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The Gap Year Blog

Project Blogs - Belize


Last week was a good week for me. The pace of the project is good, and the encouragement to succeed on my fish test paid off. I passed it with flying colours on Saturday, and now I can participate in surveys regarding fish. I got to do my first two dives with Frontier and the day was awesome.

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One of the best things about Caye Caulker is how easy it is to strike up a conversation with people. Often once they find out that I work for marine conservation the conversation often turns to the environment with them inserting all knowledge they have on the topic. What is particularly interesting is the different views or talking points of each ‘type’ of person I speak with. There are three main types of people I often encounter and three conversations in particular that have resonated with me.

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A few days ago, Belize held a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ referendum vote on whether to let the UN International Court of Justice arbitrate a long-standing territorial dispute Belize has with Guatemala. For the small country of Belize with its roughly 375,000 inhabitants, just little over the population of Stoke on Trent, this signifies a monumental vote as Guatemala is claiming a significant portion of Belizean territory.

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The upcoming week marks my one-year post since I hopped on the plane to reach the beautiful Frontier base camp that I now call my wonderful home. The last year has flown by, being immersed in an overwhelming abundance of diverse flora and fauna and the pristine ecosystems of Caye Caulker it is hard to remember what life back in the UK is like.

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Hi there! My name is Katie and I am a new volunteer here on Caye Caulker, a small Caribbean island off the coast of Belize. I have been on the project for two weeks now and I have enjoyed every single minute – the perfect mix of new experiences, learning and making great friends.

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Our night spent in the hammocks of the Tikal jungle was comforting and interesting, the hammocks were surprisingly comfy however if you listened closely to the jungle you heard some strangely interesting sounds. I could have sworn I heard a jaguar but that may have just been me.

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Me and a group of volunteers decided we would take a Bus to San Ignacio to go on an adventure to Tikal. Tikal is the single largest Mayan city ever discovered.

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When coming to Caye Caulker to participate in Frontier’s Belize Project, I had as an objective to make the most of my experience by learning as much as possible and having as many amazing experiences as possible. This blog will go over some of the most important things I’ve learned working with the project to allow potential volunteers to see how many varied skills can be learned when working on this project.

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This week I went diving the Great Blue Hole with Belize Diving Services. It consisted of three dives and cost me around 300 USD. However, it was well worth the money as I had hands down the best dive of my life.

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Sitting in Cubana Restaurant, waiting for Sophie and Matt from Frontier, I’m pondering a few questions…. How many people will be at base camp? How old will they be? Mostly, will they accept a 56-year-old, heavyset, grey haired, woman into their circle?

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