July 2013: Conversation between two globe-trotting veterinarians during a hike in the forest with two Chihuahuas (we didn’t go unnoticed!)
- “After the Galapagos, Saint Lucia, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Fiji, why not organize a trip to Belize this year?
- Yes, Belize! Jaguars, manatees, toucans and tapirs. No time change, they speak English and it will be hot in January!
A group made up two veterinarians and eight animal health technician students from the CEGEP of Sherbrooke landed in Belize on the 1st of January 2014. Traveling during this time of the year has a good side. The customs agents are indulgent. The fine is not too heavy….
We get on the road to our first destination which is the small village of Sartenja. Three hours of slalom in the mud, not a very relaxing trip! In two days we sterilized 86 dogs and cats. Never seen before! The local people are very appreciative and already start planning our next visit before we even leave.
Next destination: Hopkins. One hour on a boat and five hours on the road towards the south on the scenic Hummingbird Highway. The Creole and Garfuna cultures are everywhere. Belize is very multicultural. In the space of a few hours the ambiance is totally different. We work with the Hopkins Belize Humane Society (HBHS) in Hopkins and in the surrounding Mayan villages. We sterilize 89 dogs and cats, perform TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) and treat several dogs against beef worms, the smaller cousins of Cuterebra.
Our trip was a success! We made a definite impact in Sarteneja and continued the excellent work of HBHS started more than five years ago in the Hopkin’s region.
Positive, durable impact along with education…… These make up the criteria for the projects of our foundation, the Foundation for Veterinary Aid International (FVAI). It is decided we will be returning to Belize in July 2014. Would you like to join us and live an extraordinary experience? Please consult the FVAI website (fondationaideveterinaire.org) for complete details.
We would like to thank the Bureau vétérinaire du CEGEP du Sherbrooke (BVCS), l’AMVQ, la FAFVAC and the CDMV for their support.
We would also like to thank McCarthy and Sons, Dispomed and Borderlink for contributing to the development of this entirely Quebec based foundation.
When you read these lines we will be in the Galapagos Islands with veterinary students and animal health technicians. FVAI will be working closely with Darwin Animal Doctors.