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    PALS in BELIZE

    A Softball Service Trip

    7.14.19 - 7.23.19

    travel to Belize with pals for softball + Service

    At Philadelphia Adult League Softball (PALS), we believe in the power of coed recreational softball to not only be a place for friendly competition but also a source of true camaraderie and friendship, in addition to being a way to collectively engage the community and support the efforts of non-profits and organizations where we play, live, work, and beyond.

     

    As a result, are so excited to combine the founding pillars of the league--competition, community, and camaraderie--to offer our first softball service trip abroad to Belize. To be held Sunday, July 14 through Tuesday, July 23, 2019, this nine night trip--coordinated with the Belize City Softball Association--will take us throughout the country to Belize City, Cayo, San Pedro, and Caye Caulker. We'll play softball games with local coed teams, facilitate youth softball clinics, volunteer with non-profit organizations, and see some of the many beautiful sights of Belize through organized excursions. One of our key goals is to support local efforts to increase access and exposure to softball and baseball among young people throughout the country.

     

    Our plan is that this will be the first of many softball service trips through the league to be held on an annual basis, and this will be an exciting opportunity to help us learn and shape future trips. As of 3.4.19, the trip is now full, but if you would like to added to the waiting list please email kelly@phillypals.com. To learn more about our league, visit www.phillypals.com.

     

    This trip is open to current or former PALS players and their families, current or former umpires, and other league partners and sponsors.

  • ABOUT The TRIP

    learn more about What we will do in Belize

    Softball

    We will play softball games in Cayo, Belize City, and San Pedro, including three nights of games under the lights at the historic Rogers Stadium in Belize City. This will be a great cross-cultural opportunity to learn from one another, make new softball friends, and enjoy some friendly rivalry.

     

    Games are coordinated through the Belize City Softball Association.

    service

    We will facilitate clinics with students in Belize City and San Ignacio, helping to support local efforts to increase access to softball and baseball throughout the country.

     

    We will also bring donations--both monetary and in-kind equipment donations--for the softball organizations we work with while in Belize. This is critically important in places such as Belize City, for example, where the league doesn't have the items required to facilitate clinics with students, meaning these children may never have the opportunity to play.

     

    In addition, we will volunteer with and contribute to other organizations such as the Cayo Animal Welfare Society and Caye Caulker Animal Shelter.

    sightS

    We'll take time to see some of the world famous sights in Belize, including visiting the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave in San Ignacio and snorkeling at the Barrier Reef in Caye Caulker.

     

    We will also enjoy some amazing Belizean cuisine.

  • why pals in belize?

     

     

    For many of us in the United States who grew up playing sports--or have children who now play sports--it is hard to imagine a childhood without baseball or softball. However, for many kids in the Central American country of Belize, they have never had the opportunity to play. There is currently no Little League in Belize (though there are some beginning efforts to reestablish it) and baseball has not been played in the country in any organized way since 1993. As a result, many children never step foot in the batter’s box, despite that baseball is well loved by many in Belize. In fact, Belizeans are often die hard Cubs fans because one of the only channels they received through the 1990s was WGN out of Chicago, which created a deep love of the MLB team.
     
    Softball is more widespread for both boys and girls; however, limited resources, exposure, and access to equipment and facilities means that basketball and soccer is more common. In Belize City, organizations such as the Belize City Softball Association--which this year is offering its first coed recreational league for adults--dream of engaging more young people in softball or baseball, particularly as they are based on the Southside of the city where limited opportunities and poverty affect the lives of the children who reside there.
     
    However, the Association currently does not have any equipment available to facilitate youth softball clinics, and needed items can be difficult to access--particularly with minimal resources--in the small country. The volume--and prohibitive expense--of equipment required to play as compared to other sports compounds these challenges. The need for equipment is particularly acute in Belize City, but is also felt throughout the country, such as in the rural areas of Cayo.
     

    To help support local efforts, our team of 15 participants from the league and two league organizers will travel to Belize City and San Ignacio to facilitate clinics for young people ages 7-16 in coordination with the Belize City Softball Association so that children will have the opportunity to play for the first time. We will also donate a wide range of equipment so that these clinics are sustainable and can continue long after we leave. For example, as of now the Belize City Softball Association only has one set of anchored bases that cannot be removed and easily transported from Rogers Stadium softball field. As many of the children who would most benefit from organized activities are unable to travel to the the field, just providing a set of throw down bases that they can bring into the community will help them expand their efforts, as will providing gloves, bats, helmets, balls, and other items needed for safe play.
     
