Octavia Waight Centre receives donation from Courts

November 17 2015

Courts Belize as part of their "Share the Joy Program" which started in 2014, made a generous donation of thirty mattresses to the Octavia Waight Centre. This donation was made possible through the kind assistance of Mr. Joseph Mahmud of Cayo Foam Depot.


Celebrating Senior Citizen Week 2015

September 25 2015

Senior Citizen Week is being celebrated from September 26 to October 3 2015 under the theme "Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment".
As part of the Senior Citizen Week, a number of activities are being held. Click on this link to find out more.


Octavia Waight Center Board Members Re-elected

July 16 2015

Several Board members from the Octavia Waight Center, were re-elected on Saturday of this past weekend. Taking the task as Chairperson is Claudette Hulse; Vice Chair, Myrna Martinez; Secretary, Clemente Cruz and Treasurer Bernadette Fernandez. While Claudette Hulse has served as Chairperson for two consecutive years, she has been serving at the Octavia Waight Center for the past 20 years.

Present for the elections over the weekend was registration officer Ivorie Bulwer, who is also the Director of Help Age Belize. Ivorie Bulwer gave an opportunity for each of the re-elected Board members to speak, and in so doing illuminated the inner workings at the Octavia Waight Center.

“It is a challenge taking it on, but I am willing to work with the Board and continue moving forward with the Octavia Waight Center,” said Claudette Hulse.

Meanwhile; Deputy Mayor Bernadette Fernandez, who holds the portfolio for the aged at the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council, also accepted nomination to serve once more.

“I will continue to work with the Board Members and will pledge to continue to work with them one more time,” she said.

The Octavia Waight Center now has space to serve some 32 aged persons. The Center is dependent on a subvention from the Government of Belize. While some residents pay a monthly fee to stay at the center, others can’t, and so it also has to depend on the community to stay afloat.

During the past two years, a new cement vat has been built at Octavia Waight Center and an electric pump has been installed to enhance water pressure. Additionally, four wards have been tiled at the center for the aged.

In February of this year a project to build a new kitchen was launched by the Gobie Foundation for an expanded kitchen. That kitchen has now been completed at a cost of $100,000.00; however additional appliances for the kitchen are now being awaited.

Residents at the Octavia Waight Center are regularly taken for outings to new environments like the bank of the Macal River and to Old Belize. As Ivorie Bulwer, the Executive Director of Help Age stated emphatically on Saturday, “…either you use it or you lose it!”


Kitchen expansion project starts at Octavia Waight Center

February 2, 2015. Ground-breaking ceremonies were held over the weekend for a project to extend the kitchen at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio town.

KitchenextensionGuest speaker at the event which was held on Sunday was the chairman of Help Age Belize Evan Dakers.

The project is expected to cost about one hundred thousand dollars approximately half of that amount has already been raised through collaboration with the Challenge Gobie Foundation.

Work is expected to commence shortly on the improved and expanded kitchen and should be completed in as early as three months.

The Octavia Waight Center is once again partnering with Challenge Gobie Foundation for a second fundraising event, which is a Valentine’s Dinner and Dance on Saturday, February fourteenth.

Anyone wishing to to assist with this project is asked to contact the Octavia Waight Center.


Elizabeth Beaton Donates to Octavia Waight Centre

December 1, 2014

The Octavia Waight Centre this morning received a cash donation of $500.00 from Elizabeth Beaton, the mother of the late Chef Sean Beaton. The event was held at the Cahal Pech Village Resort.

For those who do not know, Chef Sean made San Ignacio his home for many years and was loved by many whom he came in contact with. Sadly, last year he passed away and because of his love for Belize he was buried in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District.

The cash donation is a generous contribution to the Centre which follows the compassionate healing vision of its founder, Octavia Clotilda Waight whose humanity and courage will continue to engrave her name on the institution for ages to come.

(Left) Octavia Waight Centre representative receiving the cash donation from Ms Cynthia Robateau (Right) of Cahal Pech Village Resort

 (Left) Octavia Waight Centre representative receiving the cash donation from Ms Cynthia Robateau (Right) of Cahal Pech Village Resort.


