Balam: a supernatural being in Mayan religion that guards cornfields and villages [and members of the Secondary Project]

City life! This week in Belize City was a new experience for the Secondary Project! After our productive day on Monday where we set up our weekly tasks at the Y.W.C.A., B.F.L.A. and high schools we got right into it!  In our mornings the four of us would head over to the Y.W.C.A. and teach in the life skills classroom to some very welcoming young girls! We taught lessons on communications and values, conflict resolution and self-esteem which helped introduce an environment where we believed the girls felt comfortable interacting with us! Next week we will be teaching these girls again who are in their year one along with the girls in year two as they will be returning back from job training.  We’re really excited to work all together with both groups of girls and we found teaching this week lots of fun as the four of us got to experience teaching as a group.

Khalif and Lauren taught at Nazarene High School with the most enthusiastic group of students! Immediately upon our arrival the students seemed eager to get to know us and participate in our daily lessons.  It was so encouraging for us to be welcomed as new comers into the school by both staff and students and to see such eager students interacting in the classroom. They will be missed!

Down the street, Logan and Camila taught at Canaan High School with an equally eager group of students.  Unfortunately due to some holidays and half days (caused by an unexpected tropical storm which is equivalent to our Canadian snow days), they were only able to teach for two days.  They did however have some great discussions and even welcomed some students curiously watching from outside the classroom into their lessons.

Between the Y.W.C.A and the after school lessons, the four of us headed to the B.F.L.A. to work on some pamphlets we were assigned to create.  This week we researched how things like hyper-tension, diabetes and high blood pressure affect sexual reproduction.  The B.F.L.A. as a whole has been extremely busy these past weeks working very hard on their new television series along with a radio show, so they asked us to create some pamphlets explaining these topics.  Since the research has now been completed, next week we will put together the information and design three different pamphlets capturing these affects.

On Friday since it was a holiday neither pair was able to teach in the highschools nor at the Y.W.C.A. Instead, we scheduled a meeting with Belize’s only psychiatrist back in Belmopan to discuss our Mental Health Lesson plan.  Since teaching on this topic we have found some disparity in the Belizean meaning of mental health versus what we have learned this topic to mean.  In meeting with the Doctor she was so helpful in terms of explaining the current conditions in Belize and how this is a very relevant and important topic to address to the students.  She put us into contact with some important resources throughout the country including nurses with an already established curriculum that covers mental health.  We are really hoping that the Belize Project can partner with both the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health as we all strongly feel this would be incredibly beneficial to the entire project’s overall impact in Belize. It was such a pleasure meeting her and we really hope that this partnership can be put into place for the following years!

After Belmopan we headed to San Ignacio to see the Primarys.  Once again it was so nice being all together again! On Saturday we had tried to organize a Sports Days back in Belmopan (Logan and Lauren’s school from the previous week) but due to some miscommunication the students were not able to get their permission slips on time L We were however able to catch up on some much needed paper work over the weekend and rest up a bit for the weeks to come! We’re all really excited to teach this upcoming week in Belize City!

Until next time,

The Professor, SWAG, Sweat-Stache and Camillionaire

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