The Hamanasi Green Team did it again! For the fourth year in a row, they masterfully orchestrated a regional Back to School Fair, and this year they teamed up with the Belize Tourism Board. The event is far more than the name implies, though. The team does, in fact, hand out backpacks and school supplies to children—thanks to the partnership with the Pack for a Purpose program and the generosity of all our guests. Under the thought leadership of the Hamanasi Green Team, the event has grown into an educational opportunity that is having a significant impact on the way children in our greater community view the environment.
Who is the Hamanasi Green Team? This self-directed team includes ambassadors in every department of the resort. They are staff members who volunteer additional time to ensure that our resort’s environmental efforts are enforced and are sustainable. They see to it that we not only comply with the standards of being a Sustainable Travel International and Green Globe Certified Resort, but that the positive impact of the resort extends to touching both the lives and the mindsets of young community members. This is accomplished through initiatives such as the education provided through the Back to School Fair.
Here’s how it happened: When the Hamanasi Green Team first came up with the idea for a Back to School Fair four years ago, it was a way for us to support the neediest of children in our community. Children from four schools in the community benefited in practical ways. But the Green Team wanted to do more, so they distributed the school supplies ahead of the event, and on the day of the fair, focused instead on hands-on education. They invited groups from around the nation to set up fun educational booths where the children would attend short sessions and gain insights they could not otherwise get at school or in our community.
This year’s participants included
- The Belize Tourism Board: providing the children with a greater understanding of the wealth of natural resources that our country offers visitors to enjoy, and how we can protect our resources
- The Belize Raptor Center: educating the young learners about the plight of raptors around the country
- The Belize Audubon Society: helping the students gain and appreciate the wealth of bird life we have in the area, and how we can not only be aware of the birds around us, but also protect their habitat
- The Belize Zoo: teaching the kids about the many wildlife species with which they share the environment
- The Forest Department: teaching the kids about the forest laws of Belize and why the trees are important for our environment
- The Wildlife & Referral Clinic: educating the kids about our wild life, instead of killing animals they should report it to the wildlife department so they could come and relocate the animals
Hamanasi’s Sustainability Manager, Mr. Seleem Chan, says that due to the partnership both with our guests as well as with our local environmental partners, this year’s Back to School Fair was by far the most successful of the four years.
Way to go, Green Team! And thanks to you, our guests, for being part of making an indelible mark on the minds of our children.