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Global Nomadic

Tropical Agroforestry & Sustainable Farming

Punta Gorda, Belize

Agency | Global Nomadic

This is a hands-on organic farm experience, growing and producing cacao, planting and harvesting.

The project

The NGO you will be working with here in southern Belize is host to one of the oldest on-going agroforestry experiments in the country as well as being one of the oldest permaculture projects in all of South America. The maturity level of the canopy has allowed for several sub canopy species to be grown, with an emphasis on cacao.  The cacao tree, whose Latin name means ‘food of the gods’, has been a vital part of Latin American culture for well over 1200 years. Some of the cacao varieties you will work with are relic cultigens from the Maya culture and have been growing in isolation in this area since the collapse of the Maya civilization.

The farm believes in and is run entirely on renewable energy, meaning you will get a rare opportunity to experience living a completely organic lifestyle. The project also works with local communities, installing photovoltaic pumps and solar systems.

Volunteer Work

The farm is an experiential learning centre and a working demonstration farm. You will be a part of the everyday farm work as well as be taught about the different systems and activities used on the farm. You will be expected to work hard, but as a reward you get to live in a beautiful rainforest and learn valuable skills! If you are a student there is also the possibility of getting credit for your time at the farm at your home university and the projects welcomes researchers as well as volunteers.

As part of the sustainable farming project, you will partake in all the processes of cacao production, from planting and mulching to fermenting and drying as well as nursery management. The cacao is sold locally as either raw cacao or as cacao balls. The cacao on the farm is grown in an entirely artificially created agroforestry system, with many species. The system is designed to closely imitate the ecological functions of a completely intact ecosystem in an arboreal architecture that closely resembling the rainforest that originally grew here.

Typical day

Some of the day-to-day activities you might take part in are

  • Planting seeds, mulching, harvesting, and drying cacao beans.
  • Assisting researchers in their work with various rare strains of cacao.
  • Maintaining and developing the genetic seed bank.
  • Learning about applied biodiversity in sustainable agroforestry.
  • Establishing nurseries on the farm or in local communities.

This is a very flexible project, which can cater to your personal project and interests if you wish to arrange for a prolonged stay. As a researcher, you will be largely self-directed, but there are always opportunities to take part in the activities on the farm. The farm forms an excellent base for students of agriculture, agroforestry, botany, biology, tropical ecology, ornithology, herpetology and permaculture.

Details on Arrival

Project is ongoing, and you can join at any time, depending upon availability.

Free-time activities

Hire a kayak  and paddle the Joe Taylor Creek for some good birdwatching, or kayak the coastline around town and north to the Rio Grande or south to Orange Point. 

Snorkel at the Snake Cayes or fish in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, just north of Punta Gorda Town.

Dive at the Sapodilla Cayes at the southern hook of the Belize barrier reef.

Visit PG's market on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday. Many vendors travel into PG from the outlying Toledo villages, selling mainly locally grown fruits and vegetables. Keep an eye out for homemade chocolate, and copal incense.

Cycle south-west to Boom Creek Village and cool off in the Moho River.

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Hiking
Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
No previous experience is required but you are expected to be passionate about the project!
Ability to take part in physical labour in a tropical climate.
Necessary vaccinations
Full travel & medical insurance.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Any questions? Just ask. We at Global Nomadic are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Global Nomadic cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Global Nomadic.
Services by Global Nomadic
  • all food
  • accommodation
  • in-country support
  • project activities
  • transport from the local town to the project HQ.
If you stay one month, there will be a discount so that you only pay $850 USD. Every additional month will be charged with $750 USD.

We can arrange for you to be picked up at the airport for an additional $50 USD. The location of the project is very remote and there are no roads leading to the farm itself. Access is by either canoe along the river or by trail. Once you have confirmed your place you will be given assistance to arrange your airport transfer.

Accommodation

Accommodation is rustic but beautiful and there are plenty of communal areas to socialize with other participants, or just chill out after a hard day’s work. All buildings on the farm have electricity provided by renewable energy. The farm has satellite Internet powered by renewable energy, which is available at certain hours of the day. Internet access is provided free to all visitors with their own wireless equipped laptops.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

As an intern you will eat all your meals family-style together with the rest of the people on the farm. 

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Punta Gorda (PND) in Punta Gorda. We assist you to find cheap flights to Belize.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Belize provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Belize you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Belize.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$900.00
8 weeks
$1,600.00
12 weeks
$2,350.00
16 weeks
$3,100.00
20 weeks
$3,850.00
24 weeks (max. stay)
$4,600.00
Average fees
$321.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Punta Gorda/Belize between 2 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Global Nomadic will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Belize.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Global Nomadic during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
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