Press Release - October 20th, 1997, - Belize Tourist Board -
The Belize Tourist Board recently donated $5000 to the Friends of Ambergris Museum and Cultural Center. The monies donated were to support and promote the works of the center in its mission to preserve and celebrate the heritage of Ambergris Caye.
As Mr. Kevin Gonzalez, Director of Tourism, comments "the Belize Tourist Board supports the initiatives of the Ambergris community in developing this museum and center because it compliments the destination's tourism product and will allow for quick access of information on the country and Ambergris in particular to visitors there. More importantly, it will allow the local community an opportunity to learn more about their history and culture and in so doing, it will provide for its preservation."
The tourism industry is of vital importance to Belize's economy and the Belize Tourist Board is committed to increasing the public's awareness of this vibrant and exciting industry.
For more information on the museum, kindly contact Mrs. Lliani Lopez Paz of the Ambergris Historical Society at (026) 2298.
End of Press Release
Mrs. Paz was asked to comment on the Belize Tourism statement, said the following: "We are very encouraged by the BTB's commitment to our project. They join the small, but growing, number of Patrons and Benefactors of the Museum. However, if the project is to be the dynamic cultural center we hope for we need the positive support of more businesses involved in the tourist industry on the Caye. We feel it's time those involved in tourism put something back for the people of our community. A donation of as little as $1,000 dollars brings with it Patron status and makes a significant contribution to the completion of the Museum. In our struggle during the past few years to find funding for non-profit making cultural projects like the Museum, we have seen the dire need for recognition of the social impact caused by the tourist industry on small and fragile communities like San Pedro. The challenge to retain our unique identity in the midst of the exposure is daunting. We are strongly recommending that there be a national fund drawn from the public and private sectors for the preservation of the culture and social values of small communities currently under threat from development."
Museum to receive Maya artifacts
The San Pedro Sun contacted Mr. John Morris, Archaeological Commissioner for Belize for an update on their activities concerning the museum. He confirmed that agreement had been reached with Ambergris Caye Archaeological Society for the loan of a number of items to the museum. These items consist of almost all artifacts originating on Ambergris Caye and include unusual - and very beautiful - pieces such as the plumbate vase found at San Juan. Mr. Morris also said that the Department of Archaeology would be assisting the museum in setting up their exhibition.
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