Prepare for the 2022 trip

2024 trip plans. Dates are May 12-23, 2024

Project Belize, Inc.

2024 Trip Information

Dates for 2020, 2021, and 2022 were cancelled due to Covid 19 issues. Several were able to take water filters to Belize to visit the same villages in 2021 and 2022. We resumed clinics in 2023, May 14-25, 2023.  This will be the 34th annual trip to work in the Toledo District of Belize.

The below is the tentative schedule for 2024.


About Project Belize, Inc.

Application Process

Trip Costs, Payments and Deadlines

Flight Information

Options for May 19

Tentative Timeline

Fundraising & Medication

Physical Requirements

Kit list

About Project Belize, Inc.

Mission: To provide limited medical, dental, and health care related services to remote villages in the Toledo District of Belize through annual clinic visits.

Project Belize, Inc. is a non-profit, 501-C-03 corporation that was created in 1988 by a group of adventurous medical, dental, nursing, and community individuals who shared a joint experience of providing medical and dental care to Mayan Indians and natives of the country of Belize. The trip is self-supported by its membership for each year’s trip. Some donations are received from various service organizations, churches, and individuals to offset some of the cost of medicines and supplies.

Each participating member pays his/her portion of the trip expenses. Each year’s members serve as its board of directors and the trip and planning meetings serve as the annual meeting.  See the website for more information,

Officers are Pam Mueller, Treasurer, Dr. Bruce McNellie, Trip Coordinator, Dr. Quinn Robinson, Medical Director, Dr. Barbara Cordell, Secretary, and a series of others who have made many of the trips, serving as its officers as the need arises. Project Belize, Inc. is a non-profit, 501-C-03 and is not associated with a specific denomination or mission effort. Our group works directly with the country’s primary health care administrators.

Our principal contact has been the Primary Health Care Coordinator, Punta Gorda, and the director of the Hillside Health Clinic in Punta Gorda, Toledo District. Most of our work in recent years has been in the southwest corner of the Toledo District. The 2024 trip will mark our 34th annual trip. For pictures of past years’ trips and more information on our group, take a look around the website!

Details: The main group will leave Houston Hobby Airport on Sunday, May 12th, 2024 to arrive in Belize City in the afternoon and pick up rental vans for the trip. We need at least 12 or so people to fly from Houston Hobby on the 12th to carry medical trunks as one of the two checked bags for each person will need to be one of the medical trunks used to carry our medical supplies. There is a 50 lb limit on all bags, so plan accordingly.

Upon arrival in Belize, we will load up in the rental vans and drive to Punta Gorda, check into the Sea Front Inn in time for dinner.  Most of the group will have May 13th and 14th as free days and can visit ruins, swim, rest, or tour the area. A few will work with the hospital and villages in getting ready for the clinics, and prepare medical trunks and vans for clinics. Our workdays will be May 15, 16, 17, 18, 2024, returning each night to the Sea Front Inn and convening for our evening meal and meeting provided at the Sea Front Inn in Punta Gorda.  We will have our last group meal and annual board at the Sea Front Inn the evening of the 18th.  The lodging and evening meals May 12-18, is paid for in the group fee.

Most will return to the States on May 23rd, 2024. Your time is your own beginning the morning of May 19th.  Lodging, transportation and meals are your responsibility starting May 19th.

Left to do are fund raising activities for the purchase of medications, packing, contact with the Health Care Coordinator at the hospital, and the director at the Hillside Clinic in Punta Gorda, who have been given our dates for 2024.

Application Process:

Due to logistical constraints, we will fill up quickly so turn in your application and pay the $200 deposit soon.

1)            Send an email to that says you are interested in going this year.

2)            Submit the application and health form: The application process aids with the selection of those who will be a part of the 2023 trip. Look over the physical requirements in the sample application at the end of this letter to be sure this trip is a good match for you.  We will not accept applications after the cap has been reached.

