2020 Conrad Schools of Science Belize Conservation Expedition

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2020 Conrad School of Science Belize Conservation Expedition! We have created two webpages dedicated to this exciting program so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. The first page, Pre-Enrollment, is meant to share exciting details, highlights and pertinent info that participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page, is meant to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and we can't wait to start our enriching adventure!
Travel Dates: March 15, 2020 - March 22, 2020
Group Organizer(s):
WTT/SSA Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,590 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $500

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Program Tuition: $3,590

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Belize Conservation Expedition

Balanced on the geographical and cultural border between the Caribbean and Central American regions, Belize is a small and often overlooked country that nonetheless harbors its own unique mix of both worlds. The thick jungles of the western districts are some of the most pristine in all of Central America, which not only harbor a wide array of wildlife but also hide the secrets of old, fallen empires buried under centuries of tropical growth. Beyond the lush forests, Belize’s relatively small coast hosts the largest coral reef system in the Western Hemisphere. The clear blue waters and white sand beaches make it a tropical paradise unlike any other.

Conservation Expeditions

Conservation Expeditions

Conservation Expeditions invite students to participate in scientific research projects, learn about diverse ecosystems, and lend a hand in community-based biodiversity conservation efforts.

Program Highlights


Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!

Volunteer at ECOMAR Field Station

Visit Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center

Visit Green Iguana Conservation and Rehabilitation Center

Survey underwater manatees and sea turtles at Drowned Cayes

Kayak in the rainforest with Maya guides

Enjoy guided jungle flora and fauna walks through ancient Mayan cities

Explore Hol Chan Marine Reserve

The Itinerary


We work hard to create safe, engaging, and immersive itineraries for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

1USA - Belize City - St. George's CayeArrive in Belize and travel directly to the ECOMAR field station on St. George's Caye, where we will settle in, meet the researchers and staff, then have lunch and receive an orientation on the biological fieldwork with which we will be assisting. In the afternoon, we will visit Swallow Caye Marine Reserve & snorkel at North Gallows.ECOMAR Research Station
2St. George's CayeMorning and afternoon activities today will focus on underwater manatee and sea turtle surveys in the Drowned Cayes. All meals will take place at the field station or between sessions in the field. In the evening we'll learn more about our study area and subjects from knowledgeable researchers.ECOMAR Research Station
3St. George's CayeWe will continue fieldwork surveying underwater for sea turtles and manatees. Later, we will visit the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve Channel & Snorkel at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. In the evening our group will hear a lecture on coral reef and barrier island ecology.ECOMAR Research Station
4St. George's CayeFieldwork continues by surveying for commercially important fish species or other seasonal research initiatives. We will be kayaking through the mangroves in the afternoon, followed by an evening lecture on the role of conchs in local ecosystems, and/or community-based conservation and sustainable development in Mesoamerican Reefs.ECOMAR Research Station
5St. George's CayeOur morning activity will focus on conch abundance surveys. The afternoon will feature potential beach cleanup or more snorkeling near St. George's Caye, followed by a home visit to local lobster fisherman. An evening lecture on history of St. George's Caye wraps up the day.ECOMAR Research Station
6St. George's Caye - San IgnacioIn the morning we'll say goodbye to our friends at ECOMAR and take a boat back to the mainland. We'll then visit the famous Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, where we will learn about a variety of terrestrial Belizean wildlife and the roles they play in their respective ecosystems. We'll settle in to our accommodations in Belize's Cayo District and enjoy some late-afternoon canoeing if time allows.Maya Mountain Lodge, Crystal Paradise Resort or similar
7San IgnacioWe'll spend our last full day in Belize exploring waterfalls in the jungle and the ancient Mayan Ruins of Cahal Pech, or paying a visit to a Green Iguana conservation and rehabilitation center, where we'll interact with veterinary specialists and conservationists. We'll have dinner in the quaint town of San Ignacio, between the Macal and Mopan rivers.Maya Mountain Lodge, Crystal Paradise Resort or similar
8San Ignacio - Belize City - USADepending on the flight time, we will leave the Cayo District in the morning and visit the howler monkey sanctuary, where we have the chance to get up close and personal with these protected species and learn from local experts about the long-running, community-based conservation project that is protecting them. We'll grab a final lunch together, then board our flight home!Home!

Accommodations


In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for travelers, we follow strict guidelines when choosing our accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels which are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled. 

For rooming, travelers are grouped by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with their group.  Non-binary travelers are accommodated. Group Organizers and Program Leaders, along with any other traveling adult, are roomed separately from students.
Below are the hotels we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
ECOMAR Research Station

Founded in 2009, the St. George’s Caye Research Station & Field School supports archaeological and marine research for visiting professors and their students. The facilities at ECOMAR are based on traditional Creole colonial architectural styles, students will share screened-in dorm rooms with bunk beds and private bathrooms. As water conservation is a integral part of island life, power is generated each night, and hot water and air conditioning are not available. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

The Lodge at Big Falls

An intimate, family-run jungle resort on the banks of the Rio Grande. The lodge is made up of several palm-thatched cottages with modern amenities, including verandas where students can relax in hammocks between activities. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the premises keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their accommodations according to gender and availability.

Rainforest Camp

In the jungles of Belize, these campsites are chosen for their spectacular setting and access to trails. Students will share a screened-in tent and are provided clean sleeping bags and mattress pads, the sites will also provide composting or flush toilets. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Safety and Support


 EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
EXPERT LEADERSHIP
EXPERT LEADERSHIP
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING
ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING

During our trip in Costa Rica I loved that our trip leader took the students’ ideas and incorporated side adventures just for them. This small piece made the trip more than we could have ever asked for.

Carri
Alumni Group Organizer to Belize and Costa Rica

Your Adventure Includes

Estimated Airfare

In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. We will provide full transparency in cost so that families pay what the flight costs and nothing more. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.

Program Tuition Excludes: Premiere Travel insurance, baggage fees, airline minor fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.

 

Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.

Our travelers are provided with funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!

START FUNDRAISING  

WTT coffee
Resource center

Resource Center

Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.

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