Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rowan's Walk Across San Pedro

The Walk Across San Pedro took place on August 25th, and while we were happy with the amount raised, it is still not where we need to be to keep BCVI's services alive for the blind children of Belize.
You can view photos of the event in our Photo Album
We are still accepting donations at

Monday, August 27, 2012

The total is ...

After a wonderful weekend in San Pedro and a very warm welcome from everyone on the island, 
we arrived back in Belize City with a total of about BZ$7,000 taking our grand total
 for both the Walk Across Belize and the Walk Across San Pedro to just over BZ$80,000. 
We have not quite reached our goal yet. 
We are still accepting donations through our website 
or you can make a direct deposit to Belize Bank account #71096 
or via check/cash to PO Box 525, Belize City. 
Thank you to everyone who has helped us get this far!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Rowan keeps walking!

Rowan & Joe will be walking across San Pedro, Ambergris Caye on Saturday August 25th.

The walk will start at 9am near Pelican Reef Resort and will end at the Boca Del Rio Bridge with a Meet and Greet Beach Party where you can all meet Rowan, buy some of the delicious food and refreshing drinks we will have on sale, and jam to our live band!

Thanks to our supporters, donors and friends who helped us reach the BZ$74,000 with the Walk Across Belize in July. It is our hope that the Walk Across San Pedro will help reach the BZ$100,000 that we so desperately need to keep supporting the blind children of Belize.

You can keep up to date with the event HERE. We hope to see you there!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Joseph's Corner: Firday and Saturday- The Zoo!

   Hey everybody, I'm so sorry for the delay in posting.  I was having trouble with the internet for the past couple days, but I finally got everything figured out, so there shouldn't be any more problems with keeping up a regular posting.
   Friday was the last day in our first week of camp, and I had finally gotten used to the flow of things here.  I had been sticking with Row all day, everyday, and we were still working on the same things in the same classes.  I found Thursday night a guide to Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint's shortcut keys, and in computer class was able to teach them all to Row.  So after a while we finally learned how to navigate through them.  Computer class success!  In math our group continued to work with the abacus; we focused on multiplication and multiplication tables.  A couple of the camper's siblings joined us as well.  After lunch we played cards during our break; most of the kids didn't even know the most basic games, so I taught them how to play go-fish and Uno.  Which was harder than I thought.  One of the kids, Juan, was difficult to teach because he wanted to keep all the pairs he had gotten in go-fish in his hand, and also just wanted to draw from the deck.  I think his explanation was "because I love fishies. I want to go fishing all day."  Eventually we were able to get him to let go of his cards, but we were never able to fully get him away from the "sea of fishies."  At art that afternoon the campers made bead bracelets and necklaces they could give to their parents or siblings who were with them.  There were more than a half-dozen type of beads, each a different shape or texture, and the campers made the necklaces based on feeling.  In the end, Row made a necklace for his mom made from his favorite shape-the cube.  Luckily it was for his mom, because almost every cube bead was bright pink and I don't think Row could have handled the pink overload (he hates the color). 

  Saturday was an extremely exciting day for everyone at camp, me included.  We all went to the Belize Zoo!  This is a regular field trip for the camp, but every year all the kids and even the adults look forward to it and are excited to visit.  It's exhibits and animals are all local Belizean or Central American animals, and it's in the middle of the forest, so it feel like the animals really are at home here.  It's rather small, but that doesn't make it any less interesting to the visitors, and the kids all made that very clear with their shouts of excitement as we turned into it's driveway.  While we were there we got to see and feed several different tropical animals:  boa constrictors, scarlet macaws, deer (yeah, not totally tropical), spider monkeys, tapirs, peccaries (rainforest pigs), koatimundis (rainforest raccoons), caracols (rainforest turkeys), a harpy eagle (largest living eagle), crocodiles, ocelots, and best of all jaguars.  It was a great experience to see the campers running around listening to all the animals and taking them all the sounds in, being able to experience something just as well as the other seeing kids.  It showed me once again that the difference between them and other kids is not that large.  It's just their eyes, not them.

