Completion of Altun Ha Craft Market in Rockstone Pond

Belmopan - 19 July, 2006
The Ministry of National Development, Investment and Culture has announced the completion of the Craft Market at the Altun Ha Mayan temple site in Rockstone Pond Village in the Belize District.

Technical handing over of the Craft Market will take place tomorrow Thursday, July 20th at 10:00 am at the Altun Ha site and inauguration ceremonies will be arranged for a later date.

The cost of the works amounted to $173,187 and was jointly financed by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and a grant of $43,443.00 from the Government of Belize under the Basic Needs Trust Fund Fifth Program. The first phase of the project was implemented by NICH and the second phase which completed the structure was implemented by the Basic Needs Trust Fund on behalf of the Government of Belize. The work was executed by the Institute of Archaeology.

The 180ft by 10 ft building is designed to blend in with the other structures at the site. It is constructed with concrete columns and beams, treated pine walls and metal roof. Each of the 18 stalls was outfitted with display shelves and electrical fixtures. Handrails were provided for the stalls that are above ground level to aid shoppers in accessing these booths. Windows were placed at the top of the back wall to provide proper ventilation.

The building provides the vendors with protection from the weather and allows them to secure their goods at the end of the day. This building also improves the scenery at one of the most popular archaeological site in the country by replacing the tents and other improvised stalls that the residents in the area were using to sell their crafts to visitors.

The direct beneficiaries of this project are the 18 vendors. However, many craft persons in the communities along the Old Northern Highway are producing the crafts for this market and will benefit indirectly.