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Our first major destination was the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. In Belize, the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) manages many protected areas – places that we in the US might consider to be National Wildlife Refuges or National Parks. BAS seeks to create a balance between people and the environment. Crooked Tree is a wetland of international significance giving homes to waterfowl, waterbirds, shorebirds, raptors and reptiles including crocodiles and iguanas among other wildlife. One of our guides had recently seen a jaguar cross the causeway that goes to the island. We were not so fortunate but I wonder if a jaguar watched us at some point.

We stayed at the Bird’s Eye View Lodge overlooking the lagoon that surrounds Crooked Tree Island. It is a family-owned and operated business, built in 1995. Accommodations were comfortable and the food was good. The guides and drivers were all highly knowledgeable and eager to share their knowledge and experience with us. On the drive from Belize City to Crooked Tree, the driver discussed the human history of the country and pointed out interesting sites.

It was the dry season and the water was shallow and receding in the lagoon. We saw many people fishing for tilapia and other warm water fish. Many of the trees were dropping leaves.

We learned a bit about agriculture in Belize. Much of the food is produced by Mennonite communities. Sugarcane is a major crop. Before the cane is cut, the fields are burned to remove the dead leaves and also to, hopefully, drive out or kill the poisonous snakes. The cane is cut by hand by mostly immigrant workers from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras who are paid very little for a hard days’ work. Most of the sugar cane goes to the production of rum.

The Bird’s Eye View Lodge was a stepping off spot for birding tours and also visits to Mayan ruins. A person could easily spend a week there enjoying that region of Belize. I was not ready to leave after three full days.

One Comment

  1. Wow!

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone


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