3)            Pay the non-refundable $200.00 deposit no later than 12/15/2023.  Method of payments include:

4)            Notify Bruce McNellie at  and Pam Mueller at when you have paid the deposit, and the form of your payment. Your application will be reviewed and if you are not selected, your deposit will be returned, and your name will be added to the waiting list of applicants for the following year.  Those accepted for the 2024 trip will be notified no later than February 1, 2024.

Trip Costs, Payments, and Deadlines

* The total trip cost for each individual will be approximately $1500 to $1800 depending on the cost of your flight to Belize, and where you chose to travel on your free days May 19 – May 23.

Total Trip Cost is broken down as follows:

1)            Airfare to Belize –  It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO BOOK AND PAY FOR YOUR ROUNDTRIP TICKET TO BELIZE and back to the states, this will not be booked through Project Belize, Inc.  Your flight into Belize City must arrive by 12:30 PM on May 12, or you will need to contact Pam or Bruce for other arrangements to get to Punta Gorda.  The cost of this roundtrip ticket will likely range from $300.00-$800.00.

2)            Group Fee – The group fee is $669.00 per participant and is paid to Project Belize, Inc.  This fee covers transportation upon arrival in Belize, dinners, and lodging through the work portion of the trip ending May 18, as well as expenditures necessary for travel and clinics.  See the budget detail below.

3)            Other possible costs during the work days would be for souvenirs or groceries.  You will be responsible for your breakfast and lunch each day. You can purchase food in Punta Gorda.

4)            The group fee does not include excursions during the free days of May 13 – 15, lunches during the week or transportation, meals and lodging from May 19 to May 23. You are responsible for making reservations and payment for any travel, food and accommodations during these days.  On May 19, some of the group will either go to Guatemala, San Pedro island in Belize, or return to the states. More information and approximate cost for each of these will be explained later.

* *Fundraising is encouraged.  Any funds raised under the Project Belize, Inc., the nonprofit ID must be used for medical expenses, or supplies that benefit the target population stated in our mission statement, the Mayans residing in Southern Belize.  Students may fundraise individually to offset the cost of their trip. Ask Pam Mueller or Bruce McNellie for a copy of the Tax ID.

December 15, 2023 – $200.00 Initial Deposit due with application. This is non-refundable deposit unless your application is denied.

February 15, 2024 – $469. The remaining balance of the $641.00 group fee.   This is also the deadline for  notifying Bruce McNellie and Pam Mueller of your travel plans on May 19th.

April 2024 – Pam Mueller will book in-country flights to the island and back to Belize City, hopefully at a discount through Tropic Air.  If you choose to utilize this benefit, payment for those flights will be due in April once the final flights are booked and invoiced by Tropic Air. Pam will let you know the amount.

The above payments can be made by:

Mailing a check or money order made payable to Project Belize Inc. to

Pam Mueller

737 Silver Lake Road

Monticello, FL  32344

Venmo – @project-belize

Budget Detail and Group Fee:

Flights to Belize are arranged and paid for individually.  RT – Houston – Belize City (approximate) ~$300-800 (*This is a guess until you book your flight. Southwest was about $400 last year.) Remember the airfare from Houston of $300-800 is an estimate and could be more or less depending on the final arrangements. Using Southwest out of Houston helps reduce the cost of baggage. We will have about 20 trunks of medical supplies to bring and Southwest’s policy of two bags free helps much. The exact fare for May 2024 has not been posted, but it appears it will be under $500 for Houston to Belize City. *Once your application has been approved* and you are certain you are going, I would suggest getting this fare as soon as possible due to the potential for an increase in fuel costs.

Group Costs:

Van35c 1091.01
Van36c 1091.01
Van37c 1091.01
Van38c 1091.01
Van39C 1055.58
Gas $3,510
Bags 1028
guides 2065
Mules/health care 500
Lodging/food 14700
Lunch on 15th 500
Water filter kits 1200
Medical suppies 2500

divided by 48=$669 Group fee

The group fee will cover most expenses from Belize City to Punta Gorda, including ground transportation through the 19th back to Belize City/Houston, group meals for the evening meals of May 12th – 18th, lodging the nights at Sea Front Inn from May 12th through May 18th . You can also buy lunch and breakfast supplies in Punta Gorda the morning of the 13th so you will not have to carry so much food on the plane.  Remaining personal meals and lodging costs after the work portion of the trip will be your responsibility, including the remaining breakfasts and lunches during the trip, and all meals and lodging beginning May 19th through return to Houston on May 23rd, 2023.