    In addition to facilitating clinics, we will be playing other local coed teams in Belize City, Cayo, and San Pedro. This will be a great cross-cultural opportunity to not only make new friendships but also to learn from one another and gain exposure to regional and cultural nuances in the game, showcase skills, and foster a friendly international rivalry. These international games will also help the leagues to raise awareness of the sport and potentially attract new audiences--all of which is especially timely in Belize City as this is their first year offering coed rec leagues and it will be a valuable opportunity to highlight the sport and their players. Furthermore, as Belize City charges a minimal entrance fee that goes back to league to support field maintenance, umpire fees, and their other initiatives, these games offer a new avenue for promotion and hopefully increased attendance.
     
    We will also be donating equipment to the teams we play as they are forced to share items and, as with youth equipment, these items are difficult to access and expensive. Having more equipment available also eliminates barriers to play as people can participate who can’t afford the many pieces of gear required.
     
    Finally, to broaden our impact we will also be volunteering with and/or making monetary and in-kind donations to other organizations in Belize City, Cayo, San Pedro, and Caye Caulker, particularly animal welfare related organizations including the Cayo Animal Welfare Society, Caye Caulker Animal Shelter, Saga Humane Society in San Pedro, and the Belize City Humane Society. As the homeless dog and cat population is a widespread issue in Belize (as it is in Philadelphia), we want to support organizations that provide much needed services such as low cost veterinary care and vaccines, spay and neuter services, and foster and adoption programs. We are coordinating with these organizations to understand their greatest needs (as they also struggle with access to and expense of necessary supplies) and will provide these items. We will be volunteering on site with the Cayo Animal Welfare Society in San Ignacio and the Caye Caulker Animal Shelter.
     

  • Meet The Team

    See Who Is Joining us in Belize

    Jonnae' M.

    Adrian J.

    Steph M.

    Neil Y.

    Vicki L.

    Jana P.

    Amy K.

    Phil Y.

    Danny M.

    Joe K.

    Ace M.

    Jack M.

    Jason N.

    Jason W.

    Drew T.

    Frank D.

    Steve O.

    Kelly O.

  • Trip Itinerary

    Sunday, July 14
    Arrive in Belize City, meet with Belize City Softball Association, transfer via shuttle to San Ignacio
    Monday, July 15
    Clinics and softball games in the village of Esperanza in Cayo, outside of San Ignacio
    Tuesday, July 16
    Visit Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave
    Wednesday, July 17
    Volunteer in morning at Cayo Animal Welfare Society, travel via shuttle to Belize City, games in evening in Belize City
    Lodging: Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina
    Thursday, July 18
    Clinics and games in Belize City
    Lodging: Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina
    Friday, July 19
    Clinics and games in Belize City
    Lodging: Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina
    Saturday, July 20
    Travel via ferry to San Pedro; softball games
    Sunday, July 21
    Travel via Ferry to Caye Caulker; afternoon free
    Monday, July 22
    Volunteer in morning at Caye Caulker Animal Shelter, snorkeling in afternoon
    Tuesday, July 23
    Travel via ferry to Belize City, transfer to airport, and depart

     

    *Itinerary is subject to change

  • Trip Cost

    $1325 (including Airfare)

    Please note that the trip is now full. Email kelly@phillypals.com to be added to the waitlist.

     

    The cost of the trip is $1325 (see below for due dates and what is included). You can also add on two optional excursions:

    • Full Day (8 Hours) Visit to ATM Cave for $95
    • Half Day (3 Hours) Snorkeling for $35

    With both of these excursions added, the total would be $1455.

     

    We will be fundraising on behalf of the league to raise money for the organizations we will be working with and also to minimize player costs and enable a wide range of player to attend; our goal is that cost not be a barrier to participation. As a participant in the trip, you will also be asked to fundraise, which we will help you with! This will include asking your network for donations through a league administered peer-to-peer fundraising page, assisting with fundraising events and initiatives, and strategizing around fundraising efforts.

