American Crocodile Education Sanctuary

PO Box 9, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize, Central America

+501-623-7920  |  +501-637-8769

©2019 American Crocodile Education Sanctuary. All rights reserved. Website created by

ACES is a Non-Profit Organization founded by Wildlife Behaviorist & Croc Wrangler, Vince Rose, & Research Biologist, Cherie Chenot-Rose ~ Belize


  • chrissummers06

Large Scale Community Cleanup

Several months ago The Belize Tourism Industry Association San Pedro Chapter asked ACES and other organizations to partner with them to host the largest garbage cleanup this island has ever seen.

The San Pedrito "Highway" was built right through protected Red Mangrove seemingly to accommodate the ever increasing amount of heavy trucks that clog the once quiet streets of San Pedro.

This new "highway", a road that is barely a few years old, now threatens the surrounding ecosystem and all waters connected to it. Since its construction, the mangrove and critical wetland on either side of the road have been used as a dumping ground by everyone from private contractors, garbage collectors, town council vehicles, and everyday citizens ridding themselves of their household waste.

In such a short space of time, dumping garbage of all sorts has become the norm, and it is done unashamedly in broad daylight for all the world to see.

The BTIA decided enough was enough. As well as the obvious health implications of an unimaginable amount of garbage leeching into water so close to the reef, the garbage was an eyesore and was the second thing seen by visitors to the island as the road runs parallel to the runway.

The first welcoming sight from the planes approach to San Pedro. A road made of garbage built through wetlands in DFC neighborhood.

The goal was to hit 4 major problem areas on the island, starting on the highway, moving to DFC's garbage road (pictured above, then onto Boca Del Rio and San Mateo.

A plan of attack was formed, funds raised, back hoes, trailers, trucks, drivers, and food were donated. Schedules were made, volunteers organized, and workers were hired using the funds raised. On the morning of Friday the 9th we set to it bright and early on the San Pedrito Highway.

It started out easy enough. The large items were pulled from the mud and mangrove and soon trailers full of fridges, freezers, ovens, TV's, butane tanks, golf cart chassis and furniture were being hauled to the waste transfer site by and endless flow of vehicles.

The numerous gas tanks were piled seperately

Unfortunately, after day one it became apparent we weren't moving onto the other sites anytime soon. The more garbage we pulled out, the more we found buried underneath. The garbage trucks and trailers hauling the trash couldn't keep up with the amount being pulled out and large piles sat by the road waiting collection.

The pile started out comparitively small....

The garbage pile growing more with each passing hour.

Recyclable materials were seperated.

Anything that could be salvaged was set aside.

The piles keeps growing.

As the end of day 4 approached, the sense of accomplishment felt from the literal thousands of pounds of trash removed out of the ecosystem, was sadly overshadowed by the fact that the San Pedrito Highway was not finished, and will likely never be finished. With all that'd we'd done, there was still so much to do one this one road. None of the other areas were touched, but people and funds are exhausted, and one can't help but wonder, with all the effort put in, with all the people who showed up to volunteer their time, if we couldn't get it cleaned now, will it ever be cleaned?

Our cart didn't stop running for 4 days straight hauling trailers of garbage.

Part of the pile at the transfer station.

Chrstina is pretty happy at how much has been removed so far.

As negative as this post may be, there are a lot of positives here. The community came together for the good of the island and her health. People from all walks of life broke their backs pulling and sorting garbage under the blazing Caribbean sun. Those who couldn't help physically made donations in the form of cash, food, water, garbage bags and vehicles. We may not have completed what we set out to. Maybe we aimed too high in too short a time frame underestimating the extent of the problem. But 150 volunteers and 30 paid workers accomplished a great deal over this long weekend. There is thousands of pounds of garbage that is no longer contaminating the ecosystem, damaging the reef and killing wildlife.

Thank you to the BTIA, the volunteers, to the paid workers, the sponsors, the donors of food, water, supplies, vehicles, and money for these items. Thank you to the transfer station for waiving fees for the 4 day event.

On our end, a special thanks goes to Fondation Brigette Bardot whose generous grant paid for our new ACES utility vehicle that ran all day, every day hauling truck beds and trailers full of garbage from our precious wetland habitats.

What can we do from here now this scheduled community clean up is over?

Be vigilant. If you see someone dumping, call them out, take photographs and report them. Let the world know they think their right to dump where they please to save a few minutes and dollars is more important than children growing up in a healthy environment. If you have your garbage collected and removed, request the transfer station receipts so you know your trash is going where it should. If you see a children littering, speak to them, reach them on a personal level and try to teach them the importance of a trash-free environment.

This has to be a community effort for the sake of the community.

We cannot fail at this, for we will be failing ourselves and future generations to come.

I'm so proud of my better half who worked her arse off in the mud non stop.

Our hardworking crew at the end of the final day.


Your tax deductible donation helps to fund our country-wide crocodile rescue program and supplies food, vitamins, medical care, and maintenance of natural habitats for crocs undergoing rehabilitation, as well as for injured and problematic crocodiles living in the sanctuary.



Click on a title below to read the complete article about ACES conservation efforts.


