Following the success of our Community Stewards program, in 2011 TIDE launched a new complimentary Junior Community Stewards program.
22 children aged 11-15 from Punta Gorda and Monkey River were taught to snorkel and identify marine fish and coral species. After their training, they carried out trash awareness and community garden projects in their communities.
Now in 2013, a second round of training is underway, including:
- Snorkelling refresher
- Fish and coral ID refresher
- Bird ID
- Ecological functions of mangrove ecosystems
- Discussing the future of the Belize Barrier Reef and how they can take action locally
We aim to use a “guided discovery” approach, in which students make observations and use evidence to arrive at conclusions for themselves, fostering critical thinking.
The program is anticipated to enhance the participation of youths in conservation and demonstrate that science can be an exciting and rewarding career choice. By starting the empowerment process early, the program aims to foster a love of the natural environment, build capacity for stewardship and secure a safer long term future for the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor.