On January, 27th 2011, Hamanasi sponsored a field trip to the Serpon Sugar Mill Reserve for the standard one class at Holy Family Primary school from Hopkins. “Field Trip! Woo hoo!” was the reaction of Ms Johnson’s 22 students when she announced that they were going to go on a Class Trip. The excitement in their voices yet cannot be imitated. This is the same class which we have been working with for Christy Boyd Pen Pal Project.
Golden and Emiliano along with Mr. Woodeye, the ranger from Serpon Reserve conducted the tour where we all learnt about the sugar mill and it’s history. It is Belize’s first historical reserve established by the National Institute for Architecture and History. Hidden in the jungle, one mile in on the access road to the village of Sittee River, is the important landmark in Belize’s colonial history. It is the remnants of the steam powered Serpon Sugar Mill which was established in 1865, and marked the start of Belize’s industrial era. The mill was bought by William Bowman and it, along with the Regalia, bought and owned by an American, fueled Belize’s economy for about thirty years.
Estimates are that at its peak, the Serpon Sugar Mill was producing and shipping 1,700 pounds of sugar a month. In the late 19th century, Serpon was a technological marvel with its main crusher, boiler, beam engine, furnace, and hot air exchanger – all powered by steam. That was a breakthrough when compared to the manual process used previously by the Mestizos and Mayans.
We also learnt about the medicinal trees and plants within the reserve and how they can locally be used. Many birds were seen, including the Vermilion Fly Catcher and 4 Keeled-billed Toucan, our national bird of Belize. The school children were all much exited to also see many of the Spiny Tailed iguanas from a very close range.
Once again we are happy and thankful to be working with the young students from the Holy Family Hopkins School and being able to introduce the young generation to the wonders that we have to offer in this beautiful country of ours.