Hol Chan Marine Reserve says that it is well underway in bouncing back from large debts left behind by the previous administration and that with the support of tourism stakeholders and private businesses the reserve is close to normal operations and bringing back Hol Chan to its admirable management and positive contributions to the community. On Thursday, February 24, 2022, the reserve’s management held ceremonies to announce its rebranding, with a new logo, and the launch a a new Marine Station at the Hol Chan channel.
With new management and staff restructuring, Hol Chan says it is proud to rebrand itself with a new logo. Since the establishment of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve in 1987, the name “Hol Chan” Mayan for “little channel” has come to represent conservation, protection, and biodiversity. The name is a symbol of the hard work and dedication of the Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker communities’ efforts towards conservation within Belize.
Mariela Palma Archer of Hol Chan explained, “The logo uses the name that has come to symbolize the management organization and incorporates one of the many iconic species of the Reserve, the Southern Sting Ray. The different shades of blue represent the sky and the sea. The waves represent continuous motion, symbolizing the continuous hard work and dedication of the staff and management to maintain the ecological integrity of the Reserve, and support the community."
Miss San Pedro 2021, Grace Brown and Miss Earth 2021 Destiny Wagner showcase the new Hol Chan Marine Reserve Logo
Chairman of Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Ian Pou, stated that over $90,000 was owed to Hol Chan in accounts receivable and payables inherited by the new administration accounted to a deficit of an overdraft accumulating of -$150,000. Tens of thousands were owed to BEL and BTL and over $200,000 was owed to suppliers, many of which were ready to take court action. In addition of monies owed to Social Security, over $192,000 was owed staff who had been on a 50% salary cut due to the pandemic having been without a salary for over three months.
“Though much hard work and agreements between stakeholders and our accounting department, we were able to reduce the monies owed to Hol Chan by 78.5%,” stated Ian Pou. “Today, I can proudly say that our accounting department has ensured that accounts are being paid in a timely manner, reducing accounts payable by a remarkable amount. In less than two months, while still operating under a pandemic, management was able to pay off every single cent owed to our hard-working staff.”
Special guests at the ceremony included Prime Minister Hon, John Briceño and Minister of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation, Hon. Andre Perez, who both have been working closely with Hol Chan. They commended the new management for their hard work and stated that they are confident in the restoration of the organization that does a significant job in the conservation and protection of one of the most important natural resources of Belize.
Briceño and Perez proceeded to conduct the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Marine Station located at the main Hol Chan channel. It will serve a station for wardens to oversee the day to day operations of the reserve.