Yes, the competition entry essays have all been submitted and carefully read, and the winners have been selected.
And now, 24 very lucky young people aged between eight and 13 years old will be taking part in an incredible opportunity to experience, up-close and personal, Belize’s beautiful natural environment while learning about how to help preserve this stunning national treasure and ensure its survival into the future.
The Eco-Kids will attend the week long, all-inclusive educational adventure during the week of July 23 – 31 as Chaa Creek’s guests, with everything, from comfortable cabins at the Macal River Camp, delicious, healthy meals, a range of carefully designed activities and events, arts and craft materials, professional naturalist guide instructors and camp counsellors all provided for free.
However, according to Lucy Fleming, who with her husband Mick own Chaa Creek and developed the Eco-Kids program, there is a catch.
“We want the kids to take this opportunity to really appreciate their natural heritage and think about how important it is to protect and preserve it. We like to think that, over the years, the Eco-Kids program will inspire our youth and perhaps plant the seeds for further study and maybe even add to the next generation of environmentalists.
“After all, today’s environmentally aware kids represent the best chance for the future survival of Belize’s spectacular, yet fragile, environment.”
The Flemings and their Chaa Creek staff have been conducting the Eco-Kids Summer Camp since 2010 and plan to continue it as an annual event to engage young students and foster an awareness of environmental responsibility.
“It’s a huge week that’s chock full of activities and, to be honest, something we enjoy almost as much as the kids,” Ms Fleming said, “And if we can communicate our love and respect for this beautiful part of the world to the young people who are inheriting it, as well as the sense of responsibility to look after it, it will be more than worth the effort.”
Chaa Creek is set within a pristine 365 acre private nature reserve that is home to an extraordinary range of wildlife, birds and flora, and the Eco-Kids program is designed so that young people will come away with a deeper understanding and respect for the natural world and their place in it.
This years’ winners had to write a 300 word essay in English explaining why they wanted to be an Eco-Kid. Six boys and six girls from each category (Eco Greenies at 8-10 years and Eco Saplings of 11-13 years) were then picked as winners.
Congratulations Eco-Kids, and have a great adventure!
List of Winners
Girls 8- 10 years old
- Andrea Gutierrez – San Ignacio, Cayo District
- Shaneli Pop – Santa Elena, Cayo District
- Kaithlynne Haylock – Belize City, Belize District
- Chloe Auil – Ladyville, Belize District
- Esperanza Nesbitt – Barranco, Toledo District
- Zephr Nesbitt – Barranco, Toledo District
Girls 11- 13 years old
- Cindy Lu – Corozal Town, Corozal District
- Stacey Grange – Paraiso, Corozal District
- Lonzelle Sherrard – Georgeville, Cayo District
- Stephanie Ruiz – Belmopan, Cayo District
- Brittney Garcia – Yo Creek, Orange Walk District
- Crystal Cal – Yo Creek , Orange Walk District
Boys 8 – 10 years old
- Alex Atkinson – San Pedro Columbia, Toledo District
- Elias Alamina – Belize City, Belize District
- Kory Gillett – Ladyville, Belize District
- Wayne Arnold – Burrell Boom, Belize District
- Jaron Pakeman – St Paul’s Village, Belize District
- Giovanni Pinelo – Benque Viejo Town, Cayo District
Boys 11 – 13 years old
- Emil Bradley Jr – San Ignacio, Cayo District
- Sundiata Forbes – Belize City, Belize District
- Clifford Richard Coc – Maya Mopan, Stann Creek District
- Kevin Levy – Corozal Town, Corozal District
- Abel Blanco – Yo Creek, Orange Walk District
- T.J. Pronk – Hopkins, Stann Creek District