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Belize - Healthcare in Belize

Summer 2013
Punta Gorda, Belize
May 11 - June 2, 2013

Program Highlights

  • Experience various cultures in Belize, including Mayan, Kriol, Garinagu/Garifuna and Mestizo
  • Visit the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center
  • Provide health education to students in local schools
  • Visit local health care facilities and meet with community health personnel
  • Meet with local medicine women to discuss and experience natural remedies and healing
  • Attend local festivals and cultural activities, including the Cacao Fest where you can participate in traditional drum lessons
  • Visit Mayan ruins
  • Experience Belizean life through interacting with community members informally (play soccer with local students, walk with residents, learn to fish off the pier, etc.)
  • Snorkel, explore caves, experience Belizean nature through weekend excursions

Program Description

This course is a 3-week in-country immersion designed to expand the students' understanding of how cultural beliefs impact health care in Belize. Students will explore a broad range of cultural beliefs and practices while in Belize and apply this information to professional nursing practice. In addition to on-campus theory classes and preparation, students will have a variety of experiences to care for clients in Belize. Students will provide health education in the schools, focusing on the promotion of mental wellness and overall health. Additionally, students will participate in community engagement and service projects typically aimed at improving the health and safety of community members. These activities can include, but are not limited to: building lavatories, conducting community health clinics and cleaning parks.

Program Cost

The estimated Program Fee is $4000 plus the cost of 1-2 CSB/SJU credits at the reduced summer tuition rate (approximately $520 per credit). The cost of credits is not included in the estimated Program Fee cost.

This price includes:

  • Round-trip international airfare from Minneapolis to Belize
  • Housing throughout the program
  • Meals (excluding those you choose to purchase outside of provided daily meals)
  • Local transportation
  • Course related excursions including: admission to museums, cultural attractions, zoo admittance, "adventure" excursion (usually island adventure that includes snorkeling and/or deep sea fishing)
  • Program administrative costs and fees

The Program Fee does not include:

  • Personal spending money
  • Laundry services
  • Activities, housing or transportation not associated with or included in the program (if you choose additional travel and/or activities.


You will primarily reside in a bunkhouse that overlooks the sea. It is a large two story house with an expansive balcony that is set up with a number of hammocks for your relaxation. The building is located next to the police station and bus terminal and is within walking distance from many of the schools and hospital in Punta Gorda. There are a number of small restaurants located within very close distance of the house. Additionally, the local market is located just down the street from the bunk house and provides a number of local fresh fruit at very low cost. There is a strong possibility for a 2-3 night homestay while visiting one of the surrounding villages. This will provide students with an even more intensive cultural immersion, giving students the opportunity to live with a local family while working in a very small village community. Additionally, while on excursions, students will be provided housing at local hotels/guest houses.

There is internet access available at the bunk house. Meals are served in the basement of the bunkhouse and are provided three times daily. The bunkhouse has running water, although water pressure during the day varies greatly. Although water temperature for showers in the bunkhouse has been defined as "cold," it rarely is, rather is cool to lukewarm and often refreshing with the heat that Belize offers. There are laundry facilities onsite and available for a nominal fee (approximately 5 dollars per load with very large washing machine and dryer). Students typically launder their clothes together as it cuts down on the cost, which is quite economical.


Lindsay Anderson is the director for this program and previously led students in this program during the spring of 2011.

Program Resources