2016 Mission Dates
June 11 – June 19 and November dates TBD
2017 Mission Dates
February 4 – February 12 and June / November dates TBD
Mission Trip Cost
Approximately $1950* from Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Please note that since you are making a tax-deductible donation, you need to write “Donation” on the memo section of your check.
*Subject to cost increases in international flights, hotels, ground transportation, departure taxes, visa costs and fuel surcharges.
Please visit the Application page to review the list of required documents.
The BMI team departs from Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Saturday, and flies to Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize, where they clear customs. They are met there by the Belize VIP Transfer Service, who transports them to the northern coastal city of Corozal. The team stays at Tony’s Inn, and each day the team eats breakfast at Tony’s, has lunch prepared for them by the Methodist Church, and evening meals at various local restaurants. Each day, the Belize VIP Transfer Service transports the team to and from the Methodist Eye Clinic, which is a short distance from Tony’s Inn.
The clinic team works in the Duke Walker Eye Clinic while the surgical part of the team works in the adjoining Elfrida Miguel Surgery Center. The team uses Saturday afternoon to set up the clinic and optical, as well as prepare the operating rooms for the anticipated surgeries for the week. On Sunday, about 50 pre-op patients are examined and scheduled for surgery for that afternoon, as well as for the following four surgery days. Each day, about 80-100 patients are examined and treated in the clinic. During the mission, about 40 cataracts and 40 pterygium surgeries are performed.
Late Thursday afternoon, the team departs on Tropic Air from Corozal, and flies a short 25-minute flight to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, where the post-mission relaxation time occurs. During the time in San Pedro, the daily activities are at the expense of the individual participant, but the Tropic Air flight and hotel are included in the trip cost.
The group departs San Pedro early Sunday morning for Goldson International Airport, then early that afternoon, flies back to Houston, arriving in the late afternoon.
In 1986, at the invitation of the Ministry of Health of Belize and the Methodist Church of Belize, the volunteers who would later become BMI were invited to provide ophthalmic care for the northern region of Belize (as well as for thousands of people in adjacent Central American countries who would also be served by this clinic).
With funds, largely from St. Lukes United Methodist Church of Houston, the first free standing eye clinic in Belize was built in Corozal and the nearby Corozal District Hospital operating room was refurbished. Both the clinic and the OR were equipped by the early “BMI volunteers.” Initially, BMI sent four eye teams a year to provide eye care for the underserved.
In 2003, BMI built and equipped a new state of the art surgery center adjacent to the original clinic. The complex was named the Methodist Eye Center which included the Duke Walker Eye Clinic and the Elfrida Miguel Surgery Center. BMI fully equipped the surgery center as well. This complex was then donated by BMI to the Methodist Church of Belize. In addition to the visiting BMI teams who come twice a year, the clinic is used by the Belize Council For the Visually Impaired on a weekly basis to provide ongoing eye care year round.
Some links to other sites about Belize: