Bike with Purpose
Caye Caulker, Belize
On the remote island of Caye Caulker, students often have to travel to the mainland to receive quality education. This barrier leads many by the age of 12, to choose to quit school and join the workforce. Nation-wide, only 40% of secondary-aged youth are enrolled in school.
In recent years, the local economy of the island has shifted from traditional fishing and boat-building to aquatic sports tourism and hospitality services. The Ocean Academy school opened in 2008 as the very first community high school on the island of Caye Caulker. Its programs aim to reduce school dropout rates and reverse the growing unemployment issue by providing hands-on and practical tourism education, in addition to the traditional curriculum.
Planeterra raised donations to fund needed bicycles and other materials for the Ocean Academy to develop a student-led bicycle tour of the island. Planeterra also connected the Ocean Academy to a market, G Adventures travellers, on some of G’s tours that visit the island. This activity is included into some of G Adventures, and bike rentals are available for all travellers, with proceeds funding educational programs for the students at Ocean Academy.
This project aims to provide youth on Caye Caulker with training for future employment opportunities. It is a social enterprise in tourism, giving students from Caye Caulker’s Ocean Academy the chance to practice guiding skills while giving traveller’s a unique experience on their visit to Caye Caulker. Ocean Academy prepares students for careers relevant to island tourism and conservation science. In order to ensure the success fo thenew program, Planeterra supplied Ocean Academy’s Bike with Purpose program with 40 extra bikes at the beginning of our partnership.