Sixteen Boise State University faculty and students spent their spring break participating in the Boise State–Corozal, Belize Peace Village initiative. The Peace Village initiative creates strategic partnerships that address root causes of poverty and disparity in emerging economies. The program, led by Tony Songer, professor in the Department of Construction Management, and Karen Breitkreuz, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, is a collaborative effort by the Colleges of Engineering and Health Sciences, the Honors College, and the University Foundations program. The collaborative effort provides Boise State students unmatched educational, cultural, and professional engagement and enrichment.
Students enrolled in the cross-listed service-learning course “Global Citizenship and Social Responsibility” spent their Spring Break in the small village of Chan Chen, Corozal District, Belize working in the Chan Chen primary school. The 2014 theme was ‘Healthy Lifestyles” and included conducting a camp at the schools, extending last years’ garden project by building a chicken coop, and renovating a kindergarten playground. Additionally, Boise State nursing students assisted with the Corozal Hospital Mobile clinics, which visited small, remote villages in the Corozal District, and students conducted a Community Fair for the primary school children on the last day of their visit.
Prior to the in-country experience, the class spent time studying global citizenship, social responsibility, cultural aspects specific to Belize, and designing and planning the healthy lifestyles camp, chicken coop, and community fair.
One highlight of the trip was a visit and work day at the Belize Zoo. Students assisted in building an exterior fence for the Zoo and cleaned out bird habitat that was destroyed in a recent hurricane.
The Peace Village initiative creates a long term relationship with village partners. Anyone interested in more information on the Boise State University – Corozal, Belize Peace Village project should contact Tony Songer (firstname.lastname@example.org).