Sweatin…in San Ignacio, Santa Elena, and Succotz!

Woo!

Can’t believe the first week here on the Secondary project has passed. We landed in Belize just over a week ago and after the initial shock that we will be sweating for 6 weeks straight and that our clothes will constantly be moist, we headed to the Smoking Balam in Belize City for a one night stay. The next day we headed to San Ignacio by way of public transit. That was an experience in itself, rushing to the front of the bus to try and get a spot, while two other people are throwing our huge backpacks into the back of the bus. Not going to lie, it was pretty stressful the first time around, but we still had a good laugh about it.

When we got to San Ignacio we were awed by how beautiful and alive the community was. After finding this amazing guest house to unload and unpack our stuff, we walked around to get more familiar with the town. By 8:30pm we were wiped and all ready for a ten hour sleep.

On Monday we met with the Ministry of Education in Santa Elena where we received our school assignments. Khalif and Lauren were going to be teaching at Alvin Young high school in Succotz, while Logan and Camila were assigned to Eden High School in Santa Elena. Everyday for the week Khalif and Lauren would take the bus towards Benque, where they would get off near a roadside market surrounded by what looked like a picture straight from National Geographic. After maneuvering their way up and down steep endless hills, they reached Alvin Young, a fairly new school run by an outgoing and ambitious Principal. For the week they were assigned 15 peer leaders whom they taught and collaborated with to come up with new and exciting ideas for the school. Ideas like starting a student council were mentioned and the possibility of running a Games Day at the school this Saturday was discussed.

Faraway from where Khalif and Lauren were, Camila and Logan headed out of the guest house to embark on a 30 minute walk to Eden High School in Santa Elena. The staff and students at the school were most welcoming, having no problem approaching them to talk about Canada or Belize. Camila and Logan were assigned around 14 students to teach for the week and soon after the first day, they knew these kids were very talented and intelligent.

These sessions taught, just like those taught by Khalif and Lauren, were done after school, so during the day we headed to Santa Elena Primary School where we were privileged to have the chance to work with the special needs class there. All of us taught our first lesson with them on Friday morning, where we taught nutrition and the 6 Caribbean Food Groups. The student’s ages ranged from 5-14 years and every single one them had the most amazing personalities.

This coming week we will be teaching at Santa Elena Primary School again from Tuesday to Thursday, and we will also be teaching at 2 different high schools in Belmopan, the capital of Belize. We can’t wait to get started this week and to let all of you know how it goes.

Until next time,

Camila, Lauren, Khalif, Logan and Alex

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