Thursday, January 10, 2008

I am planning my 2008 field season in Belize, Central America. I plan to continue my research on the ethnoecology of the Maya on the Cayo district, with a focus on the resources of the Elijio Panti National Park near San Antonio village.

I expect to take a few students enrolled in Tropical Ecology lab and Environmental Problems. Tropical Ecology lab students will be in "option B" and focus on bird life of the tropics for comparison with Tropical Ecology lab students using option A: avian species richness in their local area. Environmental Problems students will examine how villagers in a developing country address various types of environmental problems (energy, food, water, waste, income, etc.). This will allow a comparison with the methods used by people in a developed country (the U.S.) as examined by the rest of the class.

The particular village we will focus on is Caye Caulker (CC):

My favorite Caye Caulker website is

Here is a first draft of cost estimates:

Date Day Events Cost Travel Cost Lodging Cost Food Cost Notes
7/4/2008 Fri Holiday in U.S.
7/5/2008 Sat Arrive $60 Fly TUL -> BZE $725 Hostel $40 Airport $40 Lobsterfest on CC
7/6/2008 Sun Village $0 $0 Hostel $40 store $20
7/7/2008 Mon Village $0 $0 Hostel $40 store $20
7/8/2008 Tues Belize City $0 Water Taxi $30 Hostel $40 Restaurant $30
7/9/2008 Wed Ruin $120 Tour $0 Hostel $40 Restaurant $30 Altun Ha or Lamanai
7/10/2008 Thurs Village $0 $0 Hostel $40 store $20
7/11/2008 Fri Village $0 $0 Hostel $40 store $20
7/12/2008 Sat Depart $60 Fly CC -> TUL $0 Airport $40

Sums $1,495
Assume $75 Souvenirs (calculated @ %5)
$1,570 Total estimated cost.

This will vary from student to student. The biggest expense is airfare. I assumed $725 from Tulsa to Belize City, and assumed that includes all taxes and fees. Airfares change. Also, students can fly from Belize City to Caye Caulker like a tourist or take a water taxi with locals--cheaper and more fun. I assumed students would spend $40/night for lodging. There is less expensive lodging available, and students can share a room. There is also more expensive lodging. Each students will make their own lodging arrangements. Food costs will also vary. I encourage students to shop in local markets, like villagers do. This is inexpensive. Restaurants vary in price. Costs for daily activities will also vary. SCUBA diving is fun but costly, as is deep-sea fishing. Other activities are less expensive. I made an estimate of $240, but know this will vary among students. I also assumed that students would spend $75 on souvenirs, but again, this will vary.

As always, please email me if you have any questions.

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