Belize

MMRF - Maya Mountain Research Farm

I found my time at MMRF to be extremely rewarding. Chris, the director, gave all the interns a lot of autonomy once they had learned the ropes, and between his partner Celini and the Mayan farm hands I was always able to find help when I needed it. The food was great (all the fruits and vegetables were fresh from what we harvested that day), accommodations were quite nice, and there was Internet.

I would definitely recommend MMRF for people who are fairly self-directed and want to get hands-on experience with tropical agroforestry. Sometimes I worked with the Mayan guys on whatever they were doing that day, sometimes I helped Celini in the kitchen garden, sometimes I worked on a personal project-- I had a lot of control over what I did each day, which was great. MMRF was a very welcoming environment, and as someone who hadn't had much experience with farm work, I found it to be a great place to amass skills and try out lots of different tasks.

Overall, my time at MMRF helped me get hands-on experience with something I knew almost nothing about and has absolutely informed my current studies (I'm a Biology major). Chris and Celeni were wonderful hosts, I learned a ton, and the locals were incredibly kind. Great experience-- highly recommend it for self-directed individuals looking for physical labor and experience with farm work!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: May 19, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
7
Value:
10

MMRF - Maya Mountain Research Farm

two years after the latest comment things seems to be a little bit different. We was about to spend a week there me and my wife to study permaculture with this american guy Chris Nesbitt, nice plan . Even if the way to join the site was quite complicated and expensive ( the essential guide to make the way through hills) we was happy to meet him for the first time : good theories about how to greenly convert agriculture to feed the world. after two days we knew this was a big joke. The man couldn't hold his farm alone and had to use cheep worker and to take money from them to run his project. I explain myself : he has great gap of knowledge in agriculture under tropical conditions and even more for farming in general. He has to fight against jungle, elements, and to cultivate with his little hands and the volunteers one, it is just too big for a man who seem more to be an invader that bought a piece of land in a little pardise country and who tries to make money without really kwnowing what he is doing.
If you whant to be exploited for cash, without learning norhing about what you wher coming for just go it is for you.
Ps great pizza, nice place otherwise with very beautiful species.
For further informations just ask.

Program:
Location: Belize
Posted: Sep 27, 2012
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

My volunteer trip to Belize was one of the most memorable and amazing things I have ever experienced. You are allowed to be independent, while receiving support both from your in country organization and ABV via email. I was very happily surprised that after about two days in Belize, an email came from ABV seeing how our arrival went and that they were there to keep in touch with.

One of the concerns before the trip was from my parents (I am only 18, female, travelling with another 18 year old female) was travelling alone in Central America without a group or a definitive contact phone number. However, throughout our entire trip, we were able to email home from the orphanage and it is also worth looking into buying an unlocked cell phone at home and then buying an international sim card in an airport in the States. Being able to text home and have a phone in case of emergencies brought a lot of peace of mind, especially for our parents.

The other volunteers at the orphanage (6 of us in total) were also so great, and with your few days off, it is definitely worthwhile to make an overnight trip to San Pedro, visit Altun Ha, and go cave tubing. Ask the orphanage director for lots of information about accommodations in San Pedro, and rides to Altun Ha and the Caves River Branch. The staff at the orphanage were so kind to us, and seemed to really appreciate our work.

Bring a clothes line!!! You only need about a weeks worth of clothing items because you have access to a washing machine, but no dryer! There is a clothes line outside, but one for your room is nice for towels, etc. Powerbars are also a good idea, as well as rubber work gloves.

The kids at the orphanage were amazing to work with, by the end of the two weeks you get really attached to them and leaving was the hardest part for sure... This location definitely needs more than a two week stay, although 2 weeks is just enough time to get to know the schedule and everyone s names and your way around town well!! Time goes by too fast.

Overall, ABV was such a pleasure to work with. Our phone calls were always returned promptly, email replies came within 24 hours, and having them check up on us both during our trip and after we arrived home was very professional and made us feel well looked after. Cost wise, THIS TRIP WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY! I paid for the entire trip on my own (flights, program fees, insurance etc) and never regretted anything. I was very conscious of my spending there (I took $200 US) and was able to get along for water, food, the few days off, and a few small souvenirs without a problem.

I very highly recommend this volunteer experience. It gave me such a refreshing outlook on my own life, I felt safe and looked after while I was there, I really cannot say enough good things about this project and ABV.

