Our Belize group leaves El Progresso/7 Miles today after a homestay and service experience to remember.
Their final days in the host community were filled with finishing up the last piece of their service work (a mural), lunches and siestas with their host families, and planning for the final celebration “despedida”! The students and community celebrate new friendships, language understanding, completed work throughout the community, and a wonderful experience. While we have not heard from them since the “despedida”, Isaac and Della mentioned the PTA was going to prepare a special meal of Escabeche, an onion soup with sweet and savory spices. The students prepared gifts of hand made cards and friendship bracelets for their hosts. And the plan was for everyone, both by students and their host families, to share toasts and speeches of gratitude at the celebration. We will here from the group later today once they arrive at Caye Caulker.
Della and Isaac gave us a rundown of some of the popular past times with host families over the last 10 days:
Making Cakes! Many of the students made cakes to celebrate different occasions: birthdays, the World Cup, and just because!
Chess tournaments: One of the local host brothers is a chess master! Only one of our group members was able to beat him, even though almost everyone else played him in hopes for a win!
Trying new foods and enjoying comforts: One of the host fathers came home from several days out of the community at work at a resturaunt that caters to tourists. The whole group was lucky enough to enjoy a specially cooked meal of Spaghetti Carbonara, by the trained chef. This was a nice reminder of food similar to back home. Also one of the host mothers brought fresh mangos, chile and salt for the students to all try for a snack one day.
The student will leave 7Miles/El Progresso having finished quite a few repairs. This week they completed three picnic benches, painting the school and began the work for securing fences. And, as mentioned at the beginning of this point, they worked hard at the end of their community stay to finish a mural.
We look forward to hearing from them when they reach their final travel destination.