Summer weather, summer activities! It’s that time of the year again when our Natural History Centre team goes mobile and heads to numerous educational institutions to spread awareness on the life cycle of a butterfly and an overall good cheer upon the wings of a butterfly.
Community First: Our Butterflies on the Road Program.
Our School tours started in 2004, but the butterflies have been residing at Chaa Creek since 1993, when they arrived from Punta Gorda with Soil expert Charles Wright.
Their arrival spurred the opening of our Natural History Centre in 1995, home of the Blue Morpho, Malachite, and Owl Butterflies. Since the beginning of the program, over 1,800 primary school students have benefited.
We have prioritized continuing our outreach programs as our commitment to Mother Nature to conserve with passion and purpose.
This Time: A Visit to Arenal Village
Our expert Naturalist Guides Emil and Luis packed up their essentials, loaded them in a signature Chaa Creek Van and hit the George Price Highway heading westward towards the Guatemalan border past the famous Xunantunich Archaeological Site, where the Village of Arenal lies.
This village is particular because, interestingly enough, our country, Belize, shares a football field with its neighbour Guatemala. The boundary separating both countries literally runs between a football (soccer) field.
Arenal is a community where English and Spanish are spoken, nationalities are formalities, and people share an everyday livelihood.
Infant 1 & 2 students excitedly greeted Emil and Luis, curious about what was being carried in a netted cage and translucent containers.
Oh, what could it be?
They set up their essentials at the front of the class, consisting of three wooden charts, one stand to hang the netted butterfly cage, and a few opaque containers containing eggs, caterpillars, and pupas, all from Chaa Creek’s Butterfly Farm.
Egg, Caterpillar, Pupa, Butterfly!
Eggs, caterpillar, pupa, butterfly! Say it with me! Isn’t that the classical way to gain children’s attention ages 5-8? Trust us. Chanting the essentials makes miracles happen.
The Butterflies worked their magic, and the caterpillars enchanted their audience! The children were soon all in, and slowly their imaginations unravelled, their arms excitedly lifted, and it was time to head outside and release the butterflies.
Nurturing Love for the Environment:
Considering Anthropologist Margaret Mead’s words, “There is no greater insight into the future than recognising… when we save our children, we save ourselves.” We have strived to take our love and passion for nature beyond our 400-acre reserve into classrooms from neighbouring rural and urban communities.
We recognize the need to teach the upcoming younger generation that our passion for conservation is the way to go. The first step is going into schools to share with them the life cycle of the butterfly and the role that these tiny pollinators play in our ecosystem.
Thank you, Muchas Gracias!
To the students and teachers from La Immaculata Primary School for receiving us and reciprocating our passion for nature!