Intern in Punta Gorda & San Ignacio, Belize
From the Mountains to the Sea
It’s only a four hour drive from Punta Gorda to San Ignacio, but they’re worlds apart. A “tourist hub” between Belize City and Tikal National Park in Guatemala, San Ignacio’s tropical hills house Mayan ruins while Punta Gorda offers a more relaxed, welcoming vibe an earshot from the Caribbean Sea.
Conservation and Natural Resource Management
You will be working with an international nonprofit organization that has several projects for you to choose to assist, whether by performing research that supports the mission and/or supporting individual project development and organization. These projects include the manufacturing and educational training for clean burning stoves, solar dryers, organic pest control and organic sustainable farming practices.
- Environment and Conservation
Intern in Belize Hospitals and Clinics
Interns shadow nurses and doctors, observe hospital/clinic operations and learn the country’s healthcare system, common ailments and local procedures and remedies. Doctors and nurses will allow interns to perform certain procedures if they are qualified to do so.
- Health - Clinical
Troubled Youth Rehabilitation
This internship is with a governmental office that provides a rehabilitation program for juveniles with criminal records or chemical dependency. Interns engage in case interviews and assessments, case site visits and inspections, observing court hearings, developing and facilitating educational workshops and community service projects for the youth.
Interning in Belize
Work attire in Belize will depend entirely on your internship. Hospitals and clinics will require scrubs and closed-toe shoes and small business offices tend to be business casual. While the estimated risk of contracting malaria is low, it’s recommended that interns wear loose-fitting clothing that covers the skin. Mosquitos and other unpleasant insects are abundant.
For those of us used to the idea of eating out for lunch, Belizeans introduce us to a different approach. Depending on where home is, Belizeans will go home for lunch or bring a home-cooked meal to enjoy outside the office.
Live Like a Local
When the backpackers have passed through San Ignacio for the day and left you behind, the riches of Belize begin to shine through. By the time your program ends, you’ll have shopped the multi-ethnic Saturday farmers’ market and climbed a Mayan temple. Here are some tips to get you started living like a local.
- (Summer) Hot, Rainy
(Winter) Warm, Dry
- English, Creole
- Belize Dollar (BZD)
- Taxis & Buses
In San Ignacio, private taxis are the most convenient, if not the quickest way to get around. Because Punta Gorda is a much smaller town, everything is a bicycle ride or a walk away. If you’re not in a hurry, both cities have a bus system that will get you from point A to point B.
Things to Do
“Go slow” is a common saying on the island of Caye Caulker, a small island with only bikes and golf carts used as a means of transportation. Take a water taxi here to enjoy fun nightlife, snorkeling or diving. Or head to Dangriga to enjoy the coastal rain forest and the reef in the Caribbean Sea.
Useful Phrases in Creole (Kriol)
Gud maanin / Good Morning
Weh di go aan? / What's up? Hello.
Fuh chroo? / Is that so?
Cho! / A statement of surprise