The Belize Port Authority held its maritime educational expo today at its headquarters at mile four on the George Price Highway. The event featured speeches, an award ceremony and several booth displays. Students from Belize City were invited to attend to learn about the maritime sector. News Five stopped in at today’s event which commemorates World Maritime Day. Here’s Andrea Polanco with story.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
To commemorate World Maritime Day 2019, the Belize Port Authority hosted its maritime educational expo for students. This year’s event is celebrated under the theme “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” which raises awareness of the importance of gender equality and highlights the important – yet under-utilized – contribution of women in the maritime sector.
Annette Garel, Sr. Deputy Registrar, IMMARBE
“We all know that shipping has traditionally been a male dominated industry and the same applies to the many associate jobs and the professions that are within the maritime community. Over the last decade, Belize has seen a gradual change as many women are seeking careers in the maritime industry. We have very competent female port officers, coast guard officers and these ladies are making waves in their respective units. As a matter of fact, two of the country’s most important maritime units are headed by women, the BPA and IMMARBE.”
Lieutenant Alma Pinelo of the Belize Coast Guard spoke to the students about the contribution of females in maritime security, highlighting the strides the Belize Coast Guard continues to make to champion the inclusion of women in the maritime field:
Lt. Alma Pinelo, Sector Commander of Sector Central, Belize Coast Guard
“The Belize Coast Guard currently has thirty commissioned officers. Five of us are women. In order to increase the number of women in leadership positions and to continue to promote gender equality and equity, the Belize Coast Guard conducted an officer cadet selection board that only recruited women. Three were selected in June of this year and since then have been actively training to become future leaders of the coast guard. We are making a conscious effort to become a diverse force to confront the challenges of a dynamic security sector.”
Several organizations showcased the work that they do in colorful and interactive booth displays. The Belize Port Authority also awarded prizes to students who competed in its maritime poster competition. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.