By Jocelyn Magrone ’18 and Sarah Evans ‘18:
First off, Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads reading this. Today was our last day before going to stay with our host families and we’re both nervous and excited because it will be a drastic change from the past few nights and from how we live in Connecticut. Because Belize is a developing country, this experience will be eye opening. While staying at the Macal Creek River Camp at Chaa Creek Lodge, we have access to hammocks, flushing toilets, and warm showers. After waking up in our cabins, we ate breakfast and headed out to go to the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, Belize’s most prized caves. Being told that the cave was one of the most visited caves in the world, we had high expectations, which were exceeded. We had to swim and hike through the cave and squeeze through tight rock formations to see Mayan artifacts, stone formations such as stalagmites and stalactites, and skeletons. We learned about what the caves meant to the Mayan people and its importance, as well as basic geology of the cave.
After visiting the cherished cave of Belize, we now have a better understanding of the life of ancient Mayans and some of the ceremonies and rituals. It was a new experience for all of us, given that it’s nothing that we would do back home, our comfort zones were stretched. At the end of the day, we realized that we’ve bonded as a group and were able to positively reflect on this experience together. Although today definitely enlarged our comfort zones, there’s much more enlarging to come.