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Volunteering

My husband and are planning to move to Ambergris Caye in a few months. We are retired. My hope was to volunteer and help where needed. I just heard that to volunteer you need a work permit for $1,000.00. And unless you prove  a real need they may not even give it to you. Can you please tell me if this is indeed the case?  Thanks!

margewest :

My husband and are planning to move to Ambergris Caye in a few months. We are retired. My hope was to volunteer and help where needed. I just heard that to volunteer you need a work permit for $1,000.00. And unless you prove  a real need they may not even give it to you. Can you please tell me if this is indeed the case?  Thanks!

margewest, yes generally that is indeed the case. The image below shows your visitor visa renewal and the terms you agree to in order to be permitted to stay. Volunteering is indeed engaging in employment for no pay. As I have mentioned in previous threads we have to be careful what we feel is needed and helpful. Our need to help is often based on our experiences of how things are in first world nations, but in reality we must find a balance between being helpful and trying to change things. Being helpful is appreciated, change however it is neither needed nor wanted.

That been said I am sure if you join a church you could find ways to help. As an example that I often use there is a difference between going to SAGA and volunteering to walk the dogs, and going to a pet grooming/boarding business and doing the same thing. The first is a charitable organization where the budget would probably not allow for the employment of a dog walker. The second is a business that charges for the service and would be expected to employ a Belizean rather than cut costs by using volunteers.

Like most things in Belize you have to come, join the community, and feel your way along. I don't mean to be rude but if your main reason for coming to Belize is a calling to volunteer then that is probably not a good reason to come. If you have other reasons to retire here and volunteering is just something to do to stay busy while helping the community then that is great. Once you have residency you can do any job that you want (that is up to a 5 year process right now). NOTE: You are not permitted to work at all on QRP.

My best advice to you would be to come for a visit and see if you want to do is even possible, or if what you would be permitted to do would offer the rewarding experience that you seek before going all in on a move.

Just my view from the cheap seats. Others may be able to offer a different experience.

I hope this helps. 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/S7VX5 … 32-h769-no

Thanks so much for your insight. Your analogy really helps! Saga was one place I had in mind. Life is a huge learning curve. I will tread lightly and respectfully.

margewest :

My husband and are planning to move to Ambergris Caye in a few months. We are retired. My hope was to volunteer and help where needed. I just heard that to volunteer you need a work permit for $1,000.00. And unless you prove  a real need they may not even give it to you. Can you please tell me if this is indeed the case?  Thanks!

In Placencia the "Rotary Club" is very active with projects for the communities on the peninsula. The local membership is a mixture of expats from around the world and locals.

I know there are also chapters in other areas of Belize.
Google Belize Rotary Clubs to see many links.

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