The Holiday Season is upon us and with that can often mean shopping hard, spending loads, overeating and feeling the need for those New Year's Resolutions. It can be all too easy to forget as we sit under our beautifully lit trees admiring our stockings perfectly hung, just waiting to be filled, that there are many in the world who go without. It's the perfect time of year to remind ourselves that happiness isn't in what we get, it's in what we give.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World (a globally recognized hotel accreditation organization) recently awarded our sister resort, Ka'ana, with their prestigious Caring Luxury Award for their "outstanding green credentials, use of local amenities and its contribution to the local community". Not only are we proud of them, but we are eager to join them in their efforts and be known for making a positive impact on our surroundings.
Our Itz'ana family of Owners has done an amazing job this year of contributing to the local community and we thought we'd take a minute to remind you of ways that you can make your vacation meaningful to someone in Belize.
"The Most Simple things can bring the most happiness"- Izabella Scorupco
There is currently a running club in Placencia Village as well as Seine Bight Village. The two villages are about 7 miles apart and each running club has between 30 and 60 kids from ages 8-15. Training happens two or three days a week on their respective ‘football pitches' and once a month there is a 5K race. It is not uncommon to see some of these children running without any shoes, or in shoes that are too small or in inappropriate footwear like sandals. There is a constant need for new and used running shoes of all sizes. We encourage you to go through your closets at home before you come down and bring what you are no longer using. Stop by a local thrift store and buy a few pairs or ask your friends and family if they have any extra pairs lying around. This is a gift that will make such a difference- allowing these kids to comfortably participate in sport.
"The more you read the more you know. The more you learn, the more places you will go" - Dr. Seuss
Started in July of this year, the local Seine Bight Children's Library can use donations! This is a place where kids can go to check out a book, to be read by a storyteller or most importantly, learn to read. Books, like shoes, can be hard to come by in Belize. They're flat and easy to travel with so they make for a great gift without too much bulk. So consider bringing along the books your children have outgrown, the duplicate copy of a book you were given as a gift or, better yet- go find your childhood favorite and spread that joy for the children of Belize.
"Clothes aren't going to change the world but the people who wear them will" - Anne Klein
Bring your clothes
Humana is the local thrift store in the heart of the village. Their stock is all donated and they sell their clothes to the community at extremely low prices. They donate their profits to shelters country wide and distribute the stock that doesn't sell to villages that need them. So if you can bear to part with that old prom dress, that business suit that's just a little too tight or that handbag you never use, you can be certain it would find a good home here.
"As we grow wiser, we realize what we need and what we can leave behind"- Unknown
Leave it behind
One of the easiest ways to give back is simply to leave us with some of what you came with. From the novel you were reading, to the sunscreen you won't need at home to your own pair of runners. We'll make sure your items are treasured by someone who needs them.
At Itz'ana we're all about synergy with our environment. Giving back to the community is something we're passionate about and we're here to help you get involved as much as you'd like to be.
To learn more about how you can give back, contact us here and we'll be happy to provide more information
Happy Holidays from the entire Itz'ana Family to yours- we look forward to the year ahead!