Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) held a telethon on Saturday at the Memorial Park in Belize City.
Their objective was to raise half a million dollars to fund the expansion of its Park Ranger Program.
The Friends for Conservation and Development is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that co-manages the Chiquibul National Park, one of the protected areas inside the Chiquibul Rain Forest. The Park Ranger Program currently employees 7 park rangers who have to cover over four hundred and thousand acres that make up the rain forest.
The telethon opened its telephone lines from 10:00 am and pledges kept coming in until the very end. Major Belize companies like Atlantic Bank and BTB donated $10,000 in checks. The telethon also received small cash monies from the average Joe, who would anonymously donate $10 or $20 dollars.
Shortly before the telethon closed its phone lines the Government of Belize pledged to donate $120,000 to fund for 5 park rangers.
At the end of the day the telethon was able to raise $327,870 which will be able to fund 13 more park rangers, apart from the 7 already employed.
Rafael Mazanero, Executive Director of FCD is quoted as saying, “We are humbled at the level of participation from the child who gave and way up to the Government of Belize. We are now actively in the process of hiring the additional park rangers and will be reporting back to the public on the progress of this.”
It takes $24,000 yearly to employ a single park ranger.