  Sunday Row and I took a break from camp to just relax and sleep in while everyone else visited Kaye Kaulker for a beach day.  From what I heard it was incredibly fun and I missed out on a prime opportunity for quality sun, but I liked my extra sleep too.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Update on Funds

Rowan has completed his 90 Mile Walk Across Belize!
Now, it's our turn to come together and help him reach his goal!

Here is a look at what we've raised as of July 20th, 2012!
Thank you to all our donors and supporters!
If you haven't contributed, there is still time!
Visit our website to donate online!

See photos of his incredible journey in the Walk Across Belize Photo Album!
Special thanks to our Sponsors of $500+:

Belize Telemedia Limited
Delta "International Air Lines Sponsor"
Francis Codd & Family
Prosser Fertilizer & Agrotec Co. Ltd
Brothers Habet
The Great House
Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)
Energy For Life
Mirab Furniture Gallery
Lions Belize & Lions San Pedro
Paul Paytas
Carol Garel
Cheers Restaurant
Big Creek Lodge
Benque Resort & Spa
Allan & Dora Dunker and Family
Yasser & Pamela Musa & Family
Said & Joan Musa
Omar & Gina Habet
Yariela Lopez & Delory Fairweather
Social Security Board
Pamela Killen
The Belize Bank Ltd.
Simon Quan & Co. Ltd
Builder's Hardware
Chaa Creek
Courts Belize
Morgan & Morgan
Atlantic Insurance 
Atlantic Bank
Atlantic International Bank
St. Fillan's Episcopal Church Edinburgh

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Joseph's Corner: Third Day of Camp

The third day of camp has finished, and I feel like I am finally getting into a rhythm here. In the morning there are strict one-hour limits on classes, with quick transitions between each. Each camper's schedule is different, but Rowan goes to the computer skills class first thing in the morning, then math until lunch. Afterwards we seem to always go on trips, either around the city or to the "image factory," a local art studio which supports the BCVI and hosts the camps' art classes. These trips are the conclusion to the organized camp day, and when we get back someone from Row's family is there to pick us up.
Today I worked with Row again, it seems like he's the main person I'll be with while here, on how to operate Microsoft excel and PowerPoint. We were exploring uncharted waters here, because Rowan had finished every prepared curriculum for the camp last year and the teacher's plan was for him to learn how to operate new programs on his own, as training for when he gets or explores new programs. We got pretty far with PowerPoint, despite it being so visual, and he learned how to make a basic presentation with different slides, slide types, and backgrounds. Excel proved significantly more challenging, especially since I'm not sure how to use all it's different options (even though my dad's tried unsuccessfully to show me..sorry pops). So after about 20 minutes of floundering around, trying to figure out how to do different things, we had to give up for the day to move onto lunch block. But we're far from quitting. Tomorrow I'm coming back with a vengeance and will conquer this thing, hopefully.
In math class we worked on abacus skills with one of the catholic nuns who helped with the camp. In a group of five kids, we learned how to set numbers and multiply on the abacuses.
We worked on problems ranging from simple multiplication tables to four digit multiplications. Learning how use an abacus was pretty interesting, but it was crazy to think that this was one of the few ways a blind person was able to do math.
Lunch every day is a cooked, traditional Belizian meal. It always has beans and rice, grilled plantains, Belizian cole slaw, some kind of meat, and is always delicious. We have about an hour to eat and another 30 minutes for break before starting up again. But Row and I had a small delay today before we left for the art studio. A staff member of the Atlantic Insurance Company, a local insurance company, stopped by to give Row and the BCVI a contribution on behalf of the entire company and it's staff. I don't remember how much it was for, but just the action of an organization supporting the camp even after the walk and publicity had ended was pretty gratifying. At least I know now that what we did had more than just an ephemeral impact.
Art class was interesting. For the beginning of it we watched cartoons of Aesop's fables while molding play-do to get our minds into a creative mode. Then we did a little origami. First, we made a house which could stand up by itself, then made a little wallet. Row really loved making these figures, and was extra excited whenever he could fold the paper. The last thing we did was make a picture for feeling. We were supposed to make a picture out of different kinds of papers and materials that pleased the touch instead of the eyes. Row and I decided to make a landscape of the dessert and savannah at night, using sand paper as sand and felt as the camel walking in the background. I must admit, it was not the most visually pleasing, but it felt pretty cool.
Saturday the entire camp is going to the zoo, and I'm extremely excited to go! I stopped by it during the walk because it was one of the end points of a day, but have never been past the main building. Looking forward to the trip has made me want to skip tomorrow's camp altogether, but I'm definitely also looking forward to it.

