I have two reasons for entering this contest. One reason is a growing interest in ecotourism. The second reason is more personal.
My interest in ecotourism was generated from seeing the negative impact of tourism in some areas. I have seen growing mountains of trash and plastic bottles filling picturesque villages. I have looked longingly at beautiful beaches too filled with raw sewage to risk a swim. In some areas, tourist development has trampled the local culture and economy while ignoring the impact on residents and their families. These have been poor communities flush with the short-term rewards of tourist dollars but lacking the resources to control the long-term price of the disregard for the local environment.
Ecotourism is a movement that respects the established culture and ecology making the temporary contact between traveller and resident a long-term winning strategy for both. However, there is no reason that responsible travel must be associated with primitive food and lodging. Chaa Creek is impressive with their emphasis on a ‘wildly civilized’ vacation opportunity. The eco-lodge offers relaxation and comfort with the assurance that a holiday in Belize is one that also respects and maintains the fragile rainforest and rich local culture.
A second, more personal reason for entering this contest is that I am getting married. While Chaa Creek has probably seen many couples spending their honeymoon in Belize, we could be relatively unique. I am almost 60 years old and met a widower quite by chance when visiting family. To our delight and surprise, after almost two years of a long-distance relationship, we know we have found our last love. The relationship is a wonderful mixture of an adolescent, dizzy love and a profound certainty that comes with age.
I would love to offer him (us) this vacation as a honeymoon gift.