“It’s like déjà vu, all over again” -Yogi Berra
A few years ago we covered a story about Maya artefacts from Belize going on a road show across the US of A, drawing and wowing large audiences wherever they went. Which doesn’t surprise because – call us biased – it’s a beautiful collection of striking objects from one of the most fascinating civilisations humankind has ever produced.
And the other day we were delightfully interested to see that now, some four years later, US media is once again singing the praises of the “Maya: Hidden World Revealed” exhibit, featuring over 230 Maya archaeological artefacts displayed over some 10,000- square feet in select museums, science centres and other venues.
This is great news for those of us who want to see Belize recognised for more than just:
- vast, pristine swaths of rainforest,
- stunning Caribbean beaches and cayes sheltered inside the second largest barrier reef in the world,
- a wealth of other amazingly diverse geological features, as well as a
- colourful multiculturalism fostering
- a vibrant arts and music scene,
- an increasingly sophisticated foodie culture attracting global gourmands and some of the world’s best chefs, who also appreciate
- a national commitment towards sustainable tourism and responsible travel,
Phew – OK, we digress…
The point is that, in addition to all those features other countries would be envious of, we Mayaphiles* want to spread the word about Belize’s place in the heart of the ancient Maya empire. Because the more people know about Belize’s Maya heritage, and how awesome it is, the more interested they will become, which translates to more cultural tourism, more money towards protecting the archaeological sites, training guides, further exploration and many other good things to support the continued research, exploration and exposition of Maya culture, past and present.
Present is also a big consideration. Some 12% of Belize’s population consists of indigenous Maya, and we’d like to see them get a bigger share of the tourism pie. Awareness is a big part of that happening.
So when we saw the exhibition appearing in US and Belizean media, we sat up, took notice, and thought we’d repost our earlier story.
And then we saw that local Belizean media beat us to the punch with Belize Channel 7 reporting on, and posting a piece February 13, 2018, “Maya on the Move Again” recalling that “We visited Boston almost three years ago to see the care, the precision and studious attention to detail which go into handling and transporting these antiquities. Here’s a repeat of that story…”
At the risk of being called lazy, we see no reason to reinvent the wheel (a device the enigmatic Maya fully understood, but didn’t use for transport), so here are links to Chaa Creek and Channel 7’s stories, with a bonus link to the Milwaukee Public Museum, who is currently hosting the exhibit until May 28, 2018 before moving onto Salt Lake City and other lucky venues:
Check out the Milwaukee presentation and the little video they produced.
We hope you find them interesting, and will close by encouraging readers to learn more about the magnificent Maya civilisation, and then take the time to visit beautifully preserved ancient cities like Caracol and Tikal, ceremonial sites like Xunantunich, and the many other archaeological sites found all over Belize. We bet you’ll catch our passion…
Chaa Creek, with licenced guides, some 70 ancient Maya sites and the lovely little temple of Tunchilen within the 400-acre nature reserve surrounding the jungle lodge, and a menu of tours and cultural excursions, is one of the best places on the planet to learn about Maya culture with hands-on immersion. With all-inclusive Belize vacation packages focused on culture, as well as interesting tours and day trips, and a willingness to tailor vacations for families, couples, groups and individuals wishing to discover more about one of the world’s most fascinating, advanced civilisations, you can combine a casually luxurious vacation with an exciting, richly rewarding learning adventure.
You’ll never look at a tamale the same way again, and may even return home speaking a few words of Mayan.
(* Mayaphile… OK, maybe we made the word up, but if you can have Francophiles, fashionphiles, bibliophiles etc, why not Mayaphiles?)