Volunteers to Las Flores, Belize

Steve and Karen journeyed from Memphis to Las Flores, Belize on March 12 to spend two months volunteering. Karen is a SCN Associate and Steve is a SCNA Candidate, and both have been on numerous volunteer trips with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. You can follow their experience here as they send updates throughout their stay. Karen sent this summary of their first week:

It has been rainy and cool this week. By cool I mean it has been in the 70’s during the day and 60’s at night. Feels great to me. I did not go to the school this week as they were having exams so I thought I should wait. I did go Thursday afternoon to talk with the principal. It was kind of nice that she remembered me. I will do some reading assistance with children that need it this coming week. Then they are off 2 weeks for Easter holiday. During the holiday, I will do a reading time at the library. I brought a book with me just for that purpose.  

Steve had gone with me to talk with the principal to see if she had any projects for him. She looked at him and told him he was a gift from God. She has groups coming to do school improvements over the holiday weeks but there is preliminary work to be done. Steve has talked with some men in the village who will help him this week to get things ready for the volunteer groups next week. Steve also spent most of yesterday putting in a driveway at the church. It was hard work but there were about 10 men from the parish that worked together to make it happen.

One of the friends I made last year, Ana Ruth, has started a lunch program at her house for kids that live too far away to go home for lunch. Lunch is not served at school. Kids get 1 ½ hours for lunch. She feeds about 40 kids a day. Real hot meals, not sandwiches. She has several women who help her. I went Thursday and Friday to help. I have never seen such large pots of rice or beans in my life! Of course I had to sample and it was so good. The kids pay nothing for their meals. Ana Ruth is always looking for creative ways to find funding to keep the program going.

Went to the market in Belmopan Friday. I love the market! I wish we had something like it in Memphis.

Our neighbor here has an orchid plant in their front yard. They keep an umbrella over it to shade it from the sun. I have enjoyed sitting on the front porch and watching all the different birds that are so abundant here. At night we can see the stars, lots of them, even the Milky Way. It is also so nice to have so many beautiful flowers everywhere we go.

Every time I go I am amazed at how friendly and kind the people are. One night we were blessed with a sack of tamalitos. Nothing but freshly ground corn steamed in their husks. Oh so good hot or cold. Last night someone brought papoosas, ground corn tortillas with cheese in the middle with another tortilla on top. Kind of like a sealed pancake. There is a delicious sauce that goes on top. On top of that is a cole slaw that has tomatoes and cilantro in it. I really love the foods we have been eating.

 Until next time.

Peace and blessings,

Karen

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