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Christian Burn of Grand Baymen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I have my pet causes here in Belize, as anybody would. I volunteer in kid's dentistry at the Smile Clinic all the time, giving out toothbrushes, showing kids how to brush their teeth, and telling them about dental hygiene while the dentists take a look at them, filling their cavities, etc.
 
I also volunteer at the maternity ward here at the Polyclinic in San Pedro, which is a multi-faceted clinic. They have what they call the Baby Day on Wednesdays. The patients bring in all their little babies, where they are weighed and checked. It is just a total chaos because when these little infants start screaming, they need many volunteers to help process them get the paperwork filled out. I'll do that.
 
My third pet cause is the Humane Society for Animal Welfare. That is what they call Saga and the good work they do is the neutering, spaying, and treating injured, sick animals.
 
There are tons of volunteering opportunities and those are the three that I gravitate to. Then my bigger project here is helping get more funding and better equipment for the Polyclinic, which is the free clinic that serves everybody on the island. Just recently, they acquired their own X-ray machine, which is a really big deal. What I do is just getting procedures in place, intake, allowing people's files and records to be accessible so the doctor has the information that he needs to make the proper assessment. The Lions Club is working very heavily and fiercely with the Polyclinic here and I actively support the Lions. My Mom is one of the very first women presidents of the Lions Club in Canada, so the society has always been close to my heart.
Wayne Robbins of The Placencia – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
BluePrint Hope,The Placencia Group, Dr. LaTorra and Dr. Larsen from Florida bringing medical services to Placencia, Belize  – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are so many opportunities to do volunteer and charity work in Belize because it is a mission country; there are always different mission groups visiting Belize.
 
We have one group that comes in four or five times a year, which has a combination of doctors and construction people. There is a whole bunch of charity organizations that tour different areas and different villages in Belize on a regular basis.
 
When you are in a beautiful country and you see the potential of the country, and you are down there for a good extended amount of time, you just want to do something to pay it forward. We have a charity organization within which we do a lot of work with some of the neighboring villages and we will continue to do that. We are building a hospital facility, which will be as much for the benefit of the Belizeans as it will be for our end owners in our projects.  There are many opportunities for charity work in Belize.
 
(LaTorra Larsen Medical Foundation from Florida bringing medical services to Placencia, Belize, pictured.)
Jestine Dawson of AQ Belize Car Rental – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Sister Maria Caritas Lawrence, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe best opportunities to do volunteer work in Belize would be in the orphanages or in the old-age homes. In this part of the world, people do not really go out of their way to adopt children. It is not like in the States, where if one family is financially stable and they only have one kid, they decide to have another kid through adoption. It just doesn’t work like that here in Belize.
 
I know somebody who adopted a child here. They were born Belizeans but they went to live in the States for a while, and then they came back to retire here in Belize. She couldn’t have another kid so she figured to adopt a Belizean kid.
 
I had a friend who started an orphanage here in Belize. Unfortunately, he passed away but there were arrangements for the orphanage to continue for some time.
 
(Sister Maria Caritas Lawrence [center] graduate of St. John's College, Belize was a recipient of the Order of th British Empire for her many contributions to Belize.) 
John Acott of RE/MAX Belize Property Center – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Rotary International Logo – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI am a Rotarian. Rotary International is a worldwide organization of business people and people who want to volunteer to do charity work on a local level. On a global level, we are trying to get rid of polio everywhere in the world but there are two countries left.  We work mainly locally. 
 
We also concentrate on education because in Belize, high school is not free and many bright kids cannot afford to go to high school. So, we have 24 children in a 4-year scholarship program at the moment and we are trying to expand that. We think education is very important because without a high school graduation certificate, you have no future.  
 
There are many charities here in Belize. There are local charities and bigger charities. Lion’s Club is here in Belmopan and San Pedro and there is a Rotary Club in every big town here.  
 
I think the Rotary has 1.2 million members worldwide. With that scale we can help people on a larger scale. We get in containers of wheel chairs regularly and we have a lot of crippled people we can help. We share mine with the Guatemalan Rotary Clubs. We all work together. 
 
Also Rotary is fun. Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras hold conferences together in one of our countries so we have a good time doing good things.  
Dora Guerra of Atlantic International Bank – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

Health Educator with Cornerstone Foundation in San Ignacio  – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are various organizations country-wide that provide the opportunity to volunteer and do charity work in Belize. They include:

Rotary / Rotaract / Interact-  Rotaract and Interact both fall under Rotary International. Rotary International consists of business professionals and community leaders who through their service to others, promote integrity, goodwill, and peace.

The Red Cross-  Respond to hurricanes, floods, fires, diseases, HIV awareness programs, relief and rehabilitation of victims, as well as special activities focusing on the needy, the elderly and children.

Mercy Clinic and Mercy Kitchen- Mercy Clinic provides medical attention to registered patients and to the elderly poor. Mercy Kitchen helps prepare and deliver food hampers for needy families across Belize City.

Several Children's Homes-  They assist many different orphans with a home, food and education.

Saga Humane Society- This is a non-profit, non-governmental organization which aims to prevent cruelty to animals, rescuing strays and finding them loving forever homes. 

