The Eco Kids summer educational adventure camp is now underway in the lush jungles of Belize, with Chaa Creek once again hosting twenty four budding environmentalists in a week long learning adventure that combines fun with hands-on education.
A recent NY Times article shows how Australian environmental technology is being used to monitor destructive, illegal fishing activity along the Belize Barrier Reef, and, with other Green applications planned for the future, giving the non-military use of drones a good name. Belize Fisheries Department personnel are now being trained up to operate small but highly effective drones to patrol Belizean waters in a bid to combat illegal fishing, just as this year’s lobster season begins. It seems only fitting that Australia, with the world’s largest Great Barrier Reef, has developed drone technology that is coming to the aid of Belize, home to the world’s second largest barrier reef.
One of the dangers of vacations is a tendency to try to cram too much in. The whole point of a holiday is to relax, isn’t it? Some of our best days away have been the ones where you wake up to a day that’s a blank canvas, and then decide how to fill it yourself. And that’s where day trips come in, those short excursions that can be undertaken at a drop of the hat, freeing up holiday time to just lounge, talk, reconnect and recharge. Fortunately, Belize has such a variety of awesome day trips that visitors can choose from a menu of a la carte activities and mix and match day excursions to create their own rich, totally satisfying holiday adventures. So, in the spirit of “I’ll take one from column A, one from column B, and finish off with a treat from the desert trolley”, here are three sumptuous choices from Belize’s smorgasbord of activities.
The latest tour, running from Germany to Serbia with a big showing at the prestigious “Summer of Antwerp” festival, drew crowds from all over Europe, attended by faithful fans and many others getting their first taste of what has been hailed as some of the most unique, refreshing sounds coming out of the Americas. The tour supported the European release of the Collective’s most recent album, Ayó (Goodbye), which the UK’s Guardian newspaper described as starting “with a lilting farewell to (Andy) Palacio, and eases into rousing, soulful songs driven by guitars and the distinctive rhythms of the Garifuna hand-drums, with strong vocals from Lloyd Augustine and Desiree Diego, and a dash of dub and funk.”
Like many people in Belize, especially those of us with an interest in Maya culture, history and archaeology, the news that Dr Jaime Awe was stepping down from his post as the Director of the National Institute of Culture and History’s Institute of Archaeology (IA) came as a surprise. No one, and we do mean no one, has done as much for archaeology in Belize as Dr Awe. Working tirelessly and passionately, Dr Awe makes Belize’s rich Maya heritage come alive for a countless number of students, writers, observers and ordinary citizens.
The report specifically acknowledges Belize’s success in protecting the marine environment and working towards the sustainability of local fisheries. “Belize has been a leader in the region for establishing marine protected areas and has a world-renowned system of marine reserves many of which form the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site,” Janet Gibson, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Belize Program reports. “It’s clear that no-take zones can help replenish the country’s fisheries and biodiversity, along with the added benefits to tourism and even resilience to climate change.” The WCS commissioned the report to look at the performance of no-take zones in Belize and in other countries to with an aim towards protecting the world’s highly diverse coral reef systems.
Yes, once again Belize’s young environmental activists are taking to the woods to learn about the natural world and how to protect it through environmental sustainability, responsible travel and hands-on instruction in areas such as Maya organic farming practices while getting a deeper appreciation of Belize’s rich natural and cultural heritage. Oh, and did we mention fun? There will be lots of that during the weeklong Eco-Kids educational summer camp sponsored by The Lodge at Chaa Creek.
With the 2014 Commonwealth Games on the horizon, host Glasgow is busily ironing kilts and preparing venues while the National Olympic Committee confirms the events and names of athletes who will be contending. Yes, sports lovers, it has been announced that Belize will compete in five events at this year’s games.