Octavia Waight Center gets donation

June 19, 2014


The Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio town is the recipient of some much needed equipment to help in the care of the elderly in the institution.

The Usher family of Santa Elena town recently handed over a set of walkers and a couple of wheelchairs to the institution.











Margaret Usher Harris who is on vacation from Florida, stopped by the Octavia Waight Center this week and says she is impressed by the service being provided by the institution.





New Board for Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio

August 15, 2013

A new Board of Directors has been elected for the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio. The new board was voted unanimously on August 10, 2013 at the Octavia Waight Center. Overseeing the voting process was Mrs. Maria Elena Sylvestre and Mrs. Marla Vasquez , both who are members of the Board at Helpage Belize.

The New Octavia Waight Center Board is composed of Claudette Hulse as Chairperson, Mirna Martinez as Vice Chairperson, Clemente Cruz as Secretary and Bernadette Fernandez as Treasurer. Other Board members at the Octavia Waight Center are Gloria Burns, Carmita Lennan and Josephine Chulin.

L-R Maria Elena Sylvestre, Marla Vasquez and Bernadette Fernandez and in the background Claudette Hulse, Chairlady of the Octavia Waight Center

The Octavia Waight Center currently provides residential care for 27 senior citizens. These citizens are given shelter, food, medical attention, physical therapy, companionship and other individual needs. The therapy center at the home is also open to accident and stroke victims from the community; to conduct physical therapy sessions.

Senior residents at the Octavia Waight Center are regularly taken out to breathe some fresh air at the Succotz River, the Bank of the Macal River, the Spanish Lookout Residential Home for the elderly and to Old Belize.

As part of an outreach to the community, the Octavia Waight Center had launched a “Meals on Wheels” Program for 22 residents outside the Center some five years ago and since then has been fulfilling the nutritional needs of these seniors twice a week.

Sitting neatly on her well secured chair in the open air verandah at the Octavia Waight Center last Saturday was 105 year old Camila Espinoza, who shared some of her secrets with us to a long life. According to Espinoza, Yams and Sweet Potatoes have always been part of her diet and her favorite drink was ‘trago anisado.’ Camila Espinoza also claimed that she never did imbibe alcoholic drinks and never ever smoked cigarettes.

What was surprising at last Saturday’s elections was that Bernadette Fernandez, who had been serving as Chairlady at the Octavia Waight Center for the past 12 years was stepping down from that position and was taking on the new post as Treasurer.

“It was a pleasure serving as Chairlady for the past years at the Octavia Waight Center and I wish to thank everybody who contribute to this home and who supported me during my years here as chairlady”, says Bernadette Fernandez, who has the portfolio for the elderly, within the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council.

The Octavia Waight Center represents just one of the Centers for Senior Citizens that are represented by Helpage Belize in every District of the Country. Belize now has the National Council for the Aging, which comprises other organizations besides Helpage Belize; such as the Red Cross, the Black Cross Nurses and other organizations. From these organizations, Helpage Belize focuses solely on older persons across Belize.

While the core funding for these centers for senior citizens across the country come from the Government of Belize, assistance is welcome from other sectors of Society. In the Corozal Center for the Aged, the senior citizens have befriended a group of retirees from Canada and the United States. Such friendship has resulted in the senior citizens getting a transport van; where they take their arts and craft products on Saturdays’ to sell at the park in Corozal.

Mrs. Maria Elena Sylvestre, past President for Helpage Belize tells The Guardian that some current challenges remain for senior citizens across the country.

“The main challenge is to ensure that every older person has access to healthcare and to medications, that’s still a work in progress and each individual branch is working through their representatives and their leaders to make this a reality”, she says.

“The second major goal is to have a universal pension for older people, no matter who they are or what they are, they should have a decent living wage or a living pension, those are the two main universal goals that we are looking at and one of the themes of Helpage International globally is that age demands action”, she continued.