Guat’s Up Belize

I know I’ve been a bit quiet over the past month but that’s because the last month has been a bit quiet too. Saying that there have been a few interesting things. 

A few weeks after my birthday we went to Santa Rosa with a small group of other volunteers for some celebrations followed the next weekend by a trip to Gracias. This one was quite interesting because we were trying to get back to Candelaria the same day as the primary elections. This meant there were less buses running or in the case of Candelaria, none.

Happy birthday to me!

Seeing as we couldn’t get back on Sunday we decided to take an impromptu trip back to Yamaranguila with Grace and Hannah (free accommodation, what can I say?) and because our bus to Candelaria from La Esperanza wasn’t until 12 on Monday, we got to visit their school.

Abundant Life Christian School is a big contrast to Escuela Urbana Mixta de José Cecilio del Valle. It’s a bilingual school which we hadn’t actually seen before and blew us away. The school is also in a beautiful location surrounded by mountains and pine trees and in cool air. 

Classrooms at Vida Abundante
Nivelación class – an intense English course for the kids starting in August

We did eventually get ourselves back to Candelaria and in the next two weeks we finally started some adult classes with a small group including our host mum Saida, celebrated World Water Day with a parade through Candelaria, were laid up in bed for a week (that one’s just me); and had our visit from Vegas and Fra. 

Vegas is our in country rep who lives on Roatán and visited us back in October to see how we were settling in and Fra is our country coordinator from Coll. Thankfully I was just about better from my bout of sickness in time for their arrival, after having been floored with the flu and/or dehydration the last time Vegas visited us. We had lunch together and Fra came to see us teach in the colegio in the afternoon and then we had a meeting with the people involved in our project in the evening. 

Parading for World Water Day

Amy and I plus the girls from Tomalá and the 6 month project San Francisco have just gotten back from Belize where we have been to renew our visa. We stopped for a few nights on the way in Livingston in Guatemala. Livingston is only accessible by boat but it’s the same boat that takes it across to Belize so it was kind of perfect. 

We stayed in Casa de la Iguana, a hostel highly recommended by Calum and Tom who have stayed here before, and used our few days to do a few boat tours in the area, one of which was to Rio Dulce where part of Jurassic Park was filmed and another where we had dolphins swimming around our boat! 

Livingston was covered in gorgeous street art
With our man Edmar on a river tour

We moved on to Hopkins in Belize because as nice as it is, Guatemala does nothing for our visa. I’m not sure if I’ve explained this before but it’s because there’s something called the C4 in place here. It basically means a 90 day tourist visa is valid for Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua so a visa run involves a quick hop into Belize or going all the way to Mexico or Costa Rica in order to renew it.

Hopkins is one of the most chilled places we’ve been. That’s maybe because most of our time was split between the beach and the hammocks in our hostel, The Funky Dodo (what a name, I know!). 

Just what we needed!

We wrapped up our visa run by heading back to San Pedro Sula to pick up our families at the airport! I now have my dad and Kirsty visiting for the next two weeks which should be interesting! 

(Also I apologise for the title to those people who find puns offensive but I really just can’t help myself, there’s just too many good ones!)

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