through educational initiatives. In addition to building youth resilience programs and providing them with opportunities for livelihoods and income-generating opportunities, RET is actively involved in protection projects to strengthen the government and civil society in response to gender-based violence and trafficking in persons.