This year’s winners for Chaa Creek’s 2019 Eco-Kids Environmental Education Summer Camp have been selected
Once again this year, twenty-four young Belizean students are set to embark on the learning adventure of a lifetime, thanks to The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s Eco-Kids Environmental Educational Summer Camp.
Officially known as the Eco-Kids Environmental and Cultural Exchange Camp, the annual weeklong summer camp gives 24 young Belizeans between the ages of nine and twelve a unique educational experience that combines hands-on learning with healthy outdoor fun in a pristine rainforest setting.
And the best part? It’s free!
To become an Eco-Kid, students from all over Belize submitted a 300-word essay on why they want to become an Eco-Kid. Applications closed June 1, and essays were shortlisted by Chaa Creek’s Scholarship Committee, with the finalists entered into a draw from which the 24 lucky winners were selected.
Now, beginning on the 14th of July through July 21st, 2019, the Eco-Kids will enjoy a week full of activities that include guided horseback and hiking expeditions through Chaa Creek’s 400-acre nature reserve to study Belize’s flora and fauna, Maya medicinal plants and ancient Maya archaeological sites, Eco-Kids coordinator Denise Duran explained.
“They’ll learn about recycling and sustainable organic farming at our traditional Maya organic farm, how to identify plants, birds and wildlife, and how the ancient Maya thrived in the jungles of Belize and made huge advances in science, maths, medicine and astronomy. They’ll also learn about the other ethnic groups that make Belize such a harmonious melting pot.
“It gives them a real appreciation for Belize’s natural and cultural environments.
“The Camp also fosters creativity, confidence, responsibility and teamwork, with song writing sessions, talent shows, and things like supervised water games,” Denise explained.
The Eco-Kids Camp is completely free – sponsored by Chaa Creek founding owners Mick and Lucy Fleming, who call it an “investment in the future”.
Chaa Creek provides lodging in the Macal River Camp’s bungalow style casitas, three healthy meals and snacks daily, arts and crafts materials, tee shirts, and 24-hour supervision by camp counsellors, with all educational activities and guided tours conducted by licensed naturalist guides.
Lucy Fleming, a former teacher, developed the Eco-Kids concept and started the first Camp in 2001, saying at the time that “Instilling a sense of wonder and respect for the natural world in young people, while giving them the skills and confidence to protect it, is the best way to prepare for the environmental challenges of the future.”
That statement still holds true today, she says.
“It’s more important than ever to foster a love of the environment, and a commitment towards protecting it, in tomorrow’s citizens and leaders.
“Belize has become known as a model for sustainable development, and continuing that is something worth nurturing in our young people.
“And, to be honest, the Eco-Kids summer camp is something Mick, Bryony and I, as well as our staff, councillors and guides, really look forward to each year.
“We probably get as much of a kick out of it as the kids do,” Lucy said.
This Year’s 2019 Eco-Kids Winners Are:
|Delsia Choco||Big Falls RC||Toledo|
|Peter Aleman||Big Falls RC||Toledo|
|Daniel Rimolo||St. John’s Memorial||Stann Creek|
|James Leslie||Peninsula International Academy||Stann Creek|
|Liston Vernon||Holy Ghost RC School||Stann Creek|
|Alexandra Zavala||Hope Creek Methodist||Stann Creek|
|Kerilee Gordon||Silk Grass Methodist School||Stann Creek|
|Michelle Cunil||Holy Ghost RC School||Stann Creek|
|Jarvin Velasquez||San Pedro RC School||Belize|
|Jevaughn Nunez||Holy Redeemer School||Belize|
|Adair Bacab||San Pedro RC School||Belize|
|Angelique Castellanos||San Pedro RC School||Belize|
|Miriam Mestre||Nazarene School||Belize|
|Jaile Estell||Holy Redeemer School||Belize|
|Gaspar Luna||Louisiana Government School||Orange Walk|
|Zeyad Godoy||Louisiana Government School||Orange Walk|
|Yadrianny Blanco||Compassion School||Orange Walk|
|Angeline Tuyud||Yo Creek School||Orange Walk|
|Nhissah Monsanto||Sacred Heart Primary||Cayo|
|Karin Guerrero||Bishop Martin RC School||Cayo|
|Astrid Maciel||Shepherd’s Academy||Cayo|
|Sean Bran||Bishop Martin RC School||Cayo|
|Levi Emmons||Home School in Succotz||Cayo|
|Jayden Gentle||Bishop Martin RC School||Cayo|