Creation Care - Belize
Program Terms: Fall or Spring Semester
Taught in: English
Housing: Residence Hall & Homestay (during internship)
Be it in the intentional community at our riverside campus in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, or out exploring in the field, students studying in Belize are challenged by academically rigorous courses to consider what it means to live in right relationship with God, creation, others, and ourselves.
A distinctive and highly beneficial component of the Belize program for students is the opportunity to participate in internships that are specially designed to put learning into practice and provide valuable work experience.
Santa Elena, Belize
Once a haven for English pirates, Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America. With no language barrier, students have a unique opportunity through homestays and other activities to engage with the diverse cultural groups who call Belize home, including several Mayan cultures, Mestizos, Creoles, Garifuna, and Mennonites.
Students have plenty of opportunities to explore Belize’s tropical landscape during their semester abroad. By land students visit the ruins of Mayan cities, explore the largest jaguar preserve in the world, learn about faith and the land from old order Mennonites, and are taught about community development by Mayan villagers. By sea students explore the second largest barrier reef in the world, search for sea horses in mangrove forests, and visit various islands over breaks and free weekends on their own.
Introduction to Sustainable Community Development: 4 credit hours
This course explores how knowledge of ecological systems, globalization, political economy, and the biblical worldview come together in the pursuit of development that is community-minded, just, and ecologically sustainable. Through readings, lectures and fieldtrips, students study complex issues in sustainable development such as the nexus of poverty, the environment, and justice, and the many practical challenges associated with sustainable community development.
God and Nature: 4 credit hours
Central to the mission of CCSP, this course helps students to develop a theology of creation that understands humans as stewards of the earth. Through the study of scripture, and other relevant texts, students explore the theology of creation, biblical stewardship, questions of faith and science, and Christian responses to current environmental problems.
Tropical Ecosystems: 4 credit hours
In this field-based ecology course students explore with experts forest, stream, and near-shore marine environments - coral reef, mangrove, and sea grass - in Belize. In addition to studying these various ecosystems, this class is also designed to help students scientifically apprehend a broad understanding of global environmental issues.
Environmental Literature: 3 credit hours
This course introduces students to the landscape of environmental literature, both past and present, providing a solid grounding in the field. Through key readings, discussions, and reflections of various environmental literature forms including short story, essay, and poetry, students consider what makes literature "environmental" and why this field of literature was and is so important in shaping an earthy faith, and worldview.
Internship Elective: 2 credit hours
Internships in Belize allow students an extended period of time (2 weeks) to engage with local topics and issues; to take knowledge and skills they are developing in their experiences and coursework both in Belize and in courses prior to Belize, and begin acting upon it. In the past students have had internships in tropical organic agriculture, conservation, community development, ecotourism, healthcare, traditional medicine, community health, education, and even local government. Internships are set up based on the interests and background of the students with many different organizations CCSP has developed relationships with over the years. During this 80-hour internship experience, students stay with Belizean homestay families where they are able to gain greater perspective on Belize and develop lasting relationships.
Possible Credits: 17
While in Belize, you will be staying at Creation Care’s Macal Commons campus located in Santa Elena. The campus is situated on 17 acres of jungle along the Macal River. There are student dorm rooms on campus, along with other facilities such as the communal kitchen, dining room, classroom, library and staff housing. The campus has over a mile of trails, an orchard and organic garden, and beautiful wildlife. It is within walking distance of San Ignacio where students can access Internet, eat at local restaurants and do personal shopping.
Program Website: http://creationcsp.org/programs/belize_program/
Frequently Asked Questions: http://creationcsp.org/programs/faq/