Belize Program - Trip during Winter Break 2013-14
Arrupe International Immersion Program
Hand in Hand Ministries Philosophy:
“Hand in Hand Ministries is an international social services organization that seeks to make a difference in the lives of the poor, especially abandoned and disabled children. We believe that all people deserve life’s essentials - food, water, clothing, shelter, education and medical care - and that we are called to help provide them. An important part of what we do as a small, grassroots organization is offer people in the United States the opportunity for hands-on experiences of the developing world through our unique program of immersion trips. It is our hope that they will return home and become better for the experience while working to build a more just world. In all that we do, we seek to build community.”
Belize Trip Itinerary: The B.C. Belize delegation travels to Belize City where program participants collaborate with long-time in-country partner, Hand in Hand Ministries, in creating their trip experience. Within an urban community within Belize City struggling in abject poverty, delegation participants contribute to building a house, along-side the family that will eventually live in the house and other local Belizeans who participate in and support Hand in Hand Ministry’s “Building for Change” program. Participants also spend time throughout the trip at a center for children who have HIV or AIDS, and visit various other people working with organizations sponsoring solidarity projects. Throughout the weeks they meet with various community leaders, including local Jesuits, and listen to presentations and engage in discussions on the social, economic, political, and religious issues that have affected and continue to affect the people of Belize.
Before time in Belize City with Hand and Hand Ministries, the delegation begins the trip in a rural town in southern Belize called Punta Gorda, staying with families and sharing in and learning about the lives of the local people. They learn about various solidarity projects and efforts coordinated by a local Jesuit parish.