IMJ_1773-XLFrom what to pack to hospital contact information, this downloadable document helps to prepare travelers for their journey to Belize. Download Field Course Information Packet 2017.

Time

Belize’s time is fixed all year round (there is no daylight savings). Depending on the daylight savings status in the US, Belize is either one or two hours behind Eastern Standard Time.

Electricity

Belizean electricity is 110V, 60Hz (same as the US). Appliances that can be used in the US can be used in Belize. No special adaptors are required. However, not every place you will stay has electricity. BFREE has solar electricity in every building, but only inverts the 12 V DC current to 110 V AC in some. Energy intensive appliances or tools are not recommended because they may overload BFREE’s solar system.

Email

BFREE does not currently have public email service for use by guests or student groups. One should expect to have no email access while at BFREE. There are usually one or more internet cafés in major Belizean towns that charge around US$5/hour.

Telephone – BFREE Phone:  [011-501] -671-1299

To call direct to Belize from the US, dial 011 (gets you out of the US) + 501 (Belize country code) + the 7-digit telephone number.  From Belize you can dial direct to most countries. To call the US from Belize, dial 00 (gets you out of Belize) + 1 (US country code) + area code + 7-digit number. To make international calls, you must call collector use an international calling card. For collect calls, dial 115 for the operator. International operators speak English. BFREE has a reliable fixed cellular telephone system that you will be able to use to make and receive calls. You must have a Belizean phone card to use this phone.

Packing checklist

The following list is suggested for a 8-day visit. Adjust accordingly.

Download this checklist here.

Essentials

  • •  Passport
  • •  Health and Liability form
  • •  Name, phone number, and fax number of your physician and a close relative
  • •  List of credit card numbers/travelers checks and numbers to call to cancel the card/replace these in case of loss or theft

Clothing

  • •  2 loose lightweight cotton long-sleeved shirts (or the synthetic kind you can get at Lands End or an outfitter.  The lighter the better, so they will dry!)
  • •  2 or 3 pair lightweight loose cotton or mixed cotton/polyester long pants. No Jeans! They aren’t very useful in the tropics; they are too hot and won’t dry.
  • •  3 to 4 lightweight cotton t-shirts
  • •  1 swimsuit
  • •  1 sweat shirt or jacket for cool nights (polar fleece material good)
  • •  1 week supply socks and underwear
  • •  1 pair of river sandals
  • •  1 pair of comfortable hiking shoes or boots
  • •  1 rain poncho
  • •  A hat
  • Optional Items 
  • • 1 pair of shorts (optional)
  • •  1 pair of sneakers (optional)
  • •  1 change of “nicer” clothes ie. slacks/skirt or sundress and button down shirt (optional)
  • As a basic rule, if you cannot get along without it, bring a spare or maybe two. This applies to contact lenses and glasses, flashlights, and personal medications.

Additonal websites:

http://www.campmor.com/ To purchase hiking packs, camp towels, headlamps, binoculars, etc.

If you are particularly handy and crafty, here’s a great recipe to make your own all-natural sunscreen. No harmful chemicals to you or the environment!

Accessories

  • •  Headlamp or flashlight. Bring 2 sources of light, headlamps are best.
  • •  Batteries for headlamps and camera.  Bring extra, not easily obtained in Belize.
  • •  Mosquito Netting . (A single canopy mosquito bed net will work in essentially any setting you will encounter during your trip. Two options that are currently available on Amazon are Friendly Swede’s Single canopy net or Emergency Zone’s canopy mosquito net.)
  • •  Insect repellent.  The best defense against insects is to COVER UP while in the jungle!
  • •  Toiletry kit.  Include all of the items that you would normally use. Please bring biodegradable soap and shampoo.  Women—please bring feminine products as cycles are often disrupted during travel!
  • •  Refillable water bottles.
  • •  Zip Lock baggies.  To keep things dry
  • •  Lightweight Towel.
  • •  Small day pack or backpack for daytime excursions.  Can be your carry-on bag.
  • •  Personal first aid supplies: Band-Aids, moleskin (for blisters), Tylenol, Benadryl, a laxative, Imodium/Pepto, anti-itch cream, a topical antibiotic cream, Gold Bond Powder (menthol) (useful for keeping dry and comfortable), and an anti-fungal cream or powder if you are prone to foot fungus.
  • •  Medical kit: Each group must provide a complete medical kit.  BFREE has a first aid kit, which is intended for emergency use only.
  • •  Sunscreen.  Chemical sunscreens destroy the coral reef!  Use natural sunscreens like Alba, Burt’s Bees, or make your own! (see below)
  • Optional Accessories
  • •  Camera
  • •  Binoculars.  Suggested, particularly for viewing wildlife.
  • •  Mask, snorkel and fins.
  • •  Pocketknife or “Leatherman” type tool.  Not a necessity, yet very handy; make sure you put this in your checked bag!
  • •  EmergenC.  This will help keep your immune system strong and is good to add to bottled water to keep electrolytes in your system.  Also helps prevent dehydration.  Can be found at large grocery stores in packets.
  • •  Sunglasses.  Polarized lenses are best