Southern women display Mayan Art
The Women’s Department, as a part of the calendar of activities for Women’s Month, is hosting a two-day Maya Women’s Expo to increase exposure and generate income for the indigenous women of southern Belize. The initiative was made possible through an ongoing relationship between the department and the women’s groups and it also coincides with the Maya themed events being held throughout 2012. An array of products were on display and available for sale at the Caye Caulker Water Taxi parking lot today. News Five’s Andrea Polanco stopped in at the expo and filed this report.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
Today Ground Zero, also known as the Caye Caulker Water taxi parking lot, was turned into a mini Maya expo. Women from the two southern districts arrived in the city to showcase their craft.
Cynthia Williams, Women’s Department
“We really worked to bring several women’s group from Toledo and also Stann Creek. We only have some of the representatives here as we couldn’t bring all the women’s group. We have a couple of them to explain to us how they make their products. We wanted to ensure that they are here to speak to people if they come in to ask questions. We wanted them here to talk about what is going in in terms of their culture.”
The artisans had a variety of products on display from condiments to arts and craft which were all on sale:
“We will have Mayan pepper on sale, hybrid coffee, local coffee, casham, Mayan blouses, jewelry, slate carving, so we have quite a number of products that people can come in and purchase for themselves or for family members as gifts. As you know today is also tourist day and we want to ensure that we provide these women with income generating opportunities, so hundred percent of whatever is sold today goes back directly to the different various groups participating in our expo.”
Cynthia Williams says that the Women’s Department has been working with the different women’s groups, to perfect their skill while increasing thier exposure to new markets:
“We work with these women’s groups; we work with a total of roughly twenty two groups through-out the country, in the north, south and west as well. What we normally do is that through-out the year we have sessions with them and so it’s an ongoing relationship; so they were very open in bringing their products to Belize City. We are very happy to provide this opportunity for them, for them to showcase all the products that they have and the amount of time and process that it takes; it’s quite tedious and so we want to encourage Belizeans to come out, to promote and support this activity and at the same time contribute to the well being of the different women’s groups that are participating today.”
Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.
Day two of the Maya Women’s Expo takes place on Thursday at the NICH Parking Lot.