Belize: A Humbling Service Adventure in Central America
The Belize Service Trip is offered to Collingwood students for two reasons: To give them the opportunity to serve those in need as well as the chance to visit a place they otherwise would not.
Travelling, without a doubt, expands one’s horizons, and this recent Belize trip was no exception. The group explored the Belizean Jungle, tubed down a tropical river, enriched themselves with ancient culture, and snorkeled with exotic fish.
Despite the numerous fun activities, tourism was secondary to the main focus which was to help the local Armenia Government School, a school for underprivileged Belizean children. To do so, Collingwood did some manual labour, as well as gave many supplies that would help the kids learn in the future. The group painted both the inside and outside of the school, as well as received a cultural insight into the life of a child growing up in Belize. Alongside this, they donated books, printing supplies, and sporting goods. In addition, toothbrushes and floss were donated to kick-start the schools dental hygiene program.
The second half of the service portion of the trip was a cleanup of coastal turtle nesting zones. The acts of service were as much of a benefit for the people, and animals affected, as it was for the participants. The students who went on the trip found the service not only inspirational, but humbling, as well.
The amount of plastic garbage that was cleaned from the beach changed the mindset of many trip members. “I’ll never use plastic again,” said one participant who asked to be unnamed. Even though only a select few could go on the adventure, the experiences should teach all of us that we should be more conscious of our actions and their implications on the environment.
By: Simon Finnie