Belize 2020

March 14 – 20 (22)

Be of service. Travel the world. Promote happiness, one playground at a time

Come Volunteer with us in Cristo Rey, Belize!

Play and playgrounds are linked to improved school attendance as well as improved educational and social outcomes. Our playgrounds also incorporate creative educational design, allowing teachers to step out of the classroom with students and use the equipment for engaging lessons.
The village of Cristo Rey is located in northern Belize, about 30 minutes from the town of Corozal where we will be sleeping. The project is coordinated as a partnership with the village council and will serve the entire community. There will be two areas of construction, one will be a traditional playground and the other will have stationary exercise stations. The hope is that this space will appeal to all ages and become a gathering area for mixed-use and mixed-generations.
Corozal is a growing town on the water, near the Mexico border, with a blend of cultures. You’ll find both English and Spanish are spoken and navigation to be quite easy. The culture is open and welcoming, for these reasons we are offering this as a family-friendly trip for those interested in bringing kids.
Most people will fly into the Belize City airport (located north of the city in Ladyville – not actually in Belize City, an important distinction), approximately 2.5 hours away. For those who would prefer, there is a very small airstrip in Corozal (check TropicAir and MayanAir) as well as a mid-size airport on the Mexico side of the border in Chetumal (with an easy border crossing).
Participants typically stay as a group during the projects, though that is not required, and Play360 staff is always available to help coordinate optional group meals or after-work activities.
Please send specific questions to info@play360.org

Itinerary (subject to change):

Saturday, March 14, Day 1:
3:00pm: Final collection of group at airport (earlier pick-ups can be arranged). Some people may prefer to rent their own cars, we are happy to provide contact information for the agency we use.
4:00pm: Head to Corozal for the first night, approximately 2.5 hour drive. 

Sunday, March 15, Day 2:
Flexible day: Time to explore the village, swim or engage in other activities, and accommodate for late arrivals. Visit project site to assess the area, lay out the designs of the play pieces, and break into work groups to plan the building of equipment and individual roles, as well as make decisions about extra projects such as murals. Begin painting tires and wood if needed.
6:00pm: We will enjoy an opening dinner together as a group (optional)

Monday, March 16, Day 3:
8:00am: Head to the school site to officially begin project, break into work groups, overview of project. Teams will paint any tires/wood that need it and start digging holes, cutting materials, and beginning initial assembly
10:30am: Mid-morning snack
1:00pm: Lunch
4:00pm: Return to village

Tuesday, March 17, Day 4:
8:00am: Head to the site. This is typically a very full day of construction, including more hole digging, cutting, assembly, and pouring the first of the concrete
10:30am: Mid-morning snack
1:00pm: Lunch
4:00pm: Return to village
4:30pm: Optional group activity TBD

Wednesday, March 18, Day 5:
8:00am: Head to the site. This is another very full day of construction, usually focused on assembly of major pieces and completing smaller ones, as well as a large push on the mural. Second concrete pour at end of the day. 

10:30am: Mid-morning snack
1:00pm: Lunch
4:00pm: Return to village
4:30pm: Optional group activity TBD

Thursday, March 19, Day 6:
8:00am: Head to the site. If all goes well this is a final day of tweaking and painting 

10:30am: Mid-morning snack
1:00pm: Lunch

3:00pm Afternoon reception as a celebration, including the community that has been working with us throughout the week

4:00pm: Return to village. You’ll have the afternoon and early evening to visit with friends you’ve made throughout the week.

6:00pm: Project closing dinner with group

Friday, March 20, Day 7: Option for those leaving immediately

Travel to airport, keep in mind the trip takes approximately 2.5 hours. For those wanting to schedule very early flights there are good hotel options near the airport if you’d prefer to spend Thursday night (and miss the closing dinner).

OR…

Friday, March 20, Day 7: Option for those wishing to stay for a few days
All day: Free day open for planning your own excursions – you are welcome to explore on your own or join Play360 staff for optional activities. The region offers a wide range of exciting activities for you to choose from, including heading over to the Bay Islands for a tropical beach end to your trip. Or head inland to visit the Blue Hole National Park, Tropical Education Center and Belize Zoo (an amazing “no-fence” protective zoo), a river canoeing tour, horseback riding, archaeology sites, caves, local markets, and more. Due to variability in cost of activities this day, participants will be responsible for their own expenses.

Saturday, March 21, Day 8:

More of the above – we can all go together or you are free to venture out on your own!

Sunday, March 22, Day 9
Travel to the airport for departure – or keep going and see more of the country

Cost:

Providing this grassroots opportunity for you to be involved in a project is one of the ways that Play360 generates funds to cover project-related materials and expenses. We are happy to assist by providing you with proven fundraising ideas and methods to help cover the below cost and ask that you consider the amount a minimum target and set stretch goals!

We understand people have many different personal circumstances and we will always work with you to make cost accessible, especially for families with multiple people intending to travel. We would hate to see funding get in the way of your experience and to the extent possible will work with you to make your participation possible. For this reason we offer two ways to join a project:

Option 1: Participants are responsible for their own travel (both international and in-country), lodging, and meal expenses. We ask for a $500 USD program donation (per person) which, in additional to helping cover direct program and materials costs, provides all volunteers with a mid-morning snack and lunch on construction days, as well as opening and closing dinners. We are happy to provide contact information (and in some cases help coordinate) logistics or reservations for rental cars, hotels, tours, and more. We find this is a good option for experienced travelers.

Option 2: For those who would prefer, Play360 offers a more inclusive package and will handle all in-country logistics including airport transfers (2.5 hours each way), lodging, and local transportation (plus the meals mentioned above) from March 14-20 for $965 USD per person plus the $500 USD program donation for a total of $1465 USD per person. Participants are still responsible for their own international airfare and personal incidental items. For those wishing to stay the extra exploration days, we can discuss rates if you would like for us to coordinate or guide that experience as well. This price is guaranteed until December 20, 2019. Due to rising costs of local hotels and other expenses, price may increase on or after December 21, 2019.

Interested in participating? Register for this upcoming trip here.