Research Consortium for Belizean Studies

Advancing the Promise of Educational Equity in Belize: A Case Study

Katherine A. Curry
Lou L. Sabina
Kiara L. Sabina
Ed Harris
Shawna Richardson


A new high school on a remote inland in Belize offers important educational opportunities to students who previously only had access to primary education. This qualitative case study applied Patterson's (2000) Culture of Poverty to understand challenges that exist that keep students from achieving their academic potential despite new opportunities available to them. Findings indicate strong cultural and structural barriers exist for these students that significantly interfere with their educational process. Despite these findings, benefits of the academy's efforts are slowly emerging. This study informs practice by offering important discussion for actions/activities that could, potentially, reduce the influence of these barriers, and it furthers understandings about the significant influence of transmitted and modified cultural barriers and structural barriers to education.