Summer break in Belize

The students will have a chance to visit the Xunantunich Ruins at San Ignacio.

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The students will have a chance to visit the Xunantunich Ruins at San Ignacio.

Frances Wu, Asst. News Editor

Summer is an ideal time for students and teachers to spice up their vacations by traveling to new countries and learning about different cultures. For Diamond Bar High School math teacher Shari De Cambra, this means an eight-day summer trip to Belize with nine students starting July 21.

“I’ve always wanted to go somewhere in Central America and when [De Cambra] said she was going, I knew I had to go to experience the different culture,” sophomore MckennaAcciani, one of the nine students, said.

A top tourist destination in Central America, Belize is full of interesting sites, such as the Great Blue Hole and the Thousand Foot Falls. The group will be going to places such as Belize City, the Lamanai Ruins, Ambergris Caye, and Belize Great Barrier Reef. They will also have a chance to learn more about Maya civilization and will visit the Xunantunich Ruins at San Ignacio. Xunantunich means “stone woman” in the Mayan language and is named for the great stone pyramid known as “El Castillo.”

Educational Tours, the tour company that will lead the group, will provide a full time tour director as well as paid admission to several sites, including the Howler Monkey Sanctuary, the Chaa Creek Natural History Center, and the Old Sugar Mill. Before settling on the company for this year’s excursion, De Cambra spent a considerable amount of time looking through different educational tour groups. She wanted to make sure that all of the students would be able to enjoy the vacation with no concerns or worries.

“I like to travel, and I’d like to share that experience with my students … For years, I’ve always wanted to take students abroad,” De Cambra said.

Although in previous years the trip was well publicized to other students, this year only De Cambra’s former and current students who knew about her annual summer trips were able to sign up due to her senior class adviser duties.

“I love to travel to places and I’ve never been to Belize and I thought it would be fun to go with friends from school,” Jillian Aluning, another one of the nine students said.

Through the summer trip, the math instructor aims to provide students with an exciting and educational experience. The Brahmas will also be on the tour with students from Northern California. Other DBHS teachers have taken students on trips as well in the past, including Emily Clark and Silvia Bento-Smith.

De Cambra started the annual summer trips two years ago, when she went to Italy, and continued it when she traveled to Costa Rica in 2013.

“I’m going to continue this as long as I don’t have any problems with it,” De Cambra commented. The teacher aspires to visit other countries in future years.