*Specific Costs Not included In the Above*:

Lodging costs for nights of May 19th – May 22nd, 2024 for the “rest and relaxation” portion of the trip.

Food costs for meals except the evening meals during the trip on Sunday through Saturday evening, which will be buffet meals covered by the group.  Breakfast and lunches each day beginning Sunday are on your own, and will need to be out of your back pack. You can buy food in Punta Gorda the morning of the 15th.

If some of you decide to keep one of the rented vans, or pick up another vehicle you would need to handle the rental after the 19th on your own.

Approximate cost for optional in-country flights:   These would in addition to the $669.00 group fee if Pam booked these flights for you. These are estimates and may be different this year.

Belize City to Punta Gorda  – RT $250.00

Punta Gorda to Belize City – One way $150.00

Punta Gorda to San Pedro May 19th and then to Belize City on May 23rd – 261.00

Belize City to San Pedro Island – RT $135.00

Pam Mueller will send you exact information on the cost of these flights soon after you let her know your itinerary. *The vans will return to Belize City on Thursday morning May 19th, and those wishing to ride overland will save some money in getting back to Belize City and will likely get to Belize City as early as 10 am (Some can leave early if needed to catch flights).*

Flight Information

For those flying from Houston on May 12, 2024: According to the Southwest Airlines website, for those flying from Houston on May 12, 2024, if we can, we need to get the Southwest Airline flight that leaves Houston Hobby around 11 am and arrives in Belize City at 12:30 pm, Belize time, flight number: Southwest Flight 837. (this is subject to change. This was the best flight this past year. The lower cost and the two free checked bags make the savings significant.) The return flight leaves Belize City at 4:40 pm, arriving Houston Hobby around 8:15 pm.

For those flying with the main group on May 12th from Houston, remember to pack so we can allow one of your two checked bags as one of the medication trunks. (This only applies to those ticketing in Houston Hobby who will be checking in at the same time as the main group.)

This past year, this flight from Houston to Belize City was about $400 after taxes and airport fees.

Note that flight arrangements to and from Belize City from the US or elsewhere for May 12th and May 19th or 23rd, 2024, are your responsibility. If you fly in with the group leaving from Houston Hobby on May 12th, you will need to check one bag and allow one bag for group medical trunks. We will use part of the money collected for group expenses to pay for the extra bags if necessary. We will need about 15 people to check one medical trunk as a second bag or we have to pay a premium of about $100 for each extra trunk.

Most of the group usually returns to the US on May 23rd, but this is up to personal preference and schedules and it is possible to return to Houston on May 19th, by taking a 7 am flight from Punta Gorda to Belize City or by riding in one of the vans which will arrive in Belize City by 10 or 11 am. Several have done this in the past.

For those needing in-country flights, Pam Mueller, our treasurer, will purchase in-country flights from Belize City to Punta Gorda and flying back to Belize City or to the island at San Pedro on May 19th. We must have exact flight arrangements nailed down by March 1, 2024, so once your application has been accepted and you know you are going, let Pam ( and me ( know your plans no later than February 15, 2024. We have been able to get a discount on these flights in the past, so go through Pam Mueller to make these arrangements.

The main group, as last year, will fly to Belize City on May 12th, get the medical trunks into the country, and pick up the vans. They will meet with the director of primary health care missions, and our guides by noon on Monday, May 13th. If you cannot fly from Houston to Belize City with the main group, just be in Belize City by 12:30 pm on May 12th so you can catch a ride with the main group in the vans to SeaFront Inn, Punta Gorda for the first night. Otherwise you will need to make your own arrangements to get to Punta Gorda. There is a flight each hour.

