Connecting Kids With Nature Could Just Save the World

By Allison Castillo

In September of 2010 my mom started her new job as the Human Resources & Operations Manager at the Belize Audubon Society.  Little did we know that this was the start of a whole new adventure for our entire family! There are five children in my family and while my oldest brother was away at school there were four of us here with my mom.  She had changed her jobs for two reasons: first because she wanted a job that would give her more time to spend with us, (her other job had her working way too many weekends) and secondly because she wanted to work somewhere that gave her the opportunity to contribute in some way to the sustainability of Belize’s environment.  She said she wanted to work somewhere that would make a difference for my brothers, my sister and I.

Her new position has opened up a whole new world.  All of a sudden, these four city children who never spent any time really in nature (unless at the park or at the cayes), began to visit all these beautiful sites that Belize Audubon Society co-managed with the Government of Belize.  So far, we have visited four of the six inland sites – Guanacaste National Park, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve and Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and we have made many trips out to the fabulous Half Moon Caye Natural Monument!  We have also participated in the annual Walk for a Green Belize event for the last two years – helping to clean the many miles of litter on our Western Highway.

These visits have taught me about the many wonders of nature! How there are things that many of us take for granted that are important to maintaining the balance between nature and people.  I have learnt about the importance of recycling, not wasting water, not littering, and keeping our trees and our animals protected.

In addition, over the last year, I have volunteered at the Belize Audubon Society assisting with Environmental Education by participating in skits as the “Yellow-Headed Parrot” and other environmental themes.

Being an eco-kid would give me the opportunity to learn more about nature and to be able to share that knowledge with my classmates, my brothers and sister and my other friends.  This year, I would like to be a Chaa Creek Eco-Kid to learn more about how I can make a difference in this beautiful country called Belize.  I wonder… what exactly would await me at Chaa Creek?  I’d sure like to find out!!

I hope to be there this summer!

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