Provides educational services and support to benefit children, women, communities and the environment in the southern Toledo District of Belize

Books to Kids in Toledo

In 2016 Books to Kids began the first distribution of slim readers to children in the Toledo District. This partnership between Plenty Belize and Plenty International builds upon the Books to Kids project run by Plenty International in Tennessee and Louisiana, USA. We provide books to children to own and have in their homes, approximately monthly, with the goal of the children building a small library of 10 or more books to read, trade, and enjoy.

Plenty Belize uses the help of board members, staff, and local volunteers to distribute the books, making this project efficient on a low budget. We have been distributing at:

  • Jacintoville
  • Santa Anna
  • Crique Sarco
  • Barranco
  • Punta Gorda Library After School Program
  • University of Belize Reading Club
  • Eldridge
  • Jalacte
  • Graham Creek

The children at each site choose their own book from those provided (there are always extra to choose from), and the site coordinator ensures that a record is kept of the children and their book choices. We also keep track of the reading level (below, average, above) as reported by the teachers. The coordinators often enter into discussions with the students about the books they have read, encouraging reading and literacy.

Plenty Belize looks forward to continuing this project for the next several years!


Sustainable Solar Energy in Santa Elena

Started April 2017 and ongoing (anticipated end date April 2019)


  • Plenty Belize
  • Barefoot College
  • Caribbean Community Climate Change Center
  • Ya’axche Conservation Trust
  • Maya Mountain Research Farm
  • Ministry of Rural Development
  • Ministry of Energy
  • Santa Elena Village


  • Barefoot College
  • Government of India
  • Government of Belize
  • Plenty International

Project Goal

To promote the demonstration, development and transfer of low carbon technologies at the community level, by empowering Santa Elena to reduce GHG emissions by capacity-building and installation of renewable and sustainable energy systems.

Successes and Accomplishments

  • Two women from Santa Elena trained as Barefoot Solar Engineer, ie a solar technician who builds/solders charge controllers and solar lanterns.
  • The engineers are women
  • The engineers are Mayan from a remote village in Toledo
  • The engineers are not formally educated at secondary or tertiary level
  • Santa Teresa has a Solar Board that reports to Ministry of Rural Development that seeks to sustain the systems into the future.

Good Practices

  • Female Solar Engineer in Village
  • Solar Power Board puts control in the village
  • Steering Committee Meetings open to the village
  • Training both in India and in Belize
  • Rural Development assists solar Board


Adapting Food Security to Climate Change in Jalacte

Start date October 2018; Anticipated Completion October 2019

Activities and Intended Results

  • Promote Equity, Sustainability and Resilience to Climate Change with regards to Food Security
  • Three covered agricultural structures producing food, one managed by the women and older youth of village, two managed by school youth and PTA. 25% of the production from each structure will be sold to provide funds for maintenance. The women and youth will keep 50% of their production and donate 25% to the school feeding program. The school youth and PTA will use 25% of their production for incentives and donate 50% to the school feeding program. Thus the covered agriculture structures are maintained, livelihoods are enhanced, and food security for the children in the school is greatly improved.
  • Two distinct agro-foresty areas are set up with short, medium and long term plantings so as to enhance livelihoods and enhance food security while adapting to and mitigating climate change
  • Water for irrigation and chickens will be readily available through the combination of solar water pumping from the river, water re-use, and rainwater collection.
  • Knowledge and Attitudes with regards to gender and climate change are enhanced amongst the participants.


  • Plenty Belize
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Rural Development
  • Jalacte PTA, School, and Village
  • Jalacte Women’s Group
  • Regeneration Belize
  • Ya’axche Conservation Trust


  • Government of Belize
  • Plenty International

Plenty Belize

Working together for the sustainable development of the people and environment of Toledo, Belize using a community based approach.

Plenty Belize is a registered Belizean NGO with its office in the village of Jacintoville, Toledo District, Belize. Founded in 1997, Plenty Belize has a history of working hand in hand with other local groups to address local needs in a sustainable manner. Plenty Belize has acted both as a service provider within projects spearheaded by other organizations and as a project manager. Plenty Belize manages projects in agriculture, school gardens, health, nutrition, solar energy, women’s development, micro-enterprise and education, in close liaison with local government and non-governmental agencies.

