Kermit the Frog once said, “It’s not easy being green”. No offence to Kermit, but in Belize it just comes naturally.
The word “green” can signify many things, but “Being Green” gives it an entirely new feeling. Belize is Nature’s bet kept secret and is home to lush greens, bright greens and even delicious greens. The word Belize itself is almost as vivid as the color green. I may be a bit biased but when it comes to Belize, it is all that and more.
Belize is rich in colours, flavours, culture and heritage. We are naturally covered in green, 60% to be exact, as we have blocks of tropical rainforests, all of which we try to protect every day by educating younger generations about sustainability and preserving our green home. Belize has long been considered a leader in conservation within the Mesoamerican region, from our reserves to our sanctuaries, all 103 of them are embedded in our very hearts and daily we continue to ensure that it is well kept to preserve life.
Belize is home to very small and very large Marine Reserves. I want to put a spotlight on The Hol Chan, which is a biodiversity hotspot in the Atlantic. The Hol Chan, which is Mayan for “Little Channel”, is the oldest and smallest marine reserve and is a natural 25-yard break in our Great Barrier Reef system, which is the second largest in the World. It is literally our smallest Marine Reserve within the World’s second largest Barrier Reef and that is “oh so poetic”. Our Little Hol Chan packs a big punch for adventurers, as it is one of the popular areas for the Tourism Industry.
While the Hol Chan is awesome and screams adventure, our Cockscomb Basin Wildlife sanctuary is the World’s first Jaguar Reserve and screams uniqueness. Yes, Belize is home to the World’s first Jaguar Sanctuary and this is something we can say with pride. Jaguars are such majestic and territorial animals and I believe they are our lush green’s natural defence system working in union with the Tapirs, which are some of the cutest forest dwellers and largest land mammal in Central, and South America. Though they can be elusive, we get glimpses of just how strong these animals are. Through conservation efforts, we can get to see them in their natural home via video clips and can better understand just how important our green blocks are for their continued survival.
Belize is home to many hidden gems and as we go deeper inland, in the heart, we can see thicker greens symbiotically thriving with our blooming Black Orchids. Ethereal, like Davis Fall, which is our second largest only to Thousand Foot falls. Nature has kept and preserved their beauty to this day and we will continue to do so through conservation as we continue on our journey to becoming a leading country in conservation.
Being a part of our culture is being green by preserving our land and protecting it. We are a mix of energetic ethnic groups with a variety of customs, beliefs and ideas but we all share a common goal and that is to keep our heritage clean and green. We are as vibrant as our Keel-billed Toucans that soar the skies overlooking our highly valued Mahogany Trees. We were being green since our ancestors walked this land, and as a wreath of green leaves encircles the coat of arms, we yell with pride: “Sub Umbra Floreo” meaning “Under the Shade I Flourish”. Nature has kept Belize a thriving force, and although our country is not one of the biggest in the world, our conservation efforts speaks volumes that will last for generations to come.
Kermit the Frog may have gotten it wrong with that first line, but he was right when he said “Take a look above you; discover the view, if you haven’t noticed, please do. Please do”.