Tuesday, July 23, 2024

BTIA Corozal Chapter holds its Annual Maya Reenactment Wedding Event


Press Release – Corozal Town – January 24, 2024. The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) Corozal Chapter has over the past years placed greater focus on developing the Corozal District as a viable tourism destination. One of the main elements that the organization believes will aid in identifying the district from others is its cultural diversity as a pillar to its sustainable tourism development.
The annual Maya Reenactment Wedding, which is held at the Santa Rita Archaeological Site, features the illumination of the Mayan Temple, accompanied by synchronized dancing which helps to depict the various stages of the cultural history which formed what is known today in the northern region as the Mestizo Culture. According to one of many interpretations of history, in the year 1511, during the voyage of Spanish conquistador, Gonzalo Guerrero to the new world, his ship suffered a wreckage on the coastline of the then known Chactemal region. Chactemal in translation of the Maya language means the place where red trees grow. This was an area which in the Preclassic Maya Period encompassed the Corozal District all the way up to present day Calderitas in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
As written in diverse views of history, Gonzalo Guerrero was faced with great challenges as there was an ongoing war between the Maya and the Spanish conquistadores. Nonetheless, after the wreckage and being captured by the Maya, Guerrero quickly developed an appreciation for the Maya people and slowly aligned his loyalty to their cause. He fought for the Maya in the war and slowly gained the respect of the then Maya ruler Nachankan. While there are many versions of history, for this event, we wish to focus not on the tragedy that was imposed on the indigenous by the colonizers, but at the product that today the Mestizo represent a proud mix of ALL of our ancestry. We must not forget that the MAYA lineage is paramount to the Mestizo identity and the colonizers are not excused in any way from their impact on the world. In fact, the colonizers will always have the atrocious past of invasion and plunder attached to their lineage.
As will be depicted at the Maya Reenactment Wedding on February 24th, the marriage between the Mayan Princess of Zazhil Ha and Gonzalo Guerrero and the birth of their three children is just one of the many versions of past events we have chosen, to commemorate the birth and recognition of the lineage of the Maya and Mestizo Culture. It is not our intention to uplift the damage that colonizers caused to the identity of many, but to take from something horrible and still see the goodness that can come from tragedy.
We cannot erase the past and we are not here to argue against other versions. Our event is intended to highlight and appreciate the beauty, power, and grace of the Maya Mestizo People – a people whose complex history taught them to be STRONG. The Maya Reenactment Wedding is a signature event for BTIA Corozal Chapter and one which has been developed in partnership with the Corozal Town Council, NICH and the BTB. It aims to highlight the local culture in Corozal further showcasing the touristic attributes the district has to offer. The event will be celebrated on February 24th, 2024.

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