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Day #1--July 12th 2012

We arrived at Terminal 4 of American Airlines; prepared for a great week. We checked in, and received our boarding passes for flight #2412. With a quick layover in Dallas, Texas, we arrived in Belize. We were greeted by two men by the names of Mark and Dion. They drove us for an hour and a half into Jaguar Creek.

We all settled into our cabanas before meeting in the main hall for dinner. The meal for the evening was a chicken, rice, and broccoli casserole. After we finished eating, we received a brief overview concerning the function and vision of Pathlight Ministries. We all retired to our cabanas for a needed rest

--Taylor Nevels and Geovanny Martinez

July 12th Through 19th 2012

View Of Plane @ LAX...Prior to Departure

Pastor Carol, Mark, and Dion Debriefing the Team

Overview of Our Cabanas

Day #2--July 13th 2012

Today was the second day in Belize. We woke up and had breakfast. We had "Fried Jack's", eggs, bean and fruit. After breakfast we were met by our partners from Pathlight Ministries. My students name was Silvia. She was 19years old.

Our day continued with a tour of Armenia Village, where many students involved in Pathlight Ministries lived. We trekked up to a mountain to a water tower. It was here where we took pictures and ate wild grapes. We came back to Jaguar Creek to a lunch of rice, beans, chicken, and fried plantains.

We returned to the village of Armenia to complete a project in the primary school. There was a classroom that was painted a strange pink color. We all worked together to paint this classroom a sky blue. We also built two new bookcases from the classroom. The principal of the school was so grateful, that he provided us with a plaque of appreciation.

Our day concluded at Jaguar Creek with a chicken burrito dinner.

--Rochelle Tyler

"Fried Jack's" with butter, Eggs Topped With Beans

Me (Rochelle) and My Partner Silvia in Armenia Village

In the Process of Painting a Classroom Wall

Day #3--July 14th 2012

The team met for breakfast after we finished our individual grooming. Today was a special day because all of students of Pathlight Ministries we coming to Jaguar Creek. We were looking forward to a day of fun fun fun!

The Pathlight students arrived to the compound at 11:00am. There were about 70 students that came. The students were sat into groups that were mixed with Eagle Empowerment students. Pastor Carol took some time to minister to the whole assembly of students. Some of the things she stated were that we are "above and not beneath" and "the head and not the tail".

It was now time for lunch. We ate rice and beans, potato salad, and baked chicken. We ate lunch along side our newly befriended Pathlight Students. The eating hall was very full!

The rest of the day was filled with variety of activities. Some students started a soccer game. Those students then came to met other students at the nearby creek. I was at the creek swimming. The creek was beautiful. Many of  the Eagle Empowerment students got minor cuts and bruises; we were not used to the sharp rocks in the creek. This setback did not keep the students from having a great day.  

--Makayla Morales

Day #4--July 15th 2012

Today, we gathered together for a breakfast of eggs, Johnny Cakes, bananas, beans, with the option of cereal. We then headed to church.

The church we attended was The Church of the Nazerines in Belmopan. It was a small church, yet the attendance was high. A few instruments, like a guitar, keyboard, drums, were located in front of the church. There was also a projector in the front that was showing the memory verse for Sunday School. The service began with singing a few songs. The projector displayed the lyrics to all the songs we sang. Pastor Don (who was also the guitarist) gave the morning message. He basically said that we can drift away from following God over time, without knowing. We should be constantly renewing our covenant with God.

We left the Church headed back to Jaguar Creek. We stopped at a gas station along the way to the creek. The convenience store had items like Arizona Iced Tea and Takis Chips (these are also sold in america).

Lunch at Jaguar Creek was Bean or Fish Empenadas, Vegetable Rice, with a soft drink. The afternoon featured a guided tour of the loop a line trail with Mr. Balbino. He was an expert at jungle survival and he took time to teach us what the jungle had to offer. There was one vine he showed us that was a source of drinking water. There were many plants that can help a person survive in the jungle. Mr. Balbino said that he taught the British army to survive in the jungle for 13 years. He pointed out to us that shady areas were a hiding place for mosquitoes. We made it through the trail and were given free time

for the rest of the day.    

--Garin Gray

My friends helping me into the creek

Talking with my group of pathlight students

Pastor Carol ministering to the assembly

A view of the gas station..it had an Asian influence

The group as we walked on the loop and line trail

Picture of the Nazerine Church as we prepared for service

Day #5--July 16th 2012

Just like the other mornings, this one began with waking up to the unique sounds of the insects and birds of Jaguar Creek. On the menu for breakfast were pancakes, oatmeal and cereal. Right before we departed Jaguar Creek, we all met Pedro & Omar; who would be our guides for cave tubing. Today on the itinerary of Youth Tour 2012 was a trip to the village of Saint Margaret's, one of the villages that the Pathlight students were from.

