As I’ve mentioned before, Belize is an incredible melting pot of cultures and people. In the month of November, there are celebrations countrywide to honor one of these cultures: the Garifuna. These culminate on National Garifuna Settlement Day, when people all over the country celebrate the settlement of the Garifunas on the mainland. Garifuna culture originated in the Caribbean Islands, but they arrived on the mainland of Central America when they were banished from St. Vincent and the Grenadines by the British in the late 18th century. Today, they have a strong presence along the shore in Belize and other Central American countries. Continue reading “Garifuna Settlement Day”
With all my exciting weekend travel and cultural discoveries to discuss, I haven’t written much about what I’m doing on the job. The truth is I spend most of my time behind a computer, analyzing satellite imagery and GPS data. Sometimes, though, I go into the field and collect data myself. Fieldwork days always prove to be interesting; over the past few weeks I’ve had some truly amazing experiences while working. Continue reading “This Work Has Perks”
Halloween isn’t a huge thing in Belize, but there are enough expats in PG to fuel a Halloween party. Asha’s Culture Kitchen hosted an awesome party full of Belizeans and expats alike and boasting spooky decorations, monster-themed treats, and a mummy-wrapping competition. I went as the James Bus, the ubiquitous Belizean bus I described in a previous post. My costume featured the reversible sign that … Continue reading Halloween in Punta Gorda
A couple weeks back, we had an 8 AM meeting at the field station on a Saturday. We have these meetings every 10 days to make sure they fit well into the rangers’ shifts, so every once in a while they land on the weekend. That leaves us an hour north of PG at 9am with a whole free day ahead of us. We decided to make this an opportunity to explore some of southern Belize’s Mayan ruins, Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun. Continue reading “Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun”
Last Monday was a national holiday so two of my roommates and I caught a morning bus to Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary. Though technically Cockscomb is a jaguar sanctuary, we were warned not to expect to actually see jaguars. Instead, we made the 5 hour round trip trek to enjoy the outdoor activities that the park offers. Continue reading “Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary”
Oh, Placencia. It’s nothing short of pure, unadulterated paradise. Located on a long, skinny peninsula about an hour north of PG, Placencia is a quaint little town featuring flawless white sand beaches, crystal clear water, graceful palms, cheerfully colored beachfront guesthouses, and a collection of restaurants serving up excellent local seafood.
On September 21, Belize celebrated the 35th anniversary of its independence. All month, the country has been decked out in red, white, and blue as part of the September Celebrations. The celebrations start on the 10th, the anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye, and stretch to the 21st. The biggest Independence Day celebration in the country is in the city of Orange Walk in northern Belize…so obviously, that’s where we went. Continue reading “Happy Birthday Belize!”
Just a few days after my sandy beach excursion, I got to experience a different side of Belize’s natural landscape. Starting last Monday, I took three days to live at the Ya’axché Field Station. The field station is roughly an hour bus ride away from PG and serves as the home base for Ya’axché’s rangers and the Community Outreach and Livelihoods team. The field station also houses the nursery, where Ya’axché raises sustainable trees and crops to distribute to local farmers. Continue reading “My First Patrol”