The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s owners, Mick and Lucy Fleming, have congratulated Emogen Ramclam for creating the winning theme for this year’s Belize September Celebration – Many faces, many dreams, but one goal – celebrating Belize.
“It’s a wonderful theme that perfectly encapsulates what Belize is all about, and we wanted to take the time out to thank Emogen for condensing what’s so great about Belize into one theme. We also want to congratulate her for winning the nationwide competition to find that perfect theme,” Mrs Fleming said.
Belize’s September celebrations are the biggest events of the year in this small Caribbean country. They include the anniversaries of Belize’s Independence Day and the Battle of St Georges Caye, which is considered to be the defining event in the formation of Belize. Taken together, the two events signify the beginning and the successful completion of Belize’s long quest for statehood, culminating in the country’s formal independence on September 21, 1981.
September 1981 was also the month that Chaa Creek opened its doors as Belize’s first eco-resort, launching the county’s successful role as a model for eco-tourism and sustainable development.
“It’s a wonderful coincidence that we share both Belize’s and our own birthdays together. It’s been an amazing 31 years with so many dreams, on both the national and personal levels, coming to fruition,” Mrs Fleming said.
“And Emogen’s apt description of Many faces, many dreams, but one goal; celebrating Belize really touches us as it sums up both Belize and Chaa Creek, where people from so many diverse cultural backgrounds work together to pursue their dreams and make them come alive.
Mrs Fleming pointed out that Chaa Creek’s 135 member- strong workforce mirrors Belize’s cultural makeup, with Creole, Garifuna, Maya, European, East Indian, Lebanese, Asian and other ethnic groups all well represented.
“We joke that we’re a bit of a mini United Nations here, and that’s what makes Belize – and Chaa Creek – so special. We like to think we’re models not only for sustainable development and responsible travel, but harmonious living and cooperation as well. We always thought, ‘Well, if it can happen in a tiny developing country like Belize, surely it can happen elsewhere’ and that we’re proof that multiculturalism and sustainability not only work, but work very well indeed,” she said.
Only some 180 miles long and 70 miles wide, bordered by the Belize Great Barrier Reef– the world’s second largest – and Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is also home to a significant Mennonite population. While English is the official language, most Belizeans are bilingual in Spanish and it’s not uncommon to hear Chinese spoken in shops, German in the Mennonite settlements and Maya in southern villages.
“Considering our cultural makeup and the fact that we’re such a young and vibrant country so full of aspiration, Emogen’s theme for our September 2012 celebrations really captures the spirit of what we’re all about, and we’re really looking forward to seeing it come alive next month. From now until the 2012 Winter Solstice and the New Year it’s going to be quite a party,” Mrs Fleming said.