We made our departure to Saint Margaret's by 9:00am. On the way to the village, we passed a mountain range called the "Sleeping Giant". The formation resembled the profile of a sleeping man. It was very cool to see. The team arrived to Saint Margaret's.  We were greeted by Denford and Silvia, students of Pathlight and residents of Saint Margaret's. The two of them led the team through a tour of their village. Silvia told us of where the name of the village came from. The rivers on both sides of the village create and "S" and the mountain range nearest to the village outline an "M". The "S" stood for "Saint" and the "M" is for "Margaret". Some of the local children took their partner from Eagle Empowerment on a personal tour of their home. The tour concluded with a picture in their front yard. Our tour guides led us by many churches. We also came across many fruit trees, like star-fruit and crablles. The crabbles are a mix between a mango and an apple; it is a delicious fruit. Denford took some time to pick some coconuts for us. A few skilled strikes with a machete granted us a taste of fresh coconut water. There was a valuable mahogany tree farm in Saint Margaret's.  We returned to Jaguar Creek to a lunch of split-pea soup, rice, coleslaw, and meatballs.

A couple of days ago, we painted a classroom in the town of Armenia. We did such a great job that we were asked to paint another classroom in Saint Margaret's. We left Jaguar Creek after lunch to complete this assignment. We painted the classroom, along with three bookcases, a shade of sky blue. Our hard word was rewarded with a trip to the country barn for some ice cream. This barn was run by Belizian Amish people. Their ice cream was great!

We headed back to Jaguar Creek to recuperate for tomorrow's outing. We had a dinner of enchiladas, salad, fruit, and moist chocolate cake. This dinner was probably the best meal we have had! The day ended with a light rainstorm.

--Jalen Gray

Day #6--July 17th 2012

I woke up this morning two hours early. I had such a great sleep. I woke up early because I turned off all my electronics at a certain time the night before. My priorities were all completed in a timely manner, which gave me a couple of minutes to lay down. When I left my cabana, it was breakfast time. Our options for breakfast were eggs, bananas, toast, cereal, orange juice, and pineapple juice. I chose to eat cereal, toast with jelly, and some very tasty juice. The toast with jelly was especially great. We went back to our cabanas to grab our name tags, money and hats before heading on our journey.

We drove down the road to the capital city of Belmopan. In Belmopan, we did something called a "cultural plunge." It was a very special type of scavenger hunt through the city. The people on my team were Min Rita, myself, my partner Leslie, Makayla, and her partner Tania. One of the things we had to search for in the cultural plunge was a popular spice. During our time I was reminded that I should be trustworthy and honest because Pastor Carol said that we should be honest about what we do on the list. We ran all over Belmopan. We stopped by the library, grocery store, pharmacy, and many more places. My favorite thing to do on the list was buying and eating a taco. It was delicious! Today was one of the most fun days; it was also very exhausting and hot. All the hard work we did came out be worth it because we won first place. I was so excited! We would not have won without the help of Tonia and Leslie. They knew where all the places were

in Belmopan.

After we finished the cultural plunge, it was time for lunch. Before we ate, we had an award ceremony. The reward for first place was a Pathlight T-Shirt, a Pathlight water bottle, and $11.00 US dollars. We were served tuna sandwiches for lunch. It felt so good to sit down and have a drink of water! We changed into our swim clothes after eating and headed down the road for cave tubing.

A ten minute drive down the rode led us to Mt. Herman's Cave. The tour guides equipped us with a floater that looked like a donut and a flashlight that fits on our heads. We walked into the forest and down some stairs to reach the area where we were cave tubing. It was really scary and dark in the cave, so we had to turn on our headlights to see. There were many rock formations and bats inside the cave. The bats were coming out of holes and flying all over the place. I was scared very much. I was told that the bats were blind and harmless around humans. That statement made me feel a little better. The tour guides reminded us to not touch the rock formations because our fingerprints might mess them up. There were times when the tour guides asked us to turn off our lights and be very quiet. I was so scared because it was pitch black. Donald was trying to scare us by making scary noises.

I learned a lot of new things today. Cave tubing and doing the cultural plunge was a very good experience for me. I have never walked around a town to find 13 things and I never saw bats in my life. Today was very fun and educational.

--Amari Smith

Our Tour Guides: Denford and Silvia

View of Saint Margaret's Village

Jalen and Garin Grey

painting a classroom

Eagle Empowerment, Inc.

Education in Motion

Day #7--July 18th 2012

Today we took a trip to the Mayan Ruins. The ruins we visited were called "Xunantanich". It took about an hour to arrive to the ruins. Mr. Dino was our tour guide for the trip. We walked up the hill to visit the temples.

The tour guide gave us lots of information about the temples we saw. He told us that "Xunantanich" means "lady of the stone". The name is based off a legend of a female ghost that calls out for children. Legend has it that she was found roaming about the temple at night. There were a few stairs we had to climb to reach the top of the temple. There was an amazing view, along with a nice breeze, when we reached the top. On the way up, the tour guide told us about the carvings on the sides of the temple.

We all walked back down the hill to the souvenir shops. Soon after we drove to Hoddie's Restaurant for lunch. The food and the service was wonderful. We had another chance to buy souvenirs before driving back to Jaguar Creek. There was some heavy rain falling when we drove. We said our final good-bye to our Pathlight partners before having dinner. For dinner, we had orange rice, baked chicken, pineapples, and a mix of vegetables.

--Janelle Gray

Picture of the winning team at the award ceremony

View of produce market in Belmopan

A picture of the group before cave tubing

Picture of team before leaving to Xunatunich

View of the main temple of Xunatunich

Travel Log

Picture of Group at Hoddies Restaurant