Internship Elective



Internships in Belize allow students an extended period of time (2 weeks) to engage with local topics and issues; to take knowledge and skills they are developing in their experiences and coursework both in Belize and in courses prior to Belize, and begin acting upon it. In the past students have had internships in tropical organic agriculture, conservation, community development, ecotourism, healthcare, traditional medicine, community health, education, and even local government. Internships are set up based on the interests and background of the students with many different organizations CCSP has developed relationships with over the years. During this 80-hour internship experience, students stay with Belizean homestay families where they are able to gain greater perspective on Belize and develop lasting relationships.

Here's How Student's Describe Their Internship Experience:

Olivia Santana, Calvin College:  I was blessed with the opportunity to intern at the Belize Zoo, a unique organization started to educate Belizeans on the native animals found in their own backyards.  Throughout my two weeks I was able to work with the zookeepers caring for the animals but also building relationships and friendships with them.  Throughout my time there I was able to learn so much about the animals, myself, and how an organization is run.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience with some unbelievable storeis to tell!  It will forever be a special memory on my heart.

Mark Wolstenholme, Eastern University:  For my internship I stayed with a wonderful local family in the town of Succotz and worked on the nearby organic Maya Farm at The Lodge at Chaa Creek. There I learned basic organic farming techniques from composting to goat herding. Each day I assisted local Mayan farmers in performing daily farming tasks such as taking the goats out to pasture, pruning, watering, planting, composting, building structures, and many others. I gained a better understanding of how to grow organically, but I also gained a valuable cultural experience. While on the farm I conversed, and built friendships with local Belizeans who regularly spoke Mayan, Spanish, and English. And while I was at home I experienced life with a local family, hung out with their youngest son Edwin, and even learned how to cook from their mother. Some of my most memorable experiences in Belize came from those two weeks of internship, and I took away valuable lessons that I will never forget.

Kallie Shades, Hope College:  My internship at La Loma Luz hospital in Santa Elena, Belize was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  Shadowing physicians, surgeons, and other medical staff while living in a local Belizean residence produced unforgettable memories and secured my decision to enter the medical field.  I gained valuable knowledge about Belizean culture and the way a hospital functions outside of the United States.  Everyday I was wearing scrubs and doing things like watching C-sections and gall bladder removals, traveling to local villages, or taking vitals on incoming patients - it's an experience you can't possibly turn down!


Michelle Alkema, Dordt College:  My internship was one of the highlights of my semester in Belize. I interned at an NGO called Friends for Conservation and Development. I loved getting to know and learning from the staff at FCD. Exploring the intersection between conservation and development while in a developing country was such a valuable experience and the lessons I learned about environmental education are ones that I certainly will use in the future.

Course Faculty