You ll have to experience it for yourself!! :)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Jun 14, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Belize Dream Center

The staff was amazing. We were able to paint two schools, celebrate 2 masses with Belizeans, visit an orphange, tour Belize City, go cave tubing, and on a "monkey hunt" where we got to feed a Howler monkey. The food was great and the people of Belize were unBELIZEable.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Apr 20, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Learning Semesters

Belize is a beautiful country and I highly recommend going there and exploring its many sights.
The problem I had revolved around the program run by Galen University through Global Semesters International, Inc. The education and accomodations were good, however while I was there, I was approached by a local man(we, the international students, were encouraged to speak to local community members to experience more of the culture). I was waiting for the bus in the town center in the middle of the day when this man sat down next to me and started a conversation. He was very polite and soft-spoken, but he tried three times to find out where I was staying. The program coordinator from Galen drove past and saw me speaking with him. She came back and gave me a ride back to our cabins. She told me that she tried to call me on my school issued cell phone (that never worked) to tell me to get away from him, but since I did not answer, she came back for me.
HE WAS A CONVICTED VIOLENT RAPIST AND MURDERER.
She told me his story. He had been convicted of violently raping and murdering three foreign women and had been sentenced to be hanged. She knew this because she had grown up next door to his mother (who believed that her son should have been hanged and was disappointed when he wasn't). The man had appealed his sentence with the Privy Counsel in England and, since he had served time with good behavior, was pardoned for his crimes and released.
I believe that this convicted predator should have been announced to all of the exchange students. I was warned that there are "bad people" out there, but I believe that convicted rapist/murderers should fall in a different category and that potential victims should be educated about them.
When I left my program and the country early, I was informed that I would not be reimbersed the loan money for the second class that I never got to take and my situation was downplayed as if I were leaving because of an inconvenience.
I WAS AFRAID FOR MY LIFE.
The lady that picked me up and got me away from the muderer was known to him and my location was then compromised. Many people in town were very familiar with where the internation exchange students stayed. I could not justify staying for another course when my life was in danger. I payed an additional $600 for a plane ticket to flee the country.
I WAS ALONE AT THE BUS STOP FOR 1 MINUTE BEFORE HE APPROACHED. IT WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY. HE HAD BENN CONVICTED OF VIOLENTLY RAPING AND MURDERING 3 WOMEN THAT WERE FOREIGN TO BELIZE.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Sep 1, 2009
Overall:
5
Support:
3
Value:
5

Comments

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GO TO BELIZE IN THE FIRST PLACE? HADN'T YOU DONE RESEARCH BEFORE HAND. IF THIS IS A WELL KNOWN RAPIST IN THE COMMUNITY, AND DID VIOLENT CRIMES WOULDN'T THIS HAVE SHOWN IN THE NEWS, AND IN YOUR INDEPENDENT RESEARCH OF THAT SPECIFIC LOCATION?
How exactly is this a bad reflection on the organization? They not only had staff on-site, they had people responding in person and giving direction. Anywhere in the world there are very bad people and to say the organization is responsible for your interaction with this "bad" local is unfair.

MMRF - Maya Mountain Research Farm

I stayed at MMRF from mid-December 2007 until late February 2008. During this time I worked on a Guidebook for Belize while my wife studied permaculture with Christopher Nesbitt.
MMRF was my home-base between journeys that brought me from one end of the country to the other, and a beautiful one at that. While study was not my personal focus at the time, I couldn't help but learn by osmosis, and as a result my chapters of the book are peppered with references to agriculture, alternative energy, and sustainability in general.
For students looking to learn about permaculture, jungle farming, solar and wind power, or sustainable living in general, I recommend an internship at MMRF highly.
Joshua Samuel Brown
http://www.josambro.blogspot.com/

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Jan 18, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

Global Learning Semesters

Studying abroad was the best experience I have had.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Oct 12, 2008
Overall:
8
Support:
6
Value:
8

Comments

could you elaborate more please?
Could you elaborate a little more please?

Global Learning Semesters

If any student is even considering studying abroad, it is an incredibly amazing opportunity that should be followed without hesitation. It is definitely a time to experience new things, learn about yourself, meet new and diverse people, and become humbled in so many ways. Both the hands-on veterinary experience and cultural experiences around the country were AMAZING!! Belize was my first trip abroad, but it is something that made a HUGE impact on me and I will never forget. And for anyone considering veterinary school, it is a wonderful program to first see if you enjoy the professional field, and then something unique to reference in your application and interview.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Oct 7, 2008
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

Comments

did you have time to go on any excursions?if so, what kinds? was the tests & schoolwork more difficute than here in NC?

Global Learning Semesters

I gained a great deal of knoweldge, not only about what I studied, but about myself also.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Oct 7, 2008
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
9

Comments

what was your favorite thing that you did?Likes?dislikes? did you go for animals science or bilolgy?

Global Learning Semesters

It was so great! I definitely recommend it!!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Oct 6, 2008
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
8

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