Project Belize 2023 Trip Report

From a Project Belize, Inc. member:

2023 feedback several of the group has sent in as part of what the Project Belize trip has meant to them.

-It has been strange being back in USA, this time more so than my experience in 2019.  While I quickly adjusted to the rhythm of life and work here, my mind and emotions keep taking me back to Belize.  Maybe this is so because it was such a special trip with my daughter and you all.  Maybe it is so because this trip, more than any others in the recent past, reminds me of the value of service.

I too thank those of you who have organized and made this trip possible for over 37 years, wow! It is such a gift to have the medium of Project Belize to meet new friends and try and do some good in an amazingly beautiful part of the world.  I am looking forward to 2024.

A Letter from Quinn, our medical director:

I simply don’t know where to begin.  I was so deeply moved by the outpouring of love and encouragement I received from everyone in Belize.  Every time I turned around, someone else was giving me love or going out of their way to make my life easier.  I have never been so gratified to the point of being embarrassed because you see, I have the back-stage view of myself and I know all the flaws.  I am just thankful that you guys decided to ignore them anyway.

So many times I heard the phrase “you inspired” or “you were an inspiration” and when you hear it, the words don’t really sink in at the time, and all you can think of to say is “thank you.”  But I have had a few days to let it gel in my mind and find some perspective.  “Inspiration” is such a beautiful word, beautiful concept, beautiful gift. It is the highest compliment you could have bestowed.  But here is the real truth:  I came to realize that it is all of you, it is Bruce, and Joe and Barbara, and Jim, and Levi, and Pam, and Emily, and Sean, and, and, and….It is ALL of you that inspire me!  It is Project Belize, and everyone, new and old that comes along on our “little adventure”, that finds in their heart a place to give to others, to serve, to have compassion, and to give of themselves that sustained me and kept me coming back and kept me going.  And all I can say is Thank You!!

But that is what good friends do for each other.  They encourage each other, they see something that a friend does and want to do it; they observe some attitude that a friend has and want to have it; they are inspired by each other.  And so as I accept the compliments and honor you all have graciously given, know that they are honors and compliments that you must accept as well, not only from me but from everyone you have encouraged, or helped or complimented. Everyone who is a part of Project Belize, everyone you call friend.

Know that I love you all.  Know that you have stripped from me all reason for feeling depressed or inadequate or feeling like I can’t do it or do it well enough.  Thank you for that.  Life for me will never be the same and I must say that this trip was a supreme high point of my life!  I will never forget!

So, you see it is I who have been inspired!

With Much Love and Thanksgiving….  Quinn


Hi everybody!!

I wanted to send out a quick email to say thanks for such a great trip. It’s been 10yrs since I had been back and it was so nice to see some old friends and meet some new. I’m sad to say that I leave not having actually gotten to spend much time with several people, but it makes me look forward to next year.

I came this year with many fears and insecurities and am humbled and appreciative for the kindness that was shared with me. It was cool to work alongside such a diverse group of people….we all have such different but equally relevant/important stories.

Thank you for a rewarding experience.

Peace and Love, Noel

– it was such a joy to be back in Belize!!!  thanks for always welcoming, believing in and trusting me to be a part of such a dynamic program. More soon, and much love!  Jolie

Hi! Levi and I had a wonderful trip, meeting you all and making friends. He really liked helping with the glasses and vitamin A, I liked helping with all of it! My ribs are ok this week:) and will maybe bring Sara in the future since mosquitos in Belize were sparse compared to here at home. Kimbra

-Clara and I had a wonderful time.  Hopefully we can make next year as well.  Clara wants us to plan on it 😁 Nichole

To the ‘elders’ of Project Belize,

I am sad this year and every year that I don’t get to join you in one of my favorite places on this earth. In the past few months, I’ve shared my story, several times about how I did not want to go to college out of high school. I wanted to join the Peace Corps or become a missionary. Of course, all of this was my mother’s fault because she took me to Belize so young. I think I was 11 years old on my first trip. When I attempt to explain to people why Project Belize was so impactful on my life, I talk a lot about the people who go on the trip. But mostly, I talk about yall. That’s why I’m writing you this letter. I’m sure I’ve said thank you before but I don’t think I’ve ever told you how much your leadership, your example, and your characters have influenced, me. After serving on teams with each of you in Belize, I knew one think I wanted to live a life like that. I saw People who knew how to laugh, work hard, communicate, serve, and love those around them. I simultaneously learned that yall were not perfect, but that you had the faith in God that I admired and strived for. (You are still perfect in my eyes, by the way.) When I was deciding what to do in college, I just kept saying, I want to help people. Being with the teams in Belize and under your influence had infected me with the bug of serving others.

It is a large part of the reason I chose occupational therapy. I really had no idea what the profession was about, but they told me I could help others improve their quality of life and I was in. As I work my job now, I get a little slice of that “Belize feeling”. The feeling of teamwork, of service, of love of others without expecting anything in return. I try to treat every person I work with like I’ve seen each for you treat people in Belize. You treated them with compassion, respect, and genuine hearts. All of this to say, I want you to know how you have left your mark on my life. I think its safe to say I am probably not the only one.

I miss each of you dearly. I miss Belize. I’ll be praying for a safe trip and minimal flat tires on the vans. Hopefully, I’ll be with you in one of the next few years.

With love, Caroline

This was my first trip to Belize and it did not disappoint. It was a very rewarding and humbling experience and I can’t wait to do it again next year.  I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone and making new friends. Thank you to the leaders who make this happen!

Much love, Debbie

Saying hello to a stranger while brushing my teeth who turned out to be a doctor of nursing on a medical mission 8 years ago, was the serendipitous encounter that has led to my involvement with Project Belize.

This year’s trip marks 5 consecutive Mays that I have returned to the speechless beauty that is Belize and its people to serve.

The results are in: 55 of us made up of MDs, PhDs, nurses, nursing students and even family members with backgrounds in lawncare, a flight attendant, a fine arts enthusiast, and even a few high school students.

We rallied from all over the US from Illinois, Texas, Minnesota, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, and Florida, most of us complete strangers to one another.

We were able to serve 16 villages and an orphanage in the rural Toledo District of Belize. We treated 2,080 people and stocked their year round Hillside clinic with much needed supplies and medications.

We saw everything from a 93 year old female with broken femur to an 18 month old with a fungal infection that covered her entire body, we did general checkups and preventative medicine, brought Sawyer water filtration systems for our more remote villages, and of course passed out hygiene swag.

It’s one of the longest most tiring weeks I’ll experience; but it’s the most rewarding. My heart and soul thrives for the next 365 because of the good ju ju this mission is all about. The souls I have been blessed to be touched by range from a family of 7 in Blue Creek that I have watched grow up to the youngest 75ish rare Democrat from East Texas with more wisdom and knowledge about love and life than you can shake a stick at.

We see beginners blossom in these clinics, veterans rekindling their passion, feel support that is cast from all of those that appreciate our work, and the gratitude radiate from those we treat. Project Belize 2018 was an absolute blessing to be apart of. RB


Photos from the 2023 trip


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