click to dismiss

Please logged in to see pending comments.


| Lost password

Search: Belize

Users matching 'Belize':
Items with tags matching 'Belize':

I got 99 Problems and Money is 1!   (published in Belize)

November 24, 2017 by   Comments(0)

, , ,

It's almost the end of the year, and we are roughly a month away from 2018! I could hardly wait to go to Belize. Although I was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to Worcester, Massachusetts at the age of 9, this will be my first time going "abroad" or be away from home. The trip is absolutely costly, majority of which go towards the flight and to the organization itself because projects wouldn't be possible without the financial support from outside sources. Because essentially, what's the point of volunteering/interning when you have nowhere to volunteer in? Projects Abroad provides that opportunity but being able to start projects in a country, AND having paid staff who overlooks these projects, is unquestionably not free.


Well... here's what I ended up doing: 


(The above photo is a screenshot of my Fundraising Page on Facebook.) 

I was looking over my budget and realized that I would simply run short. However, it doesn't hurt to reach out to family, friends, co-workers, loved ones, who will support you through your endeavors. Hence why I humbly began a fundraising page on Facebook. It's a great platform for fundraising (minus the fees and taxes which I totally  despise). A fundraising page on Facebook is basically equal to an events page because you get to invite people whom are already on your friends list. You could also promote it by sharing the page on your newsfeed as much as you'd like, AND update your supporters every now and then. It's awesome! So I highly suggest utilizing Facebook because it maximizes the reach of social media. 

So anyways, as of today, I am approximately 3 weeks away from the deadline of dues, and in less than TWO weeks I've raised about 45% of my total goal, almost halfway there! I am so overwhelmed by the love and support!!! There are immensely kind people everywhere and it never hurts to ask for assistance, for as long as you remain grateful! 

(0 from 0 votes)
I got 99 Problems and Money is 1!
I got 99 Problems and Money is 1!

Things to Do in San Pedro, Belize!   (published in Belize)

October 7, 2016 by   Comments(0)

, , , , ,


Belize is commonly known as the "jewel" for its sheer untouched beauty. Even Madonna fell in love with Belize - ever heard her song "La Isla Bonita"? That song is all about San Pedro!!

Volunteers should definintely take advantage that they are working and living in the #1 Destination in all of Central America, according to TripAdvisor awards. 

Here are the top activities to do while in San Pedro:

1) Snorkel Hol Chaan Marine Reserve and swim with sharks and rays at Shark Ray Alley. You can book with one of the many tour companies on the island, or grab a few other volunteers and get a private boat charter for almost the same price! 

2) Have a beach bbq! Many private charter guides will take you on a sandy beach and bbq lobster, fish, shrimp, or chicken on a grill right in front of you. 

3) Visit the neighbouring island of Caye Caulker for an extremely GO SLOW, RELAXED weekend. Play corn hole on the beach or relax at the Split. 

4) Visit a Mayan Ruin! Take a short flight or boat ride to the city whereby a guide will pick you up and drive two hours into the West side fo Belize. You can visit Xunantunich, go cave tubing, or zip lining! From beach to jungle in one day. 

5) Watch an outdoor movie at the Truck Stop - our favourite place to do weekly volunteer workshops! 


We hope you enjoy all of our suggestions, but to be honest we have NO DOUBT that you will love Belize!!!!! 

(0 from 0 votes)
Things to Do in San Pedro, Belize!
Things to Do in San Pedro, Belize!

Independence Day and Diving   (published in Belize)

September 22, 2016 by   Comments(1)

, , , ,

Today is the 35th anniversary of Belize' independence from Great Britain. They are taking their celebration seriously, at least here in Placencia. We have a good time on and around the 4th of July at home, but I think maybe because Belize is so young (in the official sense), Independence Day is still a Big Deal. I'm taking notes. We could use a little of their vivacity.

