Some of the greatest memories created in Belize took place in Placencia, an area on the coast filled with ex-pats (individuals who used to reside in the US), tourists, and small communities of Belizean natives. The area was filled with beauty: sandy shores with gorgeous oceans, islands with natural wonders such as the world’s second largest barrier reef and grandiose resorts. We spent the majority of our time at the Placencia Humane Society, where we assisted in the running of a free clinic on the first day and a low cost clinic the second day. On the first day, we rode in the back of a pick up truck around the Seine Bright village, looking for animals (both strays and “owned”) in need of veterinary care and potential spay/neuter procedures. We brought in various dogs and cats and treated them lovingly: performing the spay and neuter procedures to decrease the chances of contracting TVT (a sexually transmitted tumor that proves deadly or extremely costly in most situations), as well as deworming and bathing them as to remove fleas and ticks that had embedded themselves in the fur/skin. It was amazing seeing how happy the people were to see us: they knew that we were there to help. Our second day (the low-cost clinic) was significantly slower, but was still an amazing educational experience. Being in the operating room truly gave me a taste of what it would be like to be a small animal veterinarian: an experience I never had before traveling to Belize.
The trip was not devoid of fun and games. We swam in beautiful bodies of water, stayed in a Hostel (which proved to be an….ummm….interesting experience to say the least) and snorkeled along the reef. The water near the reef was absolutely mesmerizing : crystal clear and turquoise. Although the reef was cool, it was somewhat depressing to visit because the majority of it appeared to be dead. There was hardly any marine life and what was there was far from interesting : a fish or two, some sea cucumbers and grayish looking coral. Although the area was somewhat drab, it’s pretty cool to be able to say that I’ve had the experience of snorkeling in such an amazing place.