Open Day kicks off Tourism Week in San Pedro

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 12, No. 44            November 14, 2002

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L.I.F.E. students explain their tourism-oriented exhibit

An "Open Day" held at Central Park last Saturday kicked off this year's Tourism Awareness Week designated for November 8th - 15th. Belize Tourism Trainer, Ms. Victoria Showler of San Pedro did an admirable job organizing this first-time event which included school exhibitions, presentations, as well as delicious food and refreshing drinks. On hand to provide information were members of Saga Humane Society, the San Pedro AIDS Commission, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Green Reef and the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association.

    Students from Lydia's Institute of Fine Education, San Pedro Roman Catholic School, St. Peter's Elementary and Maestro Reyes School of Knowledge showcased their interpretation of tourism through detailed exhibits. The students displayed creative works and each group eloquently explained their projects on a live radio broadcast. Some of the wonderful works-of-art included an impressive portrayal of the Chiquibul Forest and its surrounding attractions, and another featured an idealistic "tourism village."    

    Area Representative Patty Arceo officially declared tourism week open and applauded the efforts of the students participating in this event stating "they are the future of tomorrow." Vicky Showler then expressed her gratitude to all participants on behalf of the Belize Tourism Board, and encouraged those present to continue striving for maximum customer service and protection of our natural resources so that Belize can continue to attract more visitors to "Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret."

    Apart from the information booths and exhibits, the gathering also enjoyed a "surprise attraction" courtesy of Jaguar Temple Club. The presentation included Matthew Jones from Caye Caulker and Carlos Rodriguez from Jaguar's Temple Club who executed an exciting "flair" (tossing of bottles in the air) performance on stage.

    To wrap up the festivities, the winners of the poster and exhibit competitions were announced: First place for Best Poster - L.I.F.E. The prize was a $25USD gift certificate from Ramon's Gift Shop. Two first place prizes were given for the Best Exhibit also awarded to the students of L.I.F.E. The prizes were round trip tickets to Belize City, one courtesy of Maya Island Air and the other courtesy of Tropic Air. St. Peter's Elementary School teacher Antonio Sansores won the Teacher's Raffle. His prize was a trip to Lamanai archaeological ruins, courtesy of Seaduced by Belize. Mito Paz was the winner of a gift box raffled by Saga Humane Society.

    Ms. Showler told The San Pedro Sun, "The children, their exhibits and posters were exceptional and I think that they learned a lot from what they did and from the others, which was the goal of this Open Day."

    Although not everything went as scheduled, the event was a success and plans are already being made for next year, which promises to be bigger and better.

    This Friday, September 15th will mark the end of the nationwide activities with the Annual Tourism Awards ceremony being held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel.
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