We will pick up those flying in on the 13th or 14th at the airport in Punta Gorda and will all spend the nights of the 12th through the 18th at Sea Front Inn in Punta Gorda.

Options for May 19

1)            In past years several have driven into Guatemala to visit the ruins at Tikal and the old Spanish town of Flores. (Bruce McNellie plans to do that again this year and will help with these arrangements.) The cost of this part of the trip will be about $350: $40 day in lodging and meals, $20 in border fees, $20 in entrance fee to Tikal, $30 for zip line (for those who want to do it), $25 for horse-back riding (one of the mornings), about $70 to help with gas and vehicle rental, and miscellaneous costs.) The group going to Guatemala will stay at La Casa De Don David’s in El Remate, Guatemala ( through the night of May 22nd, 2024.

2)            Some of the group are planning on going to San Pedro, on the island of Ambergris Caye.  This can include travel to Belize City with the vans and flying from there to the island arriving early afternoon, or flying directly from Punta Gorda to San Pedro, on the Island, arriving early morning.  There are several nice hotels on San Pedro. In years past some have stayed at the Holiday House – 011 501 2 62014 or 011 501 2 62295; for approximately $200/night for a four or five person apartment, or 120/night for a double. They have a web site: .  The address is Holiday House, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, P.O. 1140, Belize City, Belize, Central America. San Pedro Holiday Hotel, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, Phone: 713-893-3825, Skype Name: sanpedroholidayhotel, Fax: +501-226-2295, Email     Last year they gave us a discount so identify yourself as with Project Belize.

3)            Some choose to fly back to the US on May 19th.  This can include riding in the vans from Punta Gorda to Belize City for no additional money, or taking a flight from Punta Gorda back into Belize City for an additional flight charge.

Tentative Timeline:

Today – send Bruce McNellie an email if you’re interested in participating in the 2023 trip.

December 15, 2024  Deposit and completed application– $200 deposit due to Pam Warren Mueller, Treasurer. AND completed application mailed to

February 1, 2024 or earlier: Notification of acceptance of the group for Project Belize 2023. Deposits will be returned to those who are not part of the group selected for the 2020 trip.

February 15, 2024 – $469 balance of group expenses due to Pam Warren Mueller, Treasurer. This is the remainder of the final group payment due to Pam Mueller, of $669.  By February 15, 2024 Have purchased your own airfare round trip to Belize City. Make sure your application is approved before making your flight arrangements, and make sure your passport is current. Double check your flights to ensure they are for arrival in Belize City on May 12, 2024, and depart on May 23rd, 2024 and fit with the travel times noted in this letter or your personal itinerary.  February 14, 2024 is the last chance to notify Bruce McNellie and Pam Mueller of your travel plans on May 19th, and if you need in-country flights booked by Pam.

April 2024 – Pam Mueller will book in-country flights at a discount through Tropic Air.  Payment for those flights will be due in April once the final flights are booked and invoiced.  Pam will let you know the exact cost, and payment will be due.

April 24th, 2024 Pre-trip meeting at Memorial Hospital cafeteria at 12:00 noon for those that can make it to answer questions and make last minute travel arrangements to and from Houston.

May 5, 2024 Sunday 2:00 PM – Afternoon Packing Medication Party at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 904 North Street, Nacogdoches, TX – Bring friends to help.

May 12, 2024 Sunday Main group leaves North Street Church of Christ Parking lot at 8:30 am for Houston Hobby. Arrives in Belize City, picks up vehicles, and spends first night in Punta Gorda.

May 13th or 14th, Monday or Tuesday, Some may arrive in Belize on Monday or Tuesday and fly by small plane, regular service to Punta Gorda. Entire group spends night at Sea Front Inn from the 12th through the 18th.

May 13th, and 14th, Monday and Tuesday, Group free days (Cave tours, Blue Creek, Rio Blanco, swimming, Lubaantuun ruins which are about 30 minutes from the hotel), while some visit villages and make arrangements for clinics.

