We safely arrived on the mainland yesterday morning after leaving the MTREC and dropping off everyone at the airport in Belize City. Yesterday was technically a day off for us but Dr. G was kind enough to deal with the five of us staying for an extra day.
We drove the van out towards La Democracia where we stopped for lunch at Cheers. The closest local restaurant, Cheers has breakfast, lunch, and dinner and amazing fresh fruit smoothies and watermelon juice.
After we filled ourselves with quesadillas and sandwiches, we made our way towards the Tropical Education Center (TEC) which hosts the Program for Tropical Ecology & Conservation Science (PTECS) facilities and is part of the Belize Zoo. We will be staying here for our first few days until we head out for the Las Cuevos Research Station and the Chiquibul Forest for a week, then come back and finish the month out here at the TEC.
We spent the rest of the day yesterday napping and catching up on social media. This morning we went back for breakfast at Cheers and then finished our pre-trip mini research pages at the TEC.
The course that I am taking for study abroad while I am here on the mainland is Field Methods in Ecology and Conservation in the Tropics: Belize. The main focus of the course is to experience and learn first-hand different field techniques used by researchers to “examine terrestrial natural resource ecology and conservation in the tropics, with Belize as a case study.” This course is co-lead by Dr. Giuliano (the same professor from the marine course I just completed) and a professor from the University of Tennessee. The students from Tennessee will be meeting up with us here at TEC later tonight.
We’ll be completing group research projects, mine’s on butterfly and moth habitat and conservation, as part of our main grade. We’ll also be traveling to the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, the Chahillo Dam, San Ignacio, the Rio Frio Cave, the Vaca Forest Reserve and so much more.
The internet here at the TEC dining hall is great so I’ll be posting as much as I can while I’m here in La Democracia but I will be without internet unless we go out into town when we move to the Chiquibul Forest.
Subscribe and stay tuned,