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Travel to do good in Belize
Belize is located in Central America and it is bordered to the north by Mexico, to the south and west by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. Belize is a diverse country with various cultures and languages. Belize, the smallest country in Central America and the only one that is English-speaking, is home to: • The world’s largest living barrier reef. • The Great Blue Hole, a popular diving site, which the Discovery Channel recently ranked number one on its list of “The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth.” • More than 600 significant ancient Maya sites. • Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the first wilderness preserve for jaguars. Belize is also known for its extreme biodiversity and distinctive ecosystems. On the coast, there is a swampy coastal plain with mangrove swamps. In the south and interior there are hills and low mountains. Most of the land is undeveloped and is forested with hardwoods. It is a part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot and it has many jungles, wildlife reserves, a large variety of different species of flora and fauna and the largest cave system in Central America. Some species of Belize’s flora and fauna include the black orchid, the mahogany tree, the toucan and tapirs. Content provided by the Belize Board of Tourism Volunteer Project Overview Belize has a substantial indigenous Mayan population, who continue to live in conditions that have an impact on their life expectancy and quality of life. Major health concerns, particularly among children, are burns and respiratory injuries from smoke inhalation, caused by open fire cooking stoves. By installing new stoves that are much more efficient, dispel the smoke through a chimney and cover up the flame, you can help to ensure that these incidents are greatly reduced. You may also assist Mayan farming families improve their livelihoods with sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation projects, such as: • establish school gardens • plant cacao seedlings • build ecologically friendly toilets • construct improved chicken coops • repair fences At each site, you share a typical Belizean lunch with a family from the community. Connect with the people and culture of Belize on this unique tour into the unspoiled Toledo District in Southern Belize. Visit caves, Mayan ruins, waterfalls, and rainforests. Assist local villages with sustainable agriculture projects. English is the national language, so nothing is lost in translation. Your itinerary is based at an acclaimed eco-resort nestled between old growth rainforest and the tranquil Moho River. Your Accommodation: You will stay in private wood and thatched roof cabanas. Each cabana is fully mosquito-screened and equipped with ceiling fan, private bathroom, hot shower, drinking water, hand-woven textiles, and 24-hour electricity. Meals: Breakfast and dinner is eaten in the Main Lodge. Menus incorporate a fusion of American and Belizean flavors, taking advantage of fresh local seafood and produce from the on-site organic garden. Breakfast is a hot buffet, lunch is a picnic on tour or prepared by host families at volunteer sites, and dinner is a five-course plated meal. Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated. The bar is open daily, and serves a selection of beers, wines and cocktails. Sample Itinerary (Saturday is the best day for this itinerary to begin and international flights must arrive by 4pm to make the domestic connection.) Day 1: Arrive Belize International Airport (BZE) and transfer to your local flight to Punta Gorda. Evening orientation and dinner at jungle lodge. Day 2: In the morning, travel to Blue Creek Village to visit Tumul K’in Center of Learning, a unique residential high school focused on preserving Maya culture. Explore the grounds, meet the students, and observe classes like marimba or basket weaving. Enjoy a picnic lunch alongside the river, then hike to stunning and unusual Blue Creek Cave, where you will swim through limestone caverns to the source of the Moho River. When the school is in session, they welcome visitors on Sundays to observe their culture classes. Day 3: Drive to the nearby Maya village of Santa Anna. Learn to make corn tortillas from scratch with a Mayan homemaker. Return to the lodge for a Kekchi Maya language lesson, and enjoy a free afternoon on the grounds. Activities available include swimming, kayaking, and horseback riding. Days 4, 5, 6: Commence your meaningful service projects in villages around the Toledo District, to introduce sustainable agriculture techniques as an alternative to slash and burn farming, along with improving local nutrition and economic prospects. You can help to provide farming families in Central America with the training and tools to overcome poverty while restoring our planet’s tropical forests. Work side-by-side with villagers on projects which may include building wood conserving stoves, establishing school gardens, planting cacao seedlings, building ecological toilets, constructing improved chicken coops, or repairing fences. At each site, volunteers will share a typical Belizean lunch with a family from their host community. As English is the official language of Belize, you will have unparalleled opportunities to make connections with the communities they are assisting. Day 7: Free day to relax at the lodge or go on an optional tour. You may choose to join one of the daily tours offered by the lodge, including jumping off the cliffs at Rio Blanco waterfall, visiting Lubaantun Ruins, exploring Tiger Cave, participating in a medicinal plant walk, or making chocolate at the lodges’ own chocolate factory. Ocean excursions, including snorkeling, diving, and sailing, can also be arranged through the lodge for an additional fee. Day 8: Departure. Transfer to Punta Gorda Airstrip, domestic flight to Belize City International Airport, and connect to flights home. Travel Style: 4-5 Star Luxury Volunteer Travel Experience Volunteer Activities: Environmental, Community Development Double Occupancy USD $2990 Single Supplement $1850 Please note: This trip is not available from 1 August until 25 October due to the rainy season making travel very difficult Included: Round-trip domestic airfare between Belize City International Airport (BZE) and Punta Gorda (PND) All ground transportation within Belize $150 donation per participant to the Volunteer Program All meals, (7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners) Unlimited drinking water Activities as mentioned in itinerary: Tumul K’in Center of Learning, Blue Creek Cave, Tortilla Making, Kekchi Language Lesson, Volunteer Projects, optional tour on Day 7 Tax Not Included: International Air Fare Gratuities Alcoholic beverages Snorkeling, diving, or sailing excursions, check out this link :


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