Volunteer in Central America and help to build a sustainable home for orphans in Belize using traditional methods. You will learn sustainable and local approaches, such as sandbag walls and reed composting. You and the local team will be helping orphans who are desperately trying to find somewhere to live after being referred to the project by police and social services. Support the establishment of this self-sustainable community farm dedicated to the promotion of self reliance, harmonious living and, above all, providing a safe, stable and healthy home for abused and abandoned girls.
This development project is bringing a sense of community to children that have been abandoned by the legal system. It immerses the children in inspiring sustainability initiatives and helps to preserve local resources, while also, enabling the community to be financially independent. More importantly, this farm aims to become a transition model to inspire other community building and sustainable farming initiatives throughout Belize. Additional initiatives currently being undertaken on this project include: food security, sustainable agricultural practices, and preserving biodiversity through land management. One small dome, four caregiver structures, the kitchen and shower blocks have been completed and work has started on a two-storey dwelling for four children. Volunteer in Belize and help to develop the community to provide better futures for these vulnerable young adults.
Why choose this project?
Under Belizean Law, children have to leave the foster system at age 16, but this project supports children to the age of 18. The project is making slower progress than hoped, so it will benefit from receiving practical support and man-power to help develop the much-needed centre. You will benefit by gaining a sense of perspective about your own life and possessions, and you’ll acquire an understanding of more traditional and eco-friendly approaches to building and farming.
Role of the volunteer
Volunteers will participate in construction initiatives to help finish the two-storey structures, as well as a further single dome. You will have the opportunity to assist in many aspects of construction, such as tiling and building. Through this, you will learn ecological architecture techniques, such as sandbag construction and feeder roads built with old tires. Additionally, in order for the community to be sustainable, they are developing gardens and livestock areas alongside the building; your help will ensure that when the girls move into the home, they do not have to start these from scratch. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the world of sustainability.
As a volunteer on this project, you should be prepared to get your hands dirty and be willing to help wherever you are needed.You will need a fair level of fitness to complete the manual work involved in this project. Volunteers with skills and experience in construction, carpentry, gardening, masonry, electrics, plumbing or farming will be very welcome, but these skills are by no means essential. Once the building phase is further along, you may be asked to run job training workshops for local community members, or, skills training with the orphans to help them to look after the gardens and animals.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To help the local team to give teenagers a better start in life.
Gain an understanding of how to build using sustainable resources
To explore Belize’s Mayan history.
Kaya’s programmes are based in San Ignacio and the surrounding communities. This project is in Georgeville – a 15 minute bus ride outside the town centre, where you will be living at the volunteer house. San Ignacio, also referred to locally as Cayo, is located 2 hours from Belize City along the Western Highway. Though a tourist center, the town and the surrounding communities contain a diverse population of Creole, Mayan and Mestizo populations. San Ignacio is also an attractive market town, set among pleasant tropical hills with a wide, shallow river running through the centre, where local families and volunteers love to swim. You can visit nearby Mayan ruins and take part in caving adventures in your free time.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2-26 weeks
- Cost: £1225 / $2144 for 2 weeks
£335 / $586 per each extra week
- Requirements: Age 17+
- Location: San Ignacio and Cayo District, Belize
- Project activities: building, maintenance, construction, tree planting, environmental assessments.
- Working Hours: Monday-Friday 6-8h per day
- Project availability: project starts 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month.
- Arrival day: Saturday
What is included
- Accommodation: shared room in volunteer accommodation with access to a pool table and a bar.
- Food: 3 meals per day; light breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and a cooked evening meal. Volunteers take turns once a week preparing something from their own country.
- Airport pickup and drop off at Belize City International Airport
- Training: Orientation and project induction provided
- Support: 24 hour support
- Excursion Planning: staff can help to plan weekend activities (price will be extra). e.g. canoeing through jungle, caves, tubing, visiting Mayan ruins, hiking and horse-riding.
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check: US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies); all other nationalities must provide local police check.
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.