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Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadations

Posted By: breakofdawn26

Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadations - 03/03/09 09:02 PM



Hey Guys,

I'm planning a trip to Belize for April for 1 month. Does anyone know of any hostels in Belize that offer work exchange programs in exchange for free accomadation?
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadations - 03/04/09 01:41 PM

doubtful since you cannot work without a work permit, sorry

Posted By: breakofdawn26

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadations - 03/05/09 12:00 AM

in the work exchange program you don't get paid, you do about 24hrs in a hostel in various positions to cover staying in the hostel for free
Posted By: SnoopysMom

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/05/09 01:31 AM

Yes, breakofdawn - isn't this the craziest? You have to buy a work permit to volunteer in Belize. I think it's $100.

BTW - I am so sure all of those mission groups and anyone volunteering for SAGA or Holy Cross follow the proper procedure...

Posted By: SimonB

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/05/09 01:46 AM

Your passport will be clearly stamped "Permitted to remain on condition that the holder does not enter into employment paid or unpaid and does not engage in any business or profession without the consent of the director of immigration..."

Doing volunteer work for an organization that benefits the community is a bit different than trying to get a free stay for doing work that could be done by a national or resident.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/05/09 01:47 AM

Oh, BTW, when I was with Saga they did apply for volunteer work permits...
Posted By: breakofdawn26

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/05/09 01:54 AM

thats crazy paying for permit to volunteer wow
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/05/09 02:05 AM

It allows away around the stamp in the passport. It also appears to be no different than many other countries including the US: http://www.laborimmigration.com/2008/02/unpaid-volunteer-work-on-h-1b-h-4-or-f-1-visas/
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/05/09 02:10 AM

I love all the posts from people who get upset about Belize immigration laws but don't bother to think about the laws of their own country.

Many Belizeans would love to be able to run up to the States or Canada and grab a job in the area of their choice but they can't because of immigration laws. Why should this country be looked down upon for its right to enforce it's own immigration laws.
Posted By: breakofdawn26

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/05/09 04:45 AM



I don't know if your last comment was directed to me. I don't look down at Belize Immigration laws. But I was looking at travelling to many hot subtropical to tropical counties that had work exchange program that didn't require any permits so its an aggreement with the participate and hostel. And its not a program recognize by immigration like many exchange programs geared to having many people from other countries to come to countries like Belize for a learning experience
Posted By: SnoopysMom

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/05/09 05:50 PM

What I don't get is the definition of "volunteer" and have had many misleading definitions. For example, if a person helps out at a fundraiser, do they need a work permit? What about teaching a class at Holy Cross? What about helping at Saga a couple days a week? What about fundraising activities for Neighborhood Watch? Someone said that you don't need a work permit for non profit groups, but I am not so sure of that.

I asked Immigration last week again and this time they said that the specific organization must complete a letter spelling out your duties which you must submit with the application which has to go through an approval process (not sure of the time frame...).

I would wager a bet that there aren't too many non USA citizens volunteering in the US, but plenty who have been working for lower wages.
Posted By: dabunk

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/05/09 06:27 PM

We attempted to volunteer teach english in the prison. Not allowed, had to get work permit. We sure were not taking any jobs away but it is the law. Many do not do it and get away with it, but it is the law.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/05/09 06:30 PM

Originally Posted by SnoopysMom
What I don't get is the definition of "volunteer" and have had many misleading definitions. For example, if a person helps out at a fundraiser, do they need a work permit? What about teaching a class at Holy Cross? What about helping at Saga a couple days a week? What about fundraising activities for Neighborhood Watch? Someone said that you don't need a work permit for non profit groups, but I am not so sure of that.


If you are not a resident or not holding work permit papers you technically need a volunteer permit for any of those activities. The stamp in your passport is pretty clear. The statement about not needing a permit for non profits is incorrect. What you were told at immigration is correct.
Posted By: Inplub

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/06/09 02:29 PM

If you get caught without the right paperwork you go to jail, fined and deported. That is the LAW I believe.
Posted By: Belize-N-Us

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/06/09 02:45 PM

In this example the person actually isn't a volunteer.

He / she wants to work in exchange for a place to stay. The "free" place to stay is the equivalent of monetary payment.

Not the same as a true volunteer who expects / accepts nothing in exchange for their work or service.
Posted By: dabunk

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/06/09 03:50 PM

That is not correct by Belizean law.
Posted By: Belize-N-Us

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/06/09 04:33 PM

You mean the last part right?

I'm not saying a person can legally volunteer in Belize without a permit. I know one is required by law. And I have one, suppossedly anyway. I have a verbal from the secretary of the medical counsel reporting my approval from the counsel but I have yet to receive any documentation.

