Rocento Pau joins BFREE as Administrative Assistant

My Name is Rocento Pau. I was born and raised in Sunday Wood Village, which is in the southern district of Toledo. I am a Ketchi maya. I grew up working in the forest with my father for a living. I am a person who takes each opportunity as a learning experience. I love nature. At the age of 17, I graduated from Toledo Community College High School with a diploma majoring in the Business Department.

I then proceeded to look for a job and was employed as a Data Entry Clerk by Aqua Mar Belize Limited, a shrimp farm, in December 2013. During my 9 years at Aqua Mar, I had the opportunity to work in various areas. I was promoted to Office Supervisor, then to Human Resource Assistant. Later, I was transferred to Field Supervisor and then last to be the Head of Department until closure of Aqua Mar in December 2022. Aqua Mar was obligated to ensure and maintain no negative and disturbances of the ecological and biodiversity in the savannahs of Independence. This was my first introduction to biodiversity conservation as I was the person responsible for ensuring the process was followed.

After Aqua Mar closed, I was employed by TexBel Agriculture Investments, Limited for a short period from January to May of this year as a Data Entry and Store Clerk and as a fuel pump attendant. It was a short but good experience. I resigned from the post because of feasibility reasons – the location was far from my home in Sunday Wood. The distance and expense associated with travel to and from work made continuing there not possible.

When I saw the post for Administrative Assistant at BFREE and read a little about the organization and the work that BFREE does in biodiversity conservation, I was amazed. I was so thrilled at the photos and the possibility that I didn’t have any second thought to apply. I was persistent in my application. My first ride to BFREE was an amazing adventure for me. When I reached at the pristine and spectacular river, it was an amazing view. I stood there in awe.  I saw a tapir while going back.

What I love about BFREE is the flourishing rainforest is still intact and rich in biodiversity. I believe it is one of mother’s nature best kept secrets here in southern Belize. I am pleased to be a part of BFREE’s family and I wish to contribute in any way that I can. I am also interested to learn more and to be a part of the work that BFREE is doing in preserving and conserving biodiversity.

Having been here for a month, The reserve opens a door of panoramic experience for me. The rainforest is paradise to many animals, birds, reptiles, plants, and mushrooms of all species that I am yet to learn more about. 

Every morning I wake up to the alarm of the howler monkeys right in my ears, walking to the office to begin the day, there is always something that captures the picture of the day – be it ferns, monkeys or the beautiful chirping birds. One morning while going to the kitchen, these photos captured my attention.

This frog is comfortably and confidently resting in its own world. Our life is connected to nature. The heart shape with the morning dew is so exciting for me. It really connects me to mother nature. In my childhood days, my father would normally tell us to wash our heads with the morning dew so that we can begin our day calm and cool because the dew is refreshing and cool in the early dawn.

The river at BFREE is so amazing; it is said that where there is water, there is life. There are not enough adjectives to describe its natural beauty.

I love and appreciate the beauty of mother nature here at this reserve. The beginning of my journey at BFREE is an exciting one. I want to begin my journey with this quote: “Mother nature is always speaking. She speaks in a language understood within the peaceful mind of the sincere observer.”


BFREE staff stand on the beach in Placencia as they kick off their annual staff retreat. Pictured from left to right: Heather, Isabel, Nelly, Maya, Tyler, Jacob, Estaban, Tom, Thomas, Pedro, Elmer, Canti

BFREE staff stand on the beach in Placencia as they kick off their annual staff retreat. Pictured from left to right: Heather, Isabel, Nelly, Maya, Tyler, Jacob, Esteban, Tom, Thomas, Pedro, Elmer, Canti

The staff of BFREE works hard all year to ensure the running of the BFREE field station. They make certain that it is maintained, properly functioning and that all visitors are kept safe, fed, and happy during their visit. BFREE staff members also play a large role as site guides, educators and researchers.

 For most staff, traveling to the field station from their homes means commuting long distances. During the week the field station is more than just a workplace, it is also their home. Staff work either Monday through Friday while living at BFREE or work on shifts of ten days on, ten days off. The staff happily admits that they think of BFREE as their second home and each other as family.

For the 2016 annual retreat, the group ventured to the small, coastal village of Placencia for the night. The evening was spent enjoying dinner together before going bowling at Jaguar Lanes, a small four lane modern facility just north of Placencia.

BFREE staff retreat april 2016 beach

Staff pose for another group photo after a fun night of bowling at Jaguar Lanes.

Bowling is widely an unknown sport in Belize and only one of the Belizean staff had played before. You wouldn’t be able to know this however by the level of competition that existed before even lacing up our shoes! The competition remained heated throughout the evening as well as the cheers and laughter. There was even talk upon returning to BFREE of turning the dining room table into the staff’s mini practice lane. Don’t worry, the table has been spared.


Tom Pop proves to be a natural as he aims for another strike during his first time ever bowling.

BFREE Executive Director, Jacob Marlin, and Deputy Director, Heather Barrett, would like to extend another big “thank you” to all of the staff for making BFREE a fabulous workplace and for believing wholeheartedly in the BFREE mission.