Journey to Belize: False Start

This post begins the retelling of my time in Belize. I recently spent six weeks there: participating in an archaeological field school and speaking to people about jaguar conservation. Some names have been changed, and some information has been left out. This has been done out of respect for the individuals involved.

Flying into or out of the small Arcata-Eureka Airport (ACV) is always an adventure. Runway 32, Arcata-Eureka Airport (ACV) by eeetthaannn. CC BY-NC 2.0
Sunday, May 21, 2017

My trip to Belize did not begin well. I was supposed to leave on Sunday, May 21, because I had to be in Belize City on Monday. The Program for Belize (PfB) Archaeological Project, the field school I was to participate in, was scheduled around students arriving on that day. In other words, that is when they had arranged for us to be transported from the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City to the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area in Orange Walk. So there was good reason to be on time.

Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. A few hours before my departure time, I received a call from the Arcata-Eureka airport. The flight had been cancelled, and no explanation was given as to why. My options were to find a way to the San Francisco in time to make my connection – without a car or public transportation – or to reschedule for the next day. Since I did not have magical powers, it was looking like I would have to take the latter option. That meant I would be a day late in Belize.

Panicking, I contacted a friend of mine who had previously taken part in the PfB Archaeological Project. He somehow managed to get ahold of my professor in Belize, who happened to be in an area with reliable phone service (never a guarantee where we stayed). She quickly gave me a call, and assured me that if I arrived on the 22nd they would be able to get me to camp.

Comforted by this knowledge, I rang up the Arcata-Eureka airport and rescheduled for the next day. Now I had an entire night to wonder if my next flight would be cancelled too.

I will try to update this site multiple times a week before classes resume in mid August. So be sure to check back frequently! Better yet, go ahead and hit the “subscribe” button at the bottom of the page.

19 Thoughts

        1. Belize doesn’t seem to be too hard to fly into and out of, at least in my experience. The main difficulty for me is that the weather where I currently live tends to be awful for flying, and the small planes that use our runway can’t tolerate much in terms of fog and/or rain. But on this particular day the skies were clear and sunny, so I have no idea what went wrong.


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