Ecorana Environmental ltd., Blog at it's partner field staiton at the T.R.E.E.S

We are Ecorana Environmental, an eco-travel and environmental education company that specializes in creating and planning applied learning holidays for students, researchers, and ecotourists alike. Our team consists of travel and outreach specialists as well as research biologists and teachers who specialize in environmental education and conservation. We are well-versed in providing comfortable, safe, and exciting learning and travel opportunities to a range of clientele interested in environmentally and culturally conscious travel.Ecorana is poised to offer travel and education abroad opportunities in the diverse tropical country of Belize. Ecorana employs biologists who are well-trained in tropical ecology, herpetology, and ornithology, and as such, studies in tropical biology are the primary focus of our educational holidays. However, our team’s diverse interests and expertise allow us to plan all types of holidays ranging from wildlife ecotours to yoga retreats to West African drumming courses to ecological field technique courses. Wherever your interests lie, you can be guaranteed that Ecorana will be right there with you.Ecorana maintains values of environmental and cultural conservation and stewardship, hands-on education, and inclusive learning, and seeks to instill those values in all visitors to Belize. We work with many field stations and educational centers, scientists, educators, tour companies, tour guides, eco-lodges, and parks, both on the mainland and on the islands of Belize, to make sure you go exactly where you want to go and see exactly what you want to see and more!

One of our main partners is the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (T.R.E.E.S) and their field station in Belize. The objectives of this environmental education center are to host various cultural and environmental based student courses, workshops and event hosting in the heart of the beautiful Maya Mountains of Belize. We plan on providing our services to international students as well as providing opportunities for Belizean students.

For more information see our website at, or send us and email at or to go directly to the T.R.E.E.S website

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer internship at T.R.E.E.S

We are now into full swing into the summer internships at T.R.E.E.S. We currently have a variety of projects running at the station for the summer including; a wetland creation project, turtle tracking project, small mammal diversity project, bird point-counts surveys, a flowering plant botanist project and the creation of a public library project, just to name a few. Lot's of summer fun at the station.

The following pictures are from the spring herpetology interns at the station.

Interns at T.R.E.E.S swimming hole

At Xunantunich Maya ruins Belize

View from Xunantunich Maya ruins Belize

Xunantunich Maya ruins Belize

Yucatan Banded Gecko

Intern in lab

Blue-spotted tree frog

Interns playing games at T.R.E.E.S

Intern and Yucatan Banded Gecko

Scorpion mud turtle

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bird banding

We have started our bird banding training at T.R.E.E.S. We have Tony and Dorothy Diamond here to train Mathieu, Vanessa and Brandee Diner for a few weeks. We are catching a variety of species that we have not yet observed in the field. This is a very promising banding site!

Brandee with Crimson collared tanager

Indigo bunting

Setting up nets

The banding station

The banding station

Blue winged Warbler

Monday, February 10, 2014

Botany Internships

TREE fern, a common plant found at the T.R.E.E.S Hosting Center
Our 2014 internship program is currently underway. Our interns platforms, and communal kitchen are now complete and we are receiving interns. The intern platforms, or Toucanet Camp is situation in the lime orchard a little secluded from the main T.R.E.E.S building, it has it own outhouse, picknick tables and it is close to the swimming hole and trails. There are currently 4 raised platforms that are covered with palapa style roofs for traditional Belizean comfort.

Intern, Daniel, identifying trees at T.R.E.E.S

David Tzul teaching the medicinal properties of the plants found at T.R.E.E.S

 The communal kitchen, which is a 24 feet x 12 feet building, offers a screened in cooking area, which can host up to two groups cooking at the same time

Intern, Rosemin, planting custard-apple tree sapplings
 At present we have 2 interns from Cegep Vanier that are doing their botany internships. We have hired a couple of profesional botanists from Belize and from Guatemala to get the students started on the huge tasks are starting to identify the plants and trees at T.R.E.E.S. We now have access to the National Herbarium of Belize thanks to the Belize Forestry Department and have visited a few sites in Belize such as the Belize Botanical gardens to get more insight on the amazing variety of Belizean flora. Their internships are going really well but they are finding that the diversity in the Belizean Jungle to be a little overwhelming at times. For their internships, one is doing ecosystem mapping of the station, the other identifying plants and creating a educational plant trail for guests.
2014 winter internship program

We are having another intern from CEGEP vanier in the spring. If you or know anybody that would be interested in our great internship programs please visit us at

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Groups and the new year

Sorry for the long wait between postings, we are postings more and more of our updates on facebook at we are getting a much higher reader reach. We had a very successful winter so far with 3 back to back groups in December January. The hard work is finally paying off! We still need to find sometime to do more all important marketing, particularly to Belize Tour Companies and Canadian ecotour companies that are looking for somewhere fun and safe to bring their groups. We have more and more activities being offered at T.R.E.E.S including river tubing, waterfall rappelling, night walks, birding tours. We have also completed our internship programs and our currently hosting a few interns at the station.

