In Belize many people are economically challenged and going to school is expensive, often making it necessary to discontinue formal education at an early age. Recognizing that in Belize’s growing tourism industry, businesses and in the private sector, there is a need for skilled landscape gardeners, Belize Botanic Gardens started planning courses in Landscape Gardening to offer to people who were either unemployed or stuck in jobs that took them nowhere.
In 2012, having secured a grant from the European Union’s Belize Rural Development Programme (BRDPII) Belize Botanic Gardens embarked on an innovative program to train men and women with a keen interest in plants to help fill this growing job market. A 10-week intensive horticulture course using a combination of classroom theory and practical training has enabled unemployed and under-employed men and women to join the workforce. There is also a 12-week On The Job Training (OJT), offered to students who have trouble keeping up with the classroom work due to lack of reading and writing skills. Thanks to this program, we weve been able to offer these courses free to Belizean students and as of September, 2014, more than 75% of our students are either employed, have started their own small businesses or have returned to school for further studies. BBG has trained men and women from age 13 through 60 in gardening skills.
In order to achieve our goal of sustainability, starting in February 2015 BBG will offer short term classes for a nominal fee (See Course Calendar and how to Register Online) to both Belizeans and Visitors for a nominal fee. If you can’t attend one of our classes, you might consider donating a scholarship for a Belizean who needs to learn a job skill
Part of the program has been a 5-day Introduction to Birding and Plant ID Course and, starting in 2015 we added intermediate and advanced courses. All of these courses will be available to the public, both locally and internationally for a small fee which will help sustain scholarships for students who attend the job skills training courses. If you have a group with a particular interest who would like to take one of our classes, let us know and we’ll schedule it for you.
Workshops in the garden, designed to give people a fun day out where they can learn hands-on draw people to the garden and promote the interaction between tourists and local people. These include a Maya Healers’ Workshop where people tour our Maya Medicine Trail, learn about native medicinal plants and make tamales over a wood-fired “fogon” for their lunch; 3 levels of flower arranging; soap making and nutrition. (Calendar, price)
Belize Botanic Gardens offers exciting training opportunities to individuals who are interested in taking up a career in gardening. This training program is funded through a grant from the European Development Fund, under the Belize Rural Development Project II administered by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and its partner duPlooys Jungle Lodge.
The Title of the action under this grant is, “Improving the Quality of Life of Rural Household by developing Capacity to find an create employment in gardening and other plant related areas”, has the overall objective of teaching underemployed and unemployed men and women the skills necessary to earn a living as employees or small business owners in these areas. Research shows that job opportunities requiring these skills exist in both the business and private sectors, particularly in the tourism industry.
After completion of the training programs, participants are awarded with a certificate of completion and a job recommendation letter in order to commemorate their dedication and interest in the program.
We offer two types of training:
Duration: 10 wks
Hours: 7am-4pm Monday-Friday
Comprise of: Level 1 Introductory, Level 2 Intermediate, Level 3 Advanced Level Horticulture Training (Each level consists of two weeks theory and practical sessions. After completion of Level3 participants are required to complete a one week practical session)
Nursery Establishment General Course (Food Plant and Trees, Ornamentals)- 1 WEEK
Cut Flower Growing & Marketing-1 WEEK
Vegetable & Herbs Growing/Cultivation-1 WEEK
One Day Seed Saving Workshop
Plant & Bird Identification Course-1 WEEK
One Day Craft Workshop
One Floral Arrangement Workshop
Duration: 12 weeks
Hours: 7am-4pm Monday-Friday
Selected participants have the opportunity to work with our experienced professional gardeners. These participants will experience firsthand training in all aspects of gardening such as:Pruning, Mulching, Nursery Establishment, Garden Maintenance, Potting, Plant Propagation, Tool Handling and Care, Small Garden-Machinery Operation and other tasks assigned.
Contact Us for more information about these training programs and how to enroll.