Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Hol Chan Marine Reserve recognizes staff and partners in appreciation gala

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The Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) hosted an appreciation celebration at El Patio Restaurant on Saturday, February 3rd, where they thanked their staff for their hard work and recognized several island stakeholders for their continued support. The gathering celebrated the organization’s achievements and partnership with the island community, highlighting the efforts for better tourism, fisheries, and conservation management.
The festive gathering saw HCMR staff and specially invited guests as early as 6PM. Guests were directed to their seating areas and treated to refreshments. Some of these guests included Mayor Gualberto ‘Wally’ Nuñez, senior personnel from the Belize Fisheries Department, the local media, tourism stakeholders, the San Pedro Police Formation, and other private sector members. Representatives of the HCMR based on the neighboring island of Caye Caulker were also there.
Shortly after 8PM, Mistress of Ceremonies Vicky Coc opened the ground for a short ceremony, which included welcome remarks from HCMR’s Executive Director Ian Pou. Each department of the marine reserve, education outreach, enforcement unit, and administration, to mention a few, were thanked for their dedication and hard work. “We are a family working together and looking after the valuable resources on our reserve, which contribute to the development of our island community,” Pou said. Pou proudly stated that his team has turned things around at HCMR, and the organization is now in a better position than when they took over almost three years ago. Several staff members were recognized for their exemplary work at the marine reserve. Pou also spoke of future projects, such as opening an education center at their headquarters on Caribeña Street. Another announcement was the intention to co-manage the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and acquire new equipment to address the seasonal Sargassum issue, which is expected to start in March this year. This equipment will consist of harvesters, which will collect the Sargassum before it washes ashore.
Pou then thanked the private sector and other partners for supporting their projects throughout 2023. Awards were then presented with the assistance of members of the HCMR Board. A representative of the organizations awarded were called out and invited to receive the token of appreciation. Afterward, dinner was served, followed by live music and a dance.

The HCMR thanked everyone for attending the event, which served as a venue, to acknowledge their support and partnership. The management looks forward to another successful 2024, working alongside the island community and continuing to look after the marine reserve management, which supports the local tourism industry.

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