Until tomorrow,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Joseph's Corner: Camp! Day 1&2

Yesterday (Tuesday) was the first day of summer camp, and it wad great! It was much different than what I expected, mostly because I had no idea what to expect, but it was a great introduction to what was to happen on a normal day.&amp;#160; I found out that everyday is extremely organized, and each hour from 7 AM, when the people wake up, to 4 PM, when camp classes end, is planned.&amp;#160; At 9 classes start, and the kids split into different groups with their family, who act as helpers with whatever the campers are doing, and rotate between classes.&amp;#160; The main classes are computer skills, math skills, and braille skills.&amp;#160; In the computer class, kids learn how to use a computer with the help of the speaking program NVDA, which narrates what the user is doing.&amp;#160; Most of the kids also learn the basics of using a computer without mouse navigation and how to use basic computer programs like the internet and Microsoft word.&amp;#160; Math classes teach the campers how to use an abacus for mathematical problems and holding numbers, and teach how to use a "math pad" (I'm pretty sure that's it'd name), a rubber pad with small square grates, which tiny dice with brail numbers are placed into.&amp;#160; It is used as the kid's paper for math problems, and make for easy structuring of equations.&amp;#160; These pads can help with every kind of equation of middle or high school student might need.&amp;#160; Another class campers take is for brail. This class teaches kids how to read braille, both simple sentences and complex structures, and to type their own braille words and sentences on their personal "brailler" machines.&amp;#160; &lt;/p&gt;<br>
&lt;p&gt;&amp;#160; There are roughly 30 campers&amp;#160; here these two weeks, and with their included family members more than 60 people.&amp;#160; The whole camp takes place in a two story Lion's club building which is at the most 200 ft by 100 ft and the small office where the whole staff of BCVI works. The kids are in classes most of their time during the camp's hours, which is around 5 hours when lunch and breaks aren't included.&amp;#160; Some days, like today (Wednesday), we take field trips to different places around Belize instead of afternoon classes.&amp;#160; In fact, on Saturday we are all going to the Belize zoo and then Sunday to san Pedro, one of the islands off the shore of Belize where we will chill on the beach. &lt;/p&gt;<br>
&lt;p&gt;&amp;#160; Yesterday I spent most of my time getting introduced to the camp and this schedule, but taught this one camper named Juan, who is possibly the funniest 5th grader on the planet.&amp;#160; We worked on his addition skills on the math pad for about an hour, but spent most of the time reading his currently favorite book- animal farm (yeah, it shocked me too that he would read this).&amp;#160; He had been given a laptop the year before with the NVDA speaking program and had gotten an electronic version on it so the voice would narrate the words on the screen.&amp;#160; He would then listen to it in his headphones as he scrolled through the lines.&amp;#160; It was incredible how attune he was with the book; he had already memorized the animals' "7 Commandments" in the book.&lt;/p&gt;<br>
&lt;p&gt;&amp;#160; Unfortunately I didn't get to work with Juan again today. Instead I got the pleasure of working with the ever famous Rowan Garel all day.&amp;#160; I helped him in computer and math skills class in the morning.&amp;#160; After lunch, though, we did little practice work because our group visited the Belize museum! Most of the people who went yesterday were visiting for the first time, and we all learned about Belize's Mayan history and culture.

