Eco-Health and Service with the Mayans in Belize

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About

Increased migration to Belize has increased tensions between Belizean and immigrant communities. Despite increased tension, immigrant communities are trying to retain their Maya cultural identity, in the face of resistance from the government and lack of integration, political representation, and cultural respect. We are working with Maya communities in Southern Belize to improve the standard of living by addressing these primary issues.  Our educational focus is on the cultural impacts of immigration to other countries and preservation of traditions and customs.

Students in this program will explore the native landscape and culture; including visits to the Mayan ruins, traditional medicine, meetings with local organizations, hikes to natural wonders, ethnic cuisine, and snorkeling in one of the world's largest living barrier reefs. 

Highlights
  • Learn about Traditional Mayan Medicine
  • Visit the Ancient Mayan Ruins!
  • Snorkel in one of the world's largest living Coral Reefs!
  • Revitalize the Medina Bank community center with our community partners
  • Live at the rustic Mayan Green Forest Adventures Lodge

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

10 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • Impact 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
Sydney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Program! Highly Recommend!

I attended 7 Element's Belize program through a college chapter of 7 Elements, and it was one of the best abroad experiences that I've had. From the get-go, 7e staff were very helpful with our flights and program planning, and we were able to tailor some of the night time global health/human security discussions towards our club's personal interest in sustainable agriculture, ecology, and understanding the historical context behind some of the country's socioeconomic disparities. We stayed in beautiful Hopkins, but were working primarily on sustainability projects and community needs assessments in two Maya communities in central Belize (Medina Bank & Indian Creek). We also spent a day working with the local school in Hopkins! We also fit in some days of fun, including visiting Xunantunich, going to a Garifuna cultural center, and going snorkeling to a secluded island. I have participated in two 7e programs, and I will be going back soon! Not only is this a great experience, but you have the opportunity to build on language skills, as well as build a resume geared toward a future carrier in multiple ecological and medical fields. The staff is so supportive - I can't wait to return!

What would you improve about this program?
I don't have anything negative to say about the program...lodging was quaint and beautiful, food was local and tasty, and I made great friends and changed my perspective :) Belize is a welcoming, easy-to-navigate country.
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Katherine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Life-Changing Experience!

I had an incredible time travelling to Belize with 7e! I helped to plan this trip through my university chapter and it was one of the best things I have ever done. My trip to Belize was unique as it was 7 Elements first ever Belize trip. I feel like because of this the work we got to do felt extra special; we were in charge of community diagnostics reporting, where we basically went door to door in rural communities and had meetings with local leaders to determine what the community needs and wants. We then were able to use this information to design the projects that 7e is now working on in these Mayan villages. In addition to this we also helped to construct a pavillion outside of a school in Hopkins so that local children has an area to study and play in the shade. Besides the meaningful work we did we also were able to explore ancient Mayan ruins (super cool!) and snorkel in the Belizean Barrier Reef, which to this day is one of the most beautiful and surreal experiences I have ever had. I love 7 Elements as an organization so much that I have stayed in close contact with them over the years, have had multiple internships with them, and have travelled to some of their other program countries around Central and South America! I 100% recommend this program to anyone who may be thinking about it.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would change about this trip is to make it longer :) When it came time to leave I just wasn't ready yet!