First ever Village Expo a huge Success
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) in partnership with the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) hosted its first ever Village Arts and Craft Expo this year. The Expo took place at the Princess Hotel & Casino’s King’s Room on Saturday, May 12th between the hours of 9am and 4pm. The organizers originally catered to 80 booths but once the Expo began, they quickly had to add additional booths. There were a total of 97 booths featuring local products for the general public to experience and sample. Products showcased included local jewelry (earring, chains, bracelets), slate carvings, paintings, embroidery, wood work (bowls, picture frames, carvings, etc), clay pottery, sewn and crochet dresses, skirts, blouses and pillows, woven baskets, locally made cultural sweets, pepper sauces, home made soy sauce, locally made sauces, carpentry (chairs, tables etc), black cake coloring which is also used to give chicken its golden color in stew or baked, recycled material purses and arts to name a few.
Speaking of the event, Organizer Clive Myers, Destination Planning and Development Coordinator, for the BTB stated, “The Village Arts and Craft Expo was an initiative that branched out of the Destination Planning’s Umbrella project – Village Outreach. The BTB has realized that many of the rural communities can play an important role in developing our tourism industry since many of these communities sit just on the border of important archeological sites and forest reserves. There are many who currently make unique local products that the BTB is not aware of. In creating a database of who these people are and where they can be contacted will definitely help the BTB with marketing these products, the producers or makers and the destinations in which they can be found and as a result – the Village Expo initiative was created.“
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