Yesterday was an amazing holiday treat for a group of kids from Belize City’s Inspiration Center, the staff and for me. The center is the first of its kind in the country focusing on children with disabilities. It is a non-profit organization that provides diagnosis, treatment, education and rehabilitation for kids with all types of disabilities. The staff works tirelessly with the children and families to help maximize potential for inclusion and participation at home and in the community.
One very special organizer and some very special sponsors made this event possible AND made it extra special with some surprises for the kids.
I was SO lucky to meet a number of the children yesterday at one of my favorite spots in the whole world. The Belize Zoo. Another institution DEVOTED to education for kids and adults as well as diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for animals of Belize.
I was up WAY before that. My alarm went off at 4:55am so that I could make it to town for the 6:30am water taxi. Just in time for the sunrise. My boat!
I hoped on the bus and arrived at the zoo at 9am. A bit early to meet the kids so I had a quick look around.
My boyfriend Junior Buddy was sleeping.
Now that I like birds, I visited a few.
Premier Charters donated a bus and our driver’s time, Charles, to bring the kids and their families to the zoo.
The bus arrived! Families unloaded and posed for us.
This little boy posed for lots of photos. Here with his dad.
Others were a bit more shy but…excited!
But EVERYONE forgot about that as soon as they saw the animals.
Fatima and her mom Patty.
And blowing bubbles for the jaguar…how cool is that?
The JAGUARS! Junior Buddy is such a ham!
The kids fed pepitos to the parrots.
We visited and fed the tapirs…and I stared at their odd feet.
Watched the deer eat carrot sticks. Take nice…
And watched lazy turtles paddle by.
Not so lazy, the harpy eagle spread her wings. She is the most powerful bird in the world. Has been known to pluck monkeys from the trees.
And I was given the name of a lodge that has a pair living near their property. Looks like THE birding trip is in my future.
Tired and happy we returned to the lunch area for lots of surprises. Delicious burgers and fries from Cheers Restaurant.
Good looking and great tasting cupcakes.
Bags of brownies, cookies and chocolate from San Pedro’s Belize Chocolate Company.
Books from the zoo…and then…and THEN…thanks to the generous sponsors, zoo t-shirts for all the kids for the holidays. They were giddy picking out there own.
Everyone showing off the new shirts with amazing Jamal – the Director of Education at the Belize Zoo. He is wearing the Santa hat.
What a fantastic day…we ALL left sleepy on the bus. Back to the Inspiration Center.
And I was headed back home to San Pedro. A ride back to the water taxi, the 2 hour ride home (we had some technical difficulties) and then golfcarting back north just in time for the setting sun.
A long but FANTASTIC day. I love the zoo any day of the year. I recommend it to everyone – even those that don’t LIKE zoos.
But watching the kids enjoy the animals? That made it even more special.
No one can resist this guy.
THANK YOU SO MUCH to those who donated time, money, treats…everything!
Sol Spa and Star’s Island Fantasy. And to Magali Gabb of Traveller’s, AmbergrisCaye.com, Tara McGregor, Kelly Kanabar of Blue Water Grill and the Phoenix and Clara Lee Arnold of the Hopkins Humane Society for making this all possible. We all LOVED IT!
For more information on the center, check out their website and my guest’s post: Ashley’s Story – The Inspiration Center, Helping Kids in Belize.