FAMRACC has a strong commitment to the community of Caye Caulker. The primary expression of this is the very composition of our group as a consortium of members of the diversity of groups here on the island. We have representation from both the primary and high school; tourism organizations; neighborhood watch and community police; the fishermen’s cooperative and community conservation groups. Any group that wishes to be a constructive member is invited to participate. We need everyone we can get because there is so much to accomplish!
We have had tremendous participation from the children of Caye Caulker RC School and Ocean Academy High School in all our activities. Members of the community, particularly tour guides, have volunteered from our initial on-site efforts in 2007 to this year’s major effort to bring the Caye Caulker Forest Reserve (CCFR) up to the level of other reserves in the country with signage, a website, and an on-site Ranger accomplishing the major function of trail maintenance and patrols. We have delivered evening community presentations and shop- to- shop tour operator presentations that familiarize operators and guides with CCFR as a destination. We are gearing up to work with another Reserve Co-Management entity on the Caye, Friends of Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary, to achieve proper behavior by guides around Manatees that are seasonally found in Caye Caulker Marine Reserve (CCMR).
Lobsterfest is Caye Caulker’s premier community celebration, highlighting the major marine species that has brought Caye Caulker prosperity. It consists of an evening Pageant and two days of various booths, mainly vending. FAMRACC plans to maintain an educational booth containing posters, PowerPoint Programmes and handouts to educate the public. Member organizations such as the Siwa-ban Foundation and Caye Caulker Youth Environment Club Senior Representative Mercedes Requena have invented environmental games which can simultaneously entertain and educate the public.
Strong community participation is envisioned in FAMRACC’s future, including the development of a cadre of Community Technicians drawn from the ranks of Caye Caulker’s guides, fishermen and students who will be trained to participate in marine and terrestrial surveys, and a workshop in scientific writing designed for scientific personnel from Caye Caulker to produce scientific reporting acceptable to peer-reviewed journals.