The Lodge at Chaa Creek, which is hosting Belize’s 2012 Maya Winter Solstice Celebrations in the heartland of the Maya, has released the first line-up of speakers for the series of workshops and lectures that will be part of the weeklong activities centred on December 21 2012.
“We are pleased to be able to offer a vibrant and educational round of lectures, seminars and hands-on workshops as part of the Maya 2012 Winter Solstice observances, and have just confirmed some very exciting speakers,” Lucy Fleming, Chaa Creek’s owner and general manager said today.
Ms Fleming said that while the entire list of speakers had yet to be finalised, the popular Belizean eco resort has secured some of the world’s leading experts in Maya culture, history, healing, archaeology and cosmology.
“We’ve just confirmed that noted Belizean author David Ruiz will be giving a talk on Maya myths, which I’m personally looking forward to. Combined with lectures by Rosita Arvigo, Joe Awe and several other expert speakers we’re more confident than ever that the Chaa Creek Maya Winter Solstice ceremonies will be the world’s most definitive Maya 2012 experience,” she said.
David Ruiz is a Belizean educator and the author of four books – Jonah Matapalo, Cuin seif Got, The Visit and Old Benque. Mr Ruiz was born near Guatemala in 1966 in the border town of Benque Viejo del Carmen and writes in English and Spanish, recording traditional Maya legends and myths as well as dealing with more contemporary themes such as the experience of growing up in multicultural Belize. Rosita Arvigo is the author of Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer and several other books on Maya natural healing, and anthropologist Joe Awe is Chaa Creek’s resident Mayanist at their Belize Natural History Centre.
“In addition to hosting an authentic and exuberant celebration of the 2012 Winter Solstice and the completion 13th Bak’tun of the Maya Long Count, we always wanted to use the event to promote a better understanding of Maya culture while debunking many of the myths surrounding this amazing civilisation. This being Chaa Creek, we want to ensure that everyone has a great time, and, while they’re at it, have the opportunity to get a deeper understanding of Maya culture and history.
“For example, our Maya Cultural Village, which is being constructed for the 2012 Winter Solstice, is far more than just a tourist attraction. It will be a living exposition of Maya art, crafts, cooking, organic farming techniques, medicinal plants and healing and much more. Our guests can spend as much or as little time as they want to become immersed in all things Maya, and I’m sure they’ll go away richer for the experience,” Ms Fleming said.
Chaa Creek is Belize’s first true eco resort, having made the transition from small family farm to opening their first guest accommodation in 1981, just as Belize was achieving independence. Since then Chaa Creek has grown into a 365 acre private rainforest nature reserve with a natural History Centre, Maya Medicinal Plant Trail and Organic farm, a butterfly breeding farm, hilltop spa, conference centre, pool, a highly regarded restaurant and other amenities.
Ms Fleming said the 2012 Maya Winter Solstice will be the most ambitious celebration Chaa Creek has ever held, and that she’ll be announcing more speakers in the weeks to come. “We’re welcoming people from around the world to take part in something extraordinary,” she said.