  These first two days of camp have been so much fun and incredibly interesting, I hope the rest of my time here will be as good.  From now on, I will try as hard as possible to post every day about the things I am doing here, I hope you guys will continue to read! Thanks,

Joseph Gallagher

Joseph's Corner: Day 5, Finishing Strong!

Monday was the last day, and was full of so many different feelings. The strongest was by far the happiness I felt for Rowan and all of BCVI, that this ambitious idea was finished without a problem. I definitely felt some personal satisfaction as well for finishing this intense trek. But I was a little sad that it was over. It definitely felt unreal that we had actually finished something which had been looming in front of us in all our minds for a long time, but it was also very real that, now the walk was over, there would be only a fraction of the attention we deserved on the BCVI.

But we definitely had our moment. And a big one. As we walked the last 1 or 2 miles in our 13 mile-long day, traffic stopped on both sides of the road to cheer us on. There were also a bunch of people who were taking pictures and videotaping us as we walked by, so who knows, we might go viral! We ended at the parking lot of the BCVI main headquarters and the Lion's Club building, which is where the camp is being held. There was a huge crowd waiting for us, and meeting all our supporters and kids who are going to the camp was another eye-opening experience. Actually seeing who is being affected by this fundraiser, how much they need it, and how much they look forward to it gave me even more purpose for this walk. It also motivated so much more to help them during camp and for the next two weeks help change their lives.

After the congratulating and cheerful supporters left, the Garels, Paul and I had our first day in a long time where we could relax and finally spend an afternoon not worrying about surviving the next day. And man, the nap I took that day felt amazing. With that and the great night of sleep I got, finally being able to sleep in past 3:30, I fully prepared to take on the other half of my trip-camp. I was looking forward to what might happen; I had no idea what was in store for me.

Joseph's Corner: Apology

I am so sorry to everyone who was looking forward to reading my daily entries of the walk, I just realized that i have been posting to the blog the entire trip. Since the end of the first day I posted on BCVI's blog for last year, which was for the climb up Victoria peak.

With that said, I hope that you still want to read about my experiences during the trip. I have also decided to blog about my time at camp as well, so you can look forward too. Thank you guys so much for your support throughout this amazing trip.

Video: Walk Across Belize

View the inspiring and heartwarming video collage of Rowan's five-day 90-mile journey
across the country of Belize to raise funds for other blind children.

The Walk Across Belize ends and
Summer Camp 2012 begins!

Joseph's Corner: Fourth Day

We are so close, I can feel it. We're actually so close we are staying in the Garel's house IN Belize city tonight. We ended at the 13th mile marker of the highway, so tomorrow will not only be the last day of our great adventure, it will be one of the shortest (thankfully)! Our 18 mile journey today took place under a scorching sun. Thankfully there was a good breeze that kept us cool. And alive. Everyone in the group were total troopers today though, and finished strong. Which is a good sign for what's to come for tomorrow! Already we know several people are going to come out, and there will doubtless be more than planned, just like the rest of this week.
Walking today might have been one of the hottest so far, but all that sun helped to show off the amazing scenery. As we transition from the mountainous and hilly region to the coastal area of the country, the scenery changed to what Paul described as "shrub.". Which sounds a lot less amazing than it was. The entire day, I could see for miles in every direction lush, green palm trees, pines, and other tropical plants. In the distance the mountains could be seen with clouds clinging on to their summits. It reminded me of our first day's beginning, when dawn broke over the mountains above us, illuminating the clouds and mist around us. It was a spectacle then, and today I was reminded of this country's natural beauty; it matches the people's character.
I can't wait to finally complete this tomorrow, it will be a great feeling when we reach the BCVI headquarters! Until then, gracias y hasta luego!

