Belize Zoo Funding & Support – We actively support the Belize Zoo & its conservation initiatives. A visit to the Zoo is s a great introduction to the animals of Belize, and to understand why it is important to protect the habitats that sustain them. We built the tent cabanas & facilities at the Zoo’s Tropical Education Center (TEC), and revenue generated from guest stays funds the Zoo’s conservation efforts. The TEC, night tours of the Zoo, and an insider’s visit to the Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation Program are included in many of IE’s trip itineraries.
Reuse, Recycle & Reduce – We ensure our practices are in keeping with standards set by the Belize Coastal Zone Management - composting, toilets, etc. We use biodegradable sanitation products (soaps) throughout the camps, which is key to maintaining a healthy reef system. We compost all organics, and continually strive to reuse, recycle and reduce waste working within the limitations of the country.
Basecamp Water Conservation – Our Marine park Basecamps at Glover’s Reef and Half Moon Caye have water sourced from rain catchment.
Solar Energy Initiatives - Our island Basecamps are equipped for solar energy, providing lights, communications, guest refrigeration and on island guest charging stations. Island lodges are equipped with solar technology to reduce generator use to 3 or 4 hours each evening. Shower water is solar warmed in most locations.
Human Powered Focus – ‘Human-powered’ is our unique focus out on the sea - our trips includes kayaking, kayak sailing, snorkeling and Stand Up Paddle boarding as means of exploration. Inland transfers are made using smaller modern diesel powered vans.
Local Community Commitment – We employ local people and use locally-owned lodges and businesses. Participants engage with the local cultures throughout the trip through our local guides. Guides on the reef are typically of Creole or Garifuna descent. These are the cultures that live on the sea, and depend on it for their livelihood. Guests learn about the local reef cultures through fishing, snorkeling, Garifuna drumming, dancing and story-telling. The inland component of both trips is done by Mayan or Mestiso guides, who are then able to provide participants with a 'local's’ insight to these culturally different parts of Belize.
Belize Audubon Society Success Story- We have worked with the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) to build a low impact Adventure Basecamp within the Half Moon Caye Marine Reserve. Through this continued partnership, IE designed and built the Lighthouse Reef Basecamp site (including the main group tent top pavilion and modern composting toilet facilities) as a donation to the BAS. Trips now generate more than $60,000 annually towards conservation, research and managing this protected area..
Committed to Responsible Tourism, Conservation and Local Education – Our philosophy is to support local communities and work in partnership with local and international organizations. Many of our trips are operated in association with, and help to fund the work of the Belize Zoo and the Belize Audubon Society, CONANP and village co-operatives in Mexico. We help sustain the Belizean communities and the environments in which we operate our trips.
Long-term Employment for Locals We employ 30-35 Belizeans as management/staff, and provide comprehensive training at the start of each season. We provide long-term local employment, and offer an incentives to Belizean staff in their third year of employment - providing funds to cover the cost of high school education for their children.
Support for Local Culture - Our trips showcase Belize’ rich cultural diversity, and several itineraries include visits to its ancient Mayan ruins and caves. We buy local products. and take guests to local shops, markets & cultural attractions. IE trips focus on education and IE focuses efforts and resources on education initiatives. Aimed at teaching and encouraging Belizean youth to remain at school, education scholarships are provided to children of employees with 3 or more years of service. Touring guests visiting small village communities we support are encouraged to bring stationary, school supplies and other education-related donations which are provided to village schools.
Co-operative Community Partnerships - We work closely and respectfully with local communities to ensure that tourism has a positive impact on the people and their cultures. We provide economic benefit to the off-the-beaten-path locations that we visit, which may not yet be receiving the benefit of tourism dollars. We support basic education and local schools by providing funds, supplies, computers and solar power to the jungle villages that we visit. We employ local people from the villages and use local Mayan guides to lead the trips through this area.