Short Term Mission Trips
Please review the information on this page prior to applying for a mission trip. If you have any questions not answered on this page, please contact us.
We love the fact that you are inquiring about coming to Belize, to come alongside LOL Ministry to serve the nation of Belize. LOL is dedicated to the children and native Kekchi and Mayan people of Belize. We ask that you pray about coming to Belize to assist LOL and partake in the spiritual awakening of God’s Kingdom.
We believe that short-term mission teams are crucial to furthering the vision of LOL. Short-term mission trips are a beautiful gift in that we are bringing ourselves out of our normal environment and sharing the love of Christ with others, as well as taking on a different perspective than that of everyday life. We want to create an atmosphere where it is easy to see the grace of God and pass that along to the people of Belize.
We are able to host mission trips for…
Information for Inquiring Teams:
Location of LOL:
We are located in the village of Jacintoville. The village is about 15 minutes from the closest city called Punta Gorda. Punta Gorda is on the southern point of Belize, close to the border of Guatemala.
Culture of Belize
Belize is made up of people of African and East Indian decent, along with the native peoples called Kekchi and Maya Indians. People here speak predominantly English. However, the native Indian people speak either Kekchi or Maya, and most everyone speaks the street language called Kriol.
When you come to Belize there are many opportunities for your team to serve alongside LOL and serve the people of Belize:
March-May is considered the Dry Season. During this time of year the temperature is extremely hot and humid. Lightweight, breathable, wicking (fast dry) material is suggested for this season. Items like these can be found at outdoor/sports stores like Dicks, REI, etc. The days are typically hot but the nights can still get chilly, so it is recommended to bring a sweatshirt and pants.
June-September is considered the Rainy Season. During this time of year the temperature is hot and humid and it will usually rain every day. Clothes and shoes will get muddy. It is suggested to bring a raincoat, umbrella, and material that dries easily. A lightweight jacket is recommended in case of abnormal cool nights.
October-January is considered the Winter Season. During this time of year the temperature can still be hot, but there are cool days and the temperature drops in the night and early morning; it rains occasionally. It is suggested to bring a few pair of pants, multiple pairs of socks, a lightweight jacket/sweatshirt, long sleeve shirts and possibly even an extra blanket to keep you warm during sleeping.
February is considered the transition month from Winter Season to Dry Season. The temperature can vary greatly: it ranges from weather similar to the October-January months and the March-May months, so be prepared to bring clothing found in each category. The temperature doesn’t get as cool as the Winter Season, and doesn’t get as hot as the Dry season, but it is definitely still hot weather.
- Translator if needed
- Transportation to and from Belize City
Option 1) Rustic Dormitory Style: This houses teams with up to 60 people. Does include camp style showers and toilets. (Approx $15/night per person)
Option 2) Renting local hotel rooms: Pricing consists anywhere from $65 to $130 per room, for double occupancy.
Short Term Mission trip Checklist
Testimonies (Opens in a new window)
Application (Opens in a new window)
Information for Accepted Teams:
Step 1 (If not completed yet)
Invoice Checklist (Belize Expenses)
These are your costs while in Belize.
Download the PDF file here so you can print it out.
These are other expenses you need to take into account for your trip.
What Leaders need to know/Team Prep
Talk to your team members about cross-culture meals and mannerisms (i.e. facial expressions). Be sensitive to the fact that the villagers are hosting you as guests, and they are proud of the meals that they provide. Villagers here are very sensitive to what outsiders think about their culture and hospitality. You must be aware of the different foods you will be served and understand that it may be challenging for your team. On your trip you will most likely eat chicken, chicken, chicken… and more chicken! Or rice, beans… and more rice! You may receive a part of a chicken in your bowl that you would never find in the states, such as beaks and feet. We understand there is a fear of eating in another country, so pray and ask God to prepare you before arriving. In the villages you can expect to eat anything from chicken soup, bush meat, or whatever the catch is for the day. If your team signs up for the remote village hike, you must be aware that there is no running water and no electricity. Every remote village meal plan will probably consist of “bush meat,” which is tree trunk, leaves and different kinds of plants all served in soup form with tortillas. Another meal that will almost always be served is rice, beans, and corn tortillas. They raise a very little amount of chicken; so to honor you they will prepare a chicken soup called “caldo.” There is no distinction between breakfast, lunch and dinner; it is all just food for them, so for breakfast you may be served a hot bowl of cahoon cabbage (which is the inside of a tree trunk) with corn tortillas and lime juice. So please be prepared to enjoy these different kinds of food, receiving it with a smile. If you must ask, “what is this?” (We prefer that you just don’t ask!!) Please ask in an honorable way. Be excited to enjoy the meal set in front of you. Remember, LOL has worked hard to grow our relationship with the villagers, and food is a very important part of a relationship here in the villages. To them, it is all they have to give to welcome you and show you their appreciation. LOL has also been hurt on many occasions. Don’t ask, “what are we having for breakfast?” or “what are we having for dinner?” Please refrain from saying, “I don’t like that,” or “No thanks, I’ll pass” because we can see the uncertainty of your expression and it can be offensive. Please prepare your team members about mannerisms, showing only great appreciation to both the cooks in the villages and at LOL.
