Tropical Ecology

“Last Day on the Island”

We can’t believe this is our last full day in Belize! At times, it feels like we just got here, but we are all looking forward to returning to our loved ones at home as well. For our last day, we started off with another delicious Belizean breakfast before taking off on a boat to the Carrie Bow Caye Smithsonian research station. We met the manager of the facility, Kevin, who showed us around and explained the important work being done at the center.

group standing in front of research station

The start of our tour at the Smithsonian field station on Carrie Bow Caye.

After finishing at the research center, we made our way by boat to the mangroves to snorkel around their amazing roots looking for all kinds of life. Even though we did not get to see a manatee (la vaca del mar), there were some very impressive starfish. The experience of snorkeling in such an incredible ecosystem was unparalleled.

We then explored more reef life snorkeling just behind the barrier reef. We saw spiny sea urchins, friendly parrotfish couples, flowy sea anemones and all variety of beautiful coral that plays host to a ton of important sea life. After an invigorating swim back the boat, we headed home to South Water Caye for our lunch and our closing events.

snorkler holding large starfish

Neysy posed for a photo with one of the starfish we found.

parrotfish on reef

Parrotfish and various corals.

group eating lunch at long table

Our final lunch at South Water Caye.

We had a relaxing afternoon with some well-deserved free time after an action-packed trip. Some of us did some journaling on the beach while others went on one final snorkel off the beach. We also had to prepare presentations/performances for our last night together. We worked on skits, charades and superlatives, which we presented after our final dinner on the island. It was great to laugh and have fun together; it’s hard to believe we barely knew each other a week ago! After dinner, we were visited by Ugudarigi Cultural Group for a Garifuna drum performance and dance lesson lit by a beach bonfire. It was a great way to experience some more local culture and the best way to finish off our stay in South Water Caye!

skit on porch

For one of our final presentations we played the newly invented gameshow “Parody” with answers all about our Belize experience.

Dancers in front of bonfire

Learning the punta.