Week 3 has been an exciting week for our team! We started the week with a trip to the Mainland and we are ending it with Lobster Fest!
On Saturday morning we took the water taxi that would take us to Belize City. At our arrival, we met Marcos from Programme for Belize, who was our amazing guide for the whole trip.
We started our adventure at Lamanai, which once was a major city of the Mayan civilization. The ruins of this city are completely excavated, which made our way to the top of the temples way easier! We started hiking the Mask Temple and continued our way to High Temple and Jaguar Temple. It was not until we hiked the High Temple that we realized how big of a city Lamanai was. The view from the top was spectacular! We could see the whole site, the New River, and the highway that we used to get to the site. During our walk, Marcos showed us how the temples looked before and told us that Lamanai was one of the cities that survived the longest thanks to their proximity to the New River. Another interesting fact about Lamanai is the findings of copper in the ruins which indicate that Lamanai was a big trading center for the Mayans. We finished our trip to the ruins by having a delicious lunch at “Las Orquideas Restaurant” which is a restaurant established and run by a group of 8 women from the town.
Our wonderful guide Marcos!
The view from High Temple
Team STARRS at the top of High Temple
Coral Ed Team at the top of Jaguar Temple
Hill Bank Field Station
Our trip continued to Hill Bank, the field station where we stayed for the weekend. Hill Bank is a conservation field station that runs on 100% solar power, has no-flush composting toilets and a rainwater collection system. Hill Bank is located in the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, the largest private conservation area owned by the people of Belize and managed by a nonprofit organization: Programme for Belize. As soon as we arrived at the station we were welcomed as part of their community. After we had a delicious dinner prepared by the cooks, Marcos took us on a night walk. Although some of us were terrified of the frogs, toads, spiders, and ants, the night walk was great! We got to see tarantulas, army ants, deer, and river toads. After the walk, we headed out to our dorms and cabanas. The trip ended with a wonderful bird walk in the morning at Hill Banks, and with a visit to a Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary on our way back to San Pedro.
Team STARRS outside our dorms
Trail Walk at Hill Bank
Preparation for Lobster Fest!
Our adventures ended on Monday with a pretty cool night dive to say goodbye to David and Denise. Now our team is working hard on our Lobster Fest costumes, stay tuned to hear more about how it goes!
– Dana Vera & The Coral Ed Team
To learn more about Hill Bank Field Station and Programme for Belize click here: http://www.pfbelize.org/tourism/?page_id=20