Guinea Grass Students and Teachers Awed by Field Trip
Press Release Date: May 30, 2012
Location: Belize City, Belize
Some 20 students and 5 teachers of the Guinea Grass Pentecostal School visited Belize’s Barrier Reef for the first time last weekend courtesy of Oceana in Belize. The event, part of Oceana’s community education and outreach campaign, was granted to the top 20 standard six students as a graduation treat in an attempt to expose them to Belize’s marine wonders and encourage them to learn more about, and help protect, their marine patrimony. “Wow!” “I want to come back again tomorrow.” “I am so glad I got to make this trip.” Were some of the comments of the very excited students who explained that they learnt about some these marine areas and animals in their science class but never thought it would be so amazing to actually experience it. At part of the tour the students travelled to Caye Caulker on Saturday, May 26th. They were accompanied by Belizean tour guides who briefed them on what to expect and on the use of snorkeling gear, as none of the students had previously snorkeled.The students were taken to three different tour locations, starting at Coral Garden, where they got to see the corals and their inhabiting marine life; then Shark Ray Alley, where they quickly overcame their fears and jumped in to swim with the rays and the nurse sharks. The final stop was Tarpon City on the fringes of the Caye, where from the boat the students were able to see a large school of tarpons and observe the biodiversity among the mangrove roots that serve as a nursery for the many fishes observed on the reef. On the way back to Belize City and just before ending the day’s trip, they had the good fortune to come upon a pod of dolphins, which seem to enjoy putting on a show. The students were so excited and could not contain their gratitude for getting the opportunity to experience Belize’s marine life, which is very different form that of the river that passes through their Orange Walk village.“It is only when our students experience the magnificence of our Reef and all our marine resources will they be able to appreciate what it is we must protect and why they have a patriotic duty to ensure our reef and other marine resources are managed responsibly for future Belizean generations”, explained Oceana’s VP Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who accompanied the students on this trip. As part of Oceana’s continued work with educating young Belizeans about our marine resources, Oceana has pledge to donate a high school grant to the School’s top science student at their upcoming graduation ceremonies on June 21, 2012.