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Volunteering Abroad in Belize

For such a tiny place, Belize packs a big punch. Few countries fill so much fun into such a small area, making Belize a great all-in-one destination not only for scenery and adventure, but also for opportunities to contribute something meaningful during your stay. From the rainforests to the tropical islands, the animals you see and the people you meet will make for an unforgettable time. After you volunteer abroad in Belize, you’re sure to leave a part of yourself behind to live forever in this beautiful country.

Where to Volunteer Abroad in Belize

Located on the northeastern coast of Central America, Belize enjoys the same lush tropical climate that attracts beachcombers and jungle adventurers to the region throughout the year. Its northernmost territory shares a small section of the Yucatan Peninsula with Mexico. The culture is very relaxed and welcoming, and the landscape offers wide expanses of beach and dense tropical forests covering rugged mountain ranges. Here are the best places to volunteer in Belize.

San Ignacio. This bustling cultural-economic hub lies on the banks of the Macal River in central Belize near the border of Guatemala. Here you can explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Caracol, marvel at the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, and trek through the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. It’s also a popular destination for volunteers who are interested in archaeology, anthropology and cave digging.

Belize City. This formal capital reaches out from Haulover Creek on the coast of Belize. From urban activities to adventurous endeavors, volunteers are in for a treat here. Whether you’re interested in bustling markets or discovering the Mayan city of Altun Ha, you’ll never tire of things to do. The Blue Hole, a sinkhole just off the coast of Belize, calls daredevils to explore its mysterious depths.

Caye Caulker. This limestone coral island is located off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean sea. The tranquil location is accessible only by water taxi or plane, and it’s a popular place for volunteers interested in learning how to be a wilderness first responder. For those interested in conserving sea creatures, go ahead and dive into the depths of the second largest reef in the world — the Belize Barrier Reef!

How to Volunteer in Belize

The steep rise in conservation interests across Belize, along with the fact that it is still very much a developing country, creates a wide range of options for volunteers hoping to make a meaningful contribution. Here are some of the most popular volunteer projects in Belize:

Teaching English in Belize can be found within existing public school settings or in programs seeking to enhance children’s knowledge in a particular subject. Gaining exposure to different cultures and having a chance to practice their English can inject new excitement and enthusiasm into a classroom.

As a country steeped in Mayan history, Belize continues to unearth artifacts from its ancient past. Archaeologists, anthropologists, and experts of ancient cultures continue to explore the region’s rich history and piece together the stories that have resulted into today’s Belize. These projects often require volunteers who are patient enough to take part in the painstaking search for tiny artifacts and physical clues.

If you’re more comfortable using a brush to paint rather than dust off artifacts, consider the hands-on volunteer option in community development. Since many economic resources are invested in expanding the infrastructure of tourist areas, rural communities often go without the resources needed for maintenance.

Costs of Volunteering in Belize

Volunteering in Belize won’t cost an arm and a leg here. You’ll need to shell out the most portion of your trip for airfare and your program fee. From support to housing to food to in-country transportation, your program fee will cover all of these and ensure that you’re getting the most out of Belize at the same time. Scholarships and help from family and friends via FundMyTravel can help cover the big chunks.

Accommodations in Belize

From bunking with other international volunteers in hostels to staying with local families in homestays, you’re not short on options!

If you’re participating in more rural programs, you’ll be lucky enough to sleep in a tent under the stars in the jungle canopy. In most programs, however, you’ll likely be staying with a host family, where you’ll be immersing yourself in the day-to-day life of Belize’s culture of food, traditions, and language (while also saving on accommodation costs).

Visas for Belize

You’ll need your passport, proof of your program and sufficient funds, and return airline tickets if you plan on volunteering in Belize for less than 30 days. If you’re staying longer, you’ll need to apply for a visa, and your program coordinator can help you make the arrangements. You can get the ball rolling with what you’ll need by visiting GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Volunteers may find themselves in the middle of an ecotourism project that could prove critical to a local community. Locals are trying to better understand the expectations of tourists while balancing priorities of their village.

Depending on the time of year you go, you’ll need to keep in mind the weather. Like most other Caribbean destinations, Belize’s climate can be broken into two general weather conditions: wet and dry.

When you open your mind and heart to things that are genuinely foreign to you while volunteering in Belize, your horizons will widen exponentially.

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Volunteering Abroad in Belize

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This four-week camp (split into 2 two-week sessions) gives you the chance to use your film production skills to empower at-risk youth in the city of San Ignacio, Belize, locally known as Cayo. You will share your knowledge to guide the film camp students in producing films that will be shared through online media throughout Belize.

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Located in Central America on the Caribbean coast between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is a biodiversity hotspot. Living at a research station on Caye Caulker, you will dive in some of the most exclusive sites in the world, and help create baseline conservation data for the ongoing protection of this unique and beautiful marine ecosystem.

Frontier Belize
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Take part in community development work in Belize through Kaya Responsible Travel volunteer programs. Placements are set in the town of San Ignacio, and focus on projects from counseling women and children and building shelters for victims of domestic violence to medical and hospital assistance. Placements are available for individuals, families, and couples, but participants must be at least 1...

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Volunteer with award winning Pod Volunteer in the beautiful relaxed country of Belize which is nestled on the Caribbean coastline. Volunteers are needed to give a helping hand supporting the team of local caregivers at the Children’s Home project. For animal and conservation lovers, there are opportunities to join a Caribbean Conservation, Reef Conservation and a Caribbean Wildlife project.

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Projects Abroad in Belize offers the opportunity for volunteers to work in care center and kindergartens around the city of Placencia. The Care project is open volunteers of all ages ranging from those on a gap year, career break, or just anyone looking for a meaningful travel experience during a vacation. On this project, volunteers will contribute to the educational development of children in...

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A Broader View's program in Belize is perfect for participants who have a soft spot for children. Volunters can teach and nurture 45 children from babies to seven-year-olds in a local orphanage. Participant tasks include light manual labor since the Care Center has its own garden and farm.

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Volunteer as a Mayan Medic and explore Belize through this international volunteer opportunity offered by Gapforce. Usually lasting for two weeks to one month, these programs allow individuals to learn more about the local people while making a difference in their communities.

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Earn valuable volunteer experience in the Central American country of Belize with Toucan Education Programs. Participants may be placed in one of several sectors, including education, healthcare, and community development. The program includes board and lodging, roundtrip airport transfer, and two organized excursions.

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How do you want to experience our world? Join us for a life-changing, overland journey thought the cultural heart of Central America: Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. On our Central America Semester, you'll travel in a fun, safe and supportive group of 14 students with two instructors to facilitate and mentor your experience. You'll get involved in rewarding service lear...

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The Central American jewel of Belize is home to two primate species: black howler (Alouatta pigra), and Geoffroy's spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), both of which are globally endangered. Yet all too often these primates are bought and sold as illegal pets, endangering their health and the species' survival in the wild. The Primate Rehabilitation Internship project places you with a Belizean...