A new water fountain was constructed around the San Juan statue roundabout and inaugurated during Reef Fest in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize. The fountain commemorates our barrier reef as it depicts sea creatures that are of vital importance to the survival of the reef. A short ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Monday, May, 13, 2019.
Local Belizean artist Anton Leslie of Placencia Village was commissioned to create the sea creature sculptures that include a Nurse Shark, Sting Ray, Sea Turtle and Spotted Eagle Ray. More fish and coral reef will be added to the fountain to complete its final design.
“The refurbishing of the San Juan roundabout is a symbol of appreciation by the community for the reef and the central role in your daily lives,” commented Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State with responsibility for Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development. “As a part of its continued partnership, it was most fitting for Hol Chan to support the initiative as a means to organize our community’s singleness with the reef. It is designed to serve as a daily reminder of our reef, its beauty and importance. It is also a good example of how partnerships between Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the businesses can serve as a catalyst and platform for initiative for the conservation and promotion for our reef.”
The first Reef Week in San Pedro coincided with Earth Day. It was initially designed to be an entire week of different educational activities centered around school children. Over the years it began growing into an event that also raised awareness on the different environmental issues affecting Belize, such as the Lion Fish invasion and the plastic pollution. Now upgraded to a festival, the annual events includes community cleanups, trivia competitions, puppet shows, art competitions, a park fair and a Lion Fish Hunt and ceviche competition that was cancelled this year due to bad weather conditions.
“I would like to commend the board of directors and management of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve in their efforts specifically geared towards the motivation of students to participate,” commented Hon. “Along with the business community, we have done an excellent job with the featuring of town competitions with cool prizes to get the youth involved. They are really the current and future stuarts of Hol Chan Marine Reserve.”
This year’s 14th anniversary of Reef Fest celebrates the reef and the environment; cultural and economic benefits we receive from it. “Our Reef, Our Life. Our Responsibility - Get Involved."
Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism addresses the gathering at fountain inauguration
Local Belizean artist Anton Leslie of Placencia Village was commissioned to create the sea creature sculptures
Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State with responsibility for Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, receives winning painting of Reef Fest art competition.