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Hamanasi Resort: Belize Tours | Rainforest | Mayan Ruins |Belize Eco-Tourism
 








Clearly it is a good experience when the staff stops by our last
night and give you goodbye hugs and tell you how much they enjoyed having you visit!

Mary Ann Holland
 



We saw cassava root preparation for bread making on Monday - just happened upon it, as well as the Garifuna drummers.

The Pasos Family





The grounds are beautifully landscaped and variety, as well as
labeling of plants much appreciated. Also, pool to beach presentation done well.

Mark & Joanne



We would definitely recommend Hamanasi to anyone. We feel that we got a wonderful experience of Belizean culture & the environment
here. What an amazing country. Thank you all very
much!

Matt & Jamie Gough , Lake Forest, CA, USA
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Belize Audubon Society
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Hamanasi and Rainforest Alliance have established an alliance to support Best Management Practices in Sustainable Tourism since June 6, 2006.

 
 
 
Pack for a Purpose
 
 


 

 

Eco Tourism

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Hamanasi Eco Mission Statement

Eco TourismHamanasi believes in responsible, nature and cultural based eco-tourism. We understand the importance of preserving our environment and indigenous communities. Hamanasi is committed to protecting our ecosystems and their biodiversity by taking continual steps to be more environmentally friendly and aware. We actively encourage all employees and visitors to participate in these endeavors. Together, we can make a difference!

Hamanasi believes in responsible nature and cultural based eco-tourism. So what? Sadly, each day our world becomes a little less green. At Hamanasi, we are taking steps to minimize our negative impact on our environment while increasing awareness and appreciation for nature and diverse cultures. Our overall policy is to reduce, reuse and recycle while we have developed an Environmental Management Policy that we strive to carry out. It’s been a long way, but we have completed our first step which was to get Green Globe certified. We are proud to boast that we were recognized by the Belize Tourism Board for being the first beach resort in Belize to be Green Globe Certified. That was easy! Now we need to maintain it and work towards the Bronze certification. And yes! We welcome any ideas and feedback that you have. This is a process that we all must do together!

Eco TourismHamanasi was selected to participate in a pilot Environmental Walk-through project! Supported by Conservation International and the Belize Tourism Board and using the Caribbean Association of Sustainable Tourism (CAST) methodology this project is the first step towards educating ways to reduce negative impacts on the environment. Upon completion of this initial stage will be a more comprehensive second stage involving Rainforest Alliance. We are excited and honored to participate!

When building Hamanasi we kept as many trees as possible. Trees are nature’s air conditioners, as well as beautifiers and homes to countless birds, bats, lizards and orchids. They are critical in minimizing erosion and nourishing the soil. They also provide shade and a cooler pathway to your Tree house. We are fortunate to have on property a coastal littoral forest – one of the most threatened types of forests in the world. Usually, these forests are cleared for coastal development. Many birds rely upon these forests for food and rest during migration. Rather than cutting down the forest when we needed to add more rooms we built amidst the trees. You can commune with nature in your very own tree house!

On the beach we have kept a strip of vegetation roughly 6 feet wide after the high tide point. This greatly reduces erosion and minimizes silting, which chokes the reef. Left alone, Belize’s beaches would be covered with vines, a variety of fruit, sea grape and coconut trees and various flowers. We have kept many of these items intact and minimized clearing. Don’t worry; there is still plenty of space to enjoy the beach!

Furthermore, we have set aside over 10 acres as a nature preserve. This area is diverse in terrain from ridge to swamp. It is teeming with life – birds, land turtles, Morelet, small fishes, orchids, lily pads and many types of trees. This area adjoins the swampland savannah that overlooks the Maya Mountains.

Eco TourismWe compost all of our vegetable and fruit scraps. The resulting rich soil is then used in our gardens. Most of the plants come from cuttings here on property. After they are used in vases around the resort, many of the cuttings are replanted! We collect seeds from our papayas and replant them throughout the gardens. And the top of our pineapples? Yes, those, too, are replanted. They not only are beautiful, but delicious! We minimize our use of pesticides and chemical based fertilizers. In our kitchen and on tours we have phased out using disposable cups and plates and are now using the biodegradable ones. We still keep a few for our Kosher Diet guests from time to time. We also collect rain water to water the plants around the property as well as the garden.