These are some pictures of the last group we had from I.S.I.S! This was a Marine Biology course that Vanessa and I currently teaching. We took the group out around the station but also at Five Blues Lake National Park. The students had never experienced the jungle before and where a little overwhelmed at first but by the end of it, everyone was very happy.

The small ISIS group and Mat

Emmeth and his band came down to do a New Year's Eve Sambai at the station

Students checking out invert samples

the gang

Student a Gulf Coast Toad

Students and Gulf Coast Toad

Students at Five Blues Lake

Monday, December 2, 2013

Waterfall Rappel

There is a beautiful waterfall behind the T.R.E.E.S property in the Sibun Forest Reserve! We have hiked a couple of times to it but never more. This is where we found the Mayan mountain frog with the Save the Frogs groups (see old post).  As T.R.E.E.S has the access to the base of the waterfall trail on its premises guiding operations need to ask permission to use the trail.  Last week we were approached with Maya Guide Adventures to work together with other guiding groups to fix the trail that goes up to the waterfall. We are forming a small outfit that will provide assistance to go up to the waterfall trail and eventually into the Sibun Forest Reserve.

As they were going up to the waterfall in a few days with a group from the U.S it was agreed that we would go with them and repel the 400 ft. beast. So, last week we got all of gear ready and went up with them. It was a windy day and it had rained all night, so the waterfall was raging! We went up with Maya Guide Adventures, which I would highly recommend to anyone coming to the T.R.E.E.S station. Very professional and super safe!

The hike up to the waterfall is about an 1.5-2 hours steep hike in beautiful jungle setting. We then got our harnesses on and prepared to repel the famous waterfall.

I went first, then followed by Vanessa and Will. Both Vanessa and Will (our guide) never really rapelled but everyone had a great time. 300 ft. straight down rapel with cold mountain water rushing at you, it was awesome!

We can't wait to go up there again!

Mat going up the trail, never ends eh?

Chilly up at the waterfall - getting ready to go!

The famous waterfall

Will looking how the guides were installing the ropes

Will wathing as I am going down!

Mat going up the trail, never ends eh?

Here goes

Van getting mentally ready!
Vanessa getting ready to go down!

Vanessa going down

Vanessa going down

Vanessa going down

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

we are back!

After a couples months away from the station for a University Tour of Canada we are now back! We've made some really good contacts, recruited a few groups and a few interns. We are very happy with the outcome of the tour. We will continue next summer/fall with a tour of the french CEGEP and probably a tour of the Ontario Universities.

But we are now back and are very happy that the places looks so good; the pets are alive and well! We trusted that a friend of a friend of a friend that wanted to come to Belize and write up her latest book in the remote jungle of the tropics would be a good candidate. Sarah did a wonderful job and had a great time doing, no major mishaps and lot's of good memories for her. It was a great deal for everyone!

Big-O doing just fine

Since we have been back there has been lot's to fix, a couple of months without a handyperson on hand does mean that we were backlog with a few issues but we are now back on track. We are getting busy for a busy winter. We have a series of university groups and interns coming to the station.

On a lighter note, we have adopted a little Scorpion Mud Turtle for a couple of months. We have collected a SMT hatchling at the station last week. As mortality in young turtles is very high, we have decided to care for the turtle for a couple of months. This will increase its chance of survival in the wild and will allow us to study a little about this little known species. It helps that they are really cute!

Nestor the Scorpion mud turtle

Let's see, the bird migration has now started in full force. We are getting many of the North American migrants at the station. The black and white warbler, magnolia warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart and now back. It makes everyday really exciting, never know what you will be seeing.  

Ovenbird a tropical migrant from Canada and the US

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ecorana Tour 2014

Hello Dear readers, I am sorry we should of warned you, not many posts for a little while. We have been on a fall Family and University tour in Canada. We are going to a variety of English universities and colleges in the maritimes, Quebec and B.C to promote Ecorana which books tours, internships and programs as well as for T.R.E.E.S the field station. We are planning a french university and CEGEP tour next spring but we are currently working on translating the Ecorana site and material before we take off on this tour.

So far, so good, we have almost finished the Maritimes tour which has gone very well. We have had great weather and positive feedback. We are now getting ready for Montreal; McGill and Vanier College. We still do not have an in at Concordia, so if anyone has any suggestions don't hesitate to email us.

I will be posting picture soon of the tour!

Keep checking the blog, good stuff is coming soon I promise!

Here is a copy of our french and english promo posters, done by none other then Camille Zaroubi!