Toledo is the most southern district of Belize. Within its boundaries is a large tract of tropical rainforest that stretches over coastal, mountainous and swampy terrain. This district receives the most rainfall with approximately 180 inches annually. Punta Gorda Town is the main municipality that serves as the administrative center and is located about 180 ft. above sea level. Twenty-five percent of the population lives in Punta Gorda Town with the remainder residing in the rural villages and settlements of Toledo.
Although it has the smallest population of all districts, Toledo is culturally diverse, with descendants of the Maya, Garifuna, and other heritage sharing the land.
Most of the dwellings and public buildings in Punta Gorda Town are of reinforced concrete. A variety of wooden structures topped by metal roofing complete the balance of structures in the municipality.
The dwellings throughout the rest of Toledo vary from traditional thatched, wooden or reinforced concrete construction.
Following the devastating impact of Hurricane Iris on Southern Belize in 2001, there was a shift away from the traditional construction of wooden homes and thatched roofing to more resilient reinforced-concrete structures. Additionally, schools and community centers were built to specifications allowing them to resist the strongest storms. These ‘hurricane-resistant’ schools and community centers now serve the dual purpose of education centers and hurricane shelters.
Activities of the District Emergency Coordinator
- Coordinate the resources necessary to restore to normalcy Toledo after an emergency.
- Conduct monthly meetings of emergency managers throughout the district.
- Coordinate and guide training activities for Public officers, schools and youth groups.
- Solicit voluntary assistance from members of the community before and after an emergency.
- Identify strengths and weaknesses in the ‘Emergency Action’ Plans for Toledo.
- Maintain public awareness of local emergency management activities.
NEMO District Coordinator:
Mr. Kenton Parham