When most foreigners hear the word Belize, they don’t know that it’s an English Central American country nestled between Mexico and Guatemala. I have always heard of people talking about exploring their country and getting to know those little hidden parts of nature that everyone else enjoys, everyone except you. So when my boss decided to give us a company trip and an opportunity to explore my own country, I was excited. I had never been to the heart of the western part of Belize so this was an experience I couldn’t wait to achieve. We were going to Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. We were going to visit Rio Hond Pools and Big Rock Falls.
On the day of the trip we all gathered together in our bus, said a prayer and set off. Most of us slept the 4 hours until we arrived at the junction of Pine Ridge. Most of my coworkers had never been to this part of the country so this was going to be an adventure for them as well. I personally didn’t expect that we were going to be on a dirt road for like almost an hour before getting to our first destination. My boss kept saying that we were going to enjoy the view and the falls but after being in a bus for almost 6 hours, I was getting a little cranky.
When we got to Big Rock Falls I was amazed. It was such a beautiful site. The falls itself was gorgeous and the water was super cold. It was so refreshing to jump into that ice cold water and breathe in the freshness of Mother Nature. Swimming against the strong currents to actually get under the falls was a weeks’ worth of exercise but it felt good. The long drive was worth it at this point.
We stayed by the falls for an hour before heading off to our next site, Rio Hond Pools. We were going there to have lunch and just relax for a couple of hours before heading back to our home town of Orange Walk. We got to Rio Hond and setup our grill to BBQ and take a dip into the icy water. My friend and I decided to explore a little and the view we were met with was spectacular. We were able to get a view of the area from the top of the hill. I was humbled by the beauty of this hidden paradise.
As we headed back home I realized that I had much to learn and explore in my own country. There are so many beautiful places that I have never gone to and I need to change that. In order for me to fully appreciate and enjoy my country, I need to know it. I’m sure that many share the same sentiment. I’m glad I got the chance to visit and enjoy this beauty.
Author- Catalina Funez