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Name: Natalia Cocom

Class: Ecology
School: University of Belize
Lecturer: Mr. David Cano
Date: July 30, 2016
Assignment: Reflection on Ecology Trip to Rio Bravo Conservation Unit

We left school on July 28, 2016 at 11:45am. Our trip started off rocky because there were more
students than seats on the van. However, as humans we learn to adapt to different situations,
sifted ourselves around and everyone was able to fit and we started off on our journey. I felt
excited and exhausted at the same time because this was the first time I was going on a school
trip with students who are quite younger in age than myself. Also, this is the last day of our
summer A program at UB. We had quite a good time on the journey, then we got side-tracked
with the directions and ended up at the main office at La Milpa and was re-directed to our
destination at Hillbank. Enroute we talked about any imaginable topics and everyone was trying
to tune down the impatient feeling that was building up. When we finally arrived at our
destination at about 4pm everyone was exhausted and hungry. We ate dinner and went to see the
accommodations. They were clean and comfortable.
One thing that caught my attention was the fact that the place looked so serene and peaceful and
I realized that it was indeed an applicable trip for the Ecology Class. The deer and foxes were so
close to the accommodations but never ventured too close.I am not really a nature-lover but I can
survive. Another shocker was the bathroom facilities that is recycling human waste material. At
first, I was frightened when I took a peep inside the hole and how it was and I could not use the
bathroom because am afraid of heights. I gathered my strength like the woman that I am and

completed my job. Of course, it is a conservation park and so it is expected that recycling will be
done. The facilities do not use water because that is a waste of resources. I found that really cool
and really developed a respect for the work that was being carried out at this park.
Another conservation method was the use of solar panels to capture, store and convert sunlight to
electricity. The electricity is then conserved by turning off all lights at a certain time and then
putting them back on after a couple hours. We rested a bit and went to eat supper after which a
presentation was done by Mr. Corado on the history of the conservation park and the different
projects that are being carried out. One topic I found rather interesting was the Carbon
Sequestration Plots whereby large companies that are releasing carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere would pay for a plot in the park to buy back carbon points. Specifically they are
paying so they can destroy the atmosphere where they are located. This money is then used to
assist with much needed finances to run the park.
After the presentation, a night walk on the trails was scheduled. I panicked because I am afraid
of snakes and wondered if this was my last night on earth. Anyways, the walk went quite
uneventful. We saw tarantulas, scorpions, lizards, foxes, spiders and deer. I learnt that when you
flash into the eyes of the herbivorous animal the color of light reflected will be green and for the
carnivores it will be red. Strange but true. One of my classmate wanted to see the jaguar and I
was nervous and anxious because I wondered what would be the response if we saw one indeed.
Thank goodness we did not!
For the next day, a bird watching activity was planned and I was extremely tired and could barely
get out of bed. That activity was optional since it was planned for 6am. Then we had breakfast
and went on an hour hike through the forest. It was very educational and quite interesting. The

guides Mr. Tush and Mr. Corado are well- versed in their job and showed us different types of
plants that had medicinal purposes.
In conclusion, this park is filled with species richness because it is beside a water lagoon with
crocodiles residing there. The guide informed us that they are herbivorous so we can take a dip in
the water. My apologies but am not putting myself at risk to find out if that was true. A couple of
our classmates went canoeing and returned excited. I looked from the waterside and enjoyed the
beautiful view. Most of the information that we learnt in class we saw in nature and that made
me appreciate this ecology class and my beautiful country of Belize. It was quite relaxing and
entertaining as it took my mind away from my other assignments that I needed to hand in and on
the return journey those thoughts flooded my mind. Back to Reality!!!

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