So you’ve decided you’re joining Belize Trails for a volunteering vacation. Being prepared and knowing what to expect is key to a more enjoyable experience. This section will help you out with a lot of the planning process and answer some of those key questions.
First of all, pay attention to the packing list below. Any questions you have about what to bring and what to leave behind should be directed to a Belize Trails staff prior to your travel. Any travelers with specific food restrictions, medications or medical conditions should likewise consult with Belize Trails staff prior to travel.
Volunteering with Belize Trails requires team work, cooperation, and a good work ethic. We are there to work hard and reap the rewards of doing so in a beautiful environment full of natural wonders. Physical fitness is important. Your work will likely include hiking, lifting, and repetitive motions for hours. A good attitude, strong work ethic, eagerness to learn about trail construction and the environment, and a strong physical composition are requisite for this volunteer experience.
Required Items (to be kept on your person or in a water-tight container)
- Copy of Passport picture page (in case your passport gets lost)
- Medical Insurance card
- Emergency Contact information
- Credit or Debit Card
- Extra spending money
Required Camp Items
- Shelter (Tent or jungle hammock. Hennessy Hammocks are the Belizean choice.)
- Bedroll (Expect temperatures as low as 50 degrees F. A light sleeping bag or blanket will do fine.)
- Dish, Cup and Silverware (Personal utensils for camp meals.)
- Water containers (At least 4 liters carrying capacity.)
- Daypack (A small pack to carry food, water and other essentials for 8 hours.)
- Large Backpack (To carry all camp gear. We recommend using dry bags due to the wet climate.)
- Headlamp with extra batteries (A flashlight or lantern will work.)
- Rain Gear (Plan for a variety of weather, but especially rain.)
- Dry clothes and extra socks (Makes camp more comfortable after a sweaty day of work.)
- Work Boots (Steel toe or composite safety toe recommended.)
- Work Gloves (leather gloves.)
- First Aid Kit (Personal kit with all medications and prescriptions you may need.)
- Toiletries (Toothpaste, hairbrush, extra toilet paper, etc for personal grooming.)
Recommended Camp Items
- Multi-tool (with knife such as Leatherman, Gerber, etc.)
- Field Guide (we recommend “Animals & Plants of the Ancient Maya” by Victoria Schlesinger.)
- Water Purification (Filter, tablets or iodine.)
- Lighter (In case you need to start a fire.)
- Camp Shoes (Something light and comfortable like sneakers.)
- Mosquito Repellent (DEET-based works best or vanilla extract as a natural alternative.)
- Camp Chair (Crazy Creek or stadium seat for camp comfort.)
- Drink Mix with Electrolytes (Gatorade or Emergen-C)
- Duck Tape (To make repairs to camp gear.)
- String or P-Cord (To tie down tents or make a clothesline.)
- Swimming Suit and Towel (There will be opportunities to swim. Even if you don’t swim, a towel is handy in camp.)
- Musical Instrument (For camp entertainment.)
- Personal Electronic Device (Don’t forget the right USB cord for charging.)
GETTING TO SAN IGNACIO
Most likely you will fly into Philip Golsdon International Airport (BZE) in Belize City. Alternately, you may elect to travel overland from Mexico or Guatemala, or even arrive by boat from Honduras. Regardless of your first leg travel plans, your ultimate destination is San Ignacio, Cayo. San Ignacio is approximately two hours away from the International Airport by car, or a half hour flight. Getting to San Ignacio is easy. From the International Airport in Belize City you can hire a taxi to the bus terminal in Belize City, or even have the taxi take you all the way to San Ignacio. There are several companies which offer shuttles from the International airport to San Ignacio and back. There are inexpensive flights on Tropic Air to Maya Flats in San Ignacio. From any of the borders, there is public bus transportation or private transport for hire. Once you arrive in San Ignacio, you will make your way to the hotel or hostel where we’ve made your reservation and you’ll be met by a Belize Trails staff or representative. For assistance arranging transportation or other itinerary items in or outside of Belize, feel free to contact us and let us arrange your travel plans.
EXTENDING YOUR STAY IN BELIZE
Should you decide to arrive early or stay longer, we are happy to assist you in making travel arrangements in Belize and the region. Belize Trails offers you an opportunity to experience parts of Belize from a unique perspective, but there is much more to see and do while you’re in Belize. For more information visit the Belize Tourism Board for ideas and let Belize Trails create your custom itinerary.