BFREE and the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) are pleased to announce the winners of a national poster contest for primary school students.
- The Overall Winner was Seydi Medrano from Ambergris Caye Elementary School in San Pedro, Belize. (First image)
- The Winner of the 12-14 age group was Kevin Thurton from Hummingbird Elementary School in Belize City. (Second image)
- The Winner of the 9-11 age group was Ibrahiem Miller, Ladyville Evangelical School, northern Belize City. (Third image)
The poster contest’s theme was “Let’s make the hicatee our national reptile” and was a highlight of the second annual Hicatee Awareness Month in October 2018. The goal of this creative activity was to engage students in wildlife conservation and help raise awareness of the critically endangered Hicatee turtle.
Twenty-four posters were submitted from seven schools. All submissions were of outstanding quality and showed true compassion and admiration for the hicatee turtle. All of the drawings can be seen on BFREE’s Facebook Page (@BfreeBelize) under the album, “ 2018 Hicatee Awareness Month Poster Contest.”
The three winning drawings will be used to create 2019 Hicatee Awareness Month materials. These materials will be distributed to schools, organizations, and businesses in Belize.
Overall winner, Ms. Seydi Medrano shared, “sometimes people don’t really show compassion about wildlife, and I think they should start caring because God made everything for its own purpose and maybe He made the hicatees for a purpose and they deserve to live just like us.”
Kevin Thortun, winner in the 12-14 age group shared, “if there is something that you really care about, you should try to protect it or it might be gone soon.”
Ibrahiem Miller, winner in the 9-11 age group drew the hicatee surrounded by the Belize Flag, a black orchid, mahogany tree, Keel-billed Toucan, and tapir. He said, “I used Belize’s National Treasures in my drawing because I read the theme which says, “Let’s make the Hicatee our national reptile.” I wanted to surround the hicatee with all the other National Symbols.”
Ms. Alamina, of Hummingbird Elementary School, supported her students in creating a Hicatee Committee. The students of the Hicatee Committee hosted a Hicatee Booth at their Art Show/Book Fair where they shared information with visitors, created games to play, and handed out brochures they created. They even raised money for the Hicatee Conservation & Research Center.
When asked for advice to other educators who would like to start a Hicatee Committee at their school, Ms. Alamina said “The biggest advice would be to encourage students that their voices can be heard and they can make a difference.”
BFREE would like to extend gratitude to all the schools and participants and a special thanks to Ms. Denice Ryan, Principal of Ambergris Caye Elementary School for her guidance and support on this project. Hicatee Awareness Month will be celebrated again this October, with another poster contest and even more activities.
The hicatee is disappearing, but together we can save it.