May 14 Possible clinic day by boat for some members of the group

May 15, Wednesday First work day

May 16, Thursday Second work day

May 17, Friday Third work day

May 28, Saturday Fourth work day, hold board meeting that evening.

May 19, Sunday Travel day. Group splits up as desired, some to fly out to destination of choice, return to Houston, or some to drive vehicle back to rental agency in Belize City. Spend night of the 19th your choice.

May 20, Monday Free day, spend night your choice.

May 21, Tuesday Free day, spend night your choice.

May 22, Wednesday Free day, spend night your choice.

May 23, Thursday Return to Belize City and flight to Houston.

If you have other questions please contact Bruce McNellie 936-560-9437 home; 936 371 2910 cell, email

As noted above, mark your calendar for a brief group meeting at Memorial Hospital in Nacogdoches if you can make it at 12:00 on April 24th, 2024 in the cafeteria at to go over any last minute details. You do not have to be at this meeting. Bruce will send notes to those who can’t make it. We can coordinate some of the after-trip plans as well as travel to the airport.

Fundraising & Medications/supplies

And finally, those of you with connections to clubs or other funding sources, please begin updating them on our trip to see if they might be willing to donate funds for the medications and dental supply expenses. We need about $5500 to buy necessary medications.  Payments can be accepted by check, venmo or paypal.

Pam Mueller

737 Silver Lake Road

Monticello, FL  32344

Venmo – @project-belize

In years’ past, people have also donated medical supplies for the trip that are utilized by Project Belize participants within the clinics or left in the villages with the health care workers.

Be talking up any donors you know for medications for this year’s trip and get them to Bruce McNellie or Quinn Robinson in time for the *packing on Sunday, May 5, 2024*, at the Westminster Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. Bring friends to help.

Feel free to call me if you have questions: Bruce McNellie,, 936 560 9437 home: 936 371 2910 cell

Physical Requirements

Excerpt from the Application for Project Belize 2020

There may be one significant hike involved in the clinics served by Project Belize 2024. Some participants will likely face a hike through muddy, unmarked trails through the rain forest including a number of significant hills and river crossings. Also there are several significant hills with little shade. Temperature and humidity are routinely in the 90’s. The issue of personal fitness matching the needs of the hikes is important in ensuring no one is hurt as this could detract from the mission of the group and put oneself and others in harm’s way. Consider a typical hike to include walking across uneven and muddy terrain up and down hills in 90 plus degree heat with 90 plus humidity, carrying a 15 to 20 lb pack for up to 3 hours. If this gives you pause, you should explore other opportunities. However, not everyone will face the hike, but everyone will face heat and humidity.

You will be asked to acknowledge and agree to the following statement on the application.

I attest that I am able to meet the criteria set for Vigorous activity+, Greater than 6.0 METs* (more than 7 kcal/min) as noted in the attached link as defined by the CDC:


Kit list


This year, 2024, we are staying in a hotel, so many things are furnished,
such as linens and towels. Note washrags are not always furnished. The rooms are screened and air-conditioned and you will not need a mosquito net.

This is list of some of the things Bruce brings each year and represents a pretty good check list for most people such as string, canteen, washrag, extra towel, etc.

Especially important are sturdy shoes/boots that will not come off easily in the mud, insect repellent that contains at least 25% DEET, sun screen, and a swim suit.

*Don’t Forget!*

Your vaccinations for Covid-19 must be uptodate! You may have to be tested prior to reentering the US. If you test positive, you will have to stay at a ‘Gold Star’ hotel for a quarantine period. (SeaFront Inn is a Gold Star Hotel). Project Belize, Inc. does not assume responsibility for these costs.

* Make sure your passport is up to date and you know where it is. You have to have it. It takes about 8 weeks to get it updated or get a new one, so get on it soon. You get an application from the district clerk’s office in a county courthouse, have two passport pictures taken and send them with the completed application and your old passport to Houston with about $120 in a money order or cashier’s check. You can check at the county courthouse to get the exact amount.

