Getting Ready for the 20th Year!

Smith College Coral Reef Ed-Ventures 2019

This week the team is hard at work planning, printing, purchasing, and preparing for what we’re sure will be another amazing year of Coral Reef Ed-Ventures in San Pedro, Belize! We are all itching to get down to Belize, and we will be departing early in the morning this coming Sunday, June 2nd! In the meantime we wanted to tell you a little about ourselves.

Meet the Team!

Emily Hitchcock ’19 Co-Leader

My name is Emily Hitchcock, and I just graduated from Smith with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy, a minor in Spanish, and a concentration in Sustainable Food. I love to spend time outside, especially with children, and I have worked with the Smith Botanic Garden for three years. I am particularly passionate about environmental education and connecting young people with the local environment in which they live. Originally from Eastern Massachusetts, I have spent many glorious summer hours by the ocean, and am beyond excited to return to the island of Ambergris Caye for a second summer. Having been involved with a lot of environmental organizing during my time at Smith, I am looking forward to empowering the campers to see that they too can make a difference in their environment. I also love making music with children and plan to incorporate this into camp. I got my SCUBA certification this semester and am psyched to put it to use out on the reef!

Jasmine Pacheco-Ramos ’19 Co-Leader

Hello! My name is Jasmine Pacheco-Ramos, and I am a 2019 Smith graduate! I majored in Environmental Science and Policy and minored in Statistical and Data Sciences. I first participated in the Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Program in 2017, and this year I’m returning as one of the team co-leaders. Participating in this program has been one of the highlights of my time at Smith. The program truly allowed me to delve into both my passions of marine science and education. Since my last time in San Pedro, I have continued to explore ocean habitats and work within communities in New Zealand and at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary in Georgia. I’m looking forward to coming back to San Pedro this summer to teach the campers, engage with the community, and conduct research in the reef and mangroves.

Giovanna Sabini-Leite ’21

Hi everyone! My name is Giovanna Sabini-Leite, and I am a rising junior at Smith. I am a double major in Latin American Studies and Biology, and I am particularly interested in studying how environmental science and marine biology intersect with government and geography. I have previously worked with Projeto TAMAR, an NGO that focuses on protecting endangered sea turtles, in my home country of Brazil. This coming year, I will be studying abroad in Australia with a Rainforest, Reef, and Cultural Ecology program and then in Spain where I will be studying Environmental Law and Spanish. I am very excited to build upon my knowledge of marine science, to be immersed in research, and to work with our campers in San Pedro!

Yeiny Moreno ’20

Hello! I’m Yeiny Moreno, a rising senior at Smith studying Psychology and Neuroscience. After spending a summer teaching hygiene, nutrition, and health in Guatemala and working as a counselor in a summer camp in New York City, I’ve developed an interest in child development and education. I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and though I loved interacting with the marine environment around me, I never got the opportunity to learn about how to take care of it. Therefore, I can’t wait to learn from the kids in San Pedro about their relationship with their marine environment, and I’m really looking forward to getting to teach them about the importance of conserving marine life and showing them how fun that can be.

Glenda Perez ’21

Hello! My name is Glenda Perez and I’m a rising junior at Smith majoring in Environmental Science & Policy and Education, with a concentration in Translation studies (Spanish & Portuguese). I’m passionate about teaching in a way that is fun and relatable for students and have worked in several classrooms. I’m also particularly interested in marine science in the Caribbean, and hope to continue doing similar work in my home country of the Dominican Republic. I’m so excited to join the Coral-Ed team this summer and have the opportunity to work with kids so that they can find ways to support environmental efforts in their own community.

Renee Revolorio Keith ’21

Hey y’all! My name is Renee Revolorio Keith, and I’m a rising junior at Smith College. I am a double major in Environmental Geosciences and Latin American Studies, concentrating on coral reef management and ecological futures in Latin America. I am passionate about climate justice, community organizing, and environmental education, and I am excited to have the opportunity to work and learn alongside the Coral Ed students in Belize. I was born in Guatemala and raised in Berkeley, California. I have been fascinated by coral reefs and mangrove ecosystems since I was young, and they are where I feel most at home. With that being said, I am grateful to be able to go back to Central America to study these ecosystems in greater depth and to learn the research methods for categorizing and evaluating coral health, which will be useful in my future research abroad this year in Brazil and Cuba!

This Summer

As you can tell, we are all so excited for the 20th year of Coral Reef Ed-Ventures! As usual we will host a 2-week Youth Camp for campers ages 7-11 and a 1-week REEF Program for campers ages 12 and older. Our theme this year will be “My Roots in the Sea,” so we will be exploring the place that the campers themselves have in the surrounding marine ecosystems and the role they can play in protecting them. We are looking forward to some exciting guest visitors and trips into ecosystems themselves. Before the camps begin, the team will conduct research on the local reefs and mangroves.

This year will be especially exciting because the 20th Anniversary Celebration will also be taking place in San Pedro at the end of June. Smith alumni who participated the program over the years will be returning to reminisce about their time in San Pedro and observe the ways in which the camp has impacted the community.

Stay tuned to hear weekly updates as the program proceeds!

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-Emily Hitchcock & Team STARRS (Safety, Teamwork, Awareness, Responsibility, and Respect) 


3 thoughts on “Getting Ready for the 20th Year!

  1. I am so impressed with your experience, your plans for international studies in the future, and your goals for the kids of San Pedro. I will be coming down for the anniversary reunion and just can’t wait to see the island and it’s wonderful people again. Looking forward to meeting you and other Smithies who have been Coral Ed-Venturers. You will be working hard with the kids, but it’s so rewarding and they can be such fun. Enjoy every minute.

  2. What a great team and a fantastic start to the summer! I love the “My roots in the sea” theme for camp this year! Have an amazing time. I will be sad to miss the 20th reunion but it makes my heart happy to see the program thriving. Thanks for writing the blogs : )

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