Thirteen years ago my husband and I decided to honeymoon in Belize. We didn't know much about it but I knew it was a place where my college sponsored trips to study biodiversity and namely insects. We booked the trip. It was our first trip out of the country together and neither one of us had done much traveling. Needless to say when we arrived at the airport and a person by the name of Cobra picked us up at the airport, we were sure it was going to head down a road of us being never heard from again. It was quite the opposite. The people are Belize are some of the most genuine people I have ever come across. They sometimes don't have much but what they do have they treasure. Thirteen years ago we stopped at a place with a local tour guide to see Black Howler Monkeys in the rainforest. The place was called the Community Baboon Sanctuary (CBS). We didn't know it at the time but this place is really something special. Fast forward to 14 years later my husband and I returned to Belize. As part of a graduate-level class we stopped at the community baboon sanctuary. Part of my course I learned a little bit more of the history of the community baboon sanctuary and its importance in Belize. Established in 1985 by an American primatologist in Belize landowner Fallet Young can you set out to protect the black howler monkeys of Belize. Today with over 200 landowners, the sanctuary is an excellent model of community based conservation. The landowners have voluntarily pledged to conserve their land and many benefit from the sanctuary itself through ecotourism . Landowners can also apply for grants and also be a host for travelers. I myself stayed with a family in the community baboon sanctuary Today the population of black howler monkeys in Belize is over 3000. What a great model for conservation and the community. In the picture below, little did I know that I had met Fallet Young. He's pictured in the picture below. Sadly Fallet has passed away, but his legacy lives on. His son Conway has taken over many of the operations of the sanctuary.
At the Community Baboon Sanctuary in 2006. Fallet Young one of the founders in the background. Click the picture to find out more about the sanctuary.