“You better Belize it” – is printed on magnets, shirts, mugs, and shot glasses. It is quite the tourist phrase in Belize, but after the trip it means so much more to each student.
There are two parts to the phrase; the first is that it is hard to believe the adventures of the two weeks in Belize. Whether it was seeing what a successful business looked like in Belmopan or sitting in the seamlessness between the still ocean and the star covered night sky. The days were packed with varying escapades and every student experienced something they never had before.
Sustainability and Leadership were the main focus of the course. Students got to see how different BNE, a Belize oil company, operated compared to an American oil company. The learning was all hands on so that the lessons would stay with us forever. We made chocolate from cocoa beans by crushing them by hand, zip lined through the rain forest, and snorkeled a couple different reefs.
Many people asked what does any of that have to do with sustainability or leadership? It helped every student to realize how beautiful our world is and how we need leadership to keep it preserved. Almost every student has evaluated the decisions they make daily, decisions they had never thought of having larger impact. After Belize we are all much more conscious of the part of the world we don’t see daily.
The second part of the phrase is that it is a demand to all PLP students. “You better Belize it”! This is an opportunity that will not let you walk away from the trip unaltered. You can ask anyone that went on the trip how awesome their experience was. We wanted to stay at the school and not leave the students, we wanted to have the boat ride last for longer, we wanted the nights on the peer under the stars to never end, and we want all of you to go so that you can get to know your professors better and be able to relate to us when we talk about the many adventures of Belize.
Written by: Elizabeth Hoffner – current PLPer