Last night, the celebrations started with a little music at the pier, but it was pretty quiet after dinner. The real party started around 10 PM at Street Feet, the local night club. I rolled out of bed to watch the midnight fireworks from the kitchen window (yay!), but the rest of town apparently partied all night until they left around 5:30 AM , at which point they had an impromptu parade through town! After a few hours of sleep, the real parade was to convene at the Placencia airstrip maybe 5 km north of the point where Projects Abroad is located. Too hot for me, though. I slept in and was confident it would take several hours for the parade to get down here. The gossip at Dawn's Grill 'n' Go was that the parade would get there at 3ish. That is a long time of parading. We grabbed our swimming gear and cameras just after 3 and started walking north, and sure enough, the parade was approaching the Tipsy Tuna by 3:30. Most of the participants were still managing to dance, too, despite the heat. I jumped in the sea at the next available opportunity. I am guessing the revelers did the same when they reached the pier and the end of the parade route.

Some kind of mini plague has taken out Celso, our conservation manager and dive master; Jon, and me, so our final trip to Little Water Caye has been postponed until Friday. Tomorrow we're going to do some work at the local school, which I am looking forward to after moping around and coughing for days. After that, we pack up for what I hope is a shortened 3 day dive trip rather than going until Monday, as honestly, I am not good at being smelly and salty for that long in one go. I need to toughen up. Also the sand flies are not nice and Deep Woods Off has minimal effect. Tomorrow I hope to hit up the pharmacy when it is actually open and see if they have the elusive and legendary Sand Fly Bye Bye.

I think I mentioned the basics of Little Water Caye previously, with the ranger station/house, the dive "shop," and the caretaker house. There is also Princess, the resident dog. She must still be a puppy, because she's cute but insists on chewing your limbs at all opportunities. The station is on stilts with the kitchen and 3 hammocks below and bunks and common room above. It has solar panels, so we could use the laptop and projector to study corals during the day. And we could use fans, thank goodness. Celso said the power would go out during the night, most likely, as we only have 4 batteries, but we got lucky and my fan stayed on through the morning. A ranger from S.E.A. (the Southern Environmental Association) is living there at all times, and they patrol the surrounding water and cayes. They somehow have cell phone reception even though they don't have running water, so at least they don't go crazy.

Last Thursday, we did a swimming skills test in the morning and dive skills in the afternoon, pretty tiring. Friday morning, it stormed for quite a while, but cleared up right before our scheduled morning dive. Sort of. It rained on the way out and the waves were big, conditions I was not used to after lessons at the sheltered Laughing Bird Caye. So I admit I was pretty scared and took a while to get in the water and suited up. Thankfully the light was pretty good by the time we descended. Once you get under the waves, it's calm enough. We saw nurse sharks, Jon spotted a big green eel (I'm okay with missing that one), and I think I spotted a barracuda. But really, the smallest fish can be the most flashy. I stared eye to eye at some tiny googly iridescent thing for while by the anchor kine as Jon and Celso went off to spear some lionfish(!) after our second dive of the day. I'm a little bit too soft to spear a living thing, I guess, but mostly I had no intention of carrying around a spear while scuba diving, safety tip or not.

Lionfish are cool looking if not pretty, but they are an invasive species from the Pacific and they are decimating the local species' population by sucking up the juvenile fish by the ton. They also breed constantly, so divers, including tourists, do their part to help by spearing them on sight. Sometimes they feed the lionfish to nearby nurse sharks. The idea is to get the sharks to like the taste of lionfish to introduce a predator to the situation. However, some nurse sharks have instead come to rely on the lionfish buffet and just follow scuba divers around waiting for a handout. Folks are also hoping people will get a taste for lionfish and are starting to serve them in restaurants. However, around here, I've only seen Rumfish y Vino with lionfish on the menu (in crudo form), so I haven't tried it yet. I'll report back if I ever get to eat some.

