Belize

Frontier

I spent one month in Belize as part of the Frontier manatee conservation programme. Even though I wasn't there during manatee season and I didn't see any manatees, I was still able to contribute to the project by monitoring feeding sites and helping monitor the reef which was really interesting and fun. I really enjoyed camp which is in a very remote condition and very basic. The staff was very helpful and knowledgable. The sand flies can be difficult to deal with but the wind made it very comfortable to live on camp and I also had a lot of opportunities to enjoy the south island where tourism is very developed and you can have a lot of fun in the week-ends.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Dec 3, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
8

Frontier

My name is Natalie, I have traveled to Caye Caulker, Belize from Ontario, Canada. I have come here to take part in the Frontier volunteer dive program for 3 weeks. Being a part of the frontier dive program here in Belize has been an incredible experience ! I have done many dives previous to this program but they were always for recreational purposes. The purpose of the dives done with fronteir is to collect data. Its a really different experience while dving and I have really enjoyed it ! We partake in surveys such as coral transects, coral collonie counting, lobster surveys, lionfish surveys, seagrass surveys ect. I have gain alot of knowlede while being a part of this program, I like that now when I go diving and Im looking at the underwater world I know the species I am observing and I have an understanding of how life under the sea works. There are other volunteers here that I work alongside who are a part of other progams such as mannatee conservation and beach conservation. Dagny, our principal investigator has done a wonderful job of mixing the three programs together so that I and the other volunteers are able to work together and be a part of extra things than was planned for us. For example we have planted mangroves which is a part of the beach conservation program. I now have my own mangrove nursery growing on the north island of Caye Caulker named « Nat`s Nursery ». I hope one day I can return to see it completly grown over. We live on the northern point of the north island. It is very quiet and peaceful here, One of my favourite spots is the hammock at the end of our dock. I like to lay out there at sunset with my island best friend, fury, the camps dog. Back home in Canada I often begin my work day just before sundown and late into the night. The island life is much different. Here we begin our work in the morning and we always finish at sundown. Which gives us the evening to wind down and relax with friends or in our own space. Its so nice to have time for me, sometimes at home it feels impossible to just relax and take time for me. I only have a few more days to be a part of this program which is very upsetting. The project coordinators and my fellow volunteers have become like a family to me (fury included) but I am most definitely satisfied with my time here on this islsnd and I will be leaving feeling like I`ve made a difference in Belize just as Belize has made a difference in me.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Nov 25, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

I participated in the beach conservation programme on the Frontier Belize Project for 2 weeks in November 2017. I had a lot of fun in Belize thanks to the staff and all the activities conducted. The reef is absolutely amazing and I was so happy to learn about all the species of coral and fish and help with the important surveys Frontier is conducting there. Camp is basic but still comfortable and the location is absolutely beautiful. The only problems are the sand flies and mosquitoes but this can be overcome and it's totally worth it! Caye Caulker is also a lot of fun off the project with so many bars and beaches!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Nov 19, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

This past summer my daughter Ava traveled to Belize for two weeks with Global Leadership Adventures. At first I was a bit hesitant to let her go on the trip, but I had never seen her so impassioned by a cause. Also, after extensive research on several websites, I found out GLA has few to no bad reviews and about a million amazing ones. The assurance from other parents about the trip’s safety and impact on their child’s life are what finally convinced me to let her go. And it was so worth it!! Ava had THE time of her life and found a new sense of purpose as well as many new friends. The in-country staff was always there if I ever needed to place a call in case of emergency but if I had questions I’d just email GLA and they got back to me quickly. My personal favorite part of this organization are the blogs that the students post online every few days. They gave me a great idea of what Ava was doing each day and I loved the pictures attached! Couldn’t recommend this organization more!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Oct 22, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

