Annual Kids 4 Clean Water Camp is on the go!
Friday, August 21st, 2015
The fourth time the Annual Kids 4 Clean Water Camp is once again being held in the San Mateo from Monday, August 17th to the Friday, August 21st. The camp is been hosted by Belize Community Conservation (BBC) in partnership with Caribbean Student Environmental Alliance (SEA) and the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), with aims to teach children of San Mateo about environmental conservation and health issues. The week-long camp is led by founder of BCC Heather Zwicker along with the many volunteers that joined the camp this year.
Devon Saldado, leader of the volunteer group from CYEN, stated that some of the activities involved getting the children familiar with the water around the area where they live. “We did water testing with the children in San Mateo and we found out that both the ground and lagoon water were contaminated as oppose to pipe water which was clean. Crucially, we do these tests and show the children and their parents informing them if the water they are consuming is clean. This way we touch in the public health aspect. One of the main things we look at is if there is proper sanitation in the area or not. So we need to look at all these factors in order to avoid any illnesses,” said Saldano.
Saldano mentioned that the camp is also intended to be very educational. “It’s all about education and awareness. We advice the parents how to keep their water free of contaminants and one common methods is by boiling the water but we also need to be aware of what is there available in San Mateo or not. Another option is using chlorine tablets and having another alternative for water source, but we keep trying every year to assist and educate everyone on the safety of water as much as possible,” stated Saldano.
The camp is receiving between 15-20 children every day and runs from 9:00am to 12:00pm. “The numbers of children attending the camp varies every day, but roughly it is up to 20 each day we have seeing so far in this early stage of the week-long camp. We try to take as much as we can and then at the end of the camp, as a prize, we are taking everyone on a snorkeling trip to the Hol-Chan Marine Reserve,” said Saldano.
Other activities prior to the culmination of the camp are an education session on crocodiles by members of American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES). “We are taking no more than 10 children on a trip on the lagoon to learn about the crocodiles and learn about their habitat and at the same time appreciate natural environment, its creatures and learn to conserve it,” ended Saldano.
Anyone interesting in joining the camp can visit the Holy Cross Church in San Mateo from 9AM every day during the camp week. There are posters outside the church with information on the camp and how parents can go about in getting their children involved in such fun and educational activity.
The organizers would like to thank Captain Morgan Retreat Resort, Belizean Shores, Corona del Mar, Blue Tang, Exotic Caye, Xanadu Resort, Ecologic Divers, ACES, Mar Alliance, Department of the Environment, Department of Youth Services, Consolidate Water, Debra Milstead, Mata Grande Grocery, and everyone who made the camp this year possible.