We learned of this sanctuary from one of the major travel guide books. It is located near Burrell Boom. The premise is that a group of local farmers, with intentions of saving the howler monkey's (the locals call them baboons) habitat, have signed a pledge to leave portions of their property un-touched, thereby creating a "local sanctuary" for the baboons. We stopped in and paid our nominal entrance fee ($30 Belize) and off we went walking with our Guide, Geraldine. We crossed the street we drove in on, crossed a church lawn, another road, and then into jungle. We walked a while and she left us for a few moments presumably looking for monkeys. She returned with a handful of some type of leaf the monkeys love. We walked on - sometimes jumping over a little stream, over (already) downed barbed wire fence, across another road, and she walked ahead again. She called to us, having found some monkeys and we started toward her. At the same time we noticed a man nearing her and animated voices. The closer we got the more agitated the conversation became. He was accusing her of "trespassing" and complaining about "no give back to the community" and she continued to argue her point with him. As we joined them he directed his remarks to us and told us WE were trespassing. Several f-bombs were dropped. We didn't respond much other than to ask just where his property was. He didn't respond. We focused on the monkeys at that point and he started to return to ??? but not without threatening to shove my husband's camera up his...... We left and began walking back toward the visitor center. Geraldine was obviously shaken and explained that he was a caretaker, more or less, of a property of an ailing elderly woman who had indeed signed the pledge. But she also made remarks like "why they come after me?" "why is it always me?" leading one to believe this wasn't the first encounter. Our question is: Is this truly a "sanctuary" created by caring locals? Or is this just a half-baked scheme to compete for all the Belize Tourist dollars being spent on the countless "sanctuaries" across Belize? And though we did get up close and personal with some howler monkeys - quite the experience! - we have to wonder about the next time this guy gets agitated and accosts the guide and the visitors. Will he bring something other than his nasty mouth next time?
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