U.S. Embassy’s Belize Wonder Woman!

The Women Who Help Make Belize Great!

We are proud to announce that, for the month of April, Renee Wentz is our Belize Wonder Woman!

Renée selflessly serves Belize through teaching self-defense and counseling battered and abused women. She is a naturalized Belizean and has been working in Belize’s tertiary educational system since 2004. Since 2011, Ms. Wentz has been the counselor for the University of Belize, serving students at the Belize City and Toledo campuses. Renee is the creator and sole instructor at S.H.E. Thing Self-Defense and Personal Safety for Women and Girlsand Personal Safety for Women and Girls, the only empowerment self-defense program in the country. Currently, she is training a former student to be her assistant. Renee teaches throughout the entire country, including the cayes.
Before moving to Belize, Renee learned self-defense and obtained her black belt in TaeKwonDo at Peace seekers Martial Arts, in Wisconsin, USA. After settling in Belize, she was asked to teach a self-defense class. At the first class, Renée meet a Peace Corps Volunteer, who introduced her to the Women’s Department Officer in Corozal, where she taught a woman’s support group self-defense skills. Renee attended the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation Special Training camp and completed the self-defense for women instructors’ tract in 2006. Renee was one of only 30 women in the world who received a scholarship to attend the first-ever Global Empowerment Self-Defense camp in New York in 2017. In was at that camp that she helped create Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) Global, an international NGO. Renee looks forward to attending advanced training through ESD Global in Costa Rica this July.

After nearly 17 years, Renee has taught self-defense and personal safety to over 3,000 Belizeans. She works with the Government of Belize, schools, churches, neighbourhood watches, NGOs, businesses, and private groups. Renée has developed specialized programs for working with elderly, youth, and those with physical challenges. Even though Renée has a full-time job, teaching self-defense and personal safety and serving her community has become her passion.