Seattle’s 501c3 non-profit, Village Volunteers, historically known for their volunteer support in Asia and Africa, has just announced a new partnership with Barzakh Falah, in Western Belize. Barzakh Falah was established in June of 2008, to address the pressing needs of abused, abandoned and at-risk children living in Belize. An important component of this program is the ongoing development of a sustainable and self-sufficient organic farm that is integrated into each child’s education and maturation.
You will find this organization in the village of Georgetown, tucked away in the hills of Western Belize’s Cayo district. Firmly planted in the Central American jungles and a bus ride from the Caribbean Sea, so intensely beautiful is this land that you may find yourself reminiscing of Pandora and searching the stunning forest for Na’vi, or even a floating mountain or two.
The mission at Barzakh Farah is to provide a cooperative atmosphere of care, love, stability, and hope for abandoned and abused Belizean children.
Volunteer opportunities available:
• Construction, hurricane & flood-proofing of homes and other buildings using natural materials
• Basic farming and conservation
• Work with children in Barzakh Falah foster care home and/or local orphanages
• Assist at area schools
• Assist at area medical clinics
• Proposal writing and fundraising
• Cultural preservation and history through research and documentation
• Arts and crafts
• Music and dance
Barzakh Falah welcomes all volunteers regardless of their background, however at least a small amount of existing skill or knowledge is helpful for the following:
• Sustainable farming/organic agriculture
• Engineering and building expertise
• Construction/assembly of solar food dehydrators, solar ovens, solar-powered toilets, water filters, and drip irrigation systems
• Special program in seed bank development and collection; must stay minimum 10 days.
Volunteers are hosted by local families in their private homes, providing a great opportunity to become more immersed in the Belizean culture and to make new friends. The program fee runs at about $1850.00 USD for a one month stay, but VV is giving a $200.00 discount to the first four volunteers to enroll! A minimum stay of ten days is required.
Expect moderate temperatures: Averages range from 74F to 81F, the latter during the summer months of March to October. Cayo is the coolest region of Belize, and winter travelers should be aware that temps could dip down to a crisp and refreshing 50F.
Airfare tends to be in the $550 to $700 range and you can expect to be on that flight for about 7.5 eager and exciting hours as you journey from Seattle over Mexico to BZE International Airport.
Get hooked at the official website of the Belize Tourism Board, then click on over to Village Volunteers to get all of the details, and yes….maybe even sign-up. If you do, know that there is at least one extremely jealous Examiner out there thinking of you.