In 2008 Trekforce Worldwide are running a fantastic expedition to Belize in Central America. This will consist of a challenging two-month conservation project, including an intensive Jungle Training course (crucial for working in this extreme and challenging environment), a 6 week project phase and a spectacular and remote week long trek in the heart of the rainforest. You can then extend your experience with an additional one-month intensive Spanish language course in North East Guatemala and a two month teaching placement. As if that wasn't enough, at the end of any part of the expedition, you can learn to dive on some of the most pristine reef systems in the world!
The project phase is the core of every Trekforce Worldwide expedition. Before the project phase can begin, every volunteer will participate in jungle training .
Project phase: Along with 2 qualified and experienced expedition leaders and 2 expedition medics, your team has the first challenge of getting to your project site, by a combination of truck, aircraft, boat and foot. Teams may have to trek for several hours or more to reach their project site, as they can often be based in remote locations. The first task is then to organise the base camp, often set deep in the jungle, surrounded by beautiful scenery and exotic wildlife. This will become home for the next few weeks.
Your team will then start work on your project, which will be completed by the end of the expedition. All the projects are organised on behalf of one of our many partners overseas, such as local NGOs, international scientific organisations, community groups and occasionally government departments, such as the Ministry for Forestry. The type of project you complete might be infrastructural work, such as trail clearing or building satellite camps, bird watching towers, boardwalks, overnight shelter for rangers or breeding units for wildlife rehabilitation. Alternative projects might include assisting scientists with tree planting, data collection and other research support. No skills or experience are required, as you will be trained by the expedition leaders and locally employed staff during the project.
One of your most rewarding moments will be at the final opening ceremony, where your Trekforce team officially hand over the finished project to the partner organisation, so that it can be put to its intended use.
Rest and relaxation:
During your project phase, your team may have some time to explore and enjoy the amazing area that you are working in. This may take the form of treks to waterfalls or swimming areas, visits to unihabited islands, or trips to traditional villages for friendly football matches! After you complete your project, we make sure you have time to relax and look forward to the spectacular final party (locations are secret but always amazing!). From here, you will either continue on to one of the extra phases, leave for your own independent travel or return to the UK .
During the 2-month projects, small groups are taken off for 5 to 10 days to explore the jungle, navigating their way through uncharted rainforest. There are still areas here with blanks on the map, despite it being a relatively small country. Trekking is a great way to experience some untouched habitats and wildlife, and to get a greater feel for the region as a whole. Working with local guides, Trekforce Worldwide is able to take you to parts of the country that no other traveller could ever reach on their own. Many of the trekking areas are inaccessible to anyone other than scientists, local communities and the project partners themselves. As you are moving through deep jungle in small groups with knowledgeable guides, it is often easier to spot some of the more elusive wildlife, as you tiptoe through its natural habitat.
Living with host families, you will have one on one Spanish language lessons at a local language school. The lessons will last for 4 weeks. This phase give you a chance to really immerse yourself in Belizean culture as you live with a local family with a fellow volunteer.
A 2 month teaching placement in Belize is an opportunity to immerse yourself in Belizean culture. This is the final phase of your expedition and a rewarding way to end an unforgettable 5 months!
We make sure we speak to you during your expedition to find out exactly what kind of school you want to be placed in. All of the schools are in need of teaching assistance, but you will find that some can be an half an hour from the nearest town while others can be a 4 hour bus journey away. They will all be as challenging as each other; all you have to decide is which environment appeals most!
Past volunteers have assisted with anything from art to English to sports days and starting up school newspapers. This is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the school you visit.