The village of Punta Negra in Southern Belize, with support from the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), is currently accepting applications for an assistant teacher for St. Cuthbert’s School.  This is a volunteer position which will give the applicant a chance to truly make a difference to the children of Punta Negra Village while being able to experience life in the Caribbean in a meaningful and unique way.

The successful candidate will work with a Government of Belize sponsored teacher, live with the community and be supported by TIDE.  Applications are being accepted currently but do not delay as TIDE has asked for interested parties to respond by September 7, 2012.

Volunteer primary school teacher, Belize, with the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE)

 This is an exciting opportunity to volunteer as a primary school teacher in Punta Negra, a remote Caribbean fishing village in southern Belize. This rewarding challenge will give the right person an amazing opportunity for professional development and the chance to make a lasting impact on this peaceful and friendly community.

The host organisation for this appointment is the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE). TIDE is a Belizean NGO working to protect some of the most pristine coastal and marine ecosystems in Central America, including the healthiest coral reef in the whole Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. TIDE works closely with local communities to build capacity for conservation and sustainable management of natural resources.

One of the communities with which TIDE works is the village of Punta Negra, a very small community of just 20 residents, the majority of whom are children. Since the 12 pupils range in age from five to twelve years old, the village has approached TIDE for assistance to place a temporary primary school teacher in the village to assist the local teacher. Your service will greatly improve the educations of 12 children and be warmly appreciated by TIDE and the people of Punta Negra. As an international volunteer, your presence will also provide a unique opportunity for cultural exchange. You will have the chance to make genuine connections and experience life in the village in a way that no ordinary traveller could. As a role model, you will inspire young people and make impressions that will last a lifetime.

You will be paired with a local counterpart in Punta Negra, who will support you with your living arrangements and provide breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will work alongside the local teacher for four days per week, during which time you will stay in accommodation in Punta Negra village sharing with the local teacher. Living conditions are basic (no electricity or flushing toilet). During the other three days of the week and school holidays, accommodation will be made available to you in Punta Gorda Town, either with a member of TIDE staff or with a host family. TIDE will provide transportation by boat between Punta Negra and Punta Gorda twice per week as well as limited assistance with teaching resources. We will also be contactable at all times in case of emergency.

This important role will involve the following duties:

–       Liaising with the local teacher to organise dividing the 12 students of mixed ages (5-12 year olds) into two classes.

–       Teaching a primary school class according to the Belize National Exams Curriculum, including maths, science, language arts, social studies, art and physical education. There will be 22 hours of lessons per week.

–       Planning lessons and ensuring that the objectives of the school curriculum are met.


The successful candidate will possess the following qualifications, skills and qualities:

–       Teacher certification (under-graduate degree in teaching, PGCE or equivalent).

–       Initiative, energy, enthusiasm and creativity.

–       Willingness / ability to commit to a minimum of three months unpaid work.

–       You should be open, friendly and patient. The children you teach will almost certainly want to visit you outside of school hours.

Experience living in a developing country in basic conditions and among people of other cultures would also be desirable.

Benefits of volunteering for TIDE include:

–       A chance to gain valuable professional experience.

–       A chance to make a lasting, positive impact.

–       Living and working in beautiful natural surroundings and experiencing the fun-loving and laid-back local culture.

–       Being part of a friendly and dynamic team of committed individuals in a leading Belizean conservation NGO.

–       Appreciation for your dedication and hard work.

–       Opportunities to visit the protected areas managed by TIDE and get involved in other aspects of TIDE’s work.

–       Adventure in a country with pristine ecosystems, world-class snorkelling and SCUBA.

To apply, please send your c.v. and a cover letter to Dr. James Lord, development director, at by September 7, 2012.

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