By Dan and Eileen Jamison
On February 4, 1998 the Ambergris Museum and Cultural Center officially opened its doors to the public. The independently funded, non-profit museum is located at Island Plaza on Barrier Reef Drive, San Pedro Town and is open Monday-Saturday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Through the combined efforts of many people, the islands' history has come to life. Curator Peter Laws extends an invitation to come in and see the history of Ambergris Caye from early Mayan culture pieces to an interactive touch screen display of Belize.
Upon entering the air-conditioned facility, discover a "message in a bottle" with messages provided by local students. Stepping in to the Mayan section, you will discover, among other things, a cylinder vase dated middle classic period (400-650 A.D.) found in a grave at Chac Balam. A recent addition are the many colorful Mayan weavings. Also shown here are the many ways the Mayans altered their appearance through body adornments and sculpting.
Traveling through the next doorway you'll discover the Colonial period. Here you will find a list of early settlers to San Pedro and how the town got its name along with many more interesting items. A more recent item on loan is a saxophone that was used in the "Banda de San Pedro" that won the national competition in Loyola Park, Belize City in 1927. Articles lent to the museum are courtesy of Belize Department of Archaeology and the people of Ambergris Caye. Pieces are not purchased, but can be donated or lent.
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