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1. CHOCOLATE MAKING Toledo is referred to in Belize as the “Chocolate Capital” of the country. The Cacao Industry is a vibrant and growing industry that is changing the cash crop of the south, which was once corn. On a trip with TIDE Tours to one of the many families who are into the fine art of chocolate making, you will learn how this delicacy is traditionally made. Visit Cacao Farm and learn about how these plants are vital in the

In an effort to enforce Belize’s fishing regulations, The Port Honduras Marine Reserve staff along with increased full time support from the Belize Coast guard has stepped up surveillance and patrols within the reserve. Recent joint patrols have resulted in retrieval of 3 gill nets found along the coast of Monkey River Village and 1 gill net along the coast of Punta Negra Village (both villages buffer the Port Honduras Marine Reserve). Gill nets, which contribute to unsustainable fishing, are

The Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), a non-governmental organization, was founded in 1997 to meet the growing environmental and development needs of Toledo District, the southernmost district of Belize. In 1999 its subsidiary TIDE Tours was formed to promote eco-tourism opportunities and alternative livelihood programs for the Toledo District. With such rich and diverse cultures to highlight here in Toledo, TIDE Tours partnered with the Belize Tourism Board to develop a Toledo Cultural Trail which will provide for

TIDE Tours is proud to announce that we received a Caribbean Climate Smart Award at the 2017 Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards Program in St. Kitts and Nevis.  The award was presented to recognize our continued commitment to reducing the impacts of climate change through our tourism activities. The awards ceremony is hosted annually by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and aims to identify and showcase Sustainable Tourism Good Practices in the Caribbean. We were shortlisted for the Community Benefit Award and Biodiversity

We’d like to welcome the newest member of our team, Jordan Cas! Last month we sent him to Mr. Eladio’s cacao farm for some fieldwork. There he got a tour of the farm and witnessed the source of the ever indulgent sweet we have all come to know as chocolate. This is his experience. The tour began with a small hike from where the van had parked to Mr. Eladio’s cacao farm. Along with a lovely couple and their son, I

This tour was a fun and humbling experience to say the least. We went zip lining with Big Falls Extreme Adventures located 45 minutes from the TIDE Tours office in Punta Gorda. The staff had been awaiting our arrival and as soon as we walked through the door, the adventure began. To say they were experienced in extreme adventures would be an understatement as they practically lived there. As soon as we were fitted into harnesses, helmets, and gloves (safety first!) and

One of the perks of being advanced open water dive trained is having the option to assist on monitoring of marine species with TIDE. For this field trip I had the opportunity to go out into the Port Honduras Marine Reserve (PHMR) and look for Donkey Dung… yes Donkey Dung. This is the local name for the Holothuria Mexicana sea cucumber which, rather unfortunate for itself, does look a little like donkey dung. Due to indications of possible overharvesting for the

In June 2015, Ridge to Reef expeditions hosted Individual Placement volunteers Adam Graves and Danielle Day for 6 weeks as part of a study abroad program with Drake University, Iowa. During their time here they carried out a community based project and took part in many other Ridge to Reef activities, getting stuck into the work we do here in Toledo. Here, Adam explains how Ridge to Reef was able to support his course requirements while also providing him with

Indulging the environmental scientist in me, I donned my hiking boots and long trousers and got stuck into two days of terrestrial field work, accompanying TIDE’s rangers, Mario and Elmar into the field. The sun was hot, the work was hard but I had the most incredible time experiencing some of the work that TIDE does and learning how this is applied to the bigger picture in terms of natural resource management and environmental protection and conservation. The work we carried out

One of the defining pieces of this Ridge to Reef expedition—and one which communicates quite a bit about the values of its parent organization, the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE)—is the commitment to having a local Belizean student on each expedition. Javier Alegria went through a competitive application process to be here, then helped with the crowd-funded online campaign to cover the cost. His presence has made our experience in Belize that much richer, more interesting, and fun. Jav