(0 from 0 votes)
Independence Day and Diving
Independence Day and Diving

A Week (and Change) Down   (published in Belize)

September 16, 2016 by   Comments(0)

, ,

We've been in Belize a bit over a week now, and the work days have been busy. We arrived Thursday afternoon in time for lunch. Linda was kind enough to pick us up from the tiny airport (the size of a school portable, for those from Montague) and show us around town a bit before dropping us at the office. Grecia, another coordinator, took us to lunch and after showing us around a bit more, we landed at the Tipsy Tuna. :) Many restaurants here are closed for the low tourist season, but Tipsy has been a fun place to hang out.

I'll talk more about the town later, as I don't have long on this computer with a proper keyboard! We're staying in little cabanas that are still under construction(!), but they're near the point where the public pier and the Projects Abroad office is located. The PA office is a spare room in the local fisherman's co-op.

On Friday, we took a boat down to Monkey River, about 40 minutes' ride south of Placencia. They're experiencing massive erosion and we worked with some of the local men to fill and place concrete sandbags around some of the houses that are most in danger. They've lost hundreds of feet of land, including their football field. One of the houses we tried to shore up has already lost at least one of its cement support pillars. I hope the sandbags help slow down the erosion enough to come up with a bigger, more permanent solution...because it will take many, many more sandbags to make a breakwater big enough and strong enough to halt the problem.

Between the Monkey River boat trip and dive outings, we've seen 2 types of dolphins and a pair of manatees.

This weekend was the celebration of the Battle of St. George's Caye, so we mostly wandered around the village and swam while enjoying music at the pier and watching the weigh-ins of a big fishing contest. More to come on that later if I can upload photos.

Monday we started scuba training in the PA office, going through the entire PADI manual and videos. Tuesday and Wednesday, we went out with our dive instructor, Warren, to do the real thing. It was tough for me. I love to swim, but getting used to the regulator was a slow process, and I was very anxious about doing the safety dive skills such as practicing mask removal and clearing. I get scared when I can't see! I did manage to acquire my SCUBA diver certification by the end of Wednesday, rather than the open water certification, so today we joined the team out on Little Water Caye for more diving.

Little Water Caye is an island about an hour away from Placencia. It's small, with a ranger station, a dive shop, and a caretaker's cottage. (I'm not really sure what the caretaker does! Maybe maintenance on the solar panels and water system?)

Various cayes have ranger stations staffed by S.E.A. (Southern Environmental Assocation), which is the Belizean organization that Projects Abroad's conservation project works with.

And...out of time. Photos and more info about the dives to come!

(0 from 0 votes)
A Week (and Change) Down
A Week (and Change) Down
new album


Danielle 530 days ago

It can't possibly be 9:30 PM.   (published in Belize)

September 7, 2016 by   Comments(0)

, , , , , ,

Thank goodness we don't have an early flight tomorrow or I'd really be panicking right now.


This isn't my first rodeo (traveling abroad) and it's not even my first attempt at A) packing light for an extended trip while B) being prepared for outdoorsy things. However, Japan and New Zealand are about as safe as can be, health-wise. Prepping for this Belize conservation trip, I find myself with a much heavier suitcase than usual. It all fits though, so far--as if I'm really done packing, ho ho--so I'm feeling pretty good about this.


Abbreviated packing list of the more unusual gear:

1. Impregnated mosquito net - I'm on a budget, so instead of buying a pre-treated net from REI or Amazon like a reasonable person, I bought a cheaper, well reviewed non-treated net and a big bottle of Sawyer's permethrin spray. That stuff is serious business. I wore gloves and a facemask. I only hope I actually covered the whole net, because it was not easy to lay it out on the ol' balcony. Also you can't really tell when a mosquito net is wet. BONUS: Since I went this route, I also was able to treat what I call my trekking gear: my lone long sleeved shirt and long pants, and a bandana. I would love to not get the Zika virus while I'm trying to find howler monkeys and jaguars in the jungle.

