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UVM Travel Study
Office of International Education

Belize: Women’s Health and Spirituality – A Cross-Cultural Exploration

Course Location
Program Dates
Spring 2019
Travel Dates: 3/9/2019 - 3/17/2019
HLTH 145/GSWS 196 - 3 Credits
Jeanne Kaczka-Valliere
Please see below for more information about costs associated with this travel study program.
The course is primarily for undergraduates. Graduates can enroll with permission from the instructor. An application and interview is required. Contact the instructor for an application. This course accepts 11 students.

View the syllabus

Course Description

Belize_2_thumbTo explore the complex bio/psycho/social/spiritual impact of health, illness, and health care facing woman daily, the goal of the course is to compare and contrast young women’s health and influence of spirituality and other factors between the USA and Belize. Furthermore, the goal is to increase the student’s understanding of these influences in their own lives, as well as others.

Belize is small tropical country, located in Central America nestled between Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea. Belize is an English speaking country with rich culture and diverse population including: Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, Maya, East Indian, Mennonites, & Chinese.

Arrive in Belize City and travel to the mountain city of St. Ignacio ( 2nd largest city). St Ignacio is near several Mayan ruins, a Mennonite settlement, 2 rivers, jungle and much more. Check out this website.

Immerse yourself in the culture, life and healing aspects of the culture of Belize. For 14 days you have an opportunity to learn from healers, psychiatrist, doctor & nurses, drug & alcohol counselor, teachers, social workers; these will augment the rich depth and cultural exploration. Mornings and several evenings are spent in experiential and didactic course presentations and seminars. You explore the implications of these diverse perspectives on the life of women in Belize and how culture and spiritual beliefs may impact all women.

While we are in San Ignacio we will visit local Mayan ruins, medicinal/botanical jungle gardens, attend religious gatherings, meet with a local Mayan healer, go to a Mennonite village, explore the Belize zoo, enjoy local foods & culture, have the opportunity to explore the town, nature and wild life, share our experiences with each other and residents of this beautiful country.Belize_3_thumb

The last 7 days we will spend in Dangriga, a Garifuna town (south of Belize City, on the Caribbean Sea). We will continue with classes here, as well as, enjoy homemade Garifuna meals, meet with a Garifuna healer, visit a Garifuna temple& a Garifuna museum, meet with a priest, HIV positive women and more. We will try snorkeling off the 2nd largest coral reef in the world, enjoying the town, beaches, and warm ocean waters while you reflect on your 2 weeks experience.

Travel Study Costs and Fees

Program Fee: $1,571*

If you are admitted to the course, you will receive an email asking you to accept or decline the spot. To accept your spot, you are required to fill out the commitment deposit form and submit a $500 non-refundable deposit within 48 hours. For more information about payment policies and procedures, view the Travel Study Payment Policy.


  • In-country transportation
  • Student housing accommodations
  • Cultural activities and excursions arranged by the lead instructor
  • Meals
  • Supplies and materials

Not Included:

  • College tuition and fees**, see UVM Student Financial Services
  • Airfare, estimated cost $1,228
  • Cancel for any reason flight insurance (strongly encouraged)
  • Baggage fees
  • Vaccinations and any associated costs
  • Books and materials
  • Passport fees
  • Personal and entertainment expenses
  • Optional excursions
  • Anything not specified as included in the program

*Trip cost subject to change due to unanticipated changes.

**Travel Study courses are regarded as normal UVM courses and as such, normal tuition and fees apply.

Country Information

Visit the U.S. Department of State website for information regarding country health, safety risks, and laws for Belize.