The Cancer Society - They help establish, promote and further the awareness and treatment of all types of cancer in Belize, and to provide support to those affected and their families.

All groups welcome volunteers. 
 
(Health educator volunteers with Cornerstone Foundation in San Ignacio, Belize pictured.) 
Phil Hahn of Carmelita Gardens – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
dogs in San Ignacio, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPeople do a number of different things here in Belize from working at orphanages to working at the local library.
 
I hear over and over again from people who visit Belize for the first time and see stray dogs (which seems to be wherever I travel in Latin America) that they want to help and perhaps get involved in the Humane Society and start a spay and neuter clinic. I’m not sure what it is, but nobody seems to get around to it. There is a Humane Society in Belmopan, but it’s not very active. It is one of the funniest things about Latin America that I’ve seen; the dogs are just “community dogs.” They sort of just roam in the streets, sleeping wherever. It just becomes a backdrop. In time the expats who said that they couldn’t live here with all the stray dogs and say that they want to do something about it, just seem to accept the situation as it is.  There is still no Humane Society in San Ignacio.
 
Somebody told me that there was a study done in Costa Rica where they actually went into a village and they took all the dogs and treated them. They put them up for adoption, so they got them all off the streets.  Within a few months, they saw dogs on the streets again. There is a certain feral dog balance that people are comfortable with. It’s kind of a strange thing.
 
People get involved in environmental concerns and also helping the elderly in the nursing homes. There are some organizations that are doing that.
 
(Stray dogs walking the streets of San Ignacio, Cayo district, Belize, pictured.)
Jamaal Young of The Alpha & Omega Group – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Oceana Logo – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are a lot of non-profit organizations in Belize. For instance, there is Oceana (logo to the right) that protects the environment. They inspect the barrier reef. (We have the second largest barrier reef in the world.) They are responsible for anything that has to do with protecting our natural resources.  The Department of Environment also does that. It is a government organization that takes volunteers. They conduct clean up campaigns by going to rivers that have been polluted.

There’s a Children’s Home for orphan kids or kids that have been given up by their parents.  There’s the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) that tries to help young ladies who need mentoring or some kind of support. For summer, they have training programs for kids and give swimming lessons. They target kids who need extra help in school and they do all sorts of different and diverse volunteer work that only deals with women.
Erin Ivy of Captain Jak's – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There is a big Rotary Club here in Placencia, which is very active. So if a person wants to get involved (and anyone can), they organize certain events during the year. For instance, just recently, we had a marathon, which is on its third year. The guy who won the marathon was from Poland. As you can see, our marathon here is starting to become a worldwide event, too.
 
There is also a great Humane Society where you could get involved, as well as many other organizations, but if you just want to sit back and put your feet up, you can do that here in Placencia, too.
Boris Mannsfeld of Boris Mannsfeld & Associates – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There are lots of good opportunities for volunteer work here in Belize. The humane society is very active in Belize, especially in Placencia. Rotary is very active in Belize, also especially in Placencia. There are also church groups. There are also a lot of volunteers from the States that come down and do missionary work, and medical work here in Belize. They'll come down and do work for a week for free. They have dental missions, eye exams and all that is for free.
 
There are art festivals held here in Belize, which are events which people can volunteer to help set up or get involved selling tickets. A lot of expats, no matter who they are or where they come from, do something new or do something different to help out, so there's always volunteer activity available in Belize.
Nikki Muschamp of Boris Mannsfeld & Associates – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Doing medical charity work in Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you want to do volunteer or charity work here in Placencia, we have the Humane Society. You can also go into schools and volunteer with the reading and in the kid’s library. It requires some documentation like a police record. You cannot just go into the schools, but once you present your documents, everything is okay.
 
Every year they have events here in Placencia, Belize where I am sure we could use some extra hands. It would be nice if we had a few volunteers for Lobster Fest. We also have fishing tournaments. These are locally prepared, but I am sure they are open to having extra hands. I mean anywhere in the world, if you have more people helping, it will be more successful. That is another option.
 
There are also clean up drives here in Belize, especially in Placencia. Quite a bit of what people in more developed countries would assume would be done by the government is done here in Placencia by the villagers. We cannot wait for the government because the government does not have a lot of cash. They do not collect a lot of taxes, so most things here in the peninsula of Placencia are done by the people. There is a vast opportunity to do volunteer work.
 
In another aspect, sometimes we have other people who come to do dental missions or eye checkups. I see people who come here and assist in major sicknesses or even in minor sicknesses. Some come here to perform surgeries. Therefore, there is a vast opportunity here in Belize to do volunteer work. It all has do with what aspect of life you are coming from.
 
There’s a program here about corals, if you are a person who likes to dive and don’t mind spending some time under water; then that’s another way you can volunteer.  There’s a lot to do. In Belize you will find a place here that you could fit in perfectly. If you are a person who works with environmental programs, we have SEA (Southern Environmental Association), a group that builds up mangroves. 
 
I know some people here who are working on a project. They  pick up garbage and make something out of it, just to make the place look nicer. They make something creative. They even ask the kids to bring stoppers and they make some nice underwater stuff and other things out of garbage. They make the school look a lot nicer, as they add artwork. The artwork is all made up from garbage that were picked up from around the community. They make fish or corals out of plastic bottle caps.

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