Belize is rich in both marine and wildlife, but is one of the poorest countries in Central America. It is a country that is trying to develop, but needs a lot of help. Volunteering in Belize to help those less fortunate than you is a good way to expand your world view and lend a helping hand in the process. There are many such programs to choose from, depending on your skills, studies or interests. Anything from agriculture to sports can help.
Around forty per cent of children live under the poverty line and Belize has been hit hard by HIV and AIDS. For those reasons there are many orphans and street children. There are programs to help these kids through education and other kinds of social work. Volunteers can sign on for two weeks or up to three months with most of these programs.
There are internships for the longer stay volunteers that can last up to six months at a time. These are called service learning and travel to different places in an area to provide mainly basic healthcare services to rural communities. The volunteers live with a host family and are expected to work around forty hours per week. Apart from working they learn about local problems and developmental theories.
Other volunteer programs cover working in hospitals and clinics, supplying advice on family planning, pre-natal care, physical therapy and general healthcare information. Volunteers can also work in a shelter for abused women, lend teaching support in schools, help the elderly or concentrate on community development, counselling or social work. For those that love the ocean, there is marine conservation on the reef.