Nestled between Mexico and Guatemala is a small country with one of the most spectacular, diverse environments in the world. Belize is home to vast regions of unspoiled tropical rainforest with more than 700 varieties of trees, over 570 species of birds, and 5 different species of large cat, including the jaguar, the third largest cat in the world.
Birding during Tropical Ecosystems with Dr. Joe Sheldon, Messiah College. (Photo Joel Vermillion)
Once a haven for English pirates, Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America. With no language barrier, CCSP students have a unique opportunity through homestays and other activities to engage with the diverse cultural groups who call Belize home, including several Mayan cultures, Mestizos, Creoles, Garifuna, and Mennonites.
CCSP students have plenty of opportunities to explore Belize’s tropical landscape during their semester abroad. By land students visit the ruins of Mayan cities, explore the largest jaguar preserve in the world, learn about faith and the land from old order Mennonites, and are taught about community development by Mayan villagers. By sea students explore the second largest barrier reef in the world, search for sea horses in mangrove forests, and visit various islands over breaks and free weekends on their own.
Howler Monkeys in the Forest are an Impressive Sight, and Make and Even More Impressinve Howl. (Photo: Joel Vermillion)
A distinctive and highly beneficial component of the Belize program for students is the opportunity to participate in internships, specially designed to put learning into practice and gain valuable experience through relevant work experience and a cross-cultural homestays.
Be it in intentional community at our riverside campus in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, or out exploring in the field, students studying in Belize are challenged by academically rigorous courses to consider what it means to live in right relationship with God, creation, others, and ourselves.
"Hammock Time" on the Belize Campus (Photo: Chris Elisara)