For months, a group of concerned island residents have been working diligently to have the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site protected. That dream finally materialized last week after the Government of Belize Gazetted and declared Marco Gonzalez as a Maya Archeological Reserve.
In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Director of the Institute of Archeology, Dr. Jaime Awe, explained that the declaration is historic. "It is a historic event for the country because it is the first time that a Maya Archeological Reserve has been declared on an island," stated Awe. He noted that the only other archeological reserve on an island is the ancient burial ground on St. George's Caye. Awe said that as a Maya Archeological Reserve, no one will be allowed to conduct any form of development on all that area declared as reserved.
A total of eight acres of land was declared as reserve by the Government. However, Awe said that South Beach Belize, an investment owned by Jeff Pierce, has committed to donate a total of eight acres of land to the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Development Project (MGMSDP). The eight acres of land from Pierce will be used as a Buffer Zone around the officially declared reserve.
So what's next for the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site? Awe said that the Institute of Archeology, working along with the MGMSDP, will concentrate efforts in applying for funds to develop the site. "Once we identify funds, we will work towards having the site open as an archeological attraction on the island," Awe said.
Awe ended by saying that the residents of San Pedro should be happy for such a historic accomplishment and encouraged everyone to join efforts in protecting this site. Ambergris Caye has many archeological sites but the Marco Gonzalez area is the most studied.
San Pedro Sun