Plenty Belize operates independently as a sister organization to Plenty International, with similar values and purposes. Since 1990 Plenty International staff and volunteers have contributed financial, technical and material support to the work of Plenty Belize.

The Toledo District in southern Belize is home to indigenous Mopan and Kek’chi Maya (who comprise about 65% of the district’s 33,000 plus residents), Garifuna, Creole, Mestizo, and East Indian populations. Levels of education, health, literacy, infrastructure and income in this district are consistently at the bottom of national averages. With 79% of residents living below the poverty line, the Toledo District ranks among the poorest in the western hemisphere. With over 50 villages, the population is rurally based and relies greatly on subsistence slash and burn style agriculture. Malnutrition is a persistent problem in Toledo with 45% of children showing signs of growth retardation. Hunger is not a problem in Toledo, as there is always something available to eat, even if it does not provide balanced nutrition.

Infrastructure in Toledo is the lowest in the nation, with many about 16 villages having no access to the electricity grid, and many not having potable water or decent sanitation facilities.

The Toledo District is also blessed with an abundance of natural resources. With 165 – 190 inches of rainfall each year, the climate is perfect for the beautiful rainforest that covers our land. The Caribbean Sea / Gulf of Honduras lies off our coast, as we lie near the southernmost point of the second longest barrier reef in the world.

Areas of focus

  • Sustainable development of energy, water, and food resources
  • Sanitation, Nutrition, and Health Education
  • Economic initiatives such as agro-business and micro-enterprise development
  • Environmental Awareness and Adaptation to Global Climate Change
  • Relevant Public Education
  • Inclusion of Women, Youths, and Persons with Disabilities in the development of their communities and beyond
  • Respect for the culture of the many indigenous peoples of the area.


Plenty Belize currently has an Executive Director/Programs Manager, and an Office and Accounts Manager; our Board is an active board assisting our work in many ways. We also have occasional local and international volunteers.

Executive Director/Programs Manager Mark Miller was born in the US but is now a permanent resident of Belize, living in the village of Jacintoville, about 8 miles outside of PG town. Mark holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Pollution Control, a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering, and formerly held a certificate in secondary education.

Office and Accounts Manager Randine Williams was born and raised and continues to live in the village of Jacintoville, Toledo.  Randine earned her Associate degree from the University of Belize.

Board of Directors

  • Chair Mr. Augustine Lara, Principal at Medina Bank Government School, Toledo District
  • Vice Chair Mr. Francisco Cal, Retired Special Education Officer, Toledo District
  • Treasurer Mr. Alberto Coleman, Finance Specialist at Treasury Department, Government of Belize, Toledo District
  • Secretary Ms. Emely Ramirez, Preschool Teacher and Entrepreneur, Toledo District
  • Mr. Jack Nightingale, Entrepreneur, Toledo District
  • Mr. Victor Kuk, Extension Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Toledo District
  • Mr. Ignatius “Gomier” Longville, Owner of Gomier’s Health Food Restaurant
  • Mr. Abib Palma, Entrepreneur and Agriculture Specialist


Plenty Belize
PO Box 72
Punta Gorda Town
Central America

(501) 664 – 5024

Plenty Belize

by Mark Miller, Executive Director

Plenty Belize began our single largest project to date in August of 2011, an EU funded solar project for San Jose Village with a Mayan population of more than 1,000. The total cost of the project is $200,000 with $187,000 from the European Union (EU) and $10,250 coming from Plenty and $11,000 coming from the community (cash and labor). This project is now functional, with 19 buildings getting power from the 6,540W centralized solar system (4 public buildings: a school, community building, water board office, and health post) plus 15 private residences, including one that also serves as a shop. The recently formed village electricity board is responsible for collecting payments for the power and maintaining the system. We believe this pilot project to be among the first of its kind in the Americas.

Our GATE Program continues as our Flagship, helping schools with gardens, kitchens, water systems, and teacher education. There are now 45 schools in GATE (an increase of 5 over last year), of which 23 have graduated, meaning they no longer receive regular support but are simply monitored by Plenty staff. We have more schools that have requested to start a school garden program, and we are adding them to GATE this fall. We are on track to assist all 50 schools in Toledo by 2014. There are now 23 schools with lunch programs.