As we celebrate our 40th birthday, we ask you to join us in also celebrating the rise of sustainable, regenerative tourism in Belize and worldwide
Birthdays are always a good time to look back over the years and review the highlights of your life.
It’s an opportunity to learn from the negatives, and accentuate the positives.
Here at Chaa Creek, one constant positive over the last forty years has been the success of our ongoing commitment to environmental and social sustainability.
It’s something we enjoy sharing with our guests, and we’d love to have you join us in person to see sustainability and regenerative travel in action.
Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot of how we grew Green over the last 40 years:
When Mick and Lucy Fleming first moved to the little parcel of riverside jungle that was to become their home in Western Belize, they listened to newfound friends from neighboring farms who, over generations, learned to live with the rhythms of nature.
And the more the couple learned about the rainforest environment, the more they came to appreciate the benefits of coexisting with, rather than trying to “conquer” nature.
As they cut Bay Leaf Palm to thatch their roofs, they saw the need to regenerate the plants in the surrounding forest if they were to have a steady supply. Kitchen scraps went back into the garden, the chickens who foraged around the house naturally fertilized the area, replenishing the earth as they took from it, and so on.
By the time they began accommodating more visitors to the farm, it made sense to build around, rather than cut down big trees, and to generally develop sustainably.
By the time the farm evolved into Chaa Creek Cottages, the couple would famously realize that,
And so began the Fleming’s commitment to promoting ecotourism, sustainable travel, and now, as it is increasingly known, regenerative tourism.
One of the pillars of Chaa Creek’s approach to ecotourism has always been education – fostering an appreciation of the natural world for locals, students, and overseas visitors. This involved developing displays, interactive attractions, tours, and encouraging guests to get out and experience the surrounding environment first hand.
The 400-acre private nature reserve they established around the property, with miles of well-maintained, signposted trails, makes it easy to become immersed in pristine nature.
Hiking, strolling, horseback riding, birding, or taking guided walks with licensed naturalist guides are great ways to enjoy healthy exercise while developing a deeper appreciation of the wild beauty of Belize’s rainforests.
Canoeing down the Macal River is also a great way to commune with nature while traveling along that ancient waterway, just as people have for thousands of years – from the first Maya inhabitants, to early explorers and settlers, and the Flemings themselves when they first moved to Chaa Creek.
These and other initiatives, such as installing state-of-the-art UV water filtration and refill stations for guests to replenish the drinking bottles given to them to reduce use of plastic water bottles, a glass crusher to recycle all glass as aggregate for cement used in walkways and other building projects, have earned Chaa Creek global recognition and numerous awards, including:
Recognition is always satisfying, but for us, the primary value of awards lies in showing visitors and guests how their visit to Chaa Creek supports Belize’s environment and communities.
It’s been a full, and fulfilling, 40 years, and none of it would be possible without our guests.
Hailing from every corner of the globe, our visitors not only provide the means to make Chaa Creek happen, but also provide inspiration, ideas, constructive comments and the genuine, kind support that makes it all such a pleasure, and so worthwhile.
So, thank you for the last 40, and we look forward to seeing you in the coming years.
As The Adventure Continues…