The remote village hikes are not for everyone. Please select carefully your team members for this outreach. The hike starts with a 1-½ hour bus ride on a dirt road to a Mayan village called Dolores, which is near the border of Guatemala. From Dolores the hikers will hike 2-4 hours through the jungle to a village called Machakelha. This trail can be very challenging at times; During Dry season the walk isn’t too testing, but in the rainy months it can be very hard due to muddy conditions. Prepare your team with the right shoes. Hiking shoes are recommended. Water shoes (like Keens) are not recommended, because they slip off easily in the mud. We have had many incidences where team members do not listen to this advice and they have had to hike barefoot. This is very dangerous, as the water is deep and murky, making it difficult to see any sharp sticks, rocks or creatures on the trail. We recommend shoes that rise above your ankle and can be strapped tightly around your ankle by shoelaces. Tennis shoes work as well, but know that they could get ruined because of the mud. In muddy conditions your feet will be sliding around, and at times you will be walking knee-deep through mud. It Is best to have a shoe that is broke in, bringing a brand new shoe will give you blisters and wear you down.
Your pack should weigh no more than 35-40 pounds for guys and 25-30 pounds for girls. You should only pack toiletries (don’t forget toilet paper), a flashlight, bug spray, sunscreen, one change of clothes per day, one pair of shoes, towel, tent (weight can be dispersed among a group), camera, power bars and Gatorade (optional, but recommended), Bible, journal, camping pillow and sleeping mat (optional) and a water bottle.
You will be living with the Mayan Kekchi Indians (see LOL’s Website for more information about the Kekchi people). Machakelha is the most remote and most neglected village in Belize. Since Machakelha is located so close to the Guatemalan border, the Belizean government neglects them, claiming they are technically in Guatemala, but the Guatemalan government claims they are in Belize. Because of this, they don’t get very much attention. There is also dispute with the land claiming that Machakelha is on private property. This has caused a lot of problems with the village. There are no roads, no electricity and no running water. This village life is very simple; they live off the land and are content with very little. Farming is the greatest source of income; the villagers survive by trading products and materials, such as beans for salt, rice for flour, etc. Meals consist of corn, corn, and more corn. They drink corn tea, eat corn soup and pair most meals with corn tortilla. For meats, they have chicken, pork and river fish, but the most common “meat” is “bush meat” which is a combination of various tree barks, tree roots and leaves. There are no toilets, toilet paper or washing facilities. The jungle is your restroom, and the creek is the source for bathing and washing clothes and dishes.
When you come up to Machakelha you will be met with the smell of wood burning and roosters crowing. Chickens and pigs roam around the little dirt paths and living areas; dogs are seen napping outside thatched stick houses. The houses have packed mud floors and are lined with hammocks for sleeping. You will see kids running around and topless ladies in the creek, washing clothes, dishes, and bathing. You will see the men with machetes in hand, maintaining the farmland. There are usually around 9-11 kids per family, no beds (only hammocks), very little clothes and very little to no medical attention.
Please prepare your team for remote village living, bathing in the creek, using the restroom in the bush, eating different kinds of food, and seeing property in some of its lowest form. Caution your team to be aware of their mannerisms and facial expressions. Explain to the men (the girls too, but the men will have more of a difficulty with this) that the Kekchi culture is a very modest culture—women bathing topless is not seen as indecent exposure; however, it would be inappropriate for any member of your team to stare at these women (and do not take pictures of bathing!). Tell them to be natural. Men should avoid being near the bathing women, but at the same time they should not make the women to feel like they are doing anything wrong.
We thank you for joining us in our mission here in Belize. We know for some of you, a mission trip is causing you to take a week break from your normal routine and causing you to step into the unknown. There is a possibility that you will have no Internet or phone for communication back to the states. If you are a leader and would like to communicate about your arrival and status of team or prayer needs, you will need to go to the LOL residence to do so. You will need to inform your team members there will not be access to any washing machines during their stay, so they need to pack accordingly.
These rules apply at airport pick-up and carries through until airport drop-off.
Code of Conduct
Download the Mission Trip Code of Conduct Agreement here.
What to Bring
Clothing. Because you are representing LOL, we ask that you adhere to all dress code attire through your entire stay in Belize. It is important to understand that you are coming to another culture and there can be outfits that are offensive.
Please review the following document for detailed appropriate and required dress code- Girls Dress Code Pictures (PDF File)
Men’s attire:- shorts
- pants and shorts knee length, boxers must not be visible
- t-shirts (may not display controversial images, words, or paraphernalia)
- Church attire (casual short sleeve dress shirt, nice jeans or casual dress pants or shorts)
- Swim attire needs to be swim trunks or board shorts, no speedos.
