Chaa Creek and A Community Choir Contribute to Christmas Cheer in Cayo
When Belize’s most community-centric Eco-resort teams up with local charitable groups to spread Christmas cheer to disadvantaged members of the community, you can bet that good things will happen.
As they did with bells on this week when Chaa Creek staff joined some twenty kids and seven adults from St Andrew’s Anglican School to spread songs, food, gifts and joy around the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena in the Cayo District.
For the last three years, staff and students of St Andrew’s have been making Christmas brighter for elderly and disadvantaged residents with the school’s choir and musicians bringing song and comfort into their homes, care facilities and hearts. And the thought of young people taking the time and making an effort to care for their elderly and infirm neighbours has brightened our holidays immensely.
We also realised that as the number of people benefitting from this annual Christmas outreach grows, so does the work of St Andrew’s Father David, his wife Mary Beth, volunteer coordinator Perla Gonzalez and the many students singing, playing and helping out.
So Chaa Creek decided to join in supporting this very worthy initiative.
For owners Mick and Lucy Fleming, who have been active community members for decades and well versed in providing assistance, the course was clear. Let’s lend our resources to give St Andrew’s a hand this year.
“We have transport, kitchen and other resources, and a large staff that’s always ready and willing to volunteer when it comes to helping the community. Contribute that to the enthusiasm, energy, and, yes, love, from the students and staff at St Andrew’s, and it made for a great team and a wonderful experience,” Lucy said.
Marketing Administrator Roberto Harrison went along with a St Andrew’s outreach group, and said seeing the effects of these visits on people who are elderly, living in poverty or have a disability, was as eye-opening as it was heart warming.
“It shows how much just reaching out to people makes a difference in their lives and your own,” he said.
Even Chaa Creek’s CFO Cynthia Robertson’s mother was buoyed by a visit and some at-home Christmas cheer with a choral serenade she enjoyed from her veranda.
“This was so much fun! Mother and I thoroughly enjoyed their singing and they were so good! Mick (Fleming) came along to sing with them, adding, in many ways, another level to the performance.”
Chaa Creek staff also helped in providing transport, logistical support, and in treating the hard working carollers to a couple evenings of relaxation, refreshment and dining at Chaa Creek’s downtown Guava Limb Café, before delivering them and the food baskets they prepared to homes and locations around town.
And Lucy made the point that, “This isn’t about Chaa Creek.
“It’s about people, and that side of sustainable tourism that many don’t see, but to us is one of its most important, and rewarding, aspects – that of community engagement.
“Eco-resorts are in a perfect position to act as a community resource. More than just providing employment, training and careers, true sustainable tourism engages the entire community and spreads the benefits of tourism to everyone. We always thought that, as Belize’s tourism industry grew, so should its ability to improve the environment and the lives of Belizeans.
“This Christmas outreach is just one small example of an eco-resort partnering with local groups and individuals doing good works in the community, but it had a big impact on everyone involved, including those of us at Chaa Creek.
“The smiles on everyone’s face showed just how true that old saying of ‘doing good feels good,’ is.”
Mick, Lucy, Bryony, Piers, Emil, Ian Michael and the entire Fleming family, as well as the entire staff of The Lodge at Chaa Creek, are wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, and all the best in the New Year.
For more information about St Andrew’s good works, or to make a contribution to the school’s charitable works, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org