Casa del Caballo Blanco Eco-Lodge recently opened in Belize. The environmentally friendly lodge shares 23 acres with the Casa Avian Support Alliance (CASA).
Owners of the lodge and founders and custodians of the non-profit Casa Avian Support Alliance are Jodi and Vance Benté. Guests at Casa del Caballo Blanco Eco-Lodge can combine their vacations with voluntourism with CASA.
Belize has more than 530 species of migratory and resident birds.
Rainforest habitat destruction, global warming and illegal wildlife poaching and capture will put them at risk within the next century. "The stage will be set for the inevitable loss of 12 per cent of the 704 bird species in the Amazon Basin and 15 per cent of the plant species in South and Central America," says E.O. Wilson, regarding research by wildlife biologists on the destruction of rain forests in the Americas.
Casa Avian Support Alliance shelters birds that were recently freed from captivity. It also treats injured and sick birds. After the birds have recovered, they are rehabilitated and released back into their natural habitat.
The CASA project is endorsed by the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Tourism Program, Belize Audubon Society, Friends for Conservation and Development and Birds Without Borders.
These organizations, the Forest Department, Aves Sin Fronteras and bird experts cooperate and provide advice to the CASA facility. It also works with the Belize government to protect critical avian habitat.
Casa del Caballo Blanco Eco-Lodge has a hacienda-style Main House with high, beamed ceilings, tile floors, hand-made furniture and décor hand-crafted by local artists.
Located on a hill above the Mopan River Valley, the lodge offers views of the Mer de Verde, the Green Ocean. Six thatched-roof, fully screened cabanas contain en-suite bathrooms, refrigerators, hand-made furniture and fabrics with Mayan designs.
An airy, thatch-roofed restaurant serves Mayan food, cooked according to centuries-old Quiché, Mopan and Yucatecan traditions. Creole foods combine Spanish and Caribbean flavors. Fresh produce from the eco-lodge gardens and local markets is prepared by local cooks from Belize.
Vacation packages and education programs are available year-round. A donation from each tour package helps Casa Avian Support Alliance buy medical supplies and other necessities for the facility.
Casa del Caballo Blanco Eco-Lodge: www.casacaballoblanco.com