FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Belize FAQs

Belize FAQs

Belize FAQs

At San Pedro airport, on the island of Ambergris.

It is up to you to ensure that you have the correct visa for your trip.

You will receive a 30-day tourist visa upon arrival. This visa can be extended for up to 6 months by visiting the immigration office in San Pedro every 30 days. At the immigration office, you will need to pay USD 100 for a 30-day extension each month. Your passport must be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Belize.

You will be dropped off at the ferry terminal or airport on the last Saturday at 9am. For volunteers who fly out on Saturday, other activities will be organized on the last Friday, such as reef snorkeling, to ensure that they do not fly out 24 hours after a dive.

You will have a limited connection during the program due to daily activities. There is a Wifi connection on the base. Attendees can also purchase a local SIM card with a data plan. A SIM card costs $10 and a 3GB data package costs an additional $10. Mobile/cellular phone reception is widely available depending on your phone company. You can also use the

Internet in cafes or restaurants to keep in touch.

There is free government WiFi in the central square upon arrival at the ferry terminal.

Hand washing and air drying are possible on the base. You also have the option of using a laundry service in town, at your own expense.

Nearest medical facility: Belize Medical Associates – San Pedro

Nearest hyperbaric chamber: Ambergris Hope Clinic – San Pedro – Next to the police station.

You must complete all scuba diving and PADI medical paperwork prior to arrival.

It is always recommended to be examined by a doctor before arriving. It is also recommended to check that your insurance policy covers diving activities.

This program requires a reasonable level of physical fitness, the work you will be doing is often physically demanding and the climate may be hot and the environment may be harsh.

It is advisable to improve your physical condition in the weeks preceding the expedition. A program of aerobic exercise is recommended to achieve an appropriate level of fitness, including the ability to walk up to 200m on uneven ground while carrying expedition gear.

Belize’s small population numbers 400,000, and is ethnically diverse, including a large proportion of immigrants.

English is Belize’s official language, but most islanders also speak Spanish or the local Creole patois, and many Belizeans are multilingual. Yucatec, Mopán and Kekchí are spoken by the Maya people of Belize. The mestizos speak Spanish, and the Garifuna speak a language based on Arawak and usually also speak English or Spanish. Mennonites in Belize speak Plautdietsch, an archaic Low Saxon (Germanic) language influenced by the Dutch.

There is an abundance of wildlife in Belize such as tapirs, deer, jaguars, pumas (locally known as the “red tiger”), American crocodiles and manatees, as well as many species of turtles, birds, reptiles, insects and fish.

The herbivorous Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii), colloquially known as “mountain cow”, can weigh up to 270 kg, and is protected as Belize’s national animal.

Belize is not a very conservative country when it comes to dress code but we expect our volunteers to always dress appropriately to ensure a good representation of our partner on the island. The community is small and locals will quickly get to know the volunteers. In the city, participants can wear tank tops, t-shirts and shorts, but must not wear crop tops or swimsuits.

Courtesy is important to most Belizeans. It is not uncommon for Belizeans to greet each other on the street, even if they have never seen each other before.

It’s not always polite to greet each other by first name, however, especially if you’re older, unless you’ve already established a deep relationship or been introduced by first name. A simple nod or shout is acceptable when passing someone on the street. Acquaintances can also be greeted with a number of introductory phrases such as: Maanin! (“Hello!”), Weh di gowan? (“What’s Going On?”), Aee Bwai! (“Hi buddy !”).