Here at Taste Belize Tours we believe in the right of all human beings to a peaceful, happy life with access to education, healthy food and clean water.  In order to help achieve these goals, we have created tours and classes that support small Belizean owned businesses and entrepreneurs. We also collaborate with and promote a number of community initiatives across our little jewel of a country. Below we list just a few of the many positive initiatives and grassroots programs taking place around Belize.

Healthy Food: Urban Gardens for Food Security and Peace

Urban Gardens logoLocated at 35 Zericote Street in downtown Belize City, Urban Gardens for Food Security and Peace  (UGFSP) is a grassroots urban gardening project that started in 2015 with weed and trash filled lot that community members transformed into an oasis of sustainable gardening. UGFSP teaches local children and youths how food is grown and how they can feed themselves through hands on participation in the gardening process. UGFSP teaches the principles of peaceful cooperation through gardening and encourages at risk children and youth to use urban farming methods to help feed themselves without resorting to crime or gang membership.

Here at Taste Belize Tours we invite you to participate as we help Urban Gardens for Food Security and Peace provide their young gardeners with seeds so they can start growing their own food at home and expand the UGFSP flagship garden to include other neglected and abandoned lots throughout the city. If you are coming to Placencia or Belize City and want to support UGFSP in their program simply buy and bring a few packs of vegetable seeds in your luggage. They weigh almost nothing, take up very little space and can help feed entire families! Contact Taste Belize Tours at tastebelize@gmail.com if  you are bringing seeds with you and we will ensure they reach the garden. You can learn more about UGFSP or contact them directly through their Facebook page: UGFSP Facebook Page.

Education: Placencia Rotary Club Scholarship Fund

It is a sad reality that high school is not free in Belize. Students must pay an annual school tuition fee, buy their own books and uniforms and pay for their transport to and from school. On Placencia Peninsula, where Taste Belize Tours is located, the Placencia Rotary Club has a wonderful scholarship program that provides full funding for qualifying students as well as academic support to help ensure that they complete their high school education. Contact us at tastebelize@gmail.com to learn how you can donate to this important program.

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Or consider running to support the cause! The single largest source of funding for the Rotary Scholarship Fund is Placencia Peninsula’s very own End of the World Marathon and Half Marathon which donates all the proceeds from the race. Taste Belize Tours is an official sponsor of this exciting annual event which raised over 15,000 US dollars for high school scholarships in 2015 alone. The races are held every year in the first week of December, learn more and register to participate here: End of The World Marathon Website.

Sports and Mentorship: Seine Bight Girls Running Club

SBThe village of Seine Bight, located on Placencia Peninsula, is the hometown of Belizean Olympic sprinter Kaina Martinez, yet few girls participate in sports within the community on a consistent basis. The newly formed Seine Bight Girls Running Club offers a supportive environment that stresses healthy eating and exercise (running, soccer, yoga and strength training) while providing mentoring and life skills. Email Wanda Stakutis gregvwandas@gmail.com to learn more and read about their activities on their Facebook page: Seine Bight Girls Running Club.  Learn more about Seine Bight Community Activities at the Seine Bight Unite Facebook page.

Music and Peace: Drums Not Guns

drumsnotguns2This progressive musical youth movement, founded by Emmeth Young and Jill Burgess of the Creole Maroon Drum School in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District, Belize, promotes peace through music. Drums Not Guns  supports the creative arts through training workshops, creating self-empowerment and employment opportunities for youths. Drum making classes and musical outreach to at risk youth across Belize and in Belize City provides mentoring and connects them with positive alternatives to gang membership. Taste Belize Tours partners with the Creole Maroon Drum School to offer our Kriol Fire Hearth Cooking tour. Guests on this tour are directly supporting the Drums not Guns initiative. To volunteer, learn more or provide further support you can email us at tastebelize@gmail.com or contact Drums Not Guns directly through their Facebook page: Drums Not Guns Facebook Page.