Arrival Procedures for Volunteers in Belize
- Arrival Airport: Belize City Airport (BZE); San Pedro Airport (SPR); Placencia Airport (PLJ)
On arrival at Belize City Airport (BZE), all volunteers go through the Immigration Counter, receive an entry permit stamp, and then collect their luggage. You must collect your luggage here as you will either catch another flight to your next airport, or you’ll catch a taxi to your destination.
All volunteers (except those doing the Conservation Project), will catch a short domestic flight to San Pedro (SPR). This flight should only take around 20 minutes.
Conservation Project volunteers will catch their flight from Belize City Airport (BZE) to Placencia (PLJ), which should take around 45 minutes. You also have the option of using a taxi. The drive from Belize City Airport to Placencia is around four hours. Prior to departure, your Volunteer Advisor will give you more information and advice with regards to these two travel options.
On arrival at either San Pedro or Placencia, you’ll be collected by a clearly visible Projects Abroad staff member. They will be holding a Projects Abroad sign. Then, you will either be taken for a meal or straight to your host family (this depends on each volunteer).
At the Conservation Project, you will similarly either be taken for a meal or head straight to your accommodation and meet the other volunteers that share the apartment.
Our staff member will explain how meals and the living arrangements in your accommodation work, and they will explain the plan of action for the next couple of days. You’ll be given an induction folder with essential information and emergency contact numbers. After this, you’ll be left to relax, unpack, and settle in.
Volunteering in Belize: Induction and Orientation
Depending on the time of your arrival in San Pedro or Placencia, all volunteers will either have their induction on the same day as their arrival or on the following day.
On the day of your induction, you’ll be picked up from your accommodation and taken for an orientation around town. Your coordinator will show you different landmarks and amenities such as the post office, banks, internet cafes, and bureaux de change. During the orientation, you can purchase a local SIM card or phone. You will also have the opportunity to meet other volunteers in destination.
The Projects Abroad coordinator will show you how to travel from your accommodation to your placement and back again. If the placement and your accommodation are in walking distance, the route will be shown to you. If this distance is further, you’ll be shown how to use provided transportation, such as volunteer bicycles in San Pedro, to commute daily. All necessary work-related transportation costs are covered by Projects Abroad.
The handbook and any necessary safety and security measures will be explained to you on this day too. If you arrive over the weekend you will have your induction on the Monday morning, because banks and the post office are closed all weekend and the exchange bureaus are closed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Depending on your interests and budget, your weekends and free time will be full of travel opportunities! Use this time to travel and explore Belize’s jungles, go cave-tubing in crystal caves, or plan a trip with fellow volunteers to the beach where you can fish, snorkel, or dive. This is the perfect opportunity to meet new people, share your culture, and engage in the local traditions.