This past summer I participated in Global Leadership Adventures Belize: The Initiative for Children. I had THE most amazing and life-changing experience of my life. The staff is amazing and very well-qualified/equipped to deal with any situation or emergency (should one even arise at all). The best part about this experience is that it is a totally authentic and service-oriented approach to exploring new cultures. On my particular trip we went to a poetry night a few villages over from home base, snorkeled around Tobacco Caye, and explored ancient Maya ruins.These direct and genuine interactions with Belizean culture are what sets GLA apart. Further, the service we participated in is beneficial to all involved. We got to teach the local youth English, paint their playground, and encourage them to reach their full potential. Even more, though, the service we completed changed our lives equally, if not more so, by opening our eyes to poverty, the privilege of public education, and social justice.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Oct 13, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

I spent three weeks this summer in Belize with Global Leadership Adventures and even though I had spent the summer before in Guatemala, also with GLA, this trip was one of the most amazingly scary things I’ve ever done. Not only being without family but being surrounded with strangers in a whole new country is stressful to say the least, and as should be expected, had a slightly rocky beginning, with lost bags and awkward hellos, but once we reached the Tropical Education Center, which would be our home for the next three weeks, things settled down. We played a few “get to know you” games, nothing like the boring icebreakers I was used to from past summers, and got a tour of home base, and as we did this I started to get to know the other girls I was there with.
The food was always great at the TEC, they had wonderful gluten free options and always something without red meat for me.
Our first day at the school was easy, we split into groups and organized our classrooms, children occasionally stopping in to say hello, four little girls gathered by the fence that separated their yard from the school, telling us how excited they were for tomorrow.
When we did get to the school on our first day teaching, kids were there waiting for us, happy and willing to learn. The kids I taught all spoke very good english, some were better spellers than me. My fellow teachers and I made lesson plans every night after dinner, a quick job once you get it down, we also always had a few back up games incase the kids were especially energetic. We did have a few problems with fighting, teasing, and bullying, and the kids sometimes tried to sneak out when they thought we weren’t looking but all in all they were well behaved.
The day trips we went on we always interesting, though some more than others, I would have to say our trip to the ATM caves was my favorite, but that is only available on the three week program. On the last few days we took a trip to Caye Caulker, a two mile wide island just off the coast without cars, the locals having bicycles and tricked out golf carts instead. We stayed at a pretty nice hotel with AC right by the sea, explored the island, shopped a little, and spent the whole next day snorkeling from which I earned a nasty sunburn, but it was definitely worth the pain.
All in all it was a great trip with amazing mentors, the kids were hilarious, and the other girls on the trip with me were some of the sweetest, most down to earth people I’ve ever met.
If I were to suggest a summer program I wouldn’t hesitate to say this one.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Oct 13, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

My experience with Projects Abroad in San Pedro was overall amazing. I learned so much and had such an impactful time, especially living with my host family. This was one of the best parts of the trip. Learning all about my host family, their traditions and culture was so unique and made my trip so special. I loved getting to know them and they really became a key component of my time on the island. I was in the public health placement and the staff were overall pretty accommodating. Sometimes things were not done in the most efficient way, however it was a busy time with lots of volunteers and the staff is quite small. In my placement I got to assist in mobile clinics and start a community garden. Things on the island tend to be a little slower than I am used to at home, which made certain situations become frustrating, however you learn to cope with “island time.” Getting things done was not always the easiest even though all of the volunteers were very motivated. It was sometimes difficult to get the staff to let us move forward with certain projects, however we did manage to do it. I was there for a month which I think was the perfect amount of time. It takes about a week to get settled and learn everything about your placement, then you are ready to go and jump into everything for a good 3 weeks. This also allows for a good amount of weekends to explore the island and do some fun trips while you are there too. I had an amazing time learning and living in San Pedro and I would recommend taking this opportunity as the community there is so inspiring and I learned so much living amongst the incredible people of the island.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Jul 25, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
7
Value:
8

