Sunday, April 30, 2017

Day 2: Tikal, Guatemala

     Today we started off with a scenic drive to Guatemala to visit Tikal National Park. When we arrived at the Guatemalan border we went through immigration and then received our Guatemalan stamp for our passport. After we reached the other side we met up with our tour guides for the rest of our trip, Noel and Reggie. They talked with us about the history of Tikal National Park. We learned about Guatemala's national tree, the Ceiba Tree, it towers over all the trees in the rainforest making it one of the largest trees in the park. We talked about the exchange rate for Guatemala, 1 U.S. dollar is equal to 7 Quetzals. After learning about the history of Tikal National Park we had arrived at our destination. We started our hike to our first stop, the map of Tikal National Park. After we looked at the map we set off to see our first temple. As we were walking through the park, our tour guides pointed out different things for us to look at. We looked at a "gum" tree, where company's who made bubble gum would collect the sap from the tree to create their candy. There were several spider monkeys in the trees as we walked through the park. They would swing from tree to tree and then sit on a branch and watch the tourists as we walked past. After visiting the temples in the courtyard we headed towards the main plaza. The main plaza is where the Mayans celebrated their religious ceremonies. There are three main temples in the plaza, they constructed the plaza in a way where it makes your voice echo throughout, making it easy to hear from the top or bottom of the temple. In the main plaza, there is Temple III, where Mayan priests were the only people allowed on top of the temple. There are 106 steps to get from the ground to the top of the temple. After we left the plaza we headed to the last temple of the day, which is the largest temple that has been discovered in Tikal. The view from the top of this temple was featured in one of the Star Wars episodes. In all, we hiked around 12,000 steps through Tikal. Afterward , we headed to lunch at a restaurant in the National Park where we had Guatemalan fried chicken, which was delicious.

       Once we got back in the vans we headed to a little market shop to look for souvenirs for friends and family located in Guatemala. Then, we headed back to the border of Guatemala and Belize where we got both a stamp for leaving Guatemala and a stamp for returning to Belize. On our beautiful ride back to the Mayan Mountain Lodge, we were able to look at the scenery and take it all in. Once back at the Mayan Mountain Lodge, we settled down to a nice dinner and watched a performance by the Garifuna. They performed many traditional songs and dances from their culture. We were able to meet the four female dancers and three male dancers. The girls did a beautiful job dancing and singing and the guys were so talented on the drums. After their performance, they asked us to come to the stage and dance with them. We learned a couple new dance moves. After the dance, we all went back to our rooms because we have an early morning tomorrow.

**We are struggling to keep the wifi connected here, therefore pictures will be posted tomorrow.

-Kelsey Barrick (Student Leader) and Courtney Ziegler (Staff)

View of Temple from on top of Temple III

One of the largest Temples

Court Yard
Main Plaza
Howler Monkey

Ceiba Tree (National Tree of Belize)
                                                           Map of Tikal National Park

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Arrived Safely

The first day of travel is always the most difficult.  We start early arriving at the airport at 4:45 a.m.  We had a great lunch at Orange Gift Gallery and made it safely to our home for the next couple of days at the Maya Mountain Lodge.  We were treated to a cooking demonstration before dinner.  Making tortillas is much harder that we expected.

Everyone is getting some much needed R&R before dinner.  We are up early tomorrow for a trip to Tikal in Guatemala.  We will post photos and reflections tomorrow evening when we get back to Maya Mountain.  

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Meet the Students



I am looking forward to this teaching experience in Belize. Getting to learn from the students and teachers in such a culturally rich environment will benefit my future students when I have my own classroom. Also, getting to work along side other future educators will help to build relationships that I feel confident will last a lifetime. I couldn't be more excited for this trip!


I am excited and thankful to be going on this trip to Belize. I'm hoping I will be able to share my knowledge and experiences, as well as gain a new outlook on life. I hope and pray that my contributions to this community will make a difference because I know they will make a huge impact in my life.

Hi everyone! My name is Allison and I am so very excited about this upcoming trip to Belize with my fellow classmates in the education department at UofL.  By going to Belize to teach for two weeks, I am hoping to gain even more teaching experience than I already have through student teaching, and also gain knowledge of the cultural differences.  I think that I will be able to bring back many of the educational techniques that they use!  I hope you all enjoy following along with our journey!     


I am counting down the days until we arrive in Belize, I know this will be an awesome trip with memories that will last me a lifetime. I plan to take advantage of every opportunity to learn and truly soak up the experience!


I’m overjoyed to have the opportunity to teach the sweet students in Belize! I’m eager to gain a deeper understanding and perspective on how to build a learning community that is filled with compassion and respect. I’m excited to be challenged professionally and personally to grow in various ways through this humbling experience.


The opportunity to teach in Belize is a dream come true! I am eager to learn from the students and teachers who live there and share my own ideas as well. I am looking forward to growing professionally and personally from this one in a lifetime experience. I can't wait to see what Belize has in store for us!


