Hamanasi joins Earth Day 2012! Our Hamanasi team is dedicated to the environment. Everyone on the Hamanasi team has been inspired to plant a tree somewhere in Belize today. We in Belize are so blessed with a fabulous eco-system and we have a commitment to maintain our environment as mother earth intended. We wish all our friends every success with their individual efforts for Earth Day!
Hamanasi Migratory and Native Bird Population
Figure 1: Plain Chachalaca
Hamanasi has kept and embraced its reputation as an eco-friendly resort in Belize’s Tourism Industry, and in its assurance in sustaining a unique image by preserving the environment and its biodiversity, the company’s rainforest guides have been conducting a migratory and native bird population study for a period of six (6) months. In the facilitation of the study, an onsite birding has been scheduled, and is ongoing for at least once every week, by three (3) inland guides who are Pedro, Lorenzo and Golden. The guides been have conducting the studies around the property from March 21, 2012 to April 4, 2012, and they have recorded 32 species of birds. Most of the bird species were sighted in more than two (2) occasions, in which the sighting frequency was 2.19. Our guests, especially those who are bird lovers, are welcomed to participate in the studies along with our gregarious and enthusiastic inland guides.
Our Organic Garden and Current Production
What is an organic garden? An area where plants are produced by obeying the laws of nature — Industrial pesticide and fertilizer use is disallowed in our garden – Naturally produced fertilizers such as ash, compost, manure and organically produced pesticides and herbicides are encouraged – Integrated pest management systems (IMPS) practices are applied to prevent and combat pests and diseases.
What are we producing? A small scale fruit and vegetable productions is now at full swing in our newly established organic garden. Healthier fruits, vegetables and herbs are now available for guests and staff in the restaurant and staff kitchen. Watermelon, cantaloupe, pine apple, papaya, carrots, passion fruit, green onions, peppermint and basil, just to name a few, are now in production.
We continue to have a fantastic 2012 for the animals in Hopkins, Sittee River and nearby villages. The Carroll County Vets Without Borders from Berryville, Arkansas, returned for their 5th visit to Hopkins! Dr. Tina Cone, Ramona Hambrick and Anita Beeson had a fantastically fun… and incredibly busy… trip to Belize. Over the course of four days of surgery (including one day when the air conditioning went out), the team was able to complete 18 spays, 17 neuters, a limb amputation, a femoral head ostectomy, dentals, a tumor removal, and entropion (eye surgery), several lacerations and over 80 exams! Amazing!
Tina, Ramona and Anita also made it by Saturday puppy class to help clean up the park, help hand out dog food (one of our best HBHS programs) and hand a few kids treats they had brought along with them. Hamanasi contributed once again to the HBHS program with accomodations, lunches and allowed the vets to take some time off from their busy schedule and go on one of our snorkeling trips to the Southern Barrier Reef.
Every time the Carroll County Vet team visits Hopkins, things go well. Old friends are reacquainted, and new ones made. As always, we look forward to their next visit.
A big “Thank You” to all our guest that visit us on January 2012. Because of you all we started the year 2012 with a bang!!! We hope that you all had an amazing Hamanasi experience! We do hope to see each and every one of you again sometime in the near future. All the best from Hamanasi staff and Management.
“Everyone was so friendly. Wonderful place to come to relax and get away from it all. Thanks for making our stay an unforgettable experience!”
John & Cynthia Haynes, Magnolia, TX
“Hamanasi is perfect! Everybody we dealt with at the resort was exceptional. Thank you!”
Dylan Harrop and Brianna Israel, Ontario, Canada
“We really appreciate staying at a resort where there are efforts not only to have a small foot print but to make Belize even more beautiful.”
McPeake Family, Providence, RI
“The service here is the very best I have encountered anywhere!”
Phillip Von Mucke, New York, NY
“We love this place and will return, I can’t imagine anything being better than the experience here.”
David and Rebecca Kosmitis, Magnolia, TX
“The treehouse are built in a way that is very considerate of the surrounding nature. Very friendly and accommodating.”
