Ranger Conversation: Rosendo Coy

Rosendo Coy

Rosendo Coy

Rosendo Coy is simultaneously one of the newest and most experienced rangers on our staff. This is because of the nine years he worked with Belize Lodge Excursions, a private lodge located near the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve. When he came to Ya’axche, Mr. Coy brought a wide range of skills with him. In addition to serving many years as a forest ranger, he is a special constable (can make arrests in lieu of a police officer being present), a licensed tour guide, a boat captain and is certified in CPR. His favorite part of working with Ya’axche are the patrol routes that he does in Bladen Nature Reserve, and he is particularly fond of the transect monitoring he does on those routes.

Having someone with so much experience is a great asset for Ya’axche, but Mr. Coy wasn’t always so knowledgeable. Early on in his tenure with his former employer he went on patrol with some other rangers down the Golden Stream in kayaks. This was his first time on a kayak, and it would prove to be a memorable one! He had only a vague idea how to balance the watercraft and spilled out of it nearly as quickly as he got in. That earned a chuckle from his coworkers. He found a pail and starting bailing out the water in his boat, eventually emptying enough so it would float again. But after once again climbing in and setting his sites downstream, the kayak flipped a second time. More scooping, more laughter. But the third time was the charm and Mr. Coy was finally able to bring his kayak under control and continue the patrol downstream. Until they came to the waterfall.

Now the waterfall only fell about three feet since this was the height of the dry season, but to get to it meant navigating a winding course of rocks and currents. “No problem,” said Mr. Coy, “whatever happens, I’ll be fine.” And he set off. Navigating like a seasoned pro, he twisted and turned with the river and came up to the top of the waterfall, ready to make the plunge. But a barely-submerged rock had other plans. Coming around the final turn, the bow of the kayak lodged on top of the rock. The stern, however, was still free and rode the rushing water downstream, right over the waterfall. Thus, our novice ranger’s first experience with that particular waterfall was toppling head over heels when his kayak simply rolled and dropped him over its side, straight down the slope of water. His pack came loose and rapidly rushed downstream. Mr. Coy swam and tracked it down. The kayak filled its belly with river water for the third time in the morning and had to be bailed out once again …

Some time later, a much experienced Ranger Coy was taking a tour group down the very same river. He accompanied two children as their parents paddled some distance ahead of them. All of a sudden the three of them heard laughing and whooping from up ahead – right around where that waterfall was located. “I bet you’re parents went over the falls,” he said to the kids with a smile. Sure enough, as they approached they saw two water-logged parents a half-full kayak over to a bank. This time our ranger had no trouble expertly maneuvering the falls as he glided downstream to help his clients. And so, the novice becomes the master.

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