Gallon Jug, Conservation The Belizean Way

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Two months ago I had the opportunity to visit Chan Chich Lodge in Belize, something I had wanted to do for decades.  Sometime in the 1990s I first heard of it, from various visionaries in Costa Rica who considered it to be a model on which to base development, both at the property level and for the destination as a whole. Chan Chich was mentioned frequently in conversations, in Costa Rica and throughout Mesoamerica, when the notion of sustainable tourism was first being developed. Continue reading

Pristine Nature

Chan Chich

In writing about Belize recently, I had mentioned time spent with a tapir, favored in the diet of jaguar throughout Central America. The photo above was taken on property at the lodge my posts were referring to. Rule of thumb, it seems to me, is that a jaguar population requires relatively pristine nature to be sustainable, and that seems to be the case where this photo was taken. But what do I know, really? I am dedicated to entrepreneurial conservation but I am not a biologist so I depend on experts to inform my thinking, and to discipline it with a heavy dose of realism. In reading this post from earlier today I am better prepared to think about the mission of Chan Chich Lodge (more on which in a subsequent post), and the history of the 30,000 acre wilderness conservation area that it sits on:

Gallon Jug

At one time, the venerable 150 year old Belize Estates Company owned roughly one fifth of the entire country, about one million acres including much of the northwest corner of the country. From the turn of the century until the 1960’s, timber, mainly mahogany, cedar and santa maria, were selectively logged from this area. Gallon Jug, originally a logging camp located where the current GJ offices are, was named after a B.E.C. foreman, Austin Felix, discovered many discarded items from a Spanish camp, including a number of ceramic gallon jugs. Continue reading