Men and women: Please review the Seasons in Belize document for a more in-depth list of clothing items to bring to best prepare for the weather in Belize.
(Many of these items are unobtainable or highly difficult to find in Belize.)
-Good walking shoes (tennis shoes)
-Water shoes (we recommend Keen, Teva, Speedo and Havaianna and Solomon Fast Dry brands)
-Shoes for hiking (these can be tennis shoes, but make sure they are separate from the water shoes. The hikes to the villages are often extremely muddy and the water shoes slip off.)
-Shoes that are suitable for church
Required Hiking Team Equipment:
(Please remember that all items have to be carried, so keep it light)
Optional Hiking Equipment:
(Items with an asterisk next to them are recommended)
Things NOT Allowed
NOTE: Expensive jewelry is wear at your own risk.
Make sure all team members’ passports are and will remain current for your time in Belize.
Information including how to apply for, renew, correct or change, USA passports can be found on the website: http://travel.state.gov/passport/
Immunizations and Medical Information
What vaccinations are required?
Here are the recommended immunizations through the CDC website: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/belize.htm
Are general medications provided?
LOL asks that you bring any personal medications that you might need. Recommendations include but are not limited to Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, Cough/Cold medicine, allergy medication, throat lozenges, etc.
LOL asks that you bring a personal First Aid kit including extra Band-Aids, triple antibiotic cream, alcohol/hydrogen peroxide and any other medical supplies that you might need.
Do I need to have a medical clearance before I come?
Yes. You will need to visit your family practitioner for a physical exam. Have them write a note saying that you are in good health and medically prepared to live in a different country.
Should I get travelers or health insurance?
Travelers and/or health insurance is optional. There is a free clinic located about 10 minutes from LOL, but if you require a hospital visit you will be responsible for any medical bills that may be charged.
What if I get in an accident or get injured?
Hillside Clinic is located in Eldridge, a village about 10 minutes from LOL. This is a free clinic consisting of doctors and nurses (mainly from the states and Canada) who donate their services.
There is a hospital in Punta Gorda. It is about a 20 minute drive from LOL. Should you suffer an injury or illness that cannot be treated at Hillside Clinic, LOL will take you to the hospital in PG.
-Do a “Donation Only” Car Wash
-Check with local organizations if there is a way you can fundraise through serving their company (ex. Sonic, Krispy Cream Donuts, etc)
-Mail out a support letter
Tips for writing a support letter:
-Briefly share what God has been doing in your life
-Briefly share how God lead you to LOL ministry
-Briefly share about LOL (i.e. it is a children’s home in Belize)
-Share a Bible verse or quote that supports your call
-Humbly ask if they will support you either financially or in prayer (share the amount that you must raise)
-Include the requirements for sending a tax-deductible donation
-Include a pre-addressed and post-stamped envelope for easy mailing
-Follow up any received donations with a phone call or hand-written “Thank-you” letter
-Be creative! Remember to check with the police department on laws regarding fundraising on public property.
Emergency Contact Information
Note: This information is to be used for emergencies ONLY. Please inform family members to not use to just check up on team member.
Melissa cell 011-501-651-7910, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jervis cell 011-501-632-7843
LOL Home 011-501-678-9892
Additional Flight/Airport Information
What are the general prices for airline tickets?
Tickets to Belize City vary in price depending on your location of departure and season. Generally tickets range between $500-$1,000 US.
The estimated cost for a flight from Belize City to Punta Gorda is $140 US one-way, or a round-trip roughly $240 US.
What can I expect when going through customs?
It is recommended to carry extra cash (USD is acceptable) in case you have to pay duty for any items that you are bringing in to the country.
If LOL has asked you to bring any items for the ministry you will either be provided with money for duty expenses before you come, or you will be reimbursed after you arrive.
How should I fill out the immigration forms and any other forms administered on the plane?
You should have all of the information needed in order to complete the immigration form. If you have never seen an immigration form, follow this link to get an idea of how the form will look. It might be a good idea to print this sample form and fill it out so all you have to do is copy the information onto the actual form when it is given to you on the plane. (Note that this form is for the US, however, the Belizean form is similar.)
Tips for filling out the questions:
-The primary reason for this trip is business: NO
-I am (We are) bringing (a-c): NO
-I am (We are) carrying currencies or monetary instruments over $10,000BZ…: NO
-I have…commercial merchandise…that are not considered personal effects: NO
-Visitors: the total value of all articles that will remain in Belize is…: $0.00
You will also be given another form called an embarkation form. This form will ask you questions about where you are going in Belize, how long you will be staying, and etc. Here are some tips for completing the embarkation form.
-Your nationality: US Citizen
-Address: San Felipe Road (yes, it is just a road…no number or anything)
-City/Town: Punta Gorda
-Intended length of stay: (enter the # of days here)
-Flight Number: check your itinerary or ticket
-Port of Disembarkation (where you are coming from): name the last city that you left from the states to Belize (ex: Denver-Houston-Belize = port of embark.: Houston)
-Purpose of Visit: mission trip