It is Earth Lion Expeditions’ belief that through collective collaboration, human ingenuity, and creative practices we can foster a new era of conservation and appreciation for the world in which we live. We form new partnerships with local and national governments, local peoples, and local conservationists to create mutually beneficial scenarios in places that have not traditionally benefited from the tourism dollar. We try to help these areas grow and to give confidence to the people to reach modest and sincere goals through tourism; whether it is protecting an area, conserving a way of life, or simply putting food on the table to feed a family. We do this in the least intrusive manner possible, practicing the concept of “blending in”.
We have special permission from the Brazilian government to visit the Kayapo indigenous tribe. We are contributing much needed community donations and equipment to support and help the people in these 22 villages in their mission of environmental conservation. Our community contribution fees of $5000 are vital for their success and future. This trip is a prime example of how tourism can be a great vehicle to enhance the well-being of local people and the environment. Our contributions will be used towards building a natural water well so the community has access to clean water, as well as protection of their land.
We are accepting donations for the educational scholarship program for the children of the Belize rural villages of Indian Church (Lamanai) and San Carlos. For those of you who have visited the Maya site of Lamanai, you already know that the village is remote, rural, and fairly poor. With only partial government support, much of the cost of a high school education is borne by the student’s families. Additionally, since the villages are several hours by bus to the nearest high schools, (the bus only serves these villages two days per week), the students must board during the school week. Each year the Canadian Organization, S.H.A.R.E. has continued to provide several tuition scholarships, but additional funds are needed. The program has evolved over the years, as volunteer coordinators have learned more about the schools and
the financial needs of the students from these villages. We have also expanded the program to include a scholarship and small loan program for students wishing to go on to junior college after graduating from high school, and we have been somewhat involved with primary education, conducting a summer reading program. This year we are happy to announce that a scholarship committee has been formed in the village. Because the people who serve on this committee live in the village they help identify needs and provide direction.