The Old Belize River: The Route of the Belize River Challenge
Team Occoquan-Prince William’s 4-day, 170-mile canoe race through Belize runs the length of the Belize River. Still known by some as the Old River, this important waterway travels approximately 180 miles through the middle of the country, from its beginnings at the confluence of the Mopan and Macal rivers just east of San Ignacio, all the way to the Atlantic coast. Most of the river winds through tropical rain forest, and its banks host crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas, manatees, numerous bird species, and jaguars. More than 45% of Belize’s population lives in the basin of the river, and it once served as the main line of communication from the coast to the interior during both the pre-colonial and colonial eras.
A major source of drinking water, today the Old River is threatened by sediment and toxins, mostly from extensive deforestation to the west, as well as slash and burn agricultural practices. Part of the motivation behind the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is to increase awareness of the vital importance of this waterway and the threats it faces, as well as to encourage responsible stewardship of its future.
Team Occoquan-Prince William will be participating in the Belikin La Ruta Maya 2019 Belize River Challenge March 8 through March 11. Please consider supporting our efforts as we compete and raise funds for ACTS and CASA of Prince William. You can pledge 10 cents, 20 cents, or more per mile of our 170-mile journey by clicking here and filling out the pledge form. We will collect from you after the race and your entire pledge will go to ACTS and CASA.
And please remember our wonderful sponsors!