7e's Journey to Medina Bank, Belize
Work alongside our community leaders in our efforts to protect Maya culture and preserve the ecosystems of Belize.
Belize, formerly British Honduras, is a small Central American country of about 350,000 inhabitants that won its independence from the United Kingdom in 1981. The coast is largely populated by the Garifuna, an Afro-Carib people as well as Mayan indigenous. Both are struggling to preserve their cultural identities and traditional livelihoods in the face of 21st century factors that range from globalization and climate change to narcotics trafficking and high unemployment. The Maya, Belize’s traditional landowners were almost entirely displaced fleeing from slavery during British occupation in the 19th Century. 7 Elements works with the Q’eqchi (Kekchi) people who have since relocated to the Toledo District in the South of Belize.
Nestled on the banks of the Deep River, Medina Bank is easy to access and offers delightful walks in the high canopy rain- forest and a hike to a waterfall. The village was recently founded in 1990, and the population of about 250 is mainly Kek’chi. Deep River is now a protected area and is still in pristine condition.
7e Lodge Located in Medina Bank, Belize
7e’s Lodge in Belize is located a mile from the main road into the jungle just outside of Medina Bank. Our eco-lodge is built from locally sourced materials and it is a 2 minute walk from a freshwater river. There are armadillos, tapirs, and native birds that you will be able to see during your stay.
All beds will have mosquito nets to protect you from mosquitoes and other small bugs. There is cold water to shower in and electricity to use. All lodging operations are coordinated by Cindy and Saul, local leaders in the Maya community of Medina Bank.
7e's Approach to Human Security.
In Belize, 7e focuses on Environmental and Health Issues relating to Human Security. Find out more about the fundamentals of our programs and how Human Security threats and impacts affect people around the world.
Our Projects in Belize
Our projects in Belize focus on improving health outcomes by creating a healthy physical and social environment. The local economic and environmental systems also benefit. By empowering community members to direct all initiatives and employing local skilled tradespeople to supervise work on our building projects, we seek to enable individuals, families, and communities to take greater control over their health, wellbeing and environment.
1. Community Infrastructure
Typically in Belize students leave school at age 13, this number is lower still for rural and Mayan communities. Programs which support education and encourage students to remain in school are critical for ensuring young Belizians have a chance of success in a globalized world. A food program already exists in the Mayan community of Medina Bank, where students who attend school receive free lunch cooked by a voluntary rotation of community members. However, It’s a very small school and students have no area to eat apart from outside in the grass, or in the classroom during wet season. 7 Elements participants will be supporting the school and food program through the construction of an outdoor undercover eating and recreation area for students.
2. Sanitation Projects
Now that the community has running water we will be working on the installation of household toilets and septic systems. Cement floors, block septic, western toilet, sink and other fixtures contribute to disease prevention and mitigation. Student tasks may include: Mixing cement, Digging septic holes, trenches for piping, painting, basic construction
Take a look at some highlights of our Belize Programs. These are what our participants consider as their favorite parts of the programs!
Snorkeling in Beautiful Belizean Reef!
Students will snorkel in one of the world’s largest living reefs, experiencing all of the beautiful biodiversity.
Lazy River Tubing
Students will go Lazy River Tubing in the worlds largest Jaguar reserve
Traditional Mayan Medicine
Learn about traditional forms of Mayan Medicine!
Recent Travels and Programs
Stay up to do date with our program blogs for pictures and day to day recaps of our High School and University trips.
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