The Mule Park in Belize City is at the heart of the old capital - dating back to the days before the motor car.
But as times got more modern, it seems the place that used to be the hub of the city fell further behind, becoming a hangout for vagrants.
Recently though, it was refitted by the Bowen and Bowen Group. Now it's been spruced up and re-styled - as a sort of corporate raft for the Bowen group..
But it also looks classy and makes a dutiful nod to its proud past - as noted by the mayor at the opening today:..
Mayor Zenaida Moya
"Historic because this is a historic Park and while it was once used really, even though it's all paved around and all that. It was
once used just as what the name entails, to really park mules "alright" mules, can u believe it? Mules were actually here. You don't see mules around anymore, we are in the 21st century we don't see mules anymore, but yes that was the main mode of transportation....mules. We are not going to change the name because we don't have a right to change the name. That's what our forefathers called it "Mule Park" and that's what we should honor it by, by calling it of that name. Mule Park is a part of our history and it should remain a big part of our present and that is why we are all gathered here today, to keep, the history, the tradition alive, and while it may only be symbolic, it is a part of us, it's a part of our history".
Micheal H.M Bowen, CEO, Bowen & Bowen
"The Coca Cola clock has been a fixture at this location since 1969, and we about Bowen & Bowen are proud of this clock, although at times it has not always told exactly the right time. Hopefully we fixed this problem, so far so good. Earlier this year, there were discussions about removing this clock, though the coordination of City Council and with the agreement of the Mayor; Bowen & Bowen was given the opportunity to not only to protect the clock but to restore Mule Park. As you can read on the plaque. Mule Park is been a
central location of Belize City for when drayage of the day was the mule and cart. At that time it was a place where the mules can park under the trees for rest and the draymen would come and have conversation, incorporating Mule Park as an element of their daily lives. This central significance was exemplified when Karl Heusner recommended the placement of three cannons which represented proud moments of our history be placed at this location. Mule Park stands once again as a proud monument in the central Belize City. But in my opinion we are not here to inaugurate Mule Park, Mule Park has always been here, why I believe we are here today, is to honor the past and to look to the future. Looking at the restore Mule Park I see things we can do together when we focus on what can be done".