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#493275 - 07/12/14 11:01 AM Jaime Awe Leaving NICH
Marty Offline

And another very senior person in the statutory sector of the government is moving on. Last week at the Archaeology Symposium Jaime Awe, the Director of the NICH Institute of Archeology, stunned the audience when he told them that he was resigning. His resignation takes effect July 31st. We say "stunned" because Awe has been director since the year 2000 - and has become synonymous with the institution while also becoming the face of Belizean archeology worldwide. And he says that's not going to change - not so much at least. Awe says he will remain very involved in Archaeology studies in Belize - but had tired of the work of an Administrator in the institute.

He says he resigns without prejudice to anyone, but the Director's job had gotten tedious. Awe, who is coming up on the age of 60 says he wants to spend the next 10 years doing research and teaching.

He says he will keep both hands and feet vested in the Institute of Archeology because quote, "Belize archaeology is not just a job, it's my life," end quote.

No replacement has been named - as Awe says that is a decision for the Board of Directors. We spoke to President Dianne Haylock just a few minutes ago and she told us that they "are still recovering from the shock" and don't have a clue as to who the new director will be.

Channel 7


Jaime Awe stepping down as Director of the Institute of Archaeology

Renowned Belizean archaeologist Doctor Jaime Awe is stepping down from his post as Director of the Institute of Archaeology, a distinguished title he has held for almost fifteen years.  As head of that department, Doctor Awe has been instrumental in the study of ancient cultures, becoming an authority particularly on the history of the Mayas.  While he has risen to prominence for his wealth of knowledge and contribution to Belizean history, Awe says he is returning to his beginnings in research and teaching.  News Five spoke by phone with the archaeologist earlier today from San Ignacio and he shared with us his reasons for tendering his letter of resignation to the National Institute of Culture and History.

Dr. Jaime Awe, Outgoing Director of Archaeology

Jaime Awe

“I felt that I wanted to spend the rest of my career doing what I really, really love and that is to continue doing more research and teaching.  You know, over the last few years as the Director of Archaeology a lot of my time obviously was expended on managerial responsibilities and while I tried to take on those responsibilities as best as I could and to continue championing the cause of archaeology and trying to improve our capacity to protect and preserve Belize’s archaeological heritage, I began to spend a lot less time doing field archaeology, doing research and teaching.  And so I thought, you know what, maybe it’s time to give somebody else who has new ideas et cetera, an opportunity to take on the torch and be the head of archaeology.  So it’s really for totally personal reasons.  I have had the incredible privilege to work with a bunch of very dedicated Belizeans at the Institute of Archaeology and even with the heads of NICH.  I served as director under two P.U.P. governments and now two U.D.P. governments.  My decision to resign had nothing to do with any personal issues, professional issues or political issues, none whatsoever and, you know I’ve enjoyed working thoroughly with Minister Heredia as I did with Mark Espat.  I want to assure everybody that I am not leaving Belize archaeology.  I will continue to work in archaeology in Belize.  There are a lot of things that I want to, you know, want to see, get and to do, you know, I am presently working at Cahal Pech and I will continue to look for grant money to further develop and try to conserve the site and I will always be around to support the Institute of Archaeology and to provide my expertise wherever it’s needed.”

While a decision is yet to be taken concerning Awe’s replacement, we understand that the Board of Directors is still coming to terms with his abrupt departure.

Channel 5


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#493452 - 07/17/14 07:13 PM Re: Jaime Awe Leaving NICH [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Nice thank you from Chaa Creek….

Thank you Dr Jaime Awe!

Like many people in Belize, especially those of us with an interest in Maya culture, history and archaeology, the news that Dr Jaime Awe was stepping down from his post as the Director of the National Institute of Culture and History’s Institute of Archaeology (IA) came as a surprise. No one, and we do mean no one, has done as much for archaeology in Belize as Dr Awe. Working tirelessly and passionately, Dr Awe makes Belize’s rich Maya heritage come alive for a countless number of students, writers, observers and ordinary citizens.

From the early days of Chaa Creek when it seemed like every time a hole was dug another ancient Maya artefact was unearthed, Jaime was there to ensure that any excavation was conducted professionally and sensitively, and every find was identified, catalogued and preserved.

Fortunately, Dr Awe lives nearby in Cayo, but he would still take time out from a very busy schedule to be where and when he was needed.

Click here for the rest of the articles and some fine photos!


A TRIBUTE TO DR. JAIME AWE

Our hat's off to Archaeologist Dr. Jaime Awe from the Corozal Daily and the entire community of Corozal. We had the opportunity to meet and speak with Dr. Awe on several occasions, while the restoration of Santa Rita archaeological site was ongoing last year. Jaime was the lead archaeologist in that particular restoration.

Dr. Jaime Awe: “My decision to resign was based solely on my personal desire to do the true things that I am most passionate, and that is research and teaching archaeology. Belize archaeology is not just a job, it’s my life."

The Corozal Daily was called that day to cover a story with Ms. Rosita Mai and Archaeologist Cynthia Robins to discuss a proposal to map out and unearth the archaeological site of Aventura in Corozal in the San Joaquin area. The news broke that same evening and like many people in Belize, especially those of us with an interest in Maya culture, history and archaeology, the news that Dr. was stepping down from his post as the Director of the National Institute of Culture and History’s Institute of Archaeology (IA) came as a big surprise. Our first thought, however, was thank you Dr. Awe for all the positive efforts, work, education you have instilled in our children and communities for us to better understand, recognize and respect our true Mayan heritage and identity.

No one, and we do mean no one, has done as much for archaeology in Belize as Dr. Awe. Working tirelessly and passionately, he makes Belize’s rich Maya heritage come alive for a countless number of students, writers, observers and ordinary citizens.

Dr. Jaime Awe has been all over this country including Corozal eager to find information when a new time hole is dug and another ancient Maya artefact unearthed. Dr. Awe was there to ensure that any excavation was conducted professionally and sensitively, and every find was identified, catalogued and preserved.

As the Archaeological Coordinator of the Tourism Development Project, he worked closely with those stakeholders who were interested in Maya culture to ensure that the information provided to guests was accurate and delivered within a proper cultural context. Santa Rita Archaeological Site would not be the same without his input.

He’s also conducted major excavations and conservation work at Caracol, Lamanai, Xunantunich, and Altun Ha, introduced many of us to the ceremonial cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal (the famous ATM cave), and has published numerous articles and participated in several important documentaries.

Dr. Jaime Awe has served the Belize Archeology Institute for many years and all of this while teaching and inspiring an impressive number of students, Thank you!

While we’re sad indeed to see Jaime resign, we know that it is for all the right reasons, and are confident that his contributions to his field and to Belize in general will continue well into the future.

As the man himself said while announcing his retirement, “My decision to resign was based solely on my personal desire to do the true things that I am most passionate, and that is research and teaching archaeology. Belize archaeology is not just a job, it’s my life….I thank everyone for the support and assistance offered to me during my time as Director of the IA and the additional work I have done, without you, my success would not be possible. To the Belizean community, I urge you to be more involved in the preservation and conservation of the country’s archaeological assets, for it is important to safeguard them for future generations to come.”

Again Jaime, thank you very much for all your hard work, and for explaining the mysteries of the rich, enigmatic ancient Maya culture to so many of us. You’ve made a real impact on Maya archaeology in Belize, and no doubt will continue to do so.

All the best, and we hope you’ll enjoy this next stage of your career, Dr Awe. We’re looking forward to hearing more about it!

Join the Corozal Daily and the Corozal community in bidding farewells and in saying THANK YOU to Dr. Jaime Awe!


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