BFREE and the Hicatee Awareness Month Planning Committee are pleased to share our collection of fun and engaging educational resources for educators, parents, and hicatee heroes everywhere! Educational materials have been created by scientists, filmmakers, students, educators, and passionate advocates. We encourage the use of these materials in your classrooms and homes! Our goal in sharing these materials is to inspire teachers and students to learn more about Belize’s national treasure, the Hicatee turtle. With your help, we can inspire future generations and leaders to recognize the significant cultural and historical value of the Hicatee.

In 2017, BFREE launched Hicatee Awareness Month, now celebrated every October, to highlight Belize’s national treasure, the hicatee. Now in its sixth year, we encourage everyone to come together as Hicatee Heroes. We have one task – to save the critically endangered Hicatee turtle. The hicatee is disappearing, but together we can save it!

Educational Resources for the Critically Endangered Hicatee Turtle


Are you a Hicatee Hero? Click here to learn more about what you can do to take action and make the promise to be a Hicatee Hero every day! Celebrate National Hicatee Day, follow the laws of Belize, and share your favorite Hica-tivity with your friends and family!


The Hicatee Fact Sheet is a great resource for students of all ages. The fact sheet includes a list of 12 helpful facts about the species covering everything from what they eat, where they live, how big they can grow to be, and the species’ biggest threat.


Did you read the Hicatee Fact Sheet and learn lots of new and interesting things about this incredible turtle? Are you ready to quiz your knowledge and see how much you learned? Take the Hicatee Quiz with this fill-in-the-blanks questionnaire based on information on the Fact Sheet!


We invite you to share with Hicatee Heroes everywhere, what you believe makes the Hicatee turtle a National Treasure of Belize! Please share your finished writing with us by email at contact@bfreebz.org or in the mail to PO Box 129 Punta Gorda Belize, Central America.

Hicatee and Ladders

Gather your friends and family to play the Hicatee and Ladders Migration board game! All you need to play are player pieces and dice. Answer the questions you land on; the first player to reach 25 wins the game! 

Community Poster

Created by Hicatee Awareness Month Committee member, Celi Gongora, the community poster highlights the need for hicatee conservation. The posters are being shared in communities across Belize. If you spot one, share a selfie with the poster with us on social media for a chance to win a prize!


The plight of the planet’s tortoises and freshwater turtles are highlighted in the newly released report entitled “Turtles in Trouble: The World’s 25+ Most Endangered Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles — 2018.” Released by the Turtle Survival Alliance and fellow turtle conservation organizations collectively known as the Turtle Conservation Coalition, the report highlights the Hicatee Turtle on Page 31.


These fully aquatic turtles live in deep rivers, lagoons, and other freshwater bodies. Unlike many reptiles, hicatee do not bask in the sun. This makes them very difficult to see in the wild. We have created an album with photos of hicatee turtles of all ages at the Hicatee Conservation and Research Center located at the BFREE Biological Research Station.


The Hicatee Conservation & Research Center (HCRC) located at BFREE is home to a captive breeding facility for the critically endangered Hicatee. Watch this short tour of the facilities and meet some of the resident turtles.


Which turtle Belize to the bone? Hicatee! Hicatee! Hicatee! Join Mr. Hicatee and Damien and sing-along to this fun and educational song!

Written by: Ike Phillips & Jonathan Dubon. Produced by: Janskii. Visuals by: Belizario Gian Carballo


The full-length, 16-minute natural history film, ‘Hope for Belize’s Hicatee: Central American River Turtle,’ features the critically endangered hicatee. This film highlights the cultural significance of the hicatee in Belize, the environmental pressures propelling it toward extinction, and the current work being done to save the species.


In honor of the 4th Annual National Hicatee Day, we are releasing a very special video highlighting young Hicatee Heroes from across all six districts of Belize! Belize’s next generation are Hicatee Heroes! Are you?

We invite educators to develop their own materials to promote the conservation of endangered wildlife like the Hicatee turtle. If you have any questions or if you would like to share materials or curricula that BFREE could help distribute during Hicatee Awareness Month, please email them to us at, contact@bfreebz.org.

BFREE would like to thank all 2022 Hicatee Awareness Month Planning Committee members, Robynn Philips (Committee Chair), Colleen Joseph, Celina Gongora, Elvera Xi, Jessie Young, Sharon Young, Claudia Matzdorf, Marcia Itza, Ed Boles, Barney Hall, Abigail Parham-Garbutt, Belizario Gian Carballo, Tyler Sanville, and Heather Barrett.

The hicatee is critically endangered and in need of greater protection and innovative conservation actions. Belize offers the highest chance for its survival. Click below to learn about more ways you can take action and be a Hicatee Hero!

View all 2022 Hicatee Awareness Month Press Releases here.