The Hol Chan Marine Reserve hosted their Reef Fair on Thursday, May 19th at the San Pedro House of Culture. Numerous environmental and marine conservation organizations came out to educate students of San Pedro Town. Participating organizations included: the Belize Fisheries Department, Mar Alliance, Hol Chan, Protect Our Manatees, Saga Humane Society, Blackadore Caye Supporters, Oceana Belize, Belize Solid Waste Management Authority, and the Department of the Environment.
Tips on how to efficiently preserve the environment, as well as making Belize a more sustainable country, were highlighted at each booth. Also, many interactive demonstrations such as a cooler with live sea creatures, a display of Bacalar Chico Reserve, and videos from Blackadore Caye Supporters had the students highly engaged. They also had opportunities to play games for prizes, which tested their knowledge about topics discussed. After an appearance from Langoustine, a six-foot tall lobster mascot, refreshments were served and tasty lionfish ceviche provided by the lionfish tournament was served to the crowd.
Hol Chan Educator Mariela Archer presented the Reef Trivia awards to the three winners during the fair. Archer distributed the second place prizes of an engraved trophy, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, and a backpack with school supplies to Ethan Ancona, of Island Academy. The first place winner Astrid Ruiv of New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School took the spotlight as she was awarded her prizes of an engraved trophy, roundtrip flight courtesy of Tropic Air, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, a backpack with school supplies, and a $600 check to her school. Third place winner, Edward Polanco of Ambergris Caye Elementary School was unable to attend the fair, but Hol Chan assures he will receive his prize.
The management of Hol Chan Marine Reserve would like to thank all the schools, students, the community, and stakeholders for contributing to another successful Reef Week. Hol Chan will continue to promote marine conservation by raising awareness and educating the public. As the end of Reef Week approaches, a kayak race will be held on Sunday, May 22nd at Boca Del Rio, starting at 8AM, and afterwards, a triathlon will take place at 10AM.