2. Sleeping bag liner - This is suggested for weekend trips. Why, I wondered. I'm not going camping, that's for sure. I don't even like camping up here in the Great White North where the bugs are normal-sized and squashable. The internet tells me sleeping bag liners are a good idea if you're staying in hostels. They can help protect you from bed bugs. That brings me to...

3. Bed bug repellent - Not actually on the packing list. I got this at BB&B and sprayed my luggage because I can't even...Please no bed bugs.

4. Flashlight, first aid kit, antiseptic wipes - I always bring a few bandaids, safety pins, that sort of thing. Now I'm starting to get nervous so I have a LOT of bandaids, a few gauze pads, antiseptic and baby wipes, first aid cream, cortizone cream, blister bandages, safety pins, prescription traveler's...stomach stuff, Pepto, Immodium...

5. Strong insect repellent - Blast, I can only find 25% DEET Deep Woods Off, or teeny tiny Off spritz bottles of 100% DEET. 100%? Maybe you only have to spray yourself once and that's it for the rest of your life. I will buy more bug spray in Belize when I inevitably run out of 50 SPF sunscreen.


We're staying at volunteers' flat (one apartment for the girls, another flat for the boys) in the village, so how bad could the bugs be? Maybe I'll hold off on any weekend trips into the jungle until I've gotten used to the area. Speaking of, we'll be in Placencia, in the Stann Creek District of southern Belize. The Placencia Penninsula has resorts toward the northern end and Placencia Village, where we'll be staying, is part tourism, part fishing village. It sounds like everything we'll need (restaurants, post office, supermarket, internet cafe) are within walking distance. No internet in the flat, so updates here may be sporadic!


As for what we're doing, we start off with Research Diver Skills training. I assume this is weather permitting and I am praying that we're not stuck on land the whole time creating save the reef presentations because it's the rainy season :( Once we're certified, we'll be collecting field data and working with the Southern Environmental Association (SEA). I figure there's also going to be the less glamorous work of data entry and education related stuff. But hopefully we're able to be on the water most of the time!


On the weekends off, I'm hoping to visit Xunantunich to the west, and/or maybe Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun to the south in the Toledo district. Very excited about Mayan ruins. The Cockscomb Basin jaguar preserve also sounds cool, even though I'm sure we won't actually spot a (nocturnal) jaguar. I'd settle for howler monkeys and tropical birds! And, of course, snorkeling would be awesome, if we haven't gotten our fill of marine life during the work week.


This ended up being a long post, considering I haven't left home! I'll do my best to post multiple times per week and will include photos depending on the internet and computer situation in Placencia. Here's hoping for a smooth set of flights for the next two days.

(0 from 0 votes)
It can't possibly be 9:30 PM.
It can't possibly be 9:30 PM.

Crazy Things People Say When You Tell Them That You’re Going to Mexico:   (published in Mexico)

January 23, 2012 by   Comments(0)

, , , , , , , , ,

  • HAHAHAHA! ...Oh, you're being serious?
  • Wait, did you mean to say New Mexico?
  • How did your immunizations go?
  • I’ve been to Belize. That’s in Mexico, right?
  • Don’t forget to bring bribe money.
  • Don’t drink the water.
  • Don’t touch the dogs.
  • Don't get mugged.
  • Don’t get abducted.
  • Don’t get stabbed.
  • Don’t get shot.
  • Don’t die.
  • Can you bring me some tequila?

And now a disclaimer: Just want to clarify that this post is not meant to mock Mexico, the country where I'll be volunteering, or America, the county where I'm from. It's meant to make fun of people's odd remarks, skewed perceptions and inappropriate stereotypes about different countries. I wanted to share this because I thought other ProjectAbroad volunteers would find it funny and relatable. Do you find it relatable? Tell me...

What kind of crazy things did people say to you when you told them that you were going abroad?

(0 from 0 votes)
Crazy Things People Say When You Tell Them That You’re Going to Mexico:
Crazy Things People Say When You Tell Them That You’re Going to Mexico: