Belizean Fly Fishing Guides Support Fund
Seven months into the worldwide pandemic – as other Caribbean countries and destinations have opened back up to traveling anglers – the Belizean fly fishing community that is so important to our overall industry and to our sport is running out of resources and options.
Seven months into the worldwide pandemic – as other Caribbean countries and destinations have opened back up to traveling anglers – the Belizean fly fishing community that is so important to our overall industry and to our sport is running out of resources and options. While the prime minister announced that the country now has a reopening date of October 1st, we also know that this is a moving target and it will be a slow return to full time work for all of these guides. To assist the licensed, full-time guides of Belize, the Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation (YDCCF) – along with AFFTA and Angling Trade – has initiated a campaign to provide anglers, industry businesses, and those who feel a strong connection to Belize a means of lending a hand. We are about half way to reaching our goal and need some help in getting more help to the fly fishing guides in Belize!
There are approximately 100 licensed fly fishing guides in the small country of Belize, and right now, they are not guiding, fishing or lobstering. They have no means of generating income during the pandemic and most are running low on resources.
YDCCF has launched this campaign with the goal of raising $100,000 in one month. It is their hope to be able to provide a check for $1,000 to each professional, full-time guide. While this may seem like a small thing, it will certainly make a HUGE difference for a lot of people that matter to our industry, helping to carry this incredibly important group of professionals through to the time when guiding resumes and everyone can get back on the water. As an industry and as traveling anglers, we all know how important Belize is as a destination, and without a healthy and functioning infrastructure, the destination as a whole will suffer.
CAMPAIGN DETAILS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
WHAT: A campaign to financially assist the guides from throughout Belize who have been hit hard by the closure of Belize tourism as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
WHO: This relief project targets the professional, full-time fly fishing guides from throughout Belize. These are the individuals whose sole occupation is guiding anglers, and as they enter their fall season with the country of Belize still closed, they are looking at a major financial and income loss.
HOW: With a goal of raising $100,000 in one month, our plan is to distribute equal cash payments to each licensed full-time guide on the list. Funds will be equally distributed once the goal has been met or in early October (whichever comes first!)
WHY: “Why only focus on Belize?” This is a great question and a valid point. The bottom line is that while many guides in many locations can use assistance right now, the Belizean guide community is a manageable and identifiable group that we can focus on. We feel that a lot of US guides have actually been able to work and guide clients throughout the summer months. The Yucatan is now open, and in the Bahamas, many fishing guides are spending this season focusing on lobster and commercial fishing. We realize that there are others in need outside of Belize, but this is a starting point and a way to take a “manageable bite” with something that we can identify. As an industry, we can always be doing more, but this is a good start.