Ya’axché Summer Camp engaged 100 youths from nine communities in fun active learning activities focused on forest governance in the Maya Golden Landscape.
Youths from Indian Creek, San Miguel, Bladen, Trio, Silver Creek, Golden Stream, San Pedro Columbia, Big Falls and Medina Bank villages, joined us for 2 weeks at Ya’axché’s field station to learn about our work and sustainable practices that help protect forests. Ages 9 to 14 took part during the first week starting 12th of August, while the 16 to 30 year olds on the second week. Both groups received presentations, went on field trips and were involved in creative groups and team building activities.
During the first week, campers learned about the importance of forests, integrated landscape management, pollinators such as bees, bats, and other insects, managing protected areas, monitoring mammals, birds, and trees, and climate-smart farming practices promoted by Ya’axché. Campers got a hands-on experience on an agroforestry farm and an educational visit to Bladen Nature Reserve, one of the most pristine areas in Belize.
On the second week, the campers were more focused on entrepreneurship opportunities in the Maya Golden Landscape. The campers visited Akte’il Ha Cacao Farm, Maya Arts Women’s Group and Marigold Women’s Group to understand the importance of forest governance and its economic benefits. Campers also had the privilege of visiting Bladen Nature Reserve and Belize’s first agroforestry concession in Maya Mountain North Forest Reserve.
Our partners in conservation, Oceana, Belize Forest Department and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) shared their work, which aim towards the sustainable use of resources. Outstanding campers were recognized for their leadership skills, well behavior and team efforts. This year’s summer camp was supported through the EuropeAid Forest Governance Project and held under the theme “Empowering communities, Conserving biodiversity, Connecting the world”.
Our team at Ya’axché is delighted to continue working with the youths of the Maya Golden Landscape to bring harmony between nature and human development for the benefit of both. In doing so we hope to keep educate our present youths in forest governance and conservation to keep our forests standing for many generations to come!