fourth grade teacher taught me to
love reading by ascertaining my
interests and offering relevant books. My passion for explorers, naturalists
and tropical rainforests was born.
I relished the stories of Jim Bridger, Charles
Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, Alexander von Humboldt,
John Lloyd Stephens, Sprague,
Henry Bates, and others.
I studied Spanish in high school and
in 1965 lived for the summer in Ibague, Colombia. In college,
my degree was
in International Trade and Finance
with a specialization in Latin America.
I first passed through the then tiny
Belize airport in 1982, on a business
trip to Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. The airport was ringed
with manned machine-gun bunkers
and helicopter gunships because of a long-running dispute with Guatemala.
(Guatemala claimed Belize)
I vacationed in Belize in 1986
and fell in love with the southern
rainforest. I then made several
trips to the Toledo District.
In 1989, I chartered a plane and
explored all of southern Belize.
I wanted a solid perspective of
the geography and was looking
for a piece of "high bush"
that was not adjacent to any
banana plantations (to avoid
deadly pollutants they use.)