|Miguel Alamilla Jr.
revealed the annexation of Shark Ray Alley to Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
These two places have rapidly become a must-see sight when visiting
Ambergris Caye. Many people have come together to study and protect these
places for the benefit of our island and for future generations to be
able to enjoy the underwater beauty of these places. It is with this in
mind that we feature in this week's Our Community, the manager of Hol
Chan Marine Reserve, Mr. Miguel Alamilla Jr.
Miguel was born in San Pedro on September 16th, 1973,
to Maria Elena and Miguel Alamilla Sr. Like most of kids of the new
generation, he attended both primary and high school in San Pedro. It was
during his four-year study at San Pedro High School that Miguel's strong
inclination for Biology commenced. He graduated as an Academic Student in
1990. Immediately after graduation, he began working as a lab technician
for the conch hatchery. Miguel recalls that this was a wonderful project
in which they would monitor the life cycle of the conch. He worked with
the hatchery for two years and then went on to become a park ranger for
the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. He resigned after a period of six months to
further his education. He attended Corozal Junior College, graduating
with an Associate's Degree in Biology in 1995. Miguel had always been
fascinated by the nature that surrounded him. As a young child he enjoyed
birdwatching and fishing with his father. It concerned him that, because
of human activities, we might lose these wonderful gifts. He knew that to
be able to help, he would need to educate himself first. It was because
of this same reason that he decided to attend the University College of
Belize for two years. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology
Education from UCB in 1997.
Immediately after graduation, Miguel was hired as
Manager of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office in San Pedro. In addition
to this task, he was also the Reserve's Biologist. He has had his work
cut out for him since the first day. Miguel is responsible for
supervising the everyday activities of the workers and park rangers; and
planning annual and monthly reports to the Hol Chan Trust Fund and
Fisheries Department. As the Biologist, he carefully monitors the conch,
coral, lobster and fish of the area; assesses human impact on the reef;
and trains and supervises interns and volunteers to the reserve.
Today Hol Chan Marine Reserve consists of a team of
five persons; Miguel as Manager/Biologist, three park rangers and one
secretary. Joining the team is a Peace Corp volunteer who has arrived on
the island to help out for a period of two years.
Miguel has recently joined the married couple's club.
On July 30th, 1999, he united his life in marriage to Olga Maribel Lima.
Even though he is happy with his present job, Miguel still feels that
there is more he needs to learn. He hopes to pursue his Master's Degree
in either a program concerning Marine Resource Management or Coastal Zone
Management. He is presently taking an intense photography course.
Wildlife photography has always been his life-long passion and he hopes
to take it to another level. He eventually hopes to extend this hobby to
include underwater photography. As if this was not enough, Miguel, a
certified dive master, will soon take a course advancing him to the next
level of diving - Instructor. He is doing this so he can start a
volunteer program to teach volunteers at the reserve to dive and at the
same time teach them about the conservation of the reef and the
Since taking the position of Manager, he has attended
various seminars and presentations pertaining to the environment and reef
preservation. Some of the places he has attended these seminars are Costa
Rica; Akumal, Mexico; Panama and Jamaica.
Miguel commented, "There are many things we can
do to preserve our environment. One of the main constraints is funding
but everyone can help just by coming to our visitor center (soon to be
completed) and learning about ways to help and preserve." Miguel has
proven that the future looks bright for our environment if we continue to
follow his strong advice about preservation. He is an inspiration to many
and has set the record straight, that anything is possible when you set
your mind to it. Our Community looks up to with respect and applauds
Miguel's great efforts for our environment.