Belize’s very own, The Lodge at Chaa Creek won gold at National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards yesterday. The Lodge at Chaa Creek placed first in the “Engaging Communities” Category. Mick and Lucy Fleming of the popular eco-resort received the awards during the ceremony which was held in Berlin, Germany. The Flemings turned their family farm on the banks of the Macal River into one of Belize’s first eco-resorts. Since then, The Lodge at Chaa Creek has grown to become one of the county’s most highly awarded tourism destinations and a model for sustainable, responsible travel. The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between National Geographic and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations — ranging from large resorts to small eco-lodges and from wildlife conservancies to entire countries — that are driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the global travel industry. More than 100 entries, representing 45 countries across six continents, were submitted for these prestigious travel awards. An international panel of 26 judges coordinated by Costas Christ, an internationally recognized sustainable tourism expert and award-winning National Geographic travel writer, scored each entry according to globally recognized sustainable tourism criteria. All 15 finalists underwent a rigorous on-site inspection.