BVAR Health & Safety Announcements
MAY 12, 2020
The BVAR directors had a meeting earlier this week, and we have decided to go ahead and cancel the July session. Belize seems to have the virus under control within its borders, but we don't know when they will begin to open up to international travelers. As of right now their airport will be closed at least through the month of June. Many of our staff members are also being required to postpone their research, either because grants have been delayed or their universities are prohibiting non-emergency travel.
This final decision to cancel the entire field season is disappointing and upsetting for all of us, but we are going to put our energy and focus into planning for Summer 2021! I have already communicated with many of you about rolling your applications over to next summer's roster. Our plan is to go ahead and do that for everyone, and then we'll get back in touch in the Fall when we have our dates set and have a better handle on the situation (I hope!). If your email address will change in the next few months, or if there's a better way to reach you for future communications, please let me know.
We'll be in touch with those of you who still need deposit refunds, and we want everyone to feel free to contact us at any time with questions or concerns. You can also continue to check www.bvar.org and our other social media sites for information and communication.
MARCH 31, 2020
Several weeks ago, we noted that we would provide you with another update after we heard back from Northern Arizona University’s Center for International Education on the status of their 2020 Summer Study Abroad programs.
We learned late last week that the 2020 Summer Study Abroad programs through NAU are officially cancelled. As a project, we have decided to follow their lead and cancel BVAR's June session.
Belize has been taking proactive measures to control the spread of the virus, including closing their borders and their international airport. As of today, they only have three confirmed cases. They have discovered, however, that community spread has likely started, and they just today declared a state of emergency and are imposing a lockdown for the entire country.
Since we have no way of knowing how long Belize will be closed to incoming visitors, we are VERY TENTATIVELY allowing for the possibility of conducting our July session. There is, however, a high possibility that the July session will be cancelled, as well.
If you are signed up for our June/First session for this summer, please let us know if you are interested in changing over to the July session and remaining in a "holding pattern" for more information as time goes on. If you know at this point that you wouldn't be able to participate in July, please contact us about a refund, if you have paid your deposit. If you haven't paid your deposit but need to decline participation for this summer, please inform us so we can remove you from the 2020 roster.
If you are signed up for the July/Second session for this summer, please let me know if you are interested in remaining on the TENTATIVE roster and are willing to wait for updated information as time goes on. If you know at this point that you will no longer be participating in July, please contact me about a refund, if you have paid your deposit. If you haven't paid your deposit but need to decline participation for this summer, please inform me so I can remove you from the 2020 roster.
Our plan at this point is to keep in contact with everyone who is unable to participate this summer and roll those applications over to a 2021 roster. You will not need to reapply for 2021, but will just need to inform us that you still want to participate in 2021, as well as make any relevant updates or changes to your current application (session choice, any new medical conditions, etc.).
We're really holding out hope that the global situation will improve and that we'll be able to operate in some capacity during the later part of the summer. We realize, however, that there are many factors that come into play, including the involvement and influence of multiple universities, states, and countries.
We would really love to hear from each of you regarding your personal BVAR status for this summer. You may do so by emailing Myka at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please get in touch with her so we can answer any questions you may have, and we'll figure out where to go from here.
FEBRUARY 27, 2020
Given the ongoing and global nature of the Coronavirus situation, we want to assure you that we are continuing to closely monitor the situation in the Americas and around the world. At this time we are proceeding with the project under normal protocols. Should the situation escalate and the program be cancelled, 100% of paid fees will be reimbursed. As there continue to be a number of unknowns about the future of this global situation, we highly recommend you purchase travel insurance on all airline tickets.
Here is the latest on the Coronavirus: