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Aerial of the Cerros area

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Canary Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the goal of identifying cancer early through a simple blood test and then isolating it with imaging. Our collaborative research programs span multiple disciplines and institutions. Canary Foundation was founded in 2004 by Don Listwin, a successful high-technology executive who lost his mother to misdiagnosed ovarian cancer. Don discovered that although almost $10 billion is spent annually on cancer research in the United States, the vast majority is allocated to developing new cancer treatments and caring for patients. Surprisingly, little funding is available to researchers investigating new ways to detect cancer it at its earliest, curable stages. Don made a commitment to use his time, energy, expertise, enthusiasm, professional network, and his own family foundation's resources to build a non-profit organization that will succeed at the creation of an early warning system for cancer.
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Aerial of the Cerros area
Cerros is a Maya archaeological site in northern Belize that reached its apogee during the Mesoamerican Late Preclassic. At its nader, it held a population of approximately 1,089 people. The site is strategically located on a peninsula at the mouth of the New River where it empties into Chetumal Bay on the Caribbean coast. As such, the site had access to and served as an intermediary link between the coastal trade route that circumnavigated the Yucatán Peninsula and inland communities. The inhabitants of Cerros constructed an extensive canal system and utilized raised-field agriculture.

From the time of its inception in the Late Preclassic Era, around 400BC, the site of Cerros was a small village of farmers, fishermen and traders. They made use of its fertile soils and easy access to the sea, while producing and trading product amongst the other Maya in the area. Around 50 BC, as their economy grew and they began to experiment with the idea of kingship, the inhabitants of Cerros initiated a great urban renewal program, burying their homes to make way for a group of temples and plazas.

The first of the new constructions was the Structure 5C-2nd, which has become the most famous piece of architecture at the site. It marked the northernmost point of the sacred north-south axis of the site, which was complemented by a ballcourt (Str. 50) which lies at the southernmost point. As kings died, others came along and new temples were constructed in their honor. The last of the substantial constructions at the site (Str. 3A-1st) occurred around AD 100, and many of the other structures appear to have been abandoned before then. From then on, any new construction was likely limited to the outer residential area, as the population began to decline severely.

Apart from a small occupation at the end of the Late Classic period, Cerros has been abandoned since AD 400. This once glorious site was left for ruin and remained virtually unnoticed until Thomas Gann made reference to "lookout" mounds along the coast in 1900, drawing interest to the site.

Much of the site remains unexcavated. You can travel to Cerros over a gravel road from Corozal Town. There is an archaeological information officer on site.

Photograph by Eladio Alamilla
artisticized by Marty Casado
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