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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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It's the first of its kind; a Village Arts and Crafts Expo that will showcase the talents of Belizean artisans to local and international visitors. This Saturday at the King's Room of the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City, local artists from villages countrywide will get an opportunity to market a wide range of products from carving to clothing to food items. The event will also provide a medium for the small entrepreneurs to network with stakeholders in the tourism industry. News Five spoke with Destination Planning and Development Coordinator, Clive Myers, who says that the expo is for everyone.

Clive Myers, Destination Planning and Development Coordinator

Clive Myers

"An initiative that came from under the destination planning and development department here at the Belize Tourism Board where through one of our outside project of doing a village outreach, we wanted to give local village artisans an opportunity to come to the City and showcase their products-the line of work that they do in their village-and also give them that opportunity to enter the tourism market and see how efficiently they can market their line items-not only to the overnight tourists but also introduce it to the Belizean public at large. We have representation from all six districts-some of them include: Xiabe, San Pedro Colombia; you name it they will be there. We have approximately thirty-six villages from across the country that will be here. The products that you will find at the village expo will include but is not limited to embroidery, wood carving, visual painting, clothing, packaged foods such as chips and soy sauce, different amenities. And we encourage the family, students especially likewise to visit the village expo. In the morning section, we will have the items primarily for display, but in the afternoon, everyone will get the opportunity to purchase some of the items. And hey mother's day is right around the corner so why don't you give your mom [or] that special someone a made in Belize picture frame or hand chain or whatever it may be."

There will also be cultural performances throughout the day starting from nine a.m. to four p.m. Entrance to the expo is free.

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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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."

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

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