Belize

Director's Welcome

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Tracey N. Hébert-Seck, Country Director for Peace Corps Belize

I send you a warm and sunny hello from Belize! Considering coming? You know you are coming? You are welcome here!

Peace Corps has a proud history in Belize since 1962. Current Volunteer projects are in Rural Health Education and Literacy.

When in the US, Belize is advertised and marketed as a highly sought after tourist destination and place for Americans to come and retire and live a slow easy life next to the Caribbean Sea. Yes, Belize has a beautiful coastline, sandy beaches, and year-round warm breezes. If that’s the case, why is Peace Corps even in Belize?

Peace Corps Goal 1 – Help those in need! Emigration is significant in Belize and there are large wealth disparities. As a result there are places where local talent needs to be developed and systems strengthened in under-resourced areas.

Peace Corps Goal 2 - Increase understanding of Americans by Belizeans! Belize is a 2 hour flight from Houston and Miami but a world apart. Volunteers are not tourists. By living and working among Belizean neighbors, friends and co-workers, most in small rural communities, Peace Corps Volunteers have a unique opportunity to share their ideas and American culture.

Peace Corps Goal 3 - Increase understanding of Belizeans by Americans! Your immersion into Belizean language and culture will enable you to speak with greater authenticity about Belize and Belizeans to your family, friends and other Americans. You move beyond viewing the country simply in terms of the Blue Hole and a cruise destination.

Some of you may be attracted to the proximity to the US and as a result think Belizeans are not too different from Americans. When you arrive to Belize after a short flight, it is Belizean life that will surround you. It is a different culture and learning it is a big part of the Peace Corps experience. Some of you like the idea that Belizean is an Anglophone country, that’s great. However, be prepared to learn and speak Kriol, Spanish, or Q’eqchi, and you are expected to learn one of these languages as part of your job, your effectiveness and your safety.

We look for Americans who are resilient, who are prepared to try and try again, who understand that service, while noble, is also hard. We seek individuals who recognize that challenges are opportunities for growth and transformation. We owe it to Belizean communities to place American citizens in their communities who want to contribute respectfully and who are willing to make a 27-month commitment. We want people to choose Belize because they see the mission of peace and goodwill as part of their values and worthy investments of their time and effort.

As staff members, we are here to welcome and prepare your for service. Post has committees, working groups, and systems in place to support Volunteers. However, you will be ultimately responsible for your experience and your own success.

Peace Corps continues to be the toughest job you will ever love. It is also an experience that will change the way you view the world and yourself. If you are up for this challenge, we look forward to welcoming you to Belize.

Sincerely,
Tracey Hébert-Seck
Country Director
Peace Corps Belize