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Stann Creek woman falls to death at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

HeadlineStann Creek woman falls to death at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Lucero Aguirre, 35, of San Juan, Stann Creek District, fell to her death while on a hike within the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.

By Charles Gladden

STANN CREEK, Thurs. July 28, 2022

On Tuesday, July 26, Lucero Selena Aguirre, a 35-year-old mother of 3 who resides in San Juan in the Stann Creek District, reportedly fell to her death after losing her footing while hiking with her family at the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Tiger Fern Trail.

According to initial reports, Aguirre; her husband, 44-year-old Estuardo Aguirre, and her sister, Guadelupe Martinez, had left the compound of Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary early in the morning—reportedly about 6:30—and had, in the company of a tour guide, commenced a trek to a waterfall in the jungle which lasted almost two hours. When they arrived at the waterfall, they reportedly began walking down a slope that was steep and slippery, and at some point while she was on that slope, she lost her balance. The slope apparently hovered over large rocks, and it was onto those rocks that Aguirre fell after tumbling over the slope’s edge.  

Her head reportedly hit the rocks when she fell, and she became unconscious. Her left arm was also fractured. Her husband immediately rushed to assist her, but she was unresponsive.

Aguirre was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital by the Southern Emergency Service, which was called to the scene as soon as the accident occurred. However, she died upon arrival at the hospital.

Delisia Martinez, vice principal of the San Juan Bosco RC School where Aguirre’s children are enrolled, told a local media outlet that Aguirre often served as a mediator between the Spanish-speaking parents of students at the school and the school administration.

“A lot of parents would go to her because she speaks very good English, so she would have that communication with [the] admin. A lot of them would go to her for advice. A lot of them would go to her if they need to get something across to us that we [were] not getting, then they would go to her. She would motivate the parents—not only motivate, but mobilize them as well,” Martinez said.

Martinez told local media that Aguirre was always involved in the school’s activities and always was willing to assist when asked to do so.

“It was [a] cultural day that we did. It was done with a twist this year, that she and the parents organized. And our infant one, even though her son isn’t in infant one, she was also a part of that cultural day that we were doing for Child Stimulation Month. So she was always involved with whichever level I needed her to be, she would’ve been involved at that level. I don’t know what will happen right now, and I don’t know how we’re going to get past this,” Martinez added.

After the tragic accident, the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) issued a statement regarding Aguirre’s death and mentioned that four trained personnel stationed at the sanctuary immediately responded after learning that someone was injured on the Tiger Fern Trail. BAS further announced the closure of the Tiger Fern Trail to its tourism partners and the public until further notice.

Aguirre was an active member of her community, an avid Christian, and supportive parent of her two sons and a daughter whom she leaves behind. Her untimely death occurred a week after her 35th birthday.

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