Caves and sinkholes of the Chiquibul Cave System
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Tuesday February 7, 2017

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In the midst of the rolling hills, Belize's mountainous region, bi-national river system, and rich cultural heritage is found FCD actively engaged to conserve some of Belize's most impressive wonders. Co-managing the largest protected area in Belize, namely the Chiquibul National Park and managing the Chiquibul Cave System considered as the largest of its type in Central America, tagged with our various community development and public outreach programs certainly is a privilege to all of us that comprise the conservation non-profit organization. Yet, the challenges are diverse and complicated.. Day to day we face a dire reality where the flora and fauna are being extirpated. To address the challenges, it is clear to us that a multi-effort must be part of the solution. I want to encourage you, therefore, that as you visit our website, to consider yourself part of this important endeavor which many us are pursuing in our quest to protect the beauty of Belize.
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Caves and sinkholes of the Chiquibul Cave System

In a period of one year the FCD karst management unit has explored over 40 caves and sinkholes of the Chiquibul Cave System. The work is still mostly incomplete as the cave system is vast.

Hector Silva: The Chiquibul Forest is considered the largest dense forest in Central America. - It is rich in many natural Resources including Precious Woods, Shate, a FLora and Fauna second to none in the WORLD. - It includes GOLD, at the CEIBO CHICO and many other Minerals and Precious stones. Ceibo Chico translates to Little Cotton Wood Tree. It is one of the largest WATER SHEDS, which feed many of our Rivers, including the Mopan and Macal Rivers.

As far as I gathered from Old Chicleros and our elders long gone, the name derives from CHICLE RESIN of the Area.

In the 1880's, When Philologist, Mr. Francois Sebastian Blancaneaux, was analyzing the RESIN named CHICLE, to manufacture chewing Gum, it was discovered that there were more than one species of resin. THERE WAS the Chicle Hembra, (female resin) which latex was more elastic and was a FIRST CLASS resin, and HAD A BETTER PRICE. THERE WAS the Chicle Bruto, Cimaron, pegajoso which was third class.

THEN THERE was the Chicle Macho, (Chicle Bull), which was second in quality. AND HAD THE SECOND BEST PRICE.NOW THE CHICLE BULL (MACHO) WAS MOSTLY FOUND IN THAT AREA NOW CALLED, ) Chicle Bull. Chicle Macho, (pronunciation problems.) - SO CHIQUIBULL got its name.

Just as the area of San Ignacio, which was once known as (MORA TOWN.) where Mora (Blue Berry was cultivated) But the Spanish speaking people used to call it MORATON, and so it remained for many years.

Then there are two areas in the Maya Mountains called, VACA, COW - Vaca Plateau and Vaca Falls. - WELL the story is that when mahogany was extracted with steers (Bullocks) many years ago, some of the steers, bolted and took to the wilderness. Many years later, they were seen in various places. So those places were named after them. VACA FALLS, VACA PLATEAU, MOUNTAIN COW, etc.

Photograph by Friends for Conservation and Development - FCD Belize

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