Yoga Outreach in Belize







We are bringing a 200hr Baptiste Yoga Teacher Training to Punta Gorda, Belize for both the local Belizean community and our community here in Grand Junction. Several individuals from Grand Junction will be joining us and going to Belize to receive their 200hr Training and will be giving back upon return by teaching for at- risk- youth at either local high schools or Hilltop Residential Youth Services. 

 Our goal is to have all expenses funded (travel, food, lodging) for both the people attending the training and the facilitators. 
This project is being undertaken by Half Moon Yoga and the Baptiste Institute to provide an opportunity for people in Belize to receive a world class training that will encourage them to teach yoga and meditation to their local communities with a focus on at- risk- youth.  

The Details

This training would provide individuals with a valuable skill set, an opportunity for transformation and in turn, would encourage and inspire leadership.  This training’s impact will ripple through Punta Gorda, to all the surrounding villages and Belize City. Not only will it promote social activism and engagement, but it will provide a source of livelihood for many who could fall into involvement in illegal activity. The primary focus is providing the youth with strong leaders who can mentor and offer guidance for many years to come.

Half Moon Yoga is committed to going back yearly to continue engagement and growth with this population.

Objectives of this Project 

- Education- The group enrolled in the training will include people with graduate level education along with those with very little to no formal education. This presents a valuable opportunity for people to work together and experience a hands-on learning environment. This ‘taste’ of learning and education has the potential to ignite a desire for higher education.

- Leadership- This training will empower and inspire strong individuals who will return to their villages and local communities with the skills and confidence needed to lead.

- Physical and mental health- This training will promote health and encourage exercise and movement as a lifestyle.

- Livelihood- This training will provide education and credentials needed to earn income and sustainable livelihood.

- Bridging the gap between cultures- There is cultural diversity amongst the ethnic groups of Belize that we will be working with: Maya, Garifuna, Creole, East Indian... This training will provide a common connection and promote unity.

- Self-esteem and awareness- Offering this training will open the possibility that there are other ways to live and to serve.

- Outreach - The group will consist of tentatively 5-10 people traveling from the US and we hope to recruit 15-20 people from Belize. This is an incredible opportunity for unity through learning. Because of inherent cultural differences, we have established a support system with three Belizean leaders and one American, with longstanding community ties, to help people process and incorporate what they will learn. - Each of the Belizean Trainees will return to their communities ranging from roughly 500 people in a rural community, the 6,000 in Punta Gorda town, to the masses that live-in Belize city, with the ability to teach yoga and/or meditation and be leaders.
Amikole teaching Kids Yoga at the Mango Meditation and Arts Center

We will be working with three local studios; Mango Meditation and Arts Center and Coco Love Massage Yoga and Bodycare Studio and Airbender Yoga Studio. The Mango Meditation and Arts Center is a non-profit institute dedicated to the underserved and at risk populations and is one of the many places that the trainees in this program will be able teach after the training. The founder, Amikole Maraesa is from New York City where she trained 200 hours with Yoga To the People. Amíkolé is also a Ph.D. medical anthropologist with a longstanding research focus on childbirth and midwifery in Toledo, Belize. Her mission with the MMHA is to provide a space for yoga, meditation, and access to international wellness practitioners for the local communities. The other facility where the training will be, is a small business owned and run by Nicole Andrewin. Her and her daughter offer yoga, massage, and spa treatments in their space. Her daughter Indira, who is already teaching yoga classes, will be attending the training. They have agreed to host this training and are two community centers that can continue to offer yoga classes and a space for teaching and growth after we leave. Lastly, Ashanti Garcia’s studio, Airbender Yoga is currently serving roughly 30 local long-term clients in Belize city. Ashanti will be recruiting trainees from the city and will be attending the training herself. Linda Toth guest taught a Baptiste JIP class at her studio in January 2017 and plans on returning every year and working as a long-distance mentor for Ashanti.  

Indira Teaching Meditation to Youth at Coco Love

Thank you for your support!
  • Dan Mendez 
    • $150 
    • 44 mos
  • Dan Mendez 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Betsy Bair 
    • $50 
    • 61 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 61 mos
  • Kristi Haan 
    • $25 
    • 61 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Elise Cunningham 
Grand Junction, CO
Linda Toth