We're heading to Laughing Bird Caye, the only marine area in Belize designated as a national park. When it comes to coral reef conservation, death and despair tend to dominate the headlines. But Laughing Bird is a success story, thanks in part to the hard-working folks at Fragments of Hope and other local people who care deeply about preserving the Belize Barrier Reef. In the 10 days we've spent here, one thing has been made abundantly clear - the locals have great pride (and concern) for the natural environment.Read More
Fragments of Hope
The Belize coastline extends roughly 240 miles and includes hundreds of small islands and cayes, but our journey today is short. Twenty minutes after leaving the dock, we arrive at False Caye.
The water here is shallow - no more than 15 feet at the deepest part. We leave our scuba gear in the boat and jump in with snorkels and plastic bins. I am immediately blown away by the abundance of life - the color and variety of shapes and sizes of organisms here is unlike anything I've seen underwater.Read More
Weighing in at just 8,867 square miles, one might consider Belize a light-weight country. It is roughly the size of Massachusetts - or one sixth the size of North Carolina. Yet this small, coastal nation boasts some of the most striking biological diversity in this part of the world, including 80% of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef - the largest reef in the northern hemisphere.
I'm not aware of any of these facts as I cram myself and my camera bags into a van outside the Belize City airport.Read More