I am excited for Belize because I am getting the chance to work with a population of students I have never worked with before and I am going to be teaching in a setting I am not used to. I love taking on the challenge of change and doing things I have never done before. In Belize, I hope to gain an understanding of how different cultures work, inside and outside of the classroom. The experience of teaching in Belize will be amazing and I cannot wait!


I see this opportunity as the trip of a lifetime because I'll get to experience the country without just being a tourist. I'm excited to learn from the people, and I hope to use what I learn in Belize in my future classroom. Traveling expands and challenges us in ways that nothing else can, so I'm very excited for this amazing trip!


My name is Katelyn , I am a senior at the University of Louisville. The Belize teaching learning trip is coming up and there is so much I am looking forward to while being apart of this journey. I have had the opportunity to do mission work in the Dominican Republic before and loved it, since then I have been waiting for an opportunity to travel abroad again. Teaching in another country, submersing myself into another culture will allow me to learn more about myself as a teacher. I look forward to meeting my fourth and fifth grade students! I am excited to become apart of a community and put my teaching skills I have been learning and practicing to use.  Collaborating with the UofL team and teachers at Red Bank will only make me more prepared to have my own classroom in the future. I am starting my students teaching journey in the fall, and I plan to use everything I learn while on this trip. I can't wait for the teaching and exploring of Belize begin!


I am excited to get back to Belize and work in the schools with all of the wonderful students. I am also looking forward to working with the group of teacher candidates going on the trip this year and helping them grow and learn through this experience.


From this trip, I am looking forward to gaining an entirely new outlook on education around the world. Experiencing the opportunity to teach students who come from a background much different than my own will be something that will influence my future as an educator greatly. The opportunities, experiences, and adventures that we will get to engage in on this trip are truly invaluable. As my first time traveling outside of the country, I could not be more excited for it to be on the trip of a lifetime!


As of now, I cannot fathom the experience we will all have in Belize. I imagine every child and every UofL student reaching their highest potential and empowering one another. I am excited for the opportunity to learn from the students in San Pablo. I know I will be forever impacted by the relationships and knowledge I will gain from this one in a life time experience. This trip will prepare me for my own diverse classroom. I can't wait!


I am most excited about returning this year as one of the student leaders. I remember going down last year and how exciting and new everything was. I can't wait to share the experiences I had there with a new group of students. I want to show them the things I cherished most while visiting in Belize. Also, I am excited to leave a better footprint this year because of the generous donations made from families, friends, schools, and local unions. The other student leader and myself were able to gather over 120 pairs of shoes and over $800 to spend on extra supplies to take with us. We noticed while we were there last year the need in the villages for basic necessities and we are excited to be able to provide for some of the people in the village. I can't wait to get there and deliver all the things we were able to bring.


Having been to Belize 3 times already to build houses and visit friends/family, I am excited to experience a different side of Belize. I look forward to being in a classroom and being able to fall more in love with the country and the people of Belize. By teaching in another country, I will learn valuable information about other techniques of teaching and be able to learn and grow as a person with each new day. I hope to impact the teachers by providing new ways of teaching and showing the students that learning is fun.


I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to travel, and teach aboard in Belize. While on this trip, I hope to gain the experience of immersing myself in a different culture and embracing the diversity from my everyday life. In doing this, I will witness a completely different way of living that will help me better understand and appreciate the people around me. I hope to make a positive impact on the communities I will be working with, and work with the students in school to motivate inspire their learning.


 I can't begin to explain how excited I am for my upcoming teaching experience in Belize. I'm greatly looking forward to the chance to work with bright young minds in a setting that I would not otherwise have the chance to teach in. I consider it a pleasure to have the opportunity to see how the culture impacts student learning and how I can take this experience back to my future classroom in the states.


I am incredibly excited to be travelling with the CEHD because this is an experience that is going to introduce me to new people and challenge me from a professional standpoint. I do a lot of travelling being a student-athlete but this is my first ‘road trip’ as a teacher. I am excited to be introduced to a different culture and learn how to adjust and adapt my abilities as a growing teacher. 


I am very excited about my upcoming experience in Belize! I cannot wait to immerse myself in the culture and surroundings that this beautiful country has to offer. Teaching is such a joy to me and to be able to have the opportunity to teach students from another country is absolutely amazing. I am most looking forward to working with the children and building a relationship with them during my stay. I hope to make a difference in their lives and leave a lasting impact. I have no doubt that this will be an experience of a lifetime!

Though I'll only be in Belize a short time, I am hoping that in some small way I can make a difference in the children's education that I will be a part of, while I'm there visiting. I am excited to see how different or how similar the children and schools are from what I've experienced in my observations. I'm looking forward to being able to experience cultural differences firsthand, so I can begin to understand where other people are coming from and maybe have a widen perspective. This will be my first time traveling abroad, and what better way to gain a unique experience and memory than being part of something like this and giving back.