I don’t even know how to start this article, so, I’ll go straight to the point. Please note that this is not paid advertisement and I’ll never blog about something I don’t know is truth.
Let me start with ABC Preschool from Ambergris Caye. My son will graduate this year from preschool and I think ABC Preschool is from far THE BEST from the entire area. The principal, teacher Wil Alamilla, is one of the most dedicated person to his job. He is taking everything extremely seriously and absolutely LOVE his job. At first, I said to myself “well… is preschool… I can’t aspect too much” and I was and still am, blown away! My son is 4 years old and know the entire ABC, know the letters, start to read, is counting… and you might say “yeah, yeah… not a big deal”… well, it is a big deal if I’m telling you that we did NOT do anything about this at home. I did not wanted to force him learn stuff that anyway he’ll learn next year… I wanted to give him something I call “childhood break”. So, everything my son learn from this preschool was in his 3 hours/day. Yes, I am amazed by level of education this preschool give! And his manners…just perfect!
So, now, let me start with my story…
Even this was an event from my private life, I still want to tell you about it. Did not occur to me for one moment that I’ll love it so much.
I am very much against Zoo and Circus. The only time I went to Circus was when I was around 6 years old… and I’ll remember that day for the rest of my life. I loved the “happiness” for the animals and somehow, after the show, I escaped through the back door and I saw the truth… beaten animals and horrible treatment… I saw one elephant starring at me… sad… with tears in his eyes… begging for help while the caretaker beat him with a stick… I think I stayed that for few minutes and just stare until my mom grabbed me. Was too late. That day marked my life and change my vision about circus. I always imagine is quite the same thing with having the animals captive… in a Zoo, just for people’s fun.
This is the actual reason that made me avoid the last year preschool class trip with my son… and I kept asking about the Belize Zoo… how are the animals there, if they have cages, if they are treated well… and I start to get courage when I heard are actually in their natural habitat. My son keep talking about it for weeks and he convinced me to go. But, with fear in my heart, I decide to go.
I reach the Zoo and first thing I read this: “The animals at the Belize Zoo are specials. None have been taken from the wild. They have been either: Orphaned, Injured, Given us to the other zoo’s, Born here…”. I read this over and over again. Was one more, but I can’t remember exactly… So, I said to myself “Ohh… This is GOOD!” Was the perfect start. Than… I saw how well the care takers treat the animals… Yes… I know I shouldn’t do it, but while I was visiting, I went “behind the scenes”… just to see what’s happening there and I saw an employee talking with the animals and the how he feed them… love and care.
The Zoo is photo friendly, but I did not photographed the animals. I did not had my proper equipment for that, and I did not paid for proffesional photos. I do look forward to go back and have a proper photoshoot for myself. I also encourage all photographers to pay the fee for the equipment because those money are used for animal care. Is so important to support this Zoo! It is different and people from there do care about their jobs.
We saw Jaguar, deers, vultures, monkeys, tapirs, pigs, macaw, snake, crocodiles, a puma many birds, a tarantula and few more species. They all come close to the fence and kind of posing for you.
After visiting the Zoo, the class trip took us to Bacab, Eco Water Park where everyone had a blast. I never even considered to go there… my mind was already to a photoshoot scheduled somewhere on the sea, same day. But, again, my son told me he want me there so… “I went”… and… my jaw dropped. Literally. And I start… OOH! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS! This is what I NEED for my photoshoot. There is an entire story that you’ll hear about what I did there, but in few words, I called my photo team and asked them if we can change the location of the photoshoot in the last minute. They did trust my judgment and said yes and… we have one of my favourites photos from a project… Right there, at Bacab. Everyone… helped me with this photoshoot… start with employers, until managers… they cooperated until the smallest details.
I also visited the Butterfly Farm from Bacab and the caretaker from there, knew all butterflies from there. I was amazed by how many details he knew “stay here, this butterfly like this flower… wait few minutes, there is one that is coming around this corner and will be good for photos with that background… (see the green one)…
I know there is more to visit so I’ll go back one day. I really hope for a wedding there. I’m also considering a special offer for my first bridal photoshoot at Bacab. That will be different! :)
Were few moments when I was emotional about everything… many of their employees knew me… actually knew who I was and my work and I felt… I don’t know… different, somehow.
I know that this trip changed many of my thoughts and I know I saw a different face of Belize that I absolutely loved.
There are many faces that you’ll see in this little country, but 1 thing that is everywhere: the amazing people that live here and I can say with all my heart, are the best from the entire world. Are kind, simple and the majority, happy that will treat you well and make you happy!
Please feel free to contact me for any of the photos from here. Enjoy!