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Ready to get Wet? - Belize Field Course Day 3

A signature program at FernLeaf is FernLeaf Travel Experiences. These trips are an EXCELLENT way for students to build independence, develop strong interpersonal skills and discover their unique passions and aptitudes. FernLeaf staff coordinate multiple different optional travel opportunities, domestic and overseas, throughout the year for our students. From March 10 through March 17, 2023 three of our teachers and a small group of students went on a field course study throughout the country of Belize. These blog posts are written by the students and will document their adventures and learning! See DAY 1 and DAY 2 posts here.

The day started like any other, is what we would say if we were residents of this amazing country!Luckily, we began our day by sleeping in a bit later today. After breakfast, which was johnnycakes with various fillings, we began preparing for a visit to the Community Baboon Center.

The Community Baboon Sanctuary, contrary to the name, is a center dedicated to preserving the habitats of black howler monkeys. There are sadly not any baboons in Belize, but black howler monkeys are just as fun.

During our tour we learned: all about multiple plants and even animals that can be used in a medicinal way for humans. For example back in the time of Mayas, they burnt the stem of a plant native to the area for incense and did you know that you can use the head of a soldier leaf cutter ant as sutures for a wound?! We were able to find 3 black howler monkeys. One was an alpha male, the other was his wife and the 3rd was their child. After that, we said goodbye to the Community Baboon Sanctuary and fueled up for our afternoon.

Later on, we traveled through the woods to a cave tubing adventure. Our hike to the cave took about twenty five minutes while stopping to listen and learn more about the local flora and the fauna. Before we embarked down the cave path, we splashed around in a nearby pool, taking pictures and cooling off from the 90 degree heat and humidity.

The cave was thrilling and full of adventure, from the feeling of being paranoid to everyone finding inner peace in the dark void. It was, overall, a very enjoyable experience, although it did frighten a few people at first.

We learned many things about the limestone of the area while tubing. Did you know the limestone of the mountains and caves are actually made out of coral that is millions of years old?! We also learned that during the wet season, the caves would flood, becoming impossible to traverse. We're visiting during the hot and dry months, even though the humidity doesn't feel like it!

Overall, the third day FernLeaf students spent in Belize has been great. We most certainly bonded as a team through all the splashing and laughter we shared. But most importantly, we went into the caves as children, and we came out as dragons.


Written by FernLeaf students attending the Belize Field Course: April, Leah & Kinley.

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