Debra Brandwein and Raymond Muro, Los Angeles, CA
“Fantastic~ very friendly and great hospitality. Keep up the great work!”
Rob and Lisa Heiar, Albuquerque, NM
“Applaud your efforts to keep the environment pristine. Keep it low key and peaceful just like it is.”
Brenda and Dennis Conaway, Worthington, IN
“We enjoyed the educational experiences while being on vacation! A great time!”
Kari Sapris and Family, Decatur, GA
“Hamanasi really gives a good impression of Belize and its wonderful, safe, friendly variety of people and activates. I will encourage others to visit.”
Donna White, Bridgeport, CT
“All service personal was excellent ~ best service we’ve ever had in years of travel!”
Dean and Susi Mitchell, Leakey, TX
Green Globe Certified Hamanasi Resort, Belize
Launches Tour Guide Training
Utilizing their many years of business experience, the owners of Hamanasi Resort, have developed a range of training and development programs for their staff and related businesses. The newest training program to be conducted will be with tour guides who service the resorts guests.
Hamanasi Resort General Manager, Mr Andrew Usher said, ‘We are pleased to be able to deliver training and workshops for the inland tour guides. Our aim is not only to enhance our guests’ experiences, but also provide a real education.’
‘We will be bringing in archeological experts to provide more in depth information on cultural ancestry and the natural history of our unique tropical location.’
‘In addition we will be focusing on the basic safety issues associated with taking guests into wilderness areas. An intensive rescue and first aid training program will also be offered to all guides.’
Green Globe Certifcation CEO, Mr Guido Bauer said, ‘Hamanasi Resort has a long reputation, of providing quality skills training. From its own service quality programs through to resort management training and now additional tour guide training; these are all substantial investments by Hamanasi delivering professional and trade skills, while adding to the enjoyment and safety for guests.’
Founded in 2000, Hamanasi is one of the few resorts in Belize and possibly the Caribbean that offers both prestigious diving locations and lush jungle for hikes. This boutique resort located on the beach south of Hopkins is nestled between the Maya Mountains and the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Hamanasi runs a full-service dive shop, restaurant, bar and pool. Being a resort with only 21 rooms spread over 20 acres of land and holding a capacity of 60-65 people, these amenities present a challenge to being eco-friendly. But Hamanasi has embraced the challenge and succeeded in becoming Green Globe Certified.
Guests planning to visit Hamanasi Resort in Fall 2010 should also be aware of the ‘Back to School Backpack Project’. Backpacks and school supplies are donated by Hamanasi guests and visitors throughout the year. Each September, the backpacks and supplies are donated to the schools and families in Sittee River and Hopkins. For information contact Ms Janet Neel via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort
Nestled between the lush Maya Mountains and the turquoise Caribbean Sea, Hamanasi is a special place from which you can explore the best of Belize on and offshore. A secluded, intimate boutique resort located on the beach south of Hopkins, Hamanasi sits on hundreds of feet of Caribbean Sea beachfront surrounded by tropical flora on the finest stretch of beach in Belize. With a short flight from Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Miami, New York or San Salvador you may let the warm tropical breezes melt away your hectic life for the laid back pace of Belize!
Your daily adventures will begin and end in the casual elegance of Hamanasi Dive & Adventure Resort. You’ll be able to kick back and soak in the ocean air in our Great House or by the pool. If you fancy you may take a swim in the warm Caribbean waters or enjoy a tropical cocktail at the bar. Our friendly staff will greet you with warm smiles and attentive service. Of course, Hamanasi’s Adventure Center, housing our dive & snorkel center will service you on premises. We offer an exceptional, all around Belize resort! For more information, please visit www.hamanasi.com
About Green Globe Certification
Green Globe Certification is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. Operating under license, Green Globe Certification is based in California, USA and is represented in over 83 countries. Green Globe is the only certification brand to be an affiliate member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), is partly owned by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and a member of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) governing council. For information visit www.greenglobe.com
Underwater Mayan World
Why is this diver burrowing into the bottom of this mini-lake? She’s literally disappearing into the sand and gravel of the water’s floor. Only debris and the occasional bubbles from her breathing tank are visible.
