Friday, May 21, 2010

Hey everyone!!

Sorry it has been so long since our last post! It has been a crazy last few weeks. We have been up to a lot of good here in Belize and finally want to share it with you. Here's an overview of all the projects we've been working on. After today, we promise to be better at posting more regularly. Enjoy! :)

The Soilet Project
Over the past few weeks, Wendy, Raymon, and Cydnee have been working diligently to find a village that could benefit from our Soilet. It has been difficult to find the right fit, but while searching for a village in need we came across a resort that wanted to help. A couple of weeks ago we started construction on the Soilet and have been working hard everyday to finish it. Now that Ben and Marissa are here, they have been able to help a lot too. Chris has also enjoyed helping out on the Soilet construction.

Health Fairs
Last weekend, Collet started running health fairs that will be held every Saturday all over the country. Because we helped Collet with the Kettering College health fairs a few weeks ago, he invited us to help him run these ones too. The health fairs will be held every from Saturday June 12 to July 3. This past weekend, several of us traveled down to Punta Gorda, a city at the southern tip of Belize in the Toledo district, to assist Collet in taking blood pressure and checking for diabetes in the villages. It’s really exciting to work with Collet in this way because many of the people we see have not been to the doctor for many years, if even at all. We were able to test everyone we visited for many common health concerns, including hypertension and diabetes, and we were also able to fit people with prescription glasses if they needed them.

La Loma Luz
One of the local hospitals, La Loma Luz, has been another one of our team’s targets lately. In the past few weeks, we have organized their medical supplies in order to make room for a new shipment of donations that is about to come in, scrubbed their indoor walls to prepare for painting, and performed other construction tasks that they have asked us to help with, including help with the construction of their new dialysis clinic that is being built on the hospital grounds. We are excited about the relationship we have built with them and look forward to working with them throughout the summer.

Volunteering in Hospitals
Last week, Collet Montejo came to Cayo and opened up a lot of great opportunities for us here. He is opening a health clinic here in San Ignacio at the end of the month and will need a lot of our help to get it ready. Also, once the clinic is open, there will be plenty of medical volunteer opportunities for our team.

While he was here he also introduced us to several of his health contacts at the local hospitals—La Loma Luz, San Ignacio Public Hospital, and Good Shepherd’s Hospital. Collet has plenty of volunteer work to do for anyone interested in the medical or health care fields.

Teaching English

Melissa teaches English every day at the Cornerstone Foundation for two hours. She has three students that come everyday—Patricia, Isabel, and Evelyn. Her students have very little background and experience with English, so Melissa has enjoyed teaching them the very basics of the English language. Every once in a while, her regular students will bring their friends to class, so it has been fun for her to work with lots of different people. Dominique, Jacob, Shawney, Sarah, Ray, Calvin, Lisa, Katie, and Lucy have all come on different days to help her in the classroom.

Tutoring Math

Dominique has been tutoring several community members in math for the past few weeks. Her students make up a wide range of ages, from little kids to grown adults. At a particularly crowded tutoring session Jake had to step in and play math teacher for the little children while Dominique taught two of the older boys. Now that the new wave is here and Dominique is leaving, Stephanie and Kristin will be taking over Dominque's tutoring project.

Women’s Group

Cydnee has been working with a woman’s group from Cornerstone. She meets with them every other week to teach them life skills or other useful skills, such as, making jewelry, cooking, holding bake sales, and whatever else the women want to do. The women expressed interest in learning computer skills, so Cydnee created a course to teach twice a week for fourteen weeks. She has been teaching basic computer skills, typing, and is currently doing an introduction to the program, Word. The women have very little experience with computers. Most of them struggled at the beginning with just controlling the mouse. The women love the computer class and are progressing so fast. Now that Shawney is here, she has also started a computer class that she will be teaching twice a week.

Octavia Waight

We just found an old folks home here in San Ignacio that is in need of volunteers. We have already sent several volunteers over to make a difference in the lives of the people there. Sarah, Shawney, Melissa, Katie, and Lucy have all had the chance to go so far. We plan to send at least two people over to the center for a couple of hours a few times a week.

Teaching Piano and Dance

Cydnee and Melissa have started teaching music and dance to community members here in San Ignacio. Cydnee is teaching piano lessons, and Melissa is teaching a latin dance fitness class. These classes are usually held at night after the working day is over.


Jacob and Dominique attended an AIDS conference last week that went really well. The National AIDS Committee met with the Cayo district committee to discuss possible funding for outreach projects in the rural villages to raise HIV/AIDS awareness.

The Red Cross DEPECO Project

Jacob, Melissa, and Dominque worked with the Red Cross on their DEPECO project. The Red Cross distributed first-aid kits and taught classes in primary schools to implement emergency and response plans all over the Cayo district. They went and visited schools in Arenal, Spanish Lookout, and all over San Ignacio.

It's been a great few weeks. We've had only a few minor injuries (notice Cyd's eyepatch below) and have really enjoyed having the second-wavers here. We promise to be better at posting! Until then! :)

We have lots more pictures that we want to post but the Internet cafe is closing, so be sure to check back soon.

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