Hudson Montessori School hosted its first international trip for an 8-day day ecotrip to Belize full of adventure in Belizean jungles and along the coast. The Upper Elementary trip included ziplining, learning about conservation, farming, watershed management, soil building practices, and proper captive animal husbandry. The group visited an archeological site, learning about the culture of the ancient Mayans.
The trip began with a zipline tour through the canopy of the Cayo region followed by an ethnobotanical walk through the jungle. The group attended an introductory lecture and learned about the conservation efforts of the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society. During their time in the Cayo region’s jungle, students learned about soil building practices and the program’s captive animal husbandry. They also participated in a jungle watershed quality assessment and enjoyed a bat mist-netting and processing workshop.
Students and families were led through a guided tour of the ancient Mayan city of Nim Li Punit and explored the famed archeological site. Attendees experienced Mayan culture through food, music, dance, and ancient farming practices. They made tortillas from scratch, learned traditional Mayan basket weaving, and were taught some Mayan dances.
On the third day, families visited a sustainable farm where they learned about climate-smart farming practices. They were able to plant seeds, prune cacao trees, and harvest fruit. After a day of work on the farm, they attended traditional drumming lessons and enjoyed a locally sourced dinner cooked over a fire hearth.
The Port Honduras Marine Reserve provided an up-close look at the region’s marine life through a snorkeling tour and an underwater transect survey. While there, they were also able to visit the Abalone Caye Ranger Station.
The group ended the trip by spending the day at Tobacco Caye where they visited a marine research field station and snorkeled along the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere! After snorkeling, they volunteered for a beach cleanup and recorded their findings while discussing the impact of plastics and pollution with a local expert.
We are grateful to everyone who helped make this once-in-a-lifetime trip a possibility for our students. Our school prioritizes making each student a thoughtful and considerate global citizen. Through this trip, several of our students were able to extend their study of topics like ecology and climate change in a real-world, tangible way.
The Upper Elementary program offers a unique opportunity for students to excel academically, while at the same time, learn to be proficient problem solvers, accomplished presenters and work in a collaborative environment with others with varying degrees of skill. Our Upper Elementary students have a role of leadership in our school’s STEAM program and take part in additional activities such as the MMUN and our partnership with the Billion Oyster Project. Click here to learn more about what our Upper Elementary program has to offer students in 4th through 6th grade.