Almost two years later, I still find myself thinking about Belize and the amazing children that I bonded with. One of the hardest moments about this trip was leaving and saying good-bye. But thankfully I have many happy memories that I will cherish for years.
“What made Project Learn Belize so unique is that you had nine individuals studying to become teachers with the expertise and background to approach teaching in a successful as well as dynamic manner.”
Participating in PLB was an amazing experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. I went with the intention to help others, but had no idea how much I would gain from the experience. I taught my first lesson on this trip, but better yet, was welcomed by a warm group of people, a new culture and way of life. This was also an incredible bonding experience for the group of students learning to become teachers, as we felt and shared all of these unforgettable experiences together.
PLB in Dangriga was an amazing experience both academically and personally. As both a teacher and a young adult living in San Francisco, my time spent in Belize offered me a much needed reality check and proved to me the true beauty and resilience of children. The community in Dangriga welcomed us with open arms and the students at Sacred Heart Elementary taught me the importance of being a communicative, respectful, and creative teacher. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’d love to go back!
Traveling to Belize with Project Learn Belize was one of those experiences that you embark on focusing on what you will give them and leave realizing how much they have given you. Working with the teachers and students at Sacred Heart was an experience that informs my research today. I am currently a doctorate student and one of my goals is to bridge the international knowledge gap. Volunteering for Project Learn Belize made me realize how important it is to share teaching knowledge and resources across country lines. We can all learn from and teach something to other communities which will in turn benefit the world’s children.
“Students in a specific field are using their expertise.. The program was perfect for me because of my interests in teaching, cultural immersion and social justice.”
I participated in Project Learn Belize in January of 2010. At that time, I was a full-time, public school teacher in an urban Title I school. Additionally, I was a full-time doctoral student at the University of San Francisco. The opportunity for an immersive learning experience in Belize seemed like a great way to increase my awareness of diverse cultures and to refine my understandings of education through a global lens. Project Learn Belize provided me with real-life experiences that I still drawn upon today when designing curriculum to reach and teach learners of all ages. Overall, the experience shaped my perspective on the meaning of cultural competency and its role in effectively educating our future leaders.
Project Learn Belize was the most worthwhile experience I have had at USF. I never had the chance to study abroad but when I look back on my experience in Dangriga and the ability to be so completely immersed and accepted into a culture I can't believe I was only there for 2 weeks. Not only was I able to incorporate my passion for education and teaching, I was able to build relationships with the community and be deeply impacted in reflection of my own humanity and place in this world. I don't think any general study abroad program can come close to what I personally experienced, observed and learned in Belize."
And on that note, I miss Belize all the time! These words are 100% true and I think about my time there often and it has even changed what grade I want to teach and how I learn in my teacher education classes.
My experience with PLB will forever remain with me. It opened my eyes to how fortunate I have been to grow up in America and attend private schools my entire life. It made me reflect on my privilege and how I can use my experiences to help others. The people of Belize were inspirational and will remain in my heart. Although many of the students have little resources they came to school everyday with a smile on their face. All of the students touched my heart and made feel so special. Little do they know how much they taught me. I was able to use the knowledge and resources I gained at USF to teach the children which made me feel confident in taking on the role as teacher. I believe my Belize experience made me reevaluate my values, beliefs, and strengthened my faith.
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