George Fulford, Belize

A golden opportunity to learn the lay of the land and attitudes of locals 

We visited the Big Creek Elementary School in Big Falls. The principal gave us about an hour tour and we gave him $40 of school supplies, over 10 pounds, maybe. It's a great opportunity to connect with their community and learn all sorts of things. That is a leading school in the district and Mr. Juarez was proud that 95% of his students passed their 8th grade exams to be eligible for high school. 

I left $300 USD with the Ya'axche Trust for their scholarship fund and will send $200 more. The originator of the Trust gave us a PowerPoint presentation about the land and conservation part of the trust, very up-to-date thinking. 

We especially liked the activities that Wildland arranged for us. We had 3 home visits in addition to the school. The people were very open with us. Those are golden opportunities to learn the lay of the land and attitudes. Come to think of it, I didn't feel negative attitudes at all, just the straightforward answers to all sorts of searching questions. I found that my water bill is about the same as for one guide and that Belize has a $3 BZ minimum wage, although that makes their labor much more expensive than in neighboring countries.