The Ambassadors to the Past Program, 2013
Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
The Ambassadors to the Past Program is a collaborative educational endeavour between the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), USA and Galen University, Belize. It began in 2012 after Dr. Scott Simmons, Department of Anthropology at UNCW, was awarded a grant from UNCW’s Office of International Programs, Office of Institutional Research and the UNCW Graduate School. The grant extends to the end of summer 2014, and is aimed at helping Belizean students of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye make connections to their country’s ancient Maya heritage.
The program entails Belizean archaeology students from Galen University working with students in San Pedro’s classrooms to understand and appreciate the achievements of the ancient Maya and develop a sense of pride about this part of their cultural heritage. These students range in age from approximately nine years old (Standard 3) to their early 20s (junior college).
The ancient Maya site of Marco Gonzalez, where Dr. Simmons currently conducts his research, receives particular attention as it is located roughly six miles south of San Pedro and thus is the ‘local site’ for San Pedranos. This year Dr. Simmons and two Galen University students, Ismael Teul and Kenny Chan, held presentations and played educational games with over 300 students in San Pedro’s schools, including Isla Bonita School, Holy Cross School, New Horizons School, ACES, SPRC School, and SP Junior College. Students learned about the Marco Gonzalez site, its importance as part of their cultural heritage and the history of Ambergris Caye, as well as site preservation and conservation. This educational program will continue in 2014.
Article courtesy of Dr. Scott Simmons
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