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#499891 - 01/13/15 12:30 PM Maya Wedding Re-enactment at Santa Rita Reserve
Marty Offline

On Thursday, 5th February, 2015 at 8:00 PM.

We would like to invite you and all of your friends and family to this event and to encourage you to participate further in developing and preserving our historic resources to their full potential.

Our vision is for Corozal to develop a sustainable cultural tourism product and this requires the support of the whole community. We have fantastic natural and historic resources which could provide employment and economic benefits to our district.

Please take this opportunity to attend the Maya Wedding Re-enactment and be inspired to commit fully to our development as a community.

Cover charge: Admission $10 and children 14 and younger are free!

Thank you in anticipation of your support.

Rosita May Rep & Dahlia Castillo Treasurer
For BTIA Corozal

BTIA Corozal Chapter To React Mayan Wedding

Students from Corozal Junior College are tonight preparing for the much anticipated and spectacular display of a Maya wedding at the Santa Rita Archaeological Park, now the official site for the Maya Wedding Garden. According to Sylvia Mai, Coordinator for BTIA Corozal Chapter, this will be the third year that the event is hosted at the Santa Rita Maya site.

Sylvia Mai – BTIA Corozal Chapter

“Tomorrow we will have a presentation of the enactment of the Maya wedding the way it was historically done, we have done research and we are using the Professor of the folklore ballet in Mexico because they are the ones with the knowledge of what it was like in the 15th century and he is the one that has been teaching the dances at CCC Sixth form students that have been participating for the third time. This reenactment is based on the historical wedding of the Princess Axilha to Gonzalo Guerrero that took place at Santa Rita Reserve, it is documented and they had the first three Mestizo Children of Belize.”

Victor Castillo – Reporter

“So what is the importance of having Corozalenos and general public out there for this event?”

Sylvia Mai – BTIA Corozal Chapter

“The important thing is that if the people would understand the immense opportunity that we have here because the weddings abroad is a multi-billion dollar industry and we definitely can harness some of these potential and develop this very special site for those occasion not only internationally but even locally because when they marry they want a special place to be very, very memorable and I don’t think anybody can beat that.”

The past two re-enactments have been successful. For the first Mayan Wedding a couple from Canada travelled to Belize to be wed at the Mayan site.

Victor Castillo – Reporter

“For the reenactment of these weddings you said this will be your third year within the past two years how many official wedding have been celebrated here?”

Sylvia Mai – BTIA Corozal Chapter

“After the first event we had a couple I think they were from Canada that they were researching where to get married and she researched everywhere including Belize she decided on our site because of the special historical account t of it.”

Mai took the opportunity to invite the general public to be part of this wonderful event.

Sylvia Mai – BTIA Corozal Chapter

“I don’t think they should miss this great opportunity to go and see such a beautiful presentation because we have had two before and this will be the third and it is really worth going to see.”

Victor Castillo – Reporter

“Is there a fee for children and adult to be apt of this memorable occasion?”

Sylvia Mai – BTIA Corozal Chapter

“Yes we have asked not as a fee but as a community contribution for adults BZ$10, students with ID BZ$5 and children from14 down free of charge so the whole family can go and not cost them a lot of money.”

The official ceremony will commence at 7:30 tomorrow night.


#500369 - 01/27/15 04:08 AM Re: Maya Wedding Re-enactment at Santa Rita Reserve [Re: Marty]
Carlos5 Offline
I am planning to surprise my parents with their vow renewal celebration and to accomplish that I have hired a historical location for vows. I am very excited for the day to come and arrange things in a very short period.

#500815 - 02/07/15 04:40 AM Re: Maya Wedding Re-enactment at Santa Rita Reserve [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Traditional Maya Wedding at Santa Rita

On Thursday night in Corozal, the Santa Rita Maya Monument came to life as residents gathered to witness a traditional Maya wedding. Archaeologists believe that Santa Rita is the ancient city of Chactemal (Chetumal), which was occupied from 2000 BC to 1530 AD and that it was an important center for the trade of honey, vanilla and cacao. But now, the well preserved structure is inspiring cultural tourism in the north. News Five’s Duane Moody reports from Corozal.

