IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATION (Days 1-4)
Begin your adventure at the lush orientation site of Clarissa Falls, nestled in the tropical Macal River Valley. Climb the towering ruins of Xunantunich, built nearly 2000 years ago in the Golden Age of the Mayan civilization. As you walk along the Macal River, look for iguanas along the banks or Mayan women hand-washing their laundry. Relax in pristine natural pools and navigate your way by canoe through huge limestone caves in search of ancient pottery shards offering just a glimpse into Belize’s rich history and culture. Learn the basics of a new language during beginner Spanish classes taught by a colorful storyteller.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE
You are welcomed with a village-wide celebration when you arrive in your host community, set within the highlands of the Cayo district. While the official language of Belize is English, some Belizeans in this region speak only Spanish. Sharing the rituals of daily life with your community presents a rewarding opportunity to foster meaningful connections as you practice Spanish. Make homemade corn tortillas alongside your host mother, explore nearby waterfalls or return from the market with an armful of fresh mangoes for your friends on the worksite. Spend your days working with community members on a collaborative service projects: such as planting a garden, painting a mural or running a day camp.
TRAVEL ADVENTURES (Days 17-21)
Spend your final days relaxing with your group on the coast of the Caribbean Cayes. Guided by knowledgeable reef ecologists, explore parts of the 150 miles of coral reef that line the coast of Belize. Splash in remarkably clear blue waters, venture out on a catamaran boat and snorkel by day and night amidst schools of electric blue parrot fish, sixty pound groupers and formations of fan coral. The beauty, warmth and relaxed pace on these Caribbean islands set the perfect tone to celebrate a summer of adventure, hard work, friendship and fun.