By Alberto J Matus

Be a tourist in your own country. “But I live here” many would say, sometimes I wipe my tears of laughter when I see the many idyllic places our beautiful Belize has to offer, yet most of us fail to experience such wonders at our very home country. Largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, pristine waters, lush jungles, ancient caves, historic Mayan ruins. We truly have natural wonders all to ourselves, and with Chaa Creek’s undeniable professionalism and core values such an experience would be life changing and unforgettable.

I remember visiting the Chaa Creek’s reserve a little over a year ago, as a student in an adventure and Eco-tourism class. It was my very first time, but I came out going back home in awe and one conclusion truly “authentic”. I’ve always had the fever of being a tourist in my very own backyard, but have always wondered what’s the experience like when delivered by true professionals.

It’s important that we all realize that being a tourist in one’s own community increases awareness about lesser-known sites, arts, culture, and economic development strategies, as well as demonstrates that our country holds myriad local gems “right under our noses”. Our jewel is invaluable, as locals we need to start exploring at the same time conserving our natural beauty and resources. As active citizens we must adapt Eco approaches like Chaa Creek, invite and share our beauty with guests from other countries.

This is why I would feel esteemed and honored to experience the 2012 Maya Winter Solstice at Chaa Creek. Further commend, and showcase not only to our Belizeans but the global community as a whole that Belize is truly magnificent, and even more when delivered by esteemed travel partners like the Chaa Creek family. What better way to join the Maya in welcoming the new era?