Traveling to Belize again (first time was on a cruise) was super exciting, but volunteering made it totally worthwhile and memorable.
My friend who was born and partially raised in Belize, created a daily itinerary for me and 6 other voyagers a month in advance of our trip. Not only did she schedule days of fellowship, fun and connecting with her family, she made sure to include volunteer work. This would be my first time volunteering in another country and I was super excited, especially after speaking via email with Lydia, the school’s volunteer coordinator, about their needs and her expectation of us during our time there.
On the day of our visit, we gathered in the lobby of the hotel we were staying in and met our bus driver who transported us to the school. Despite my hands being full with donations, my camera and oh yea, my umbrella thanks to the rain (read more about that here), I made it into the office accident free, ha ha. Lydia warmly greeted us and began to explain the school’s history and concept while guiding us throughout the school. Once the tour was over, we were able to interact with the children and assist the teachers accordingly. We were warmly greeted with hugs, requests to read books, chats, questions and the children were happy to pose for the camera!
We decided to leave right before school ended to avoid the ‘yay, we’re going home!’ rush and the children were not happy!!! They wanted us to stay and we wanted to stay longer too, but the bus was there to take us back to the hotel.
Honestly, I was not expecting the ‘noooo, please stay longer!!!’ reactions from the children at all. In my mind, I felt that our short amount of time there didn’t make that much of an impact, but it proved quality over quantity can be significantly meaningful. Since that day, I have kept in touch with Lydia because whenever I go back to Belize, I will spend more time at the school with the staff and children, helping out wherever I can. Matter of fact, I am making plans now to revisit.
*If you’d like to learn more about Holy Cross Anglican School in San Pedro, Belize, click the link here: http://holycrossbelize.org/
To see more of the school in action, check out the video below: