PUNTA GORDA, BELIZE
Information: The group will fly directly from Houston to Belize City, and then travel by rental van to Punta Gorda. Punta Gorda is about a 4-5 hour drive from Belize City, is in one of the poorest districts of Toledo in Belize. Over the past years, especially since Hurricane Iris destroyed wide parts of the Toledo District in 2001, more and more requests for help were brought to the attention of St. Peter Claver Parish. Possible projects range from construction jobs, working in schools, and working with the parish's Socio-Economic Outreach (http://socio-economicoutreach.org/main/page_home.html) in the surrounding Mayan villages. Students will also visit with the people in the village, experiencing a whole new culture. Our past jobs have included rebuilding and painting a library in the local community. Past students that have gone on this trip have experienced an awakening of the ways of life as they saw it first-hand. Students will also have the opportunity to immerse in the local culture of the Belizeans, exchange meaningful conversations with teens and adults as well as play with the kids in the local surrounding community. This trip was originally run in July, but now in June to do projects with kids while still in school during June.
Things in Belize run at a different pace and with a different idea of organization and efficiency than we are used to in the US. Some of the best experiences are in simply spending time with the people you serve.
Boarding and Lodging: We will be hosted at the parish guesthouse of St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit parish. Rooms are bunk-style. Daily breakfast and dinner are in-house provided or prepared by the ‘local chefs’ while lunch is PBJs at work site. Other options available for eating dinner out at a local home in the community, or at a restaurant, both are relatively inexpensive. Water is bottled and is safe to drink.
Excursion Information: Towards the end of the ‘work week’, the group will enjoy a weekend cultural excursion to some of the neighboring sites for zip lining, swimming, etc. The location of the parish is near to the sea, so students will have a chance to swim after a tiring day.
Trip Costs: $1600/student. The cost includes all travel expenses, most food and lodging, and program fees. Other personal expenses will include some personal additional costs. 15 students max and 3 chaperones.
Dates: June 21 - 28