At a Glance
- Touring with the 444 project: Visit their website HERE
- Tour One: July 7-15,2018
- Tout Two: July 15-23, 2018
- Cost: $3,000 (Price includes flights from IAH, Houston TX, classes and training material from the 444 Project)
- Tour Destinations: Belize City and Ladyville
- Service Projects: Typhoon Relief, Building Schools, Medical Screenings, Hygiene Classes, Educational Assemblies, and more!
- Arrival Airport: Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE)
- Age of volunteers: 15 years and older (under 15 must be accompanied with adult)
To Do Before the Tour
The 444 Project
As a young adult, Josie Thompson was diagnosed with Depression/Bi-Polar disorder. Since 2008 she has visited physiatrist after physiatrist trying over 30 different medications but to no avail. In 2012, frustrated by an inability to live a “normal” life, she decided to make a difference. She set out to prove to the world a three-point thesis:
1. Everybody has a story to tell.
2. There is goodness alive and well in the world today.
3. Everyone has a reason to live.
Josie has always genuinely loved people so she proves these beliefs by traveling and meeting as many people as she can. She relies on the goodness of strangers and interviews people from all walks of life and ends each interview with the same question: “What brings you JOY?” She has entitled this endeavor The 444 Project, inspired by the family’s favorite scripture, Alma 44:4. She originally started this unique project as a way to bring hope and joy to others when in reality, it has probably benefited her the most.
This Project began in the United States, made its way over to Europe, is going to the Philippines in June 2015 and then eventually all over the world! Josie has finally found her mission in life! As she inspires thousands, she very much desires and strives TO BE THE GIRL WHO BRINGS LIGHT TO OTHERS THROUGH HER OWN DARKNESS and has now made that her life goal.
Josie blogs and now speaks all over and shares with people about The 444 Project and about her battles with darkness and her unique life experiences in a moving, engaging and candid manor that invites everyone to seek after JOY and see the good in the midst of their own adversity.
“The good thing about JOY is, even if I can’t feel it, I know it can still be there. And because it can be so fleeting, I have dedicated my life to seeking, embracing, enjoying, appreciating and striving to create it and share it with others.” -Josie Thompson
About the Tour
Wedged between Mexico and Guatemala, the tiny and eclectic country of Belize has become one of our favorite Service Tour destinations. Lush tropical rain forests, pristine beaches, ancient Maya cities, diverse flora and fauna, and the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere are just a few of the many natural attractions that allure the adventure traveler to visit. Belize is a diverse society with many cultures and languages (Creole and Spanish are widely spoken) however English is the official language, making it easy for our volunteers to get around and serve without a language barrier. As always our focus is serving the locals but on this tour we get the chance to snorkel/dive and explore the ancient Maya world. There are more than 200 islands in Belize that are known as cayes (pronounced “keys”) that are easy accessible and can serve as ideal bases for fishing, snorkeling and diving. Archaeologists estimate that more than one million Maya lived in present day Belize and flourished during the Classic Period from 300 to 900 AD. Maya temple sites are spectacular, in-between service project, activities that we’ll discover in Belize.
Projects and Activities
We will spend time with the children, playing games, painting, and reading. Spreading love and just being with these children who don’t have families is always rewarding.
We have have great curriculum that excites students to be more serious about school and eventually graduate from high school. We will hold school assemblies and teach this curriculum to the students. Volunteers will have the chance to share why they believe education is important and help facilitate the assemblies.
Classes and Couching by The 444 Project
Since 2013 Josie and The 444 Project have traveled across the world to discover and spread joy. Everywhere we have gone, we have interviewed and ask “What brings you joy?”. From the Incan terraces of southern Peru to the bamboo nipa huts of the Philippines we have learned that EVERYONE has a reason to get out of bed and a reason for JOY. We have also identified specific but simple skills that the happiest people use to discover, create, and spread joy. We have taken what we have learned, combined it with modern learning theories to develop Discovering Joy.
Discovering Joy is a seven-hour training course that teaches six simple but specific skills that have a profound impact on the amount of joy we each experience. We have developed three different delivery methods to best suite your learning style. Participants of each method will learn skills relating to: prioritizing choices, giving meaningful service, developing a purpose, developing creative skills, goal setting, and interpersonal relationship management. Each participant will also be provided with a workbook to guide them through learning activities and serve as a reference for future reflection.
At a government-sponsored community event we will teach locals proper procedures for washing hands, and brushing teeth. This project creates an opportunity to interact with locals as we try to improve their health.
Touring & Recreation
It would be unfortunate to travel all the way to Belize without a little recreation. Throughout the tour we will swim, snorkel, dive, float in underground rivers, and explore ancient Maya temples.