Belize Eco Kids Learn Maya Culture & History!
Songs: Bug on the Wall & Boom Chicka Boom
A late start to the morning muster forced the counselors to enforce the exercise law for tardiness on the campers! In their team lines, the kids performed a set of jumping jacks and sit-ups, which got them especially hungry for breakfast! After they sang their morning songs, which were quite louder this day than the past, they sat down for Ham, Beans, Cheese, and Johnnycakes.
For arts and crafts time today, the campers focused on the definition of the three R’s of conservation: reduce, reuse, and recycle. With used bed cloth and recycled plastic bottles, they learned that they were reducing the number of bottle huggers and bags that people buy, as they made their own packs to carry water bottles and other small trinkets they may want! More importantly though, they had fun designing their own articles of fashion with their team mates and counselors.
Even despite the late start, the campers made up for lost time by reaching the Mayan site here at Chaa Creek half an hour ahead of schedule, probably because they were so excited for the animal spotting game along the way! Counselors set up small toy animals along the trail to the site for the campers to find, with the incentive of a sweet (or sour) prize at the end of the day!
Once everyone reached the Mayan site of over 70 on Chaa Creek’s grounds,Tunichelin, they rested in the shade away from the once again hot sun to have their snack. There, they listened to the Lodge at Chaa Creek’s longest serving naturalist expert and part Mayan, Miguel Choco, tell them that the site likely served as a market or suburban area to the much larger urban Mayan site they could see off in the distance through binoculars, Xunantunich.
As the hike to Tunichelin was a little longer than the bird watching hike the previous day, the eco-kids were as well a little more excited for lunch at the lodge followed by another swim at Mr. and Mrs. Fleming’s pool. There, they were also joined by Mr. Mick’s dog, Kaisa, who barked anxiously from inside the house wanting to join in on the fun!
When the campers returned to the River Camp from the pool, everyone played in a big game of kickball during free time! Then for the team games, the campers and counselors played an updated version of Maya Ball, throwing the ball through a hoop rather than using their hips. Unfortunately, the Jaguars, who lost their first game against the Toucans, faced the same fate as the ancient Mayans after their games. THEY WERE SACRIFICED (by lining them up for a water balloon bombardment). The winners of the team tournament were the Tapirs, who then had to take on the Hero Twins to defeat the evil forces of the underworld, just as the ancient Maya believed as well! When they defeated the Hero Twins (2 camp counselors in luchador masks) they were ecstatic to bombard them with water balloons also.
After a chicken barbeque dinner grilled by Mr. Docio himself, the children joined around the campfire before bed to listen to a Mayan folktale told by camp coordinator Levi Baldwin’s mother. And during that time, Levi himself was preparing fresh made popcorn over the campfire, just like the Mayans made it!
The eco-kids had a great time learning about the history and culture of the Maya, and were eager to ask lots of questions for Mr. Choco and Mrs. Baldwin. Some of the group’s favorite notes were on the Maya’s extensive studies of mathematics, astronomy, and large-scale agriculture! It is very important to Chaa Creek and the Eco-Kids Camp that the cultural history of this beautiful country be not only preserved, but the legacies and stories passed on through generations.