1 - 5 of 25 ALL Articles
Staff Fundraising Update...22 May 2013
12 students participate...22 May 2013
News from the Medics...21 May 2013
Valedictory activities ...17 May 2013
Boys attending Liverpool 3 day course...16 May 2013
Wednesday, 27 Apr 2011
Belize is a small country in Central America. It is biologically, geographically and culturally diverse. It has a strong conservation ethos and was an ideal place for fifteen A-Level students and two staff to visit for an educational adventure for two weeks at Easter.
We spent time at the Tropical Education Centre and Howler Monkey Sanctuary. We visited Belize Zoo for day and night visits. We had the opportunity to feed and touch, as well as look at, the animals.
We visited cultural sites including Xunantunich, a Mayan pyramid and Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Caves, a Mayan archaeological site.
We trekked through the jungle, at day and night, to investigate the biodiversity and observe the behaviour of animals.
We also spent a week on one of the islands in Glover’s Reef Atoll. There we had the opportunity to snorkel and kayak around a lagoon with a number of different types of coral reef. It was an idyllic environment and was a wonderful opportunity to study wildlife in a unique habitat.
The following is a report by Narayan Randev which will appear in the Wycombiensian magazine:
One cannot even begin to describe the most eye-opening and unforgettable trip of a lifetime. Where to start?! Fifteen Six Form students along with Miss Sowah and Mr Wolton spent the first night in La Quinta hotel in Texas and shopping in a typical mall. We stepped off the plane the following day in Belize to be struck by an intense wave of heat and humidity. We knew it would take some getting used to! After meeting our guide, Joe, we were taken to the Tropical Education Centre where we were to spend two nights. The landscape made us feel like we were in another world, that no one had ever seen before – being totally encompassed by forest and far away from any connection to Facebook was a reality we had to face! We were all very keen to explore the area and after settling in, we took a short walk and were gently introduced to a wild crocodile mother and her fifteen babies, as well as many iguana and bird life. The next day was spent at a howler monkey sanctuary, where we were fortunate enough to see a troop of wild howlers swing down to us.
Our time at the TEC also included visiting the Belize zoo by night and day (hearing the terrifying roar of the howler monkey in the pitch black of the night), cooling off in a fast flowing nearby river, cave tubing through miles of ancient caves and generally experiencing the savannah region of northern Belize.
Ever continuing our journey, on our way to our next accommodation, we stopped at an ancient Mayan ruin site called “Xunantunich” which added a cultural aspect to the trip. Later that day we arrived at Martz Farm, which we were told was one of the most memorable parts of the trip. It certainly didn’t let us down. Staying in hand-crafted tree houses and falling asleep to the sounds of wild forest life was amazing. An early rise the next morning meant only one thing: time to hike! The walk took us through dense jungle and occasionally we stopped to admire the sounds of the forest. Eventually we reached the Macal River, which we were to swim across towards the tributary “Rio Frio” (cold river) which certainly lived up to its name. After some time of hiking further on, we reached the huge waterfall we had been aiming for. For about an hour we leapt into the refreshing water and sat under the raging falls. It was certainly something to remember. That evening on a night time hike we had the rare opportunity of spotting a wild kinkaju and also listen to Joe Martinez – the owner of Martz Farm – reciting some of his poetry to us.
The next stop was the Cockscomb Basin – the world’s only jaguar reserve. The first of two days consisted of trekking along a trail called “Tiger Fern” to a mountain waterfall. After telling the locals that we would be embarking on this trail, they simply laughed and said “good luck!” which was hardly encouraging! What seemed like many hours of trekking paid off when we were greeted by two huge waterfalls, into which we jumped from high rock platforms. Some were less fortunate and had to endure slipping down the rock face multiple times, which at least entertained the rest of the group! The next day in the Cockscomb was spent river tubing and night walking. This was our last day on the mainland before heading out to the Glover’s Reef Atoll.
The last leg of the trip was spent on the paradise island, snorkelling along patched coral reefs, encountering sting rays, barracudas and endless ecosystems of fish and battling strong winds on sea kayaks which capsized many of us! Perhaps the most memorable experience was climbing into a shark cage and watching an eight foot nurse shark and his female partner come to shore while fish were being tossed into the sea. Sleeping in thatched huts suspended over the sea with a full moon shining down was the perfect end to the perfect trip. The last night was spent at the Sittee River hotel back on the mainland. We ended the trip by throwing ourselves into the river one last time, that was until a large Saltwater crocodile made an appearance – yet another amazing sighting.
Our thanks go to Mr. Wolton, Miss. Sowah and our guides Joe Garell and Luz Hunter for organising and turning this adventure into an experience we will never forget.
Narayan Randev 12LY
Source: Ms Sowah