As I quietly reflected back over the years of celebrating Garifuna day this morning, I am grateful to have enjoyed many great variations of this Belizean cultural holiday. Everything from sunrise Garifuna day celebrations in Central Park to getting paraded on the way to my friend’s house. The sunrise experience was especially cool as we watched a great reenactment of the first landing of the Garifuna which occurred on November 19th, 1802. A boat came ashore with people in traditional dress and they had plantain suckers (shoots), sugarcane, and cassava sticks as a representation of the food they arrived with.
While November is a great time to take your vacation and observe this cultural holiday, you can connect with the Garifuna no matter when you come. Dangriga has the largest concentration and is actually where they first landed, and Hopkins is also another area rich in Garifuna history through storytelling, dancing, and music.
If you want to experience the culture while on Ambergris Caye, then head to the Garifuna Restaurant and Cultural Center. Julia Martinez and her crew will give you a fun, delicious, and educational experience. I had an enjoyable time at the restaurant learning about the Queen Conch and how to cook traditional conch dishes. Julia made it easy for us, however, I tried cooking conch on my own it was an epic fail – haha.
Belizean Teacher Training Abroad
It’s that time again when the Belizean teachers that qualified for timed contract work in the USA are returning and settling back into their home country lives. This opens the positions to give opportunities to new teachers who want a paid learning experience. The last time I posted about the recruitment process, it was of huge interest, and I am hoping the same happens again. It’s a great career move for Belizean educators to receive teacher training through this temporary international job. Participating teachers will learn a lot during their time away, and return home to share their exciting experiences with students.
Participate Learning is offering 100 positions for Belizean educators, to internationally broaden their professional experience.
• Today’s professionals can access institutional and organized models to ensure an optimal international work experience.
• Participate Learning opens 100 positions for educators seeking to broaden their professional experience internationally.
• Belizean educators can find more information and apply at this link for international professional development.
Acquiring multicultural experience, strengthening soft skills highly valued by the labor market, significantly increasing the ability to perform in a second language, and developing a remarkable and fruitful network of professional contacts; these are four real advantages obtained by those who decide to take the leap to leave their comfort zone and venture to test their professional skills in a new country.
We live in times when the boundaries of professional geographic space are increasingly blurred and, of course, globalization has strongly impacted the trend of more workers deciding to go beyond their own borders. What does it take? Firstly, the security in performance that comes from knowing one’s own profession in-depth and, secondly, the adaptation and flexibility to adapt to a different cultural context.
Thus, one of the first aspects that will define the potential of an international worker is related to his or her soft skills such as resilience, autonomy, determination, self-confidence, and cultural openness, among others.
The other aspect, no less important, is to have a clear vision of the purpose and conditions that the professional seeks by obtaining professional experience abroad. In this sense, it is recommended to have carried out a prospection of the target countries to which to aim, to determine the characteristics of the labor market in the eligible country or countries and, of course, to be clear about whether the learning obtained can be used to develop their own skills in their country of origin.
The Importance of Organizational Support
While being willing to face uncontrolled situations is part of the logic of the professional adventure abroad, the truth is that today’s workers can also count on the support of organizational structures that facilitate logistical aspects for professionals. One example is the Participate Learning program, designed for educators coming to teach a second language in the United States. To date, in a country like Belize, since 1987, 12 educators have been part of this exchange, of which 10 are actively working in the United States.
Participate Learning is a complete program that offers educators with more than two years of full-time experience, the possibility of doing their job without having to worry about aspects such as obtaining a work visa on their own, arranging to rent a house, finding a transportation mechanism to take them to their job, making sure they have legal working conditions, well supported and with all the benefits and guarantees that a citizen of the country can have, or even having to worry about the immigration status of the worker’s family if they decide to travel in the company of their loved ones.
In the case of the Participate Learning program, all of the above-mentioned aspects are facilitated by an organizational structure that helps the selected educators, after the due recruitment process, to have the necessary conditions to be able to concentrate 100% on their professional performance.
The Participate Learning program is now open to apply for the recruitment process with 100 positions for new teachers who want to travel to support bilingual teaching and cultural exchange in the United States. Other requirements for eligibility are two years of experience as a full-time educator, fluent in English and Spanish, officially certified teachers, a current driver’s license, and driving experience.
Participate Learning currently has open applications for dual language elementary education positions, both Spanish/English and Mandarin/English alternatives, as well as dual-language (Spanish/English) social studies, math, or science teaching positions.
Those who wish to get more information or apply to the current selection process – click the link. Although the process will be open until January of next year, it’s recommended to send the applications now.
Last But Not Least
A very important upcoming event on Ambergris Caye, The San Pedro Red Cross (SPBRC) quarterly blood drive.
Saturday, November 27, the SPBRC will host a blood drive at the Polyclinic from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Donors must be 18-65 years of age and should be: well-rested, well-hydrated, and eat a healthy breakfast or lunch before donating. Call any of the following numbers to make an appointment: 615-4300, 614-9115, 615-2005, or 630-2005. Walk-ins will also be accepted. Both travelers and islanders are welcome. Give the Gift of Life.
Garifuna Restaurant featured image and other pictures courtesy of Julia Martinez.
Participate Leaning – Belize teacher training, image, and information courtesy of Doris Estrada.
SPBRC Blood drive infographic provided by Brenda Letendre.