Keeping Belize’s Rivers Clean – One Bag At A Time

Chaa Creek’s River Clean-up Campaign

The Macal River has a rich history – as the part of the ancient Maya superhighway it connected the highlands of Guatemala to the Caribbean coastal trade routes, as the gateway to Belize’s interior it penetrated Belize’s lush rainforests and opened them up to countless explorers and settlers. Even as recently as the early days of Mick and Lucy farming at Chaa Creek, the Macal River was the primary route in and out of San Ignacio.

chaa creek belize river cleanup may 2018

Today, it’s the source of adventure and delight for the countless Chaa Creek visitors who enjoy tubing and canoeing down the river into San Ignacio Town.

So when Chaa Creek’s naturalist Brion Young rallied staff to join him in an ambitious clean up project, the response was, to say the least, enthusiastic.

chaa creek belize river cleanup denise

On May 10, 2018, sixteen staff members joined Brion to embark on his “River Clean-up Campaign.” Beginning at 8am, the plucky team began sweeping the river, working downstream collecting whatever waste they encountered in the water or on the banks.

By the end of the day it was “Yes sir, yes sir, nine bags full,” of stuff Brion said “Doesn’t belong on the river or its banks.”

chaa creek belize river cleanup garbage in water

As usual, our Mr Young was self-effacing about his role in keeping the Macal clean.

“This initiative is just one of Chaa Creek’s many commitments in keeping a clean and healthy environment. We believe that by doing our part, these actions will be felt on both a local and international level.”

chaa creek belize river cleanup team work

Yes indeed – we believe that such actions encourage local Belizeans to follow suit, and our international visitors get to appreciate, once again, how deeply Belizeans care about their environment, and can understand why Belize has earned such a glowing global reputation for environmental awareness and sustainable tourism.

chaa creek staff belize river cleanup 2018

Having nine large garbage bags of rubbish delivered to the Solid Waste Management Centre rather than bobbing on the water or stuck to vegetation was a great day’s work, and we salute Brion and his team for once again setting a great example, and for their continual stewardship of one of Belize’s most precious assets.

garbage collected chaa creek belize river cleanup 2018

For, as Amit Kalantri put it,

“A river doesn’t just carry water, it carries life”

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