Today started out like any other day of IE. We were lucky enough to wake up slightly later than usual and have an 8am breakfast. After our breakfast we had a brief lecture about our upcoming activity - coral planting! The process is pretty simple: once the coral grows to a certain point, it gets placed in an optimal spot. Typically, this is a bare rock that was once covered by coral but became exposed due to a bleaching event. A hole is then hammered into the coral in order to allow the coral to be placed. The coral is finally placed in and secured with some reef safe epoxy. All the divers took turns placing the coral into the holes and we all became coral parents! Overall, it was a great experience and helped us understand the ongoing efforts that are taking place to replenish the dwindling coral population.

After that we took a break and had lunch, which was delightfully delicious as usual. A subset of our group then visited a local bee festival, in honor of world bee day. The fair had many different stands and activities run by the community, which I was able to interact and connect with. Various people were selling local honey products and other related knickknacks. Many schoolchildren created posters describing how bees help the environment. There were also many activities like the traditional plat pole dance of the Garifuna people and a competition to see who could put on the beekeeper's suit the fastest, which I narrowly lost against Isaac. I think it was great to see the whole community come out to events like this and it shows how the people of Roatan are caring about the environment.

- Cadet Luca Sartori

Professors Stephen Kielar and Ariel Setniker contributed to this blog entry.

Check back often and follow the adventure with our blog series that gives the latest news from the International Experience summer 2024 program traveling through Morocco and Honduras prior to returning to Vallejo on May 27, 2024.

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Established in 1929, California State University Maritime Academy is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Located in Vallejo, California, the campus offers undergraduate degrees that prepare students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. Cal Maritime also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.