November 9, 2020
4:00 p.m. Pacific Time (US and Canada)
To Educate a Nation: Autobiographies of Andres P. and Jane V. Enriquez tells the story of the family of a Garifuna teacher as they were sent to rural villages in Belize from the 1910s through the 1940s. Rising from a pupil teacher to a school principal in Belize’s Catholic school system, Andres P. Enriquez faced many difficult challenges as he passionately dedicated himself for almost five decades to managing schools in various remote Maya, Garifuna and Mestizo villages throughout Belize. His wife Jane and their children also had to endure these hardships, often with deep painful losses to their family.
Jeremy A. Enriquez reveals these experiences as written by his grandparents, thus honouring similar untold sacrifices of Garifuna teachers and their families as they diligently served to lay the foundation of Belize’s education system. He weaves their experiences in the context of Garifuna people’s resilience since their first arrival to Belize in 1802 as a free people during the time of slavery, their struggles with colonially‐rooted discrimination, their outstanding contributions to the development of the country’s education system as well as to its formerly timber‐based economy, which arguably resulted in the expansion of Belize’s territory beyond its former limits.
Editor Jeremy Enriquez (also known as Jerry A. Enriquez) is the first born son of Dativa and Solomon E. Enriquez, the eldest son of Jane and Andres Enriquez, himself a firstborn son. In the lineage of firstborn sons of his family, Jerry Enriquez inherits the distinctive honor of serving as torchbearer of the family’s history. His birth and formative years were in Punta Gorda in southern Belize, the town where his family originated. Like his forebears, Jerry A. Enriquez works as an educator, having taught at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education, nationally and internationally. He also works as a development planning consultant, utilizing his undergraduate and graduate education in the fields of Education, Psychology, Sociology and Development Studies. He has published several articles on national development issues in Belize’s leading newspaper, The Amandala.