In our rooms we change linens every third day, unless otherwise requested. Old linens are reused as cleaning rags. Louvered windows and ceiling fans minimize the use of air conditioners. Large windows flood our rooms with natural light reducing our energy usage. We have recently came up with an Air conditioning plan which allows us to turn out the air while guest are out and put it back on just before you’re back so it’s not hot when guest get in after a long day. We changed from single use shampoos and conditions to dispensers to allow for bulk purchase and stop the use of plastic bottles. We have switched to more environmentally friendly cleansers which makes rooms just as clean, has less effect on the environment and best of all they all smell fresh after every use.

Most of our vehicles are powered by diesel and very well maintained. We make transfer schedule everyday so alleviate having our vans do an empty run. Our soap is biodegradable and leftovers are used by staff, given to the community or made into a solution to spray on plants affected by aphids. Jars and containers are reused. Glass is crushed and used to make stepping bricks. Cans are crushed to save space and reduce trips to the landfill and send to a recycling company. Paper is reused and recycled. We converted to fluorescent bulbs whose life spans are much longer than incandescent bulbs and push more watts than it pulls.

Eco TourismThe travel industry must benefit and empower local communities. Traditional cultures should strengthen and play a part in tourism. At Hamanasi the vast majority of our employees up to 90% come from the surrounding communities such as Maya Centre, Sittee River and Hopkins. We believe in training our staff and promoting from within. We believe that our employees provides great service to you all because they are happy working with us. Also the income they earn and the skills they learn help their families and villages and best of all, our employees enjoy working with us. Hamanasi and its guests assist Hopkins Village in many ways.

We donate to Equity house which is a non-profitable organization that we donate medical supplies to. There is the Vet Clinic though the assistance of Claralee Arnold, we provide vet services to the community bi-annually. Also the Hopkins Beach clean-up which is done twice a year without participation. One of the most popular is the Back-pack Project in which we gather school supplies, books, and bags from. In September we donate them to the schools in Sittee River and Hopkins. At the Kite Festival & Hopkins Day Fair we donate the same bags and supplies as prizes. We donate and participate in the Beautification Project which is planting of trees and flowers around the village. Garifuna dancers and drummers perform at Hamanasi once a week to promote their culture.

We also support the local buy purchasing all the kitchen supplies and produce from locals. We have helped support a teacher’s aide. We have donated items to the health clinic and provided funding to help various projects, including building a playground. Furthermore, we have assisted a number of locals in learning to dive, many of whom now are employed as dive-masters throughout the country. Our Education Fund helps finance the education of some students in need.

During our adventures we aim to educate and appreciate while minimizing our negative footprints. Our guides stay on trails to reduce damage to vegetation. We do not allow guests to touch animal life, especially while diving or snorkeling. We strongly discourage taking souvenirs from nature. All trash is disposed of properly. We want you -- and others – to be able enjoy nature in as pristine a condition as possible!

A long way to go…

Despite steps we have taken already there is much more to do. Some of the things we are doing include:
• Installing a system to treat and reuse gray water for watering gardens.
• Installing a better rain water collection system
• Creating an Organic garden with more assortments of fruits, vegetables and flowers than we already have.
• Establish and run an in house tour on property that will take guests through our garden and the remainder of the property.
• Change all dimming bulbs to energy saving dimming bulbs.
We welcome your suggestions!

What can you do?
• Refill your water bottle for excursions to cut down on waste.
• Reuse your towels to help reduce water and chemical use.
• Have respect for local cultures and customs. Don’t judge. Listen and learn.
• Dispose of all trash responsibly.
• Ensure people’s enjoyment of nature in solitude by traveling quietly.
• When diving and snorkeling never touch plant and animal life. Minimize fin movement, which stirs sand that can choke the reef.
• Never chase an animal – while hiking, diving or snorkeling.
• Stay on trails.
• Do not take souvenirs from nature or archeological sites.
• Turn off lights, water and air conditioners when you leave your room.
• Minimize water use. Turn off taps when shaving or brushing teeth.
• Join environmental groups and support environmental causes.
• Contribute to the local community by donating time, talent or treasure.
• Learn more and teach others about ways to reduce negative impacts on the environment!
• Together we can preserve our world for future generations!
Thank you for helping us to protect our environment. Again, we welcome your ideas feedback and suggestions. Together we can make a difference!

   
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