Joseph's Corner: Day Two & Three

The journey continues! Yesterday the place we were staying at had no Internet access, so blogging was impossible. But it had probably the most relaxing pool I have been in, so it was acceptable. We walked 23 miles that day, from the small town of Esperanza to Belize's Capitol Belmopan. And man was it intense! Luckily we finished around noon, just as the sun was coming out, so we avoided the 90-something weather that was predicted for the day. But that didn't stop the hurting. Just abiut everyone's feet felt like they were about to fall off at the end of thr day. Rowan was a true champ through and through, though, never once complaining about the several blisters I found out later he had gotten or the intense pain he said he felt in his feet for more than half the day. He reminded me that any problems I had were tiny in comparison to others', a lesson I have been learning continuously throughout this trip.

We had maybe a dozen people join us for the whole way, and again several more who joined us for parts of the way. And after these last two days, I don't think there is a single person who doesn't know Rowan and his story. Yesterday four different tv stations followed our group for the last mile into Belmopan, videotaping us (but mainly Rowan and his dad) as we were walking. As most of the group collapsed as we finished our hike, Rowan and Joe were forced to use up what little strength they had left to answer the several reporters who were waiting for them. I learned later that the interview and footage was broadcasted on pretty much every news channel during the prime time news, so Rowan really has become a household name!

Today was a little less intense than yesterday; we only walked 18 miles i on mostly flat road. The weather, however, decided to not be as kind and unlike the first two days came out early and came out strong. Our impressive group of almost 35 people did not give in to it though, and pushed through to finish at the Belize zoo, where the Garels and I staying tonight.

I really saw the community of Belize come together during today's walk. Almost every single car, bus, truck, or whatever slowed down and honked or waved to us as we passed; several small crowds waited for us along the road to cheer us on; and it seemed that every other car or person that went by donated something.  In fact, one cyclist stopped by out of nowhere and handed Rowan a $1500 check. It turns out that he was from 'Energy for Life,' a charity set up by the Belize Oil companies who learned about Riwan and wanted to support his cause. It was hard to believe just how big this fundraiser had gotten, and we still have two more days of unknown potential to go. I'm excited for what might happen next!

Today also marked an important benchmark in our trip: we passed the halfway point! At the end of the day we had walked 53 miles, and tomorrow we're aiming for another 18 miles to bring us even closer to the finish line! We also left the Cayo district, the westernmost, mountainous, district of Belize, and entered the Belize district, which is (thankfully) mostly flat and goes all the way to the coast and Belize city.
Tomorrow I will be able to post another entry, and hope you will read about what interesting things we're going to do! Until then, good night.

Rowan & I
Walk Across Belize

Joseph's Corner: Day 1

Hello again everybody! There was so much that happened today, I have no idea how to tell you all! Today was the first day of actual walking, and I have to admit it was not as bad as I had feared. Throughout the day we grew from just about 10 people to as many as 30, as Belizeans from the villages we were walking through joined us. We started later than we were aiming for, 5:00 AM, and walked for 4 hours, covering 12 or 13 miles. Not a bad start. Unfortunately this means the plan for tomorrow is to almost double that distance and cover 23 miles in an effort to end the day at the country's Capitol Belmopan.
We started off this morning in a quaint little village named Benque on the Guatemalan border and with the help of a mopad-mounted policeman as our escort, we traveled to the town of San Ignacio, where we are staying the night. We passed several very small villages and farms along our walk, since it is the countryside, but of the roadsides were blanketed by thick rainforest vegetation and environment. In the beginning of the walk, before any of the countless cars or buses which passed us throughout the day started up, I found myself in the midst of one of the most tranquil times of my life. Since very few in the group had coffee that morning, almost no noise could be heard besides the occasional bird call as dawn broke over the mountains that surrounded us. It was truly a breathtaking time.
Another great part of the walk today was the realization that Rowan may, in fact, be the most famous person I know. Or will ever know. It seemed like every person who passes us, or who was watching as we passed them, knew all about Rowan and his journey. Constantly drivers would slow down, honk and wave at the group, then look at Rowan and smile and honk a couple more times to voice their support. As our group walked into San Ignacio dozens of people came out of their small, brightly colored houses and either cheered us on, asked how they could donate, or even joined us for a little ways. It was an amazing sight to see the entire community of Belize come together for this one amazing boy.
Tonight we are staying at the hotel of a friend of BCVI, where we (aka Rowan and his entourage) have been treated like royalty. In the early evening, Rowan even got asked if he could spare a few minutes for some local fans of his! The seven of us left at the hotel went down to his guests and we ended up spending 2 or so hours with a group of children with disabilities and their parents. They shared stories about how supporting themselves and simply living was a challenge for them, and how much Rowan and his cause have inspired them. Even the owner of the inn shared how Rowan was helping her get through a rough time in her life by taking on this walk.
Already I have been a witness to and a part of so many great things here in Belize, and I can only wait to see what else lies ahead that might blow me away even more. Tomorrow night, I'll let you know. Until then, good night!

