The Belize Collection is known worldwide for its commitment to sustainability and conservation, pushing the hospitality industry to reimagine how luxury can exist amid dynamic ecologies.
The Belize Collection recognizes that conservation allows guests to enjoy their resorts, but not many may understand all the work that goes into preserving Belize’s wonders. They realized they were well positioned to meet that gap. The marketing and management team invited several conservation organizations to speak with their guests at The Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant and The Lodge at Jaguar Reef about the multi-tiered work conservationists in Belize do every day.
From the Grove House to your house, these conversations provide an accessible point of entry for anyone interested in getting to know more about what Belize’s conservation organizations do to protect the unique and endangered environments that comprise Belize. You’ll learn about what inspires the work of the organization, how passion for animals and the environment ignited action, and how you can better support the efforts of these vital organizations.
‘Coffee with Conservationists’ kicks off with a conversation featuring Conservation Program Manager Jamal Andrewin-Bohn of The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center. Andrewin-Bohn discusses the role of The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center in protecting and rehabilitating Belize’s native wildlife. From its humble origins as the extension of a 1983 film project shot in the Central Belize region where the zoo now resides, the Belize Zoo has become a vital part of Belize’s ecological education thanks to the efforts of founder Sharon Matola (1954-2021).
The Belize Zoo resides in the Maya Forest Corridor, which serves as a vital migratory route connecting the southern Maya Mountains to the northern Selva Maya. The zoo recently purchased 1000 acres in the Maya Forest Corridor in the name of Matola, reaffirming the organization’s commitment to protecting Belize’s abundant wildlife.
In the interview Andrewin-Bohn also explains how, globally, zoos are moving away from models based on displaying species from around the world for entertainment to one that centers animals’ needs in the landscapes that suit them. In this respect, The Belize Zoo has long been an industry leader, featuring solely animals from Belize that were orphaned, injured, or in some other way in need of additional care unavailable in their natural habitat. The Belize Zoo also regularly reintroduces animals able to enter the wild once rehabilitated as part of its devotion to supporting the wildlife populations of these incredible animals.
Asked how the public can support The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, Andrewin-Bohn invites people to volunteer with the zoo to provide the many behind-the-scenes activities necessary to care for the animals and their habitats. The Belize Zoo also accepts monetary donations and offers a unique ‘Adopt an Animal’ program where you can give money to support a species of your choosing, a great gift option for the animal lover in your life.
Every month, ‘Coffee with Conservationists’ will bring you a new video you can enjoy along with your favorite cup of joe. Learn about Panthera’s work monitoring wildcats in Belize, or join Jamal Galves, Belize’s own manatee man as he talks about his passion for protecting manatees and their habitats. The full line up includes:
- Jamal Andrewin-Bohn, Conservation Program Manager, The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center
- Janelle Chanona, Vice President, Oceana Belize
- Nikki Buxton, Executive Director & Rehab Manager, Belize Bird Rescue
- Jamal Galves, Belize Program Coordinator, Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute
- Emma Sanchez, Country Coordinator, Panthera Belize
- Sharon Young, Country Director, Blue Ventures
- Dr. Marisa Tellez, Founder/Executive Director, Crocodile Research Coalition
- Kirah Forman-Castillo, MSc., Belize National Coordinator, MarAlliance
The Belize Collection has been fortunate to have worked with various local, internationally recognized conservationists developing new ideas and strategies on how humans can become better stewards of this unique country, work that constantly motivates us to do the same. The work of these conservationists will inspire you to think more deeply about how you can better aid the work of conservationists in your daily life from reducing your consumption of plastics that harm animals to supporting policies that preserve sensitive ecologies.
To ensure you never miss an episode of ‘Coffee with Conservationists’ be sure to subscribe to The Belize Collection’s Youtube channel where you’ll also be able to see the collection’s other enthralling video features.
‘Coffee with Conservationists’ is a gentle and necessary reminder that while we relegate Earth Day to an annual celebration, every day invites us to deepen our connection with the environments that give us all we need to live, thrive, and luxuriate.