An Update on Calvin’s Green Iguana Sanctuary
If you enjoyed Calvin’s Eco-Iguana Sanctuary last year (see my 12 Must Do Things On Your First Trip to San Pedro), the verdant mangrove oasis that surprised so many amid busy San Pedro town, you will find something very different today. The Iguana Sanctuary was a popular tourist attraction that brought people into town has changed…alot.
See the “before” in my 2021 post: Jungle In Downtown San Pedro: MUST Visit the Iguana Sanctuary – Calvin’s Green Iguana Eco-Park
Then, I shared that during the last days of 2023, a sign had gone up.
And the mangroves (with the iguanas still clinging to them – there had been no warning) were razed.
I thought (and still think) this was a HUGE miss by the Govt of Belize – both as the majority owners of Belize Electric Company (who owns and clear-cut this lot)…and the Belize Tourism Board.
Here is what is left now. And many of you have been asking me for an update – what’s happening with Calvin and the iguanas?!
The entrance in 2023 – before:
The water filled with marl and the mangroves all gone.
I hear many of you saying, “Isn’t cutting mangroves illegal in Belize?” It is unless you have a permit. “A person shall not alter, allow or cause to be altered any mangrove, unless the alteration is carried out under a permit received from the Forest Department.”
There was a permit here. In many other cases, laws are only effective if they are enforced.
The road is slated to be paved in the next few weeks. Hopefully, there is a drainage component because Calvin’s yard and narrow pathway have turned into water and goo.
The iguana sanctuary is still open and Calvin is talking about upgrades and repairs. He just ordered a bunch of bamboo from the mainland to work on walkways…Just make your way to the back to visit.
And the iguanas? Many are still there and swim across the river to sun in the mangroves across the way returning home to eat their veggies and fruits.
Sadly, he had to bury about a dozen over the last few weeks. Some were injured or killed in the cutting and didn’t make it.
People are still visiting. They are still open!
The iguanas can’t eat all of the fruits! Here is a rooster enjoying the pile.
Soon after, Belize Electricity Limited announced that the land would be used for additional capacity for the power grid. (see below)
Also, I’ve been hearing from many folks (over a dozen) that this land has been sold to a company that plans to build a gas station here after the temporary power needs I filled. (Right next to a gas station? This sounds…odd)
So I asked BEL and received this response from their PR office:
“Belize Electricity Limited has not sold or transferred the property, designated for the battery storage project in San Pedro, to any gas station company.
On December 29, 2023, BEL issued a press release informing the public of ground preparations to install 10MW of battery storage at a BEL owned property behind the BEL substation on Pescador Drive in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. This is the first phase of a larger plan to deploy 40MW of battery storage at strategic locations across the country.”
I hope that answers many of your questions. Stop by and chat with Calvin – he’s got ideas! And I bet he would love help. And visit the iguanas…they are still trying to figure out their space…and how NOT to sun in that big open sandy space (where dogs can get them) but they are making their way…
Nature adjusts I guess…it’s just a shame that it has to in this circumstance.
Have a great Sunday all.