Reef Week San Pedro kicks off with a swim to the reef challenge

Sunday, March 7th, 2021

As a cold front approached San Pedro, a Reef Week tradition started with the ‘Swim to the Reef’ challenge. Twenty-three swimmers participated in the early morning event on Sunday, March 7th, kicking off the week-long calendar of activities to raise awareness for preserving Belize’s Barrier Reef System and marine environment.

Carina Paz

Participants and supporters convened at Central Park at 6AM and started swimming to the reef minutes later. Rickilee Response and Rescue (Triple R) team and the Belize Coast Guard provided safety support while a vehicle equipped for emergencies was on standby at the park. There were also buoys to guide the swimmers, and boats in the area were cautioned. The group of swimmers included persons of different ages and backgrounds, from environmentalists to the private sector, students, tour and tour guides, fishermen, artists, and professional athletes.

Oceana’s 2020 National Wavemaker of the Year 17-year-old islander Carina Paz organized the event. According to Paz, the upcoming activities are a collective effort from many individuals and organizations on the island. After noticing that there was a slim chance for reef week taking place in San Pedro Town this year, she rallied support from family members and the island community in a matter of days. Paz encourages everyone to support the activities that will take place throughout the week as per the schedule below.

Paz is grateful for the support she has received and looks forward to a successful week. She thanks her parents, all participants, Roberto Canul and the San Pedro Tour Operators Association, Valentine Rosado, Kent ‘Bob’ Gabourel, Triple R, Belize Coast Guard, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Abner Bacab, and many more for making 2021 Reef Week possible on the island.


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