I was only pointing out the fact that this example isn't an example of volunteering at all.
Posted By: krehfish

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/06/09 08:22 PM

How are the many church/youth missions that build/fix houses permitted?
Posted By: kwalkpt

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/06/09 09:20 PM

Tommy - as an MD you need both a temporary medical license and a work permit to volunteer - one from the medical board, the other from immigration.
Posted By: SnoopysMom

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/07/09 05:00 PM

So here we have an example of someone with expertise as a Board certified Pediatrician (which we do not have on the island currently - probably not in the entire country) and it's roadblock after roadblock. This is truly bizarre and I don't even have children...

Let's just hope we can get the injured or sick child to the US or Mexico in time!
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/07/09 05:07 PM

We have some amazing pediatricians in the country. When my little David was ill, at deaths door actually, we went to Universal Health Services in Belize city and had 2 pediatricians on his case. One was an emergency care specialist and the other was a renal specialist - both of which we needed at the time. Once David was stablized we transported him to the US to a children's hospital in Tampa. The doctors there commended every move that the Belizean doctors had taken and told us that we should be aware that the docs in Belize had not only saved our baby's life, but taken the necessary steps to ensure that he would not suffer permanent damage to his brain, his kidneys and other organs.

Dr Rosado, the kidney specialist was in a tragic car accident and passed away a few years ago. What a great loss to this nation. Dr. Gringage continues to work in Belize and he has recently opened a pediatric specialty medical centre in the city. Dr Grinage comes to the island and works out of Dr. Giovanni's clinic.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/07/09 05:07 PM

What about Dr. Dan?
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/07/09 05:12 PM

Dr. Danny is a an ob-gyn. I believe that is Dr. Tommy's specialty too - I don't think he is a pediatrician.
Posted By: pamkillen

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/07/09 05:12 PM

First of all, we have a pediatrician in Belize.
Second, the purpose of the volunteer law to to keep well meaning volunteers from taking jobs from Belizean citizens who depend on the work to survive. If it can be shown that there is an unfulfilled need, immigration can be open to writing a letter that allows a temporary work permit. We have done this at the library.
In terms of medical work, the medical board must approve local licensing to practice just like your federal and state licensing board in the states.

Posted By: SnoopysMom

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/07/09 07:37 PM

Sorry if I was mistaken about Dr Tommy's credentials he is Family Practice not sure about the board certified Pediatrician.

My point is that the community should be more open and encouraging for Medical professionals to practice here, especially since we are on an island and Belize City is not exactly a short trip (especially with a bad injury).

My observation is that, given the choice, most residents do travel out of the country for their health care services (Mexico is very popular). It appears that Ambergris Caye and Belize is not only losing the business (I am not so sure that taking jobs away from Belizeans comes into play here), but trying to recruit qualified retirees here will be more challenging without better services on the island.

I do have a clinical and administrative background in hospital/healthcare, so have a good understanding of how treatment response time can significantly impact patient outcomes.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/13/09 06:03 PM

There are some interesting cultural aspects to why some people - (women in particular) - travel to Mexico instead of seeking medical treatment on the island.
For many it is modesty - it's hard for them to submit to intimate examinations by somebody who lives in the same small community, sits next to them in church etc.

We absolutely need a good 24 hour clinic - and we need a more collaborative medical community in general.

Posted By: Belize-N-Us

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/13/09 09:33 PM

I have a general practice and also practice OB including surgical obstetric procedures. Similar to doctor Danny's practice.

About 1/3 of my practice is OB, 1/3 pediatrics, and 1/3 is a general practice. Originally I planned to practice only OB and pediatrics but over time I have inherited the dads, grandparents, ect.

In the beginning I told some older folks I've known since childhood that I was only going to see OB and peds patients. I hurt some of their feelings in doing so. In hind sight I wish I could take that mistake back. Now when older folks come to me I have learned just to welcome them like everyone else.

I am board certified.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/14/09 12:52 AM

Sounds just like Dr. Danny's story.
Posted By: natalie p

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/14/09 03:01 AM

Dr Dan is an OB Gyn and practices general medicine, but I would think at least half of his patients are general medicine. He sees everyone with anything.We also do lots of minor surgeries as well as OB and gyn surgeries.We deliver many babies.
You can probably tell I like him. I do. He is the best doctor I have ever worked with and I have worked with many,in the USA,UK,and Belize.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Hostel Work Exchange Programs/Free Accomadatio - 03/14/09 07:04 PM

Agree with Nathalie about Dr. Dan.
He's smart, hardworking, well trained and talented.
Our insurance provider sometimes has trouble understanding why my husband is seeing an OB/GYN but they have sufficient experience in the region to get it if you explain.
:-)
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