Next Meeting: Thursday, March 28 6 – 6:30 pm in Elks Ballroom (We’ll be having a Costa Rica meeting afterwards at 7pm.)
- Roommate Forms
- Medical Forms
We are planning to do a “Travelers Only” team-building event in April or May.
Please look at your calendar and complete this survey to help us plan so that everyone can come.
- Passport: All passports must be confirmed by ASAP Click here to confirm your passport
- Need to confirm: Callan, Brett, Andie, Lauren, Kamryn
- If you need help with this, please let us know.
- This needs to be completed as soon as possible. EF cannot book our flights without everyone’s confirmed passport information.
- Contact Mrs. Burkhardt or Mrs. Strother immediately if you have not already applied for your passport.
Travel Dates (We’re 138 days away!)
- Requested: July 9 – July 16
- Could be as early as July 5, could be as late as July 20
- Will not know final dates until late March (about 90 days before)
- We will notify families ASAP once we know (same goes for hotels)
General Itinerary Notes
- Plan to walk a lot (average about 6 miles per day)
- For days 3 -4, it’s best to have shoes that are better than flip flops (sneakers or supportive sandals are probably okay)
Itinerary Overview Day 3: Cayo (ki – yo)
- Home to Belize’s capital city, Belmopan (Bell -mo -pan) (about an hour from Belize City)
- Jungle Survival Hike (opportunities to see native wildlife)
- Ziplining (see the canopy of the rainforest)
- Cave Tubing (explore natural landscapes, stalagmites ↑ & stalactites ↓)
Itinerary Overview Day 4: Xunantunich (shoe – nan – too -nich)
- Xunantunich Ruins (only about ½ mile from Guatemala)
- From Wikipedia: Xunantunich’s name means “Sculpture of Lady” in the Maya language, it is a modern name; the ancient name is currently unknown. The “Stone Woman” refers to the ghost of a woman claimed by several people to inhabit the site, beginning in 1892. She is dressed completely in white, and has fire-red glowing eyes. She generally appears in front of “El Castillo”, ascends the stone stairs, and disappears into a stone wall
- Visit a local school
- likely to see the school house and see what local villages are like
- Chaa Creek Natural History Museum
- (appears to be a bit of a walk)
- Appears to be an hour long tour that discusses Belize history, geography, and archeology
- Butterfly Farm
- Spring Fundraisers (funds for tips, team-building event, and scholarship fund)
- Fish Fry – Mrs. Burkhardt will touch base with Myia’s mom and will share details
- Spring Yard sale- Mrs. Burkhardt will get possible dates from Elks and will share details
I have made a sign up for all of the fundraiser volunteer activities below. All of these activities will definitely qualify for volunteer hours at school. We’ll double-check about Service-Learning Hours, but I think they will. Don’t forget to ask some friends to volunteer with you!
Volunteering together is a wonderful way to get to know one another with a purpose!
(Each event has a tab at the bottom of the file.)
- April 27 – 28: Winefest in St. Michael’s (parents or 21+ only)
- $100 per volunteer per day
- people needed: 17 (10 on Sat, 7 on Sun)
- job: checking IDs & selling tickets
- shifts: Sat 8:30 – 3, Sun 10 – 2
- additional notes: pack your own lunch/drinks
- May 18: St. Michael’s Running Festival (parents, students, friends)
- people needed: 20+
- job: passing out bibs & t-shirts
- shift: 5am – 8am
- carpooling: meet at 4:30 near in the Harris Teeter lot by the Sprint store, leave at 4:40.
- June 9: Eagleman Race in Cambridge (parents, students, friends)
- people needed: at least 20 volunteers per shift
- job: course marshals (directing bikers & runners)
- shifts: 7am – 12pm or 12pm – 5pm (could stay the whole day)
- carpooling: TBD
- additional note: lunch is provided
Student Behavior Expectations
We take safety very seriously. Making good choices while on tour while help ALL OF US have an enjoyable experience!
- Please read: https://www.eftours.com/help-center/what-to-expect/rules-of-the-road
- Students are expected to behave responsibly and safely at all times.