     

    **Please note that a valid passport that will be valid for six months after the departure date from Belize is required to enter Belize. If you passport will expire within the next year, you need to renew it before going on the trip!**

     

    What's Included

    • Round Trip Airfare from Philadelphia to Belize City on American Airlines
    • Lodging (primarily shared rooms in mid range hotels)
    • Airport Transfers in Country
    • Roundtrip Shuttle Travel from Belize City to San Ignacio
    • Roundtrip Ferry Travel Between Belize City, San Pedro, + Caye Caulker
    • Emergency Medical Travel Insurance with Adventure Rider
    • Excursions to ATM Cave + Snorkeling in Caye Caulker (if you add on these two options)

     

    What's NoT Included

    • Most Meals
    • Some Taxi Rides in Country
    • Tips
    • Additional Excursions
    • Airline baggage ($30 for first checked bag, $40 for second checked bag)
    • Travel Cancellation Insurance (highly recommended)

     

  • payment information

    • The trip is now full. Please email kelly@phillypals.com to be added to the waitlist.
    • Non-refundable deposit of $150 to hold your spot is due by March 6, 2019.  This allows us to hold the airfare and cover other upfront costs.
    • To save your space, please send your $150 deposit to kelly@phillypals.com via PayPal. 
    • If you would prefer not to use PayPal or would prefer Venmo, please email kelly@phillypals.com. 
    • If there are still spots open after this date we will continue to add participants and accept deposits. If there are not enough participants signed up by April 5, 2019 and the trip cannot run, we will refund your deposit. 
    • To make the trip accessible to more players, we are offering installment payments. The due dates are as follows:
      • April 6, 2019: $200
      • May 6, 2019: $225
      • June 6, 2019: $250
      • June 10, 2019: $500 (for airfare)
      • July 1, 2019: $95 for ATM Cave and/or $35 for Snorkeling if participating
    • As we will be fundraising as a group, if we raise enough funds we will be able to reduce the overall out-of-pocket cost of the trip per person and will update the payment amounts due as needed. 
    • Cancellation Policy: If you cancel up through May 15, you will receive a refund of all payments made through that date (minus your $150 non-refundable deposit). If you cancel on May 16 or later, you do not receive a refund for payments paid. If we are able to fill your slot after your cancellation, we may be able offer a partial or full refund but there is no guarantee. 
  • Want to Help?

    Can't go but still want to be involved? We need your help to make this trip possible! We are accepting monetary contributions as well of gifts of equipment and other supplies to bring with us to Belize for the softball leagues and other organizations that we will be working with while in country.

     

    We are also accepting monetary contributions to minimize participants' costs so that all players have the opportunity to participate in the service trip and to ensure that cost is not a barrier--as it often is for these types of service trips.

     

    To make a monetary contribution, please click here!

     

    The following softball items are needed (new and gently used):

    • Catcher's gear (youth and adult)
    • Batting helmets (youth and adults)
    • Pitcher's mask (youth and adults)
    • Softballs (**new only**)
    • Gloves (youth and adult)
    • Batting gloves (youth and adult)
    • Catcher's mitts (youth and adult)
    • Composite bats (youth and adult)
    • Throw down quilted bases 
    • Throw down rubber bases
    • Pitcher's plate
    • Home plate
    • Large team equipment bag
    • Baseball/softball tee

    We will also be collecting supply donations for animal shelters in Belize that we will be volunteering with during our time in-country. The following items are needed (new only):

    • Dog and cat collars (small dog collars especially needed)
    • Leashes
    • Stainless steel dog and cat food and water bowls
    • Dog and cat treats
    • Dog and cat toys
    • Kongs
    • Flea medications for cats and dogs
    • Muzzles
    • Bed Warmers
    **For used items, please make sure that you would use the items yourself, that they are clean, and that there is no damage whatsoever to the equipment--particularly protective gear.**
     

    Shipping or Dropping Off Donations

    Donated can be shipped to:

     

    Philadelphia Adult League Softball

    3720 Spruce Street #420

    Philadelphia, PA 19104

     

    You can also drop off any donations at the Mill Creek Recreation Center field during games time on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays between 6pm and 10pm starting on April 1, 2019. The field is located at 48th & Brown in West Philadelphia. We are also happy to pick up items from your location.

     

    Thank you so much for your help!

     

     

  • Questions?

    PLease reach out to us!

    Email

    kelly@phillypals.com

    Phone

    267.225.2480

    Facebook

    @phillypals

    Instagram

    @phillypals.com