* Also, don’t forget shots. At this time, you only need to be sure your tetanus shots are updated (every 10 years). Ask your doctor if you have questions. Also, check with your doctor about anti-malaria medication (Malarone or Chloriquine) as well as a good supply of at least 25% DEET (insect repellent) to ward off the mosquitos. The CDC has taken Belize off the list of malaria prone areas, anti-malaria drugs are no longer required. The most important issue is wearing insect spray for mosquitos for Zika and other mosquito born diseases. We will not plan to out much after dark, so we are somewhat protected from the usual carriers of the disease. Dr. Quinn Robinson will help with the prescription for Chloriquin or the newer anti-malaria pills (Malarone) if you decided to take antimalaria medications. (It is strongly suggested you not take Larium. There have been some complications with this medications and we are advising against using it.) Contact Bruce and he will forward your request for a prescription to Dr. Robinson.

*Vital*  Passport, make sure it is up to date and in a zip lock bag to keep it dry.

* Canteen (2) or Camelback for at least two quarts or more

* Water filter (optional); the veterans will have several so ignore unless you are obsessive. Each team will carry a Sawyer Filter as well.

*Sleeping*  This year we will be in a hotel with air-conditioning all nights of the trip.


* Insect repellent (Containing at least 25% deet)

* Serious suntan block/ lotion and hat

* Toilet paper in a ziplock bag. We may use outhouses or the woods this year in the villages we visit, so bring your own toilet paper.

* Extra glasses/contacts/Contact solution

*Clothing* for about 6 to 7 days or more before you will have access to a laundry.

* Good, sturdy, over-the-ankle boots, or over-the-ankle-high walking shoes such as ‘tennis shoe’ boots that cover the ankle. It is likely we will be walking in deep mud from time to time.

* Shoes for around the clinic if boots are too muddy (wading shoes/thongs/Crocs)

* Swimsuit (we may swim a few times during the trip)

* Shirts

* Shorts

* Light colored and light weight clothing, it can be very hot and humid

* One nicer outfit for after trip


* Tetanus shot booster if not in last 10 yrs (suggested, but check with your doctor)

* Personal medication plus prescriptions or prescription bottles

* Chloriquin or Malarone as desired. See your doctor about this. (anti malaria medication)

* Personal electric fan/extra batteries (the small ones at the dollar store are fine and really help)

* Antibiotic ointment for bites, cuts, scrapes

* Antiseptic hand-wash or cloths


* Moleskin for blisters

* Money ($100-$200 extra cash, credit cards work only in a few areas, and some $1.00 bills

* Fanny pack and zip lock bag for pass port and ticket (plan ongetting wet by rain, river, or sweat.)

* Wash-cloth

* String to hang wet clothes

* Knife (be sure to pack in checked luggage)

* Flashlight (2) with extra batteries (a headlamp is great for the caving and hiking)

* Camera extra film/storage cards

* Notebook and pens

* Nothing valuable that would hurt you if lost

* Shades

* Spoon, fork, knife, cup

* Needle and thread

* Extra towel for swimming

* Rope/twine

*Food*  for breakfast and lunch from Monday on (except we will have a group meal on Monday at noon when we meet our guides (you can buy food at a super market in Punta Gorda on the morning after we arrive)

* Trail mix, punch mix, hard candy

* (On food, we will be at a grocery store on Monday morning in Punta Gorda where you can buy food if you wish vs. trying to pack it or you can pick some up when you arrive if you fly in to Punta Gorda)


* Needle and thread kits to give out

* Bubbles, small toys, favors to hand out during clinics (NO BALOONS)

* Printed material for teaching personal hygiene

* Printed material for teaching importance of vitamins, nutrition, and clean water

* Printed material for teaching well baby checkups

* For Eddie, and his wife & kids; Dvd’s, candy, video tapes and sewing stuff for Mary Tulcey (These are friends of ours who live in Punta Gorda)