Rural Health Campaign
HELP volunteers have been partnering up with Belize Healthcare Partners Limited, a hospital in Belize City. The Hospital helps out a few health fairs that run in different cities all over Belize including Belize City, Orange Walk, and Punta Gorda. While in Punta Gorda, our contact with Belize Healthcare, Collet Montejo, trained a couple of volunteers to run a door to door campaign and test blood pressures and blood glucose levels in the rural areas where the large health fairs to not happen. After a few weeks of gathering supplies for us, Collet finally came to Cayo and took us to the village of Cristo Rey to work!
For the past week, Chris and Jake have led teams to Cristo Rey to work for the day testing people for high blood pressure and diabetes. We have also been educating on good health practices and hygiene to prevent disease, heart problems, and diabetes. Ray, Shayna, Cydnee, Kory, Nicki, Melissa, Bryant, Kacie, Whitney, Stephanie, and Katie are now well versed in testing blood pressure and blood glucose levels. On Thursday, we finished the village of Cristo Rey. Today, Friday the 16th, Collet came back to Cayo and took a group to Georgeville where we will be working for the next couple of days.
Square Foot Gardens and Adobe Stoves
Katie, Stephanie, and Raymon all met with the head officer for the department of Rural Development in the Cayo District, Mr. Jimenez. They discussed the construction of square foot gardens and adobe stoves with him. He was very excited and explained that there is a huge need for both of them in some of the more rural communities. The next week Mr. Jimenez took all three volunteers out to Arenal and Succotz. Katie, Stephanie, and Raymon met with the village council leaders and discussed in-depth the possible projects. Both village councils were very excited and expressed interest in both projects. In the end, the volunteers agreed to work with Arenal on adobe stoves and Succotz in working with the square foot gardening project. The garden will begin construction next week and will be on the school compound. The goal is for the food to be used for the feeding program that they have for the children there.
At the orphanage this week we read stories with the kids and played games with them. The Dixons came and visited the Orphanage complete with a tour by the owner Leonie. They ended the day coloring pictures. We now go every Monday and Friday and do constructive crafts and games. We don’t know if we will be continuing to send volunteers to the Orphanage after next week because Second wave is leaving Belize. Next Monday may very well be the last week, but we have tried to make the most positive impact we can.
Cornerstone Summer Camp
The past couple weeks Melissa has been leading the team of Kristin, Steph, Lisa and Kayci at a summer camp for children. The camp was held down the street at an NGO named Corner Stone. The team played sports, taught life skills, made arts and crafts and taught music and dance. The team had a lot of fun this week at camp and it will continue for one more week.
The Soilet has been a big event this week. The documentary team came in and filmed/interview a few of the HELP volunteers on the Soilet. They talked about the construction and implementation of it here in Belize. Shawny Tagg ended up being a teacher in the documentary and explained to the children of Immaculate Conception School on Bullet tree, how the Soilet at their school works and what it is all about. Essentially talking to children about how worms digest poo. During the course of construction a couple of volunteers suffered some minor wounds, which goes to show the Soilet is not just digging up worms and dirt. It is indeed a dangerous one.
Sarah Joy came to talk to the team directly about the Soilet's need in the country of Belize and asked us if we were interested in making one last one in Belize City. We will be weighing out the options over the next few days to see if we have enough man power left to do so. This last one will be a big project and will need much thought and preparation.
Last Saturday a group of us all had the opportunity to do one of the most loved things to do here in Belize--ATM. (Actun Tunichil Muknal) ...We hiked and swam through this 5 mile long Cave, to go and see Ancient Mayan ruins and Skeletons in a part of the cave where they did human Sacrifices, and rituals way back when. It was incedible to be able to feel the presence in that cave. It was extremely sacred and you could just tell what type of things went on there. It was great! Here are some photos from the day :)