She’s part of a project, largely funded by National Geographic, to dive into the sacred pools of the ancient Maya.
SOUNDBITE: Patricia Beddows, Northwest University, Hydrologist & Geochemist: “Our exploration team discovered this upwelling. It’s an underwater spring upwelling. And it provides this magical experience because it’s located at the bottom of a very large crater. And you can come down, down, down, down into this large crater, and in the bottom is this boiling mass of sediment that’s actually being rolled and boiled. It’s almost like a natural lava lamp. Went in over the lip of the crater, descended down into the bottom, and I didn’t want to have any interference with the water already in the pool. And so it required a little bit of digging, and frankly it was extremely low visibility down there but below the actual base of sediment, there’s about one and a half meters more space. The water coming out of the bottom of this spring, is chemically quite distinct from the water in the pool.”
But this is just the beginning. The dives also revealed clues to past life here, and a first for the country of Belize.
Scientists discovered several fossil beds around 60-to-90 feet below the surface, including femur bones the size of a bowling ball. They also found tusks and pelvic bones. These are the first recorded fossils ever found in Belize.
SOUNDBITE: Lisa Lucero, Archaeologist, Project Leader: “We left those in place. We only removed a few small fossils so we can determine, are they fossilized? Or bone? They are definitely fossilized, so we know they have to be of a certain age. But were they here , were these megafauna present during occupation by humans 20,000, 15,000 years ago? Or are they much older?”
The dives were made in several pools in central Belize earlier this year in an area known as Cara Blanca. The researchers found evidence that the eight pools of the 25 they studied are likely connected through underground passages.
Principal Investigator Lisa Lucero says the major goal is to look for archaeological remains underwater.
SOUNDBITE: Lisa Lucero, Archaeologist, Project Leader: “Because the Maya considered openings in the earth – caves, water bodies – as portals to the underworld of Xibalba. And because the thousands of caves that have been found have offerings, ancient Maya offerings , we just knew there’d be offerings at the bottom of the pool. So we came with the goal of trying to dive to look for these offerings.”
Though they didn’t find offerings on the first dives, they did find ceramic sherds in a pool near remains of Maya buildings, constructed around 1100 to 1300 years ago. Lucero says there is no indication this area had many residences, but rather was likely a pilgrimage site, with Maya traveling here from hundreds of miles away.
Because at least one of the pools was found to be around 200 feet deep, and littered with trees and silt, more sophisticated diving equipment is needed for future dives. And Lucero believes there are more significant Maya offerings at these depths.
The research is being conducted under the auspices of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, and the scientists plan to return for more exploration.
The Belize Tourism Board held its tourism industry awards ceremony June 10th, 2010, and Hopkins Village received the award for “Destination of the Year”! Hamanasi Resort, also located in Hopkins Village, was recognized for its excellent ecologically friendly and sustainability practices and its attaining official Green Globe Certification. Congratulations to all of the people and businesses that have worked hard to make Hopkins a unique and culturally stimulating destination!
Hamanasi Greens Its Dive Boat Fleet
Just in time for the 2010 whale shark diving season, Hamanasi Adventure Dive Resort in Hopkins has added a new eco–friendly custom–built dive boat to its fleet. The Hanóu, which means “Trigger Fish” in native Garifuna, can carry up to 25 divers and features four–stroke engines, which dramatically reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency. For more information about Hamanasi and its dive packages,visit www.hamanasi.com.
Hamanasi now has a Carbon Offset Calculator available for anyone interested in traveling “green”.
Having always been interested in protecting and sustaining the environment and our local community, we can now offer guests the option and opportunity to contribute to an international organization dedicated to carbon offset. Sustainable Travel International (STI) is a global leader in sustainable tourism development. The non-profit organization’s mission is to promote sustainable development through responsible travel by providing programs that help travelers, businesses and destinations protect the environment, preserve cultural heritage and promote economic development. For more information, you can go to www.sustainabletravelinternational.org, and you can calculate your Hamanasi vacation carbon offset by going to www.hamanasi.com/eco_tourism.html.
Hamanasi’s “Green Team”