About Us


Our Story
Toucan Education Programs was established to make a significant positive impact on the growth and development of Belize. 
As such, our mission embodies a moral theme through a show of humility and respect for our participants, staff, and our community partners
As a result, our education abroad programming connects you to the immediate needs of our communities while amplifying integrity, reciprocity, personal and professional growth, and safety. 
Learn what cultivates our organization's ethos and personality on the Toucan Abroad Blog.
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Our Mission
Through impactful Service, intentional Learning, and responsible Exploration our students participate in a reciprocal educative process with the community that leads to an increase in valuing equality and celebrating diversity amongst all TEP stakeholders.
Our Vision
Through quality study abroad opportunities, we empower individuals and organizations to be catalysts for positive social and economic development in Belize and around the world.
Our Ethos

We embrace integrity, diversity, and a commitment to do tremendous good for people and our planet.


TEP Statement of Ethics amplifies its pledge to administer study abroad programming that provides value, accountability, and benefits to you and our community stakeholders where we work.

Abbiola Ballah- Program Manager
Abbiola Ballah, Education Abroad Program Manager

Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Abbiola has spent the majority of her adult life studying, living, and working abroad in the United States and Japan. 
She was a member of the Middlebury Institute for International Studies consulting team that developed TEP’s strategic implementation  and assessment plans. 
Now she joins our team as the Education Abroad Program Manager to fulfill TEP’s mission, vision, and organizational goals. Learn more about Abbiola on our blog here.
Elissa Waight – Education Abroad Program Coordinator

Elissa has great enthusiasm and appreciation for local and international cultures, sustainable development, social and global problems. 
She worked directly with Dr. Alicia McGill, Assistant Professor of History at North Carolina State University to facilitate an ethnographic field study in the village of Crooked Tree. 

She aims to bring greater awareness to the diversity of people living in Belize while positively contributing to the growth and development of her country, Belize.

Learn more about Elissa on our blog here.
Elissa Waight-Program Coordinator
Theodore Howe - Program Assistant
Theodore Howe, Education Abroad Program Assistant

Theodore affectionately known as Ted, has over 25 years of guiding in Belize. 

His knowledge of archaeology, Belizean history, culture, politics, and the environment is just the tip of his knowledge iceberg. 

As a deep thinker with a compassionate personality, he imparts the tools to help students and faculty deconstruct their education abroad experiences in a systematic and thoughtful way. 
David Hernandez, Education Abroad Program Assistant

David is a proud native of San Ignacio, Belize. He is passionate about his family and equally proud of his 11 years career in the tourism industry.  

He is extremely knowledgeable in the field of archaeology and ornithology and has a deep commitment to serve people in his community and to conservation, which makes him a natural complement to the TEP team. 

Learn more about David on our blog here.
David Hernandez - Program Assistant
Rhondine B. Petrof - Founder and CEO
Mrs. Rhondine Petrof, Founder and CEO

Rhondine’s ambition to actively get involved in her country's growth and development motivated her to start Toucan Education Programs (TEP) almost eight (8)years ago. 

Today, she remains inspired to accomplish the purpose of the organization and humbled by the incredible journey and accomplishments her team has made in the field. 

Rhondine enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and strongly believes in lifelong learning. 

Learn more about her journey on our blog here.
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