Projects Abroad

Despite the amazing reviews from other volunteers of Projects Abroad, I am devastated to say I have a really horrible one. I was recommended by a friend about this volunteer agent and similar like others, I was expecting a good experience with them. I am a 16 years old international student from Indonesia who lives in New York which means my parents are not in USA and in fact, I live in my school’s dorm. To fill in my 3 months summer break, I decided to enroll for a summer volunteer program and had done enough research about Projects Abroad. I was in contact with their staff named Laura before I enroll and I was told that she resigned. I called the central number to ask questions about the requirements of the project and was told to call directly the Belize embassy about the visa. The Belize embassy told me that I will not need visa to enter Belize as I have a US student visa (F4). Projects Abroad told me that everything was set and I was ready to enroll. On June 15th 2017, after nearly 4 months asking questions about the project, I finally enrolled to the Community and Conservation project in Belize. It was kind of last minute but I have it all prepared before the project started on June 19th 2017. I was in contact with the volunteer advisor, Carlos Orozco, who will prepare me for my departure on the 19th. He was the one who told me the requirements and the packing list as well as the one who connected me with the Projects Abroad Travel Team about my flight arrangements. I was planned to depart on the 18th using United Airlines from New York LaGuardia to Houston and get a connecting flight to Belize and then to Placencia. I have prepared everything and packed everything needed for my project (this means all the legal documents and the materials that Projects Abroad told me) before I departed. Projects Abroad emailed me the e-tickets and itinerary and also mentioned that I will ONLY need a copy of my passport and the copy of the e-ticket in order to board the airplane and that someone will be outside the airport in Belize when I arrived. They told me that they already have many underage volunteers like me beforehand and everything went well. I went to the airport at 3 am in the morning and was NOT allowed to check in and board by United Airlines because I was missing a NOTARIZED PARENT CONSENT (notarized not electrically signed) which is required by the Belize government in order for a minor like me to travel. I was surprised and confused as PROJECTS ABROAD DIDN’T TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT THE NOTARIZED LEGAL CONSENT. I called the emergency number of projects abroad immediately and a staff told me to wait as she will contact the center which is still closed because it was still 3 am in the morning. I had to wait in the airport for 4 hours alone and NONE of the projects abroad staffs called me. The emergency staff told me that she will try to change my flights and move me to another project which is Mexico or Argentina which my father didn’t allow me because I was left alone at that time. Projects abroad said that they never had this issue beforehand and they will try to have a meeting with the immigration of Belize as they didn’t know anything about the notarized legal consent which is a regulation that Belize government made. However, what I really disappointed in is they HAVENT CONTACTED ME UNTIL NOW. Carlos Orozco, the volunteer advisor contacted me so often before, demand me for the full payment however after the problem arose, he never contacted me NOT EVEN ONCE. My brother also emailed him (Carlos), the center email (info@projectsabroad), and the travel team however, NONE of them replied. My father had to call all the way from Indonesia to Mexico and UK to speak with the CEO as none of the staffs contacted me. I am very disappointed in how they work. They are, indeed, a big agent however this shouldn’t make them feel less responsible of this matter. For other volunteers who want to enroll with them, please be aware.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Jun 24, 2017
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Projects Abroad

My experience with Projects Abroad in San Pedro, Belize as a part of their public health placement was nothing short of extraordinary. I met wonderful people, both affiliated with the organization and the locals that I worked with in the community. Projects Abroad prides itself on supportive staff, and I can say that this is one of the strengths of the organization, as I knew that any issue or concern that I had would be solved as soon as possible. I was also extremely satisfied with the nature of my work - Projects Abroad was very up front about the tasks that I would be completing, and these tasks were followed and completed upon my arrival. Additionally, the host family Projects Abroad paired me with was so accommodating and generous. Perhaps the best part of this organization, and what certainly drew me to it, was the concept of having flexible dates. As a college student with a busy schedule, I was able to pick dates that fit my schedule, and quickly transitioned to my placement. I highly recommend traveling and volunteering with Projects Abroad!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Jun 12, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
7

Frontier

Had a great time in Belize. It's a really chilled country and the project was lots of fun. We did surveying most week days, and saw plenty of marine life, including manatees - twice!
I'd definitely recommend the project, it's on a beautiful location and don't think I would have got to appreciate an island like Caye Caulker if I wasn't doing something like this.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Jun 28, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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