Guiding Rowan

Driving the Walk (Past Post)

We apologize for these posts having ended up in the wrong blog ...
Please enjoy the journey with us ... again :)

Today we are driving the route from Benque to Belize City in hopes of raising much needed funds to support Rowan and the other children in our Rehab Programme. We hope his 90 miles in 5 days will inspire you to contribute!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Update Day Three: Walk Across Belize!

Ro and more than 40 supporters started walking at 5am on Saturday July 14th from Guanacaste Park in Belmopan, Cayo. By 11am they had arrived at the Belize Zoo. Tired, sore and hot, the group retreated for the day and are getting rest before they leave the entrance of the Zoo at 5am tomorrow - Sunday July 15th. We will walk from there to Hattieville.

Thank you to everyone who has joined in, followed in their cars, cheered us along from the roadside and/or made donations!

Visit our Photos Album for a look at Day Three! and if you haven't already, it's not too late to make a contribution!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Update Day Two: Walk Across Belize

Rowan and the group departed from Esperanza, Cayo at 5am today (July 13th) and although we had to take a break to rest our sore feet, we were still able to meet our target in Belmopan by midday! We had several fans at the roadside and a lot of donations were received along the way. The media followed us for quite a while, so we expect full coverage tonight and the Newspapers have also been very supportive!

Thank you to everyone who has contributed in whatever way: Martha's Guesthouse for hosting us last night, New Exchange Magazine for coming out to hand deliver their edition with Rowan on the cover, the police officers who escorted us along the treacherous highway, the people who joined in and those who showed their support by cheering us on!

We leave Guanacaste Park at 5am tomorrow - Saturday July 14th.

All BCVI Offices Countrywide will be open tomorrow to accept contributions. We will also have teams out at Brodies Downtown Albert Street and Brodies on the Northern Highway who will be selling TShirts and collecting donations.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

And we're off!

We started our trek at 5am and are well on our way to meeting our goal of 20 miles a day! Stay tuned throughout the next 5 days for regular updates and don't forget to make a donation if you haven't already! We are counting on you all to help keep the services of BCVI alive - services that the blind children of Belize need so desperately!

Visit to make a contribution!

See all the photos of Day One on BCVI's Facebook!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Joseph's Corner: First Post!

Rule #1: Stay hydrated!

Hello everybody! Finally, I have a chance to blog! These last few days have been incredibly busy, where to begin??
First of all, this journey started out with a little adventure of itself..after successfully flying from richmond to Miami, the only flight to Belize that day was cancelled due to "mechanical difficulties." When I tried to reschedule, I learned the only way to get ti Belize was to either wait until Sunday to make a direct flight, or fly to Dallas Saturday morning as a connection. Unfortunately, it turned out that it didn't matter which I had taken because the flight from Dallas turned out to be overbooked and I got pushed to the Sunday flight from Dallas. Luckily that plane didn't have anything wrong with it and I was able to arrive in Belize city around 2:30.
I have been staying in a small apartment underneath the Garel's house up until now, and they have graciously accepted me, welcoming me with open arms. I've shared the apartment with Paul Paytas, Joe Garel, Rowan's dad's, friend. He is visiting for the next few weeks as well and is joining the group on the walk across Belize. I'm very excited to have a fellow "gringo" along on the journey!
Today we drove out to the Guatemalan border to a small town called Benque in preparation for tomorrow's walk. The plan is to start bright and early at 4:30 in the morning and get about 6 or 7 hours before the heat, or any other crazy tropical weather has a chance to set in. Our group was actually supposed to get to sleep an hour ago, so I'm going to call it an early night (it's only 8:30 in Belize) and save all the good derails about our trip so far for tomorrow! Again, thank you guys so much for supporting rowan and I on our trip and for following this blog! Good night!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Left to Right:
Carla Ayres Musa; Joe Garel; Joseph Gallagher; Paul Paytas
A huge thank you to Joseph Gallagher and Paul Paytas who stopped by the BCVI Office after flying all the way to Belize from the US to take part in the Walk Across Belize!

