EcoTourism Belize Hosted twelve international students and 2 faculty professors from the University of Tennessee.
EcoTourism Belize (ETB) is Ya’axché’s social business arm, that provides ecotour services within the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve and around its buffer communities. ETB offers eco-tours that provide guests with educational and indulging experiences with nature, eco-farms, and culture. ETB’s main goal is to be at the forefront of sustainable tourism and development in the Toledo District and Belize.
This year ETB was delighted to host 12 international students and their professors from the University of Tennessee. Upon the arrival of the student group, our team guided them through our property and settled in our bunkhouse. Our team then presented about the work Ya’axché is doing and how their trip supported conservation work in the Maya Golden Landscape.
The next day, the group started their educational learning experience by visiting Bladen Nature Reserve, which is only open for educational and scientific purposes. Therefore, students were privileged to visit one of Belize’s most pristine forests.
The group hiked through nature trails and learned about Ya’axché’s research and monitoring activities within the three protected areas. Students engaged in our transect monitoring where they learn about trees, birds, and mammal monitoring. The best part of the warm day was the refreshing visit to the Blue Pool River. The ETB team ensured that the group from Tennessee was learning about all conservation efforts happening while also getting to experience it first hand.
The student group also had an immersive cultural experience with Indian Creek Maya Arts Women’s Group. Everyone had hands-on experience in making tortillas over the fire hearth, chocolate making with the traditional “metate” (volcano stone grinder), and learning the traditional Jippi Jappa basket weaving techniques.
The tour was full of organic flavors, the students indulge in the chocolate tasting and into a traditional caldo lunch. Caldo was served as a buffet style with steam yams, potatoes, choco, cabbage, carrots, chicken and warm baked corn tortillas, catering for their preferred diet. The women’s group was happy to share with the students their traditional attire, all-female students had the opportunity to wear the traditional Maya women’s clothing and everyone learned the traditional dance to the rhythm of the marimba and harp music.
This tour caters to practicing a traditional lifestyle of the Mayan people such as crafts making, dancing and preparation, and cooking of a traditional’ fire heart’ meal. Don’t worry ETB has your back when it comes to dietary restrictions as each meal is tailored according to your needs.
EcoTourism Belize was privileged to host The University of Tennessee students and professors and provided them with a unique learning experience of conservation, nature and culture in southern Belize.