- Category: Eco-Tours
- Published on Wednesday, 02 November 2011 02:02
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Tropical rain forest treasure
The followings are a few Tropical Belize Treasures which used in the green building.
Mayan tree of life
We first introduce the"Mayan tree of life", when the Mayan clear rain forest to plant the corn, they cut down all the trees except leaving only the huge palm, known as the Cohune, because the Maya used Palm leaves for thatching the roof, here in this building we use it to be the ceiling insulation. Six years ago, we only used four hundred leaves to complete this more than five thousand square feet building of this natural ceiling,the insulation condition is well, it beautify the ceiling as well.
The cohune palm can grow to a hundred feet, its leaf can grow to thirty five feet long, the Maya also used the trunk of cohune for housing, the nut of the palm oil used as frying oil as lubricant, make soap, or lighting the lamp. The top center of the trunk is also edible, as delicious as bamboo shoots; because of its wide range of uses, it is the most important tree of Mayan life, so some people call it the Mayan tree of life.
The Tree Change the history of Belize
Next, what I want to introduce is “The Tree change the history of Belize”, or “The Tree make Belize an English-speaking Country.” In this green building, a total of thirty posts, nineteen of which is what we call “The Tree change the History of Belize”. We know that all Central American countries are Spanish-speaking countries, only Belize to use English as National Language. Because the British found this dyes wood in Belize in early 1600, they came to cut it and brought back to England to dye fabric clothes. The value, at that time, 50 tons of this dyed wood the price is higher than a ship freight of a year. This tree, called the Logwood, was grown in the swamp area; the wood is very heavy. It would be sinking in the water and it is too hard to nail it. The prices of dyes wood gradually decline because of the invention of artificial dyes. Eventually the cutting of logwood is not sustainable. So finally it stopped. But Belize has become a British colony at that time. Also became the only English speaking country in this area. That is why we call the logwood, “The Tree change the history of Belize” or ‘The tree Make Belize an English Speaking Country”.
Belize's national tree
The third treasure of Belize rainforest to introduce is the national tree of Belize, “The mahogany”. The logs table and chair in this restaurant are made of mahogany, the national tree of Belize, Those logs are reclaim from our rainforest. People who were falling mahogany in the past have left the roots part which is higher than the ground. We then collect another two layers before it decayed in the forest. Our workers polished it and make it the tables. Mahogany is one of the highest trees in the tropical rain forest. You can see them on the top of canopy of the tropical rain forest. You will see in the distance, some tree above the canopy some 30 feet higher than the canopy, it is mostly the mahogany. Mahogany is a kind of hardwood. Mature mahogany are too hard to be food of termite or worms. The color is a very beautiful red, compare to other hard wood. The mahogany is much in lighter weight, so it is one of the most popular material for furniture. When the British stop to search for logwood in Belize after its value decline, they start cutting the Mahogany instead of logwood, Before the independence of Belize, the harvest of Mahogany is almost the only industry in Belize. That is why it has been named as the national tree of Belize. The mahogany tree forms part of Belize's Coat of Arms. The motto "Sub Umbra Floreo" means: Under the shade of the mahogany tree, I flourish.
The precious carving wood in Belize
Let us introduce you another precious trees in Belize: The Ziricote. In the courtyard center of this building, there you see anatural carving art work, in fact, it is a root of Ziricote, setting up side down. Ziricote is one of the most dramatic members of the tree of Belize, The heartwood is dull brown with irregular dark brown and black strips, and the sapwood is creamy white to light golden tan. its texture is easily worked with machine and hand tools, make it the most popular art crafts in the gift-shops in Belize.
The treasure local people do not know
Very few Belizeans is using bamboo for buildings. Many people do not know that Belize also grow a lot of bamboo. Bamboo is being used the most in this green building. In addition to use it for bamboo window around all building, there are several compartments are also made of bamboo. All of the bamboo are harvested from the bank of the second largest river in Belize,The Sibun River. Some of them have been used for last sixteen years and still in good shape. Bamboo is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials. It only need a few years to grow back after harvesting.
The most species of plants kingdoms
There are nearly two hundred countries in the world, and there is one Belize. There are every twenty-four thousand people worldwide, there is one Belizean, There are every one hundred varieties orchids in the world, there is one growing in Belize. Orchid is one of our tropical rain forest treasure. Belize has over three hundred varieties of wild orchids, orchid garden Eco-village had a collection of more than one hundred of species. In the interior and the surrounding of this green building beside the trail, almost every tree has some different orchid. There are more than 30 thousand of varieties of wild Orchids had been identified. Orchid is the biggest families in plant kingdoms. Over ninety percent of the orchids grow on trees in Belize, and many people think that the orchids climb up to tree because of looking for sun. In fact, plenty of sunny in Belize, the orchids climb up on tree not because of sun. They are afraid that the root will be damage by the ground flood in rainy season. That is why they jump into the tree.
Plant came from outer space
Orchid is one of the major epiphytic plants in the rainforest and the number one in varieties. But not the number one in quantities, another epiphytic plants is of Orchids in number: The Bromeliad. It is the largest number of rainforest epiphytes. The rumor said that the Bromeliad came from outer space. They refused to settle down their roots on the ground, because of the pollution of the Earth's ground. Also, they do not trust the nutrients the ground provide, so they made their own nutrients. The bromeliad does not absorb nutrients from their roots; they used it only to anchor the tree. They have their secret facility to produce and to store their own nutrients. All bromeliads have a pond in the center of its plants, the pond attract different kind of insects come to them. Some insects spend their life generation after generation in this water side property and provide the nutrients for bromeliads life time long. Almost every tree in the rain forest, you will find some large or small bromeliads attached on it. There are only a few thousand of varieties of Bromeliads, Pineapple is one of Bromeliads family, it grow their root on ground and became the food of human being. Maybe it is another reason for Bromeliads not to come down off the tree.
“This palm is not a palm”
There are many sculptures of nature on the wall and on the post, do any body know what is it, who carve it, where it came from? It is the flower of some tree, the tree is called "Traveler Palm"But it is not really a kind of palm. It is a family of banana. "Traveler Palm" is its English name. From the Western bamboo window of this building you can see a row of Travel Palm just out side of the window, the lower part of It's leaf stem is empty and full of water. If you are traveling in the wild, you may be thirsty. Find this tree and just make a small hole and then plug in the straw. You can drink the juice until you are filled. Its huge flower is like the sculpture of a sailing boat. All of the decoration in this green buildings are the works of Mother Nature. And the flowers of the Traveler palm are their best representative.
The last one to introduce to you are the natural pottery. All the pottery in this building are made of Mother Nature. It will not broken if it drops on the ground. It is the dry nut of Coconut! Coconut palm is the most common seen of sub-tropical palm, the most well-known and useful palm in the world. It is also a symbol of tropical beach. The coconut had something similar to human being. The nuts of coconut take almost one year to mature, and the tree's lifespan is approximately 80 to 90 years.