Joseph is the author of the editorial piece that helped the 'Richmond Walk with Rowan' get front page in the Richmond Times! Both Joseph and Paul have made very generous contributions to this cause and will continue to do so when they join Rowan and Joe on Thursday for the 5-Day Walk.

Be a part of this historical event by making your donation here!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Funds To Date

Rowan has completed his 90 Mile Walk Across Belize!
Now, it's our turn to come together and help him reach his goal!

Here is a look at what we've raised as of July 17th, 2012!
Thank you to all our donors and supporters!
Make your contribution today! Visit our website to donate online!

See photos of his incredible journey in the Walk Across Belize Photo Album!

Special thanks to our Sponsors of $500+:
Belize Telemedia Limited
Delta "International Air Lines Sponsor"
Brothers Habet
The Great House
Belize Sugar Industries
Energy For Life
Mirab Furniture Gallery
Lions Belize & Lions San Pedro
Paul Paytas
Carol Garel
Cheers Restaurant
Big Creek Lodge
Benque Resort & Spa
Allan & Dora Dunker and Family
Yasser & Pamela Musa & Family
Said & Joan Musa
Omar & Gina Habet
Yariela Lopez & Delory Fairweather
Social Security Board
Pamela Killen
The Belize Bank Ltd.
Simon Quan & Co. Ltd
Builder's Hardware
Chaa Creek
Courts Belize
Morgan & Morgan
Atlantic Insurance 
Atlantic Bank
Atlantic International Bank
St. Fillan's Episcopal Church Edinburgh

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Walk Across Belize on OYE

On Tuesday July 3rd, Rowan and Joe Garel along with Carla Ayres Musa of BCVI were featured on Channel 5's morning show, Open Your Eyes to discuss the Walk Across Belize.

If you missed it, you can view on the Open Your Eyes Vimeo Channel!

Thank you to the producers, staff, William & Marleni for their support!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Row's U.S. Newspaper Cover

Last week, while in the US to undergo a procedure for hie eye, Rowan also took to the streets in Richmond Virginia, USA with friends and supporters Madeline Burke, John Barker Davis and Joseph Gallagher to raise awareness of the Walk Across Belize. Thanks to Joseph's efforts, we have had several new donations from US friends through our website and we would like to encourage you to support his cause as well!

You can make a donation by visiting our website. It's just a click away. All contributions will go directly toward supporting children who are blind.

Every dollar counts and as Row put it, "no donation is too big or too small!"

Here are some shots of the Walk in Richmond and the Cover of the Richmond Times featuring Rowan!

Read the article in the  Richmond Times - Dispatch.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Row's Procedure

Listening to a series of Redwall - Mattimeo, Rowan relaxes after a much-anticipated but long day ... 

Many of you may not have heard about Rowan's emergency surgery earlier in 2012. Due to extremely high pressure in his eye and immense pain, unlike anything he had ever felt, Ro had to have his eye removed and replaced with a temporary disk.

His mother, Milagro who accompanied him to Richomond Virgina, to visit the doctor, describes the procedure: 

The prosthesis usually takes a couple days or so to make. However, Dr De Lange made it in one day for Row. But it took a lot of poking and trying to mold it to perfection. Its custom made to fit and hardly any maintenance. Row deserved only the best and this ocularist has top recognition in this field.

