By Skylar Caputo
Next spring, Mira Costa history teachers, Annie Choi, Wayne Knutson and Ian Uhalt will have the opportunity to chaperone students in the Mayan country of Belize. As head chaperone of the trip, Uhalt has arranged a trip featuring some of the most beautiful and ancient sites of Belize.
The travelers will be participating in seven activities that will help the students learn about the Belizean lifestyle. From February 16th to February 22nd, the students and chaperones will be traveling to different regions of Belize.
“This trip is intended to give students the opportunity to experience cultural learning in a real world setting…my goal is to provide students with a memorable and cultured experience that will be as meaningful to them as it is fun,” Uhalt said.
Costa students will be flying into Belize City on February 16th. Once they land in Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (PGIA), they will stay at Chaa Creek lodge for four days.
“On Saturday we will leave Los Angeles at 12:30 am and fly into Houston,” freshman Matthew Glunts said. “When we land, we will switch planes to Belize City. We will be sleeping for two or three nights at a lodge in the forest and the rest of the trip at a hotel.”
The trip will start out with a visit to the Museum of Belize, which features goods that have been found in Belize from 600 B.C. to A.D. 1500.
“We are going to be looking at artifacts at the Museum of Belize that have been found in archeological digs,” sophomore Kelsey Woodhouse said. “They are from the Mayans in the colonial times, which includes pots, bottles, and things that they used during sacrifices.”
The 140-foot Mayan pyramid temples, or, the Caracol Ruins, are the next stop on the trip along with Xunantunich and Barton Creek cave. The group will also spend a whole day at the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave and zipline through a rain forest.
On the last day, the group will travel to the Belizean Shores Resort for three days. They will then take a snorkeling trip at Ambergris Caye, the largest caye city in Belize with the world’s second biggest Barrier Reef. Ambergris Caye consists of the famous Shark Ray Alley at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
“On the last day I would like to either walk around the island and go shopping, or go scuba diving in the water of the Belize Barrier Reef, since it is the second biggest in the world,” Woodhouse said.
On February 22nd, the students and chaperones will leave Belize and fly back to Los Angeles. Uhalt has arranged this so that the travelers could be ready to go back to school on the 25th.
Uhalt is still allowing Costa students to sign up for the adventure, but only 28 students are permitted to attend. To join the trip, a student can contact Uhalt at firstname.lastname@example.org to gather information and the pricing.
“I am going on the trip because it is a fantastic opportunity to learn about another part of the world,” Henning said. “We will get to travel to various caves, spend a night in the rainforest, as well as relax along the coast for a few days. Not only is it a great educational experience, but it will help me gain independence.”