"Fondation Brigitte Bardot Donates Vehicle for Conservation" - The San Pedro Sun

"Slaughtered Jaguars Prompt GOB to act, Crocodile Mutilations on Island Go Ignored" - The San Pedro Sun

"School Children Learn about Crocodiles with ACES" - The San Pedro Sun

"ACES Relocated Large Problematic Crocodile to Mainland Sanctuary" - The San Pedro Sun

"Freshwater Crocodile found on Ambergris Caye" - The San Pedro Sun

"How Did Freshwater Crocodile End Up in San Pedro? - Ambergris Today

"ACES - Protecting the Threatened American Crocodile through Education" - My Beautiful Belize

C is for Crocodile….it’s good enough for Me! A fun and educational tour with ACES - First World Refugee

"Carnival, Filling my Burrito Bunker & The Family Visit! My Life On Ambergris Caye" - San Pedro Scoop

ACES - American Crocodile Education Sanctuary - She Trips Alone

Lagoon Clean-Up Mobilizes San Pedro Residents... Everyone Can Help - San Pedro Scoop

"San Pedro Lagoon Clean Up" - My Beautiful Belize
"Over 5000 lbs of Trash Removed from Lagoon Clean-Up" - The San Pedro Sun

"Family fun at Carnival Fundraiser for Raise Me Up and ACES" - The San Pedro Sun

"Islanders Celebrate World Earth Day 2018" - The San Pedro Sun

"Reef Fair 2018 Promotes Education and Conservation of the Reef and Marine Ecosystem" - The San Pedro Sun

"2nd Annual Raise Me Up Masquerade Party a success!" - The San Pedro Sun

"US student volunteers help clean up Ambergris Caye" - The San Pedro Sun

"ACES educates 2018 Camp Starfish attendees" - The San Pedro Sun

"“We are more alike than different” – Camp Starfish is back!" - The San Pedro Sun

"Christina Was Worried She Would Attract Too Much Attention Passing Through Town" - Ambergris Today

"Crocodile Rescue and Release in Ambergris Caye with ACES - LeAw in Belize" - Leave Everything And Wander

"Learning more about crocodile with ACES - Night Tour and Sanctuary in Belize - LeAw in Belize"  - Leave Everything And Wander

"ACES rescues Crocodile Thomas on Ambergris Caye" - The San Pedro Sun

"ACES Rescue Thomas the Croc" - Channel 5 News

"Letter to the Editor: This has to be a community effort" - The San Pedro Sun

‘Belize Navidad!’- Ramon’s Village wins 2018 San Pedro Holiday Boat Parade - The San Pedro Sun

"More Christmas Lights Than Ever At Holiday Boat Parade" - Ambergris Today
"It’s CHRISTMAS 2018! Our Beautiful San Pedro Lighted Boat Parade" - San Pedro Scoop

"Thousands of pounds garbage removed during SP BTIA clean-up in San Pedro Town" - The San Pedro Sun

2010 & 2011

ACES Receives Donation from ERAS 

ACES Earns Verification from GFAS 

ACES Earns verification from Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries 

Problematic Croc Preys on Pets 

Crocs have a New Home 

Crocodile Sanctuary on Mission to Save 30 Crocs 

Conservation Organization in Uproar over Crocodile Capture 

Crocodile Dundees Get a Grant to Save Crocs 

The Summerlee Foundation Donates to ACES Forum "The Summerlee Foundation Donates to ACES" 

Wranglers for Conservation - Saving Crocodiles in Belize

Caribbean Shrimp Farm & ACES Join in Conservation 

Crocodiles and Shrimp 

ACES Breaks Ground for New Croc Refuge on AC 

Croc Takes a Swim at Las Terrazas Pool 

David Tuts Recovering from Saturday's Croc Attack

Man Beats Back Man-Eating Croc 

Man Recovering From Croc Attack 

Croc Attack Update

Wild 13-foot Croc Attacks David Tuts During Late Night Swim

Croc Attack Reported in San Pedro 

Croc Chronicles - The Rescue of "Jaws," and Crocs George & Xanadu Home at Last 

Crocodile Refuge Proposal in Ambergris Caye

Snorkel Team During the Day, Crocodile Researchers at Night 

"My Bohemian Life" Experiences ACES

Legend's Burger House Raises $4000BZD for ACES's Crocodile Conservation 

ACES at Isla Bonita 

Legend's Burger House Hosts Fundraiser for American Crocodiles 

The World Wildlife Fund Films ACES 

The Island Academy Hosts ACES and a Croc 

Crocodile Gets Library Card 

Croc Chronicles #4 

ACES Soars with LightHawk 

CrocLog Podcast - Episode 4

Croc Chronicles #3 - French Film Crew Captures ACES

ACES Croc Chronicles #2 

First Ever Crocodile Rescue on Caye Caulker 

Photographer Documents ACES

Professional Wildlife Photographer Shoots with ACES

Crocodile Confiscated 

ACES Crocodile Chronicles 

Moving a Problem Croc in San Pedro on a Wet Night 

ACES Choco-Croc Pops by Cotton Tree Chocolate

Reward Offered for Missing Children

Belize Forest Department Press Release Supports ACES

ACES Hosts First Ever Fund Raising Event in Punta Gorda 

Editorial - Condoning Illegal Croc Feeding Sends the Wrong Message 

Two Problematic Crocs Removed From WASA Lagoon

Problem Croc Removed From Local Lake 

Ripley the Morelet's Crocodile Euthanized - Ambergris Daily 

Ripley the Morelet's Crocodile Euthanized - San Pedro Sun 

Belize Wildlife Officer Comments on  Rescued Corozal Croc 

Ripley's Last Chance 

Animal SOS - Rouge Male, Bad Boy George, Crocodile Seeks New Home 

Tortured and Left for Dead - ACES Rescues Corozal Croc

ACES assists Dr. Rainwater with Hickatee Turtle Survey for the Turtle Survival Alliance 

Illegal Feeding, Garbage & Development Make for Problem Crocs 

Problem Croc Removed from San Pedro 

ACES to the Rescue