As for Rowan, he could not be happier, "It feels so normal that I can hardly feel it in there!"

We can't wait to see Rowan and start our journey as we Walk Across Belize in less than a month! This adventure will help raise money to provide support for all children in Belize who are blind. Be a part of this wonderful event by making your contribution today! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Row Graduates!

One month before he starts his Walk Across Belize, 14-year-old Rowan Garel spends his last few minutes as an elementary school student.

On Thursday June 14th, surrounded by his peers, family and friends, Rowan welcomed the audience and the faculty of Hummingbird Elementary School to the Standard 6 Graduation Ceremony, with a violin performance of Belize's National Anthem. After receiving his Diploma from the school Director, he joined his  mother, father, sister and members of BCVI for family photos.

When asked about this big moment, Rowan said, "To be honest, it's all bittersweet right now. I'm just glad that the ceremony is over because I was super nervous!" Having been in the audience, BCVI can tell you first hand that Rowan had absolutely no reason to be nervous - he performed beautifully!

We hope you enjoy a peek into the HES Graduation Ceremony and The Garel Family's special night! Don't forget that you can make a donation to help Ro and the other blind children in BCVIs program!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Driving the Walk!

Today we are driving the route from Benque to Belize City in hopes of raising much needed funds to support Rowan and the other children in our Rehab Programme. We hope his 90 miles in 5 days will inspire you to contribute!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Test

As we speak, Rowan is sitting one of the most important exams of his school career: the Primary School Exam (PSE). Today, he tackles Math, which he says, "is not my favorite."
Good Luck Row! We're all thinking of you!
Rowan during PSE 10am Monday May 8th, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Route

My Walk Across Belize will take us 90 miles in 5 days! Together with my father, Joe, we will begin walking on July 12th at the Benque Border (with Guatemala)  and will arrive in Belize City on July 16th for the start of BCVI Summer Camp.

The Route:
Day 1  Thr. 12th July         Benque Border – Santa Elena
Day 2 Fri. 13th July         Santa Elena – Belmopan
Day 3 Sat. 14th July          Belmopan - Cheers Restaurant
Day 4 Sun. 15th July          Cheers - Hattieville
Day 5 Mon. 16th July          Hattieville – Camp / Belize City

With the success of our Climb at Victoria Peak last year and the local interest to join, we thought it would be perfect to Walk Across Belizeand be able to invite you all to join in on the adventure as we stride to help raise money to provide support for other children who are blind or visually impaired. 

Without your sponsorships the non-profit work that BCVI does on a daily basis will not be able to continue. Whether it’s by getting sponsored to walk, or simply making a contribution, we are grateful for your support.

Funds raised from the Walk will go toward daily support for the children in the Rehab Program. This includes, visits to their homes and schools for one-on-one sessions in all aspects of their daily lives; from counseling parents of newly blind children to working with the teachers in their classrooms providing the necessary training and skills to work with children who are visually impaired.

You can also email for more information or to sign up!

Friday, April 20, 2012

To donate...

Support Rowan and the children in BCVIs Rehab Program by clicking the image below

You can also choose from these options to contribute:

Rowan’s Walk Across Belize                                                               Donate Directly To
PO Box 525                                                        or                                      
Belize Bank Account
Princess Margaret Drive                                                                                   #71096
Belize City, Belize

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Walk Across Belize" is officially launched!

On April 18th, we appeared on Open Your Eyes to officially announce
the plan to Walk Across Belize!
To catch the full episode, visit Open Your Eyes on Vimeo

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Walk Across Belize

We all remember Rowan Garel, the brave young boy who climbed Victoria Peak. Blind! He and his father, Joe, are back! and will be undertaking a new adventure to help raise awareness of other children who are blind and the organization dedicated to helping them:
Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI)

Stay tuned as Rowan and Joe update this blog with all the details ...