Annual Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge Kayak Race scheduled for May 12th-13th, 2012

The Eco-Challenge began as the brain child of Mr. Elito Arceo, a tour business owner, environmentalist and community activist of San Pedro Town. Elito enjoys getting involved in sports and coming up with activities that can bring the community together. As a child he frequented the back lagoons of Ambergris Caye and grew to love these areas. As development began threatening these areas, it became clear that he needed a way to get people into these lagoons so that they can begin to appreciate the beauty and importance of these areas, and thus the Eco-Challenge was born.

In 2005, Arceo came up with the idea of a race that would take people through the lagoons and link them to the eastern shore of the island, showing their connectivity. The 42-mile long kayak challenge takes place over two days. The first day the route heads north and travels through lagoons and mangrove channels along the western side of the island, with an overnight stay inside the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. The second leg of the race takes kayakers south along the eastern coast bordering the beautiful Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and on towards the finish line in San Pedro. Thanks to Elito, the Eco-challenge has now become an annual event that the community looks forward to.

This year, the race will be held on May 12th and 13th, with over $15,000 in prizes on the line. The deadline for registration is May 9th, 2012, with a fee of $200BZ. Applications are available at Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office or at Seaduced by Belize. For more information please contact: Kirah Forman at email [email protected] or call 226-2247.

San Pedro Sun