Earth Charter Project in Belize

“Earth Charter is great! Its helps to create a self-consciousness and awareness of what the Earth is about today! Also it shows us how we can help to improve our environment and our society.”
Adiel Cawich
15 years olds
Belize Rural high School

Two weeks ago 23 students and I embarked on a mission to indulge in the foreign culture of Double Head Cabbage, Belize. Throughout our experience many of us have found answers, friends and community. Parallels of our hopes for the future were also found within Belize Rural High School, where we resided at for the duration of our trip. The students attending the high school are within the ages 12-17 and on their way to discovering where they want to be after graduation. I enjoyed having discussions and debates with the students and it surprised me how unique every one of them was but also how similar they were to me. During our two week trip our group was exposed to the raw, natural beauty of Belize. We found this beauty while snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea, cave tubing in the ancient Mayan caves, hand washing our clothes under the light Belizean rain, and becoming apart of the community as they welcomed us into their town with joyous arms.

The Earth Charter is a building block towards peace and equality within and between nations. Before this trip I had never heard of the Earth Charter but now, by having the privilege of teaching it’s morals to peers my age, I realize the importance of associating with groups of people to achieve an overall goal. Introducing the Earth Charter to the students at Belize Rural High School was a challenge at first because our group had never heard of it before. Once the topic was open for discussion between the students each one started inputting ideas and contributing to the topic. The Earth Charter can help maintain the beauty of Belize by influencing people of the world to work together in order to benefit the environment and relationships among the people. Specifically in Belize, an atrocious amount of littering is done into the ocean and on land which can be fixed if awareness is raised among communities. This issue is also found at my home, B.C. Canada. That is why the Earth Charter is an important aspect of our trip because not only are we helping a foreign community improve their lifestyles in order to preserve the beauty of Belize, but we are also inspired to come home and put the Earth Charter into action again.

After introducing the Earth Charter I realized that everything we have done coincides with the Earth Charter and its goals. As part of our trip our group held educational workshops which initiated a school recycling program, compost and garden. By working with the Earth Charter along with our workshops, I feel like our group, along with the students at BRHS, has become more aware on how our actions affect the environment and our relationships with other people. In 2008 I had the opportunity to work with Reto Juvenil in Altamira, Costa Rica which was an entirely different trip but had the same amount of impact. Both trips make me want to continue working with Reto Juvenil and spread awareness about social justice and environmental sustainability through the Earth Charter.

Hannah Rempel
17 yrs old
Langley High School
2nd Program with Reto Juvenil

“The Earth Charter plays the most important role in the sustainability of the environment, teaching us that renewing things is a great idea and it helps us to respect our environment, too.”
Steven Herr
13 yrs old 
Belize Rural high School

“I really want to thank the Reto Juvenil Internacional group for doing the Earth Charter presentation at our school, because it really shows the importance of protecting the environment and also many other important things, that we and our families sometimes take for granted, instead of making the environment a PRIORITY, as we all should.”
Jasmine Dawson
12 yrs old
Belize Rural high School

“This was an awesome experience: not only for me, but for my whole school, too. The workshop helped us to learn how to create a better future for us all. Thanks to the Earth Charter presentation, I learned how important it is to live in peace with one another. We must respect and care for the community and life, and we should treat one another equally and be an activist.”
Gary Rowland
13 years old
Belize Rural high School

“Earth Charter is the best and the most beneficial tool to learn how to protect and care for the environment. It gives us a clear understanding, how to love and to respect the Earth and it also makes us to appreciate our nature. Earth Charter also shows us different ways how to promote peace.”
Shanique Broaster
15 years old 
Belize Rural high School