When we hear the word “police “ what do we quickly consider? Crime. Arrests. Law Breaks. A list of not-so-nice events which sadly, have affected so many of us living and working in Belize. Well, there is another side of the word “police” which was so beautifully expressed this weekend at the Zoo!
The Eastern Police Division-South from Belize City brought their Youth Mentorship Program participants to the Zoo as part of a 26 weekend project focused on providing positive experiences for at-risk youth. There were over 50 kids, accompanied by their mentors.
Living in the Southside of Belize City, these children are often exposed to quite a bit of crime and unlawful behaviour. The initiative, a creative and challenging idea developed by Mr. Douglas Hyde and APC Chester Williams, aims to foster a new awareness and appreciation about the richness of life.
Some of the activities include exploring our marine environment and Belize's Maya heritage, engaging in sports and also getting involved in community projects. TBZ is honoured to have been one of the destinations in these experience shaping field trips.
The excited reactions from the kids could be felt by us all as they received a special Zoo tour. What were they thinking as they stood less than 5 feet away from a mighty jaguar? Eyes were wide. No one was eager to leave Jaguar Ambassador Junior Buddy. And of course, Junior Buddy proudly showed off his climbing skills for all the kids to see and admire.
Our education visits always include a “Meet and Greet” with 7.5 ft long boa constrictor, “Queen Green”. And what a “Wow of a Wowla” she is !
What a great day and what a terrific learning experience. TBZ extends to a big PAWS UP to the organizers, mentors, and supporters of the amazing Police Youth Mentorship Program!