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La Milpa – Sample Student Programme

Day 1: (D)
Arrival and pickup at International Airport in Belize City.  Three hour bus ride to La Milpa Ecolodge and Research Center.  Welcome and settling into living quarters.  Dinner.   Orientation to La Milpa Ecolodge and Research Center and Programme for Belize.

Day 2: (B,L,D)
Early morning birding (optional).  Breakfast.  Introduction and course outline and expectations.  Intro to Tropics and the Rainforest.  Lunch.   Tropical forest observation activity and tropical forest observation on Mahogany Trail.  Discussion.  Dinner.  Presentation on Belizean Fauna. Night Hike/Spotting.

Day 3: (B,L,D)
Early morning birding (optional).  Breakfast.  Introduction to field botany and tree identification on Bajo Trail – self-exploration.  Lunch.  Introduction to Scientific Sampling Methods. Group ecology projects.  Dinner.  Introduction to Maya History and Culture/Archaeology presentation.

Day 4: (B,L,D)
Early morning birding (optional).  Breakfast. Tour of La Milpa Archaeology Site. Lunch. Visit to Archaeology Laboratory (Texas Camp). Tour of Medicinal Garden and trail hike.  Dinner.  Presentation on Cultures of Belize.

Day 5: (B,L,D)
Early morning birding (optional).  Breakfast.  Visit Mennonite Community and Maya Mestizo village. Lunch in local village. Cultural presentation. Visit Craft Center.  Swimming en-route back to La Milpa.  Dinner.   Presentation on Conservation and Development.  Night Hike/Spotting.

Day 6: (B,L,D)
Breakfast. Visit Lamanai Archaeological Site. Picnic Lunch.  Afternoon visit to Museum and purchase crafts. Depart from Lamanai and transfer back to La Milpa.  Swimming en-route to La Milpa – Optional.  Dinner.  Post course evaluation and Belizean farewell night.

Day 7: (B,L,D)
Breakfast. Depart for Belize City.  Two hour visit to Belize Zoo en-route.  Lunch at Cheers. Transfer on to Belize City.  Departure from Radisson Hotel Dock at 2:00 pm.  Twenty minutes boat ride to Spanish Lookout Caye.  Afternoon: Snorkel safety & reef etiquette orientation in shallow water. Dinner.  Slide presentation on reef and coral formation.

Day 8: (B,L,D)
Breakfast. Introduction to marine ecosystems.  Snorkel gear check.  Snorkel trip to the reef picnic Lunch.  Activity – identification of algae, coral, fish and invertebrates. Group Ecology Projects.   Dinner.  Discussion on threats to marine ecosystems and conservation issues followed by Video “Sea of Belize” – Marine Ecology.

Day 9: (B,L,D)
Breakfast. Snorkel trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Snorkeling activity: Sea grass beds, view of coral and marine Life. Picnic lunch at Caye Caulker. Snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley. Dinner.  Video on mangrove ecosystems in Belize

Day 10: (B,L,D)
Breakfast. Lecture on mangrove ecosystems. Activity – kayaking and snorkel to mangroves west, north or south of the island. Lunch. _ day snorkel Excursion to Goff’s Caye. Dinner. NGS Video on ocean drifters.

Day 11: (B,L,D)
Breakfast. Spanish Bay/Manatee search.  Lunch (Barbecue done at beach area). Pre-departure cleanup. Dinner. Post course evaluation, presentation of certificates and Belizean farewell night.

Day 12: (B)
Breakfast.  Departure for Belize City.  Shopping at the Handicraft center en-route to the International Airport.  (Time and weather permitting).