Duane Moody, Reporting

Once the ancient Maya city of Chactemal (Chetumal), Santa Rita stands proudly at the northern entrance of Corozal Town. It was once a trading centre and is considered the birthplace of the Mestizo culture. That was centuries ago, but now the temple serves as a beacon for the tangible Mayan culture within Belize and Mexico. But what about the nonmaterial cultural heritage of the Mayan people; such as the language and tradition? In an effort to stimulate that rich culture, on Thursday night, the re-enactment of an old-fashioned wedding took place at the altar.

Roy Rodriguez

Roy Rodriguez, Historian

“You will recall that on the winter solstice of 2012, we celebrated with a reenactment at this temple the wedding of Gonzalo Guerrero, a Spanish Conquistador and Renegade to Zazil Há, the Princess Daughter of Nachan Can’s, the Chief of the Chactemal Maya Province, five hundred years ago. Indeed, a unique historic occasion because this union and their three children made this Chactemal Corozal Ceremonial Center in northern Belize, the birthplace of the Mestizos, la cuna del Mestisaje in all of the Americas…just about twenty years after Columbus’s arrival in the Caribbean.”

The event was organized by the Corozal Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association and the National Institute of Culture and History and seeks to raise funds for the restoration of the Maya monument.  The idea is to make the Santa Rita Maya Temple a spiritual wedding garden…and is open to newly engaged couples, persons renewing their vows or for those celebrating a milestone in their lives.

Dalia Castillo

Dalia Castillo, B.T.I.A., Corozal Chapter

“I have seen it for my third time here and it is still impressive and amazing. I am sure that the word will get along and because of its uniqueness and I think, we here, are very fortunate to have such a site of this kind—the culture and the history. And one thing too that we can brag about is that we are the pioneers here in the whole country. We thought of this idea of a reenactment and of course the site calls for that. There was a wedding here so the reenactment that we did has really caused an impression to many people that have seen it. And it will be a very good development for Corozal.”

To ensure that the history of the Mayan people is not lost, students from Corozal Junior College, Guadalupe Government School and Ballet Folklorico de Quintana Roo participated in the presentation.

Rosita May

Rosita May, B.T.I.A., Corozal Branch

“It has been ignored; it has been left alone if you will. The reason why we have the passion to get this site restored is because of the history. We believe that the history of Santa Rita is so immense, is so important for the people of the north. So for us, one is the historical importance and secondly we also understand, being the tourism industry, we realize that the development of cultural tourism component is very important for the tourism industry.”

Historian, Roy Rodriguez also spoke of the Maya Chactemal Corozal Temple Project.

Roy Rodriguez

“It is the complete restoration of the temple, more Maya cultural presentations at the temple. But first and foremost is the dream, the plan to make this ceremonial center a spiritual wedding garden—not only to perform a wedding reenactment that is going to happen tonight—but to perform a real Maya wedding ceremony using Maya rituals.”

Rosita May

“We are very hopeful, very optimistic that we will succeed in this project because we are getting more and more community people involved. You noticed today, we had a very low-key position. It is the community that took over and that is where I see that we are getting this plan, to get the community involved.”

Channel 5

#500874 - 02/09/15 02:45 PM Re: Maya Wedding Re-enactment at Santa Rita Reserve [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Cell phone photos from the Maya Wedding Re-enactment

Click photos for more pictures!

On 5 February 2015, NICH, BTIA, the Corozal Town Council, CJC, and other volunteers presented a re-enactment of the wedding of Zazil Há and Gonzalo Guerrero, the first European/Native American couple on the mainland of the Americas, which took place here, probably at the Chactemal/Santa Rita site, over 500 years ago.

Here are some of the highlights from that celebration. Pardon the quality of the photos. We were only allowed to take existing-light cell phone photos, but we were grateful for that. It does give you an idea of the wonderful choreography, lighting effects. What you don't get includes the excellent music and Maya chants that added to the spiritual effect.


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