By David Chanter:
Arrived in Sarteneja by water taxi on Monday to be greeted by the Blue Ventures team (Jon, JJ, Al, Nick). Everyone in Sarteneja is really friendly, welcoming, and appreciate any small effort made to try and involve yourself in their culture and customs.
A fellow volunteer (Sean) and I are staying with possibly the nicest family I have ever met. They are so hospitable and even the dog (Puppy) has eventually accepted us, after a few tickles. They couldn’t do anything more for us and I wouldn’t want them to change anything. I am definitely never going to go hungry in Sarteneja.
I have been in the village now for five days and have really settled in. I particularly enjoy the daily football matches with the local kids, which has grown from four aside to approximately twelve aside in a matter of days.
The location and local wildlife here in Belize is breathtaking. I have already seen numerous bird species, bottlenose dolphins, and two manatees in their natural environment.
Having learnt the relevant fish and coral ID over the past few days I am incredibly excited about the prospect of putting into practice this knowledge in the marine environment.
We head out as a group tomorrow to Bacalar Chico Base Camp for the next stage of the adventure to begin…
By Sean Callahan:
I’ve been in country now for 5 days and it’s been nothing short of spectacular. Even the boat rides up from Belize City to Sarteneja were beautiful. Upon arriving in the village we met our home stay family who has taken us in and treated us as a member of the family if not better. This first week has been packed with field preparation and science training but the staff has made it a breeze and a lot of fun. Just spending time in the village with the people and especially the children has been a huge highlight. A game of soccer that has been played everyday at 5pm that has been put together behind the Blue Ventures house has grown into a huge get together for all staff, volunteers, and locals. Each day the game has grown as word has spread and yesterday we had over 20 people and it made for great fun. The rest of today will be spent packing up as we are headed for our dive camp on the beach of Bacalar Chico for 4 weeks! I’ve only heard about it so far but if it’s half as beautiful as everyone says its sure to be an amazing time.