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Toucan Education Programs

About

Serve. Learn. Explore: Study Abroad in Belize with Toucan Education Programs (TEP).

TEP's programs include international internships and volunteer placements in Belize along with Service-Learning programming.

As a Belizean based social enterprise , the work we do is personal as it affects the people of our country. Our programs are student and community centered for the greater good of all involved. TEP's support services to all program participants is simply outstanding.

Study Abroad in Belize with TEP for a truly life changing experience.

Founded
2010
Headquarters

Mile 68 George Price Highway
San Ignacio, Cayo District
Belize

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Reviews

ChrisTindle
Chris
10/10

While the service learning was not academically challenging; that was not the point of this experience. Instead, the time in Belize revolved around experience, cultural identity, and a celebration of others cultural identities. Throughout my stay we visited the San Ignacio Marketplace, we visited Xunatunich, an ancient Mayan Temple, we cooked with Garifuna and Kriol people some of their traditional foods and it was incredible. This, in addition to, we painted classrooms for some of the most joyous kids I've ever seen. They were so full of life and curiosity; very indicative of the Belizean people as a whole. Everywhere we went we were asked as many questions about where we were from as we asked the locals. Overall it was an incredible experience and we did so much more than can be mentioned in a single review.

How can this program be improved?
I would love to see more of a focus on the Garifuna and Kriol people that inhabit Belize. As a black man; it was very important to see cultural representation outside of the United States. It was very important for me to see people of color outside of the normal standards of the United States. I think it would have been nice to delve deeper into the differences of our black culture versus the Belizean black culture.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Marquis
10/10

Studying abroad with TEP was my first time out if the country. My FIRST TIME ON A PLANE. I have always been afraid to fly but I am so glad I tackled that fear this past summer (2018) because the experience was amazing. The diversity of the cultures, the tropical environment, and let us not forget about the FOOD all was great. I cannot wait to go back to Belize. Our endeavors while there gave us real-life experience with people who are different but, everyone there accepted us with one arms. I learned so much more about the world because of this eye opening experience. Ms. Rhondine, Ms. Abbiola, Mr. Roberto, and Ms. Elissa treated our cohort so well. Thank you soooooo much for the opportunity.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Katie
10/10

I went as college staff with a group of students and I could not have been more impressed with the support we received and the people that we met. Our students did not want to leave! We made so many connections and memories, and I saw a lot of individual growth in our students-- some of whom had never even traveled on a plane! Wonderful food, top-notch service, and really wonderful people met along every step of the way, from the program providers themselves to the people we were put in contact with. There was something for everyone in this experience, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has never traveled internationally before as a first experience (though I would recommend it to veteran travelers as well!)

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kiara
10/10

During the 2nd semester of my MAT program, I lost my grandmother, whom had adopted me. After that, keeping up with my daily demands had become so hard. I was used to being ambitious, but that mourning process truly slowed me down.

The moment I arrived to Belize, I started to lift out of that fog. The beautiful flowers and birds created my very own fairy tale. My guide, David, showed me how to bird watch as we were leaving the airport. Already, that one experience taught me how to patiently open my eyes to experience the world around me. I hadn't even made it the apartment yet.

I ate daily at Erva's Restaurant. I looked forward to getting off from my Internship just to hang out. Any time I felt homesick, I knew I could walk into Erva's and feel right at home.

I transitioned from taking a cab to walking. I thought about it for a long time, but wasn't brave enough to try it until one day one of my students walked passed me on her way to school dressed in her uniform. She waved, smiled, and said, "Mornin Miss!". So, I quit waiting for a taxi and walked with her. That morning, I saw how beautiful Belize was. As the people slowly hurried for work, walking to and fro. Neighbors, mothers, and sons were all dressed in their best and you got a sensation that made you ready to contribute to helping this town develop. I walked every morning after that. And every morning, I had time with myself, time with God, time with nature, and the best smiles and "Mornins" I could ask for. I was connected with the universe. I was at peace. The more I walked the more I felt at home because I would see the same faces everyday.

It was interesting working in Belize. I faced challenges that have made my job in the states a piece of cake. As a student teacher, I was faced with adjusting to not having technology, and working in the heat, plus keeping students engaged. I was so determined to be an effective educator, and impressed by the creativity of the culture, that I learned how to be creative and problem solve. This has been the most valuable skill that has helped me in my professional development. I became so in tune with nature and the universe. Through the excursions that took me on ancient reserves and through caves, I realized just how long civilization has existed. From this, I gained tranquility as I accepted that my journey is just that, a journey. I wanted to always feel that sense of tranquility and gratitude, so I practiced keeping it with me at all times.

St. Ignatius was also a huge part of my experience. My co-workers went out of their way to ensure that I enjoyed the land and culture the way they do everyday. I was spoiled with love, support, rich cultural knowledge and awakening history. They explained so much about their culture to me without taking any offense to my questions. I was sent off with a beautiful cake and a funny video of it being smashed in my face. I couldn’t ask for a better work experience.

Mrs. Rhondine Petrof, was the best support system I could have asked for during my first time abroad. She often took time out of her busy schedule just to ask how I was doing. She was an excellent listener and validated my emotions, always offering support and advice. Any turbulence I experienced, Mrs. Rhondine took initiative as if it was happening to her. I felt very safe. Her ultimate goal was for me to have a high value experience of the culture, I did just that. I have not once regretted this experience. I plan to visit the friends and family I made there as soon as possible. It really was a dream come true!

How can this program be improved?
My experience was of such high value and personalized. I have no suggestions for improvements.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sara
10/10

I was presented an opportunity toward the end of my undergrad to live in Belize for a month while conducting research.

It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life thus far. I gained relationships & memories with people that I am confident will last a lifetime. A part of my heart will always live there and I cannot wait to go back. Toucan Education Program ensured they understood where my interests were and fashioned an experience/program that allowed optimal growth as a student, researcher, and plainly, as a human being.

If you are interested in studying abroad, expanding your knowledge through experience, and meeting amazing/hardworking/inspiring humans that are the people of Toucan Education System & Belizeans don't hesitate to reach out and ask me questions on my experience. [email protected] 🇧🇿🙏🏼✨

Yes, I recommend this program

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