Belize Eco-Kids Summer Camp – Maya Hike Day 3

The campers awoke early, eager for a new day at Chaa Creek’s Belize Eco Kids Summer Camp. At six-thirty everyone was up and about, and by seven we were gathered around the campfire, where all the councilors tried to start a sing-along. Unfortunately, our voices were terrible and we ended up doing about thirty jumping jacks before they were satisfied and we were allowed to have breakfast, which was a delicious blend of eggs, tomatoes, beans and Johnnie cakes.

Hiking the route of the Mayas on day 3 at the Belize Eco Kids Summer Camp

After the food we played a game – John Wayne, Chaa Creek’s version of dodgeball. We weaved and dodged and got soaked in sweat as we powered up for the day, and by the end, everybody’s blood was pumping and they were raring to go.

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Then, for arts and crafts, the campers made wallets out of recycled Lala milk bottles and decorated them with their own designs. At the end, everybody had created a long-lasting and memorable wallet o take back home.

Afterwards, we went back to our cabin and got ready for the hike, packing long trousers and water bottles for the group going horseback riding and bathing suits with towels for the group going swimming.

Then we went on the hike! The campers began noisy and rowdy but quickly settled down as the hot sun and length of the hike began to show themselves. Within minutes we were pouring with sweat and we began to pace ourselves – and yet when we finally reached the Maya site, everybody was happily running around and taking notes as the guide led us around the site. Towards the end, we gathered for a group picture at the edge of the hill, where the land was laid out like a puzzle below us and the cool air pushed against our clothes.

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As we went down for lunch at the lodge, we stopped off at the Conference Room for a presentation about the ancient Maya. It was very interesting and all the campers had plenty of questions which the guide answered very well.

After a lunch of pepperoni pizza, we headed off to the stables, where we each found a horse. All the horses were very well trained and they responded perfectly to the lesser riders and first-timers. As we continued into the cool dark jungle, our mounts navigated the terrain perfectly and not a single camper had a complaint afterwards.

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When we got back to camp, we started a game of Maya Ball, with a sideways hoop and a volleyball. The girls beat the boys, the three junior councilors beat all the girls and the senior councilors were vaporized by the juniors!

Dinner was a huge piece of chicken with tortillas and beans, and everybody cleaned their plate. Afterwards, we played a skit that depicted the Hero Twins Hunajpu and Ixbalanque defeating the dark lords of the underworld. The funny costumes and props sent everyone into hysterics and the play ended in success – afterwards we played Wink Assassin, which ended in hilarious chaos because everybody was winking at each other while the real assassin only killed two people!

It was raining as the campers drifted off to their cabins – now, the night is cool and the ground is moist, and everybody is tucked into the sleeping bags cozily as the rain patters softly on their roofs. The howlers are silent, and the only sound is that of the chirping frogs and croaking toads. Chaa Creek Summer Camp, the jungle experience – where you don’t live in the jungle.  Where the jungle lives in you.


 


Goodnight!

-Alex Atkinson

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