- Students are expected to try to maintain positives attitudes (even if we’re really tired)
- Students are expected to try new foods! (Please let us know ASAP if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions.)
- Belizean Recipe Links (We haven’t tested any of these… yet!)
- Students are expected to be on time (that = 5 minutes early!) & must participate in ALL group activities.
- Students may not consume alcohol at any time. If students are caught drinking, they will be sent at home your expense.
- After room checks students may not leave their hotel room without an adult. If students sneak out, they will be sent home at your expense.
- Students are expected to stay with the group during all tour activities. During free time, students must be in groups of at least 3. (The only time you are allowed to be alone is in the bathroom!)
Additional Safety Notes
- If chaperones need to enter a student room (for any reason) those parents will be contacted.
- Boys & girls may not go into one another’s rooms – hangout in the hotel lobby
- During free time, chaperones are always willing to go out with groups 😊
- Chaperones will hold passports throughout the trip. (We can also hold money & meds)
- EF recommends $60 per day, which is about $450 for the whole trip. (We expect less spending since lunches are included on our tour and shopping opportunities are fewer than in Europe)
- US dollars bills are freely used in Belize (they are interchangeable & stores list prices for both)
- $1 Belize = $2 US, 20s or smaller, no big bills. (stable exchange rate)
- Cash is the preferred currency, cards will mostly be used to withdraw additional funds
- Newer, crisp bills are more readily accepted than older bills (banks can accommodate this when requested in advance)
- Belize law allows for a maximum of $5k cask to be brought into the country.
- Bring an ATM card, but not the one to your parents main account (no gift cards)
- Capital One has no international fees!
Cell Phones / Contact with Home
- No phones (or cameras) while the tour guides are talking! Be in the moment and be respectful of their expertise- we promise that the tour guides will give you time to take pictures and explore.
- Parents – Don’t expect to hear from your child every day. We will be encouraging them to be phone free as much as possible. Hotels may or may not have reliable WiFi. We will post group pictures to our social media at least once a day. Brad also has a neat GPS tracking software that allows parents to see where we are. (Peru 2017 GPS Info)
- Each chaperone will have an international calling plan. Families may choose to do so too, but it is not expected or required.
- Please let us know if you plan to earn credit!
- We do not assign or grade your work, but we are allowed to help you. (We will even let you use our laptop since you don’t have yours during the summer!)
- weShare (high school credit)
- no additional cost, 0.5 high school elective credit, fully accredited, must register at least 1 week before departure
- To register: let Mrs. Burkhardt or Mrs. Strother know
- Examples of prize-winning weShare projects
- Examples of weShare projects from Latin American tours
- Explore SNHU (college credit)
- UnCommon App
- no additional cost, no credits
- help writing your personal essay for college admittance
- Averages mid 80s
- This is Belize’s wet season – expect frequent short showers
Tips Chart (if you don’t want to fundraise for tips, you can choose to just pay them)
|$80 (All Tips Raised)||$54 (Mostly Raised)||$0 (No Tips Raised)|
- We are doing the “Carry-On Challenge” – no checked bags on the way to Belize!
- Carry-on sized suitcase – 9in x 14in x 22in AND a backpack
- Can check a bag on the return trip
- Must follow TSA Liquids Rules (quart-sized bag with 3 oz. bottles)
- General EF Packing List
- Additional items to pack:
- portable charger (good quality – Brad recommends Anker)
- small plug strip (same plugs & voltages as US 😀)
- lightweight rain jacket
- collapsible duffel – this one is similar to the one I showed at the meeting
- “Reef Safe” sunscreen – look on the label – sold at most stores
- “Controlled Release” Insect Repellant – offered at Passport Health or Amazon
- The CDC recommends the following vaccines for travel to Belize: Hepatitis A and Typhoid
- If you want to get these vaccines, it is recommended to contact Passport Health
- We recommend that at least one parent have a passport in case of emergency (or set aside about $250 for emergency passport acquisition fees)
- Communication Information
- Remind- text @tytbelize to the number 81010
- Mrs. Burkhardt: 410-924-3655
- Mrs. Strother: 410-353-4773
- Brad Burkhardt: 410-310-3226
- Talbot Youth Travel Social Media