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The FCD and Guatemalan Authorities conduct joint patrols in the Chiquibul

Earlier in the month, the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) joined forces with Guatemala’s Forestry Department and its Environmental Police to patrol two areas in the Chiquibul. During the patrol, Belize’s natural and cultural resource managers also met with villagers residing near the Belize-Guatemalan border in the protected area. The first patrol occurred in the Retiro area, which is adjacent to the Guatemalan village of San Jose Las Flores. The second is the area of Valentin, adjacent to the Guatemalan community of La Rejoya. FCD’s Executive Director, Rafael Manzanero explained what they’ve learned from the exercises. 

During the patrol, the community members agreed that the forest is important and they understand the Chiquibul Forest is a national park, protected by Belize. According to Manzanero, the villagers stated that many of the illicit activities that they commit in the area are done to simply survive.