Corozal Invites! What is the Santa Rita Maya Re-enactment Wedding. Historical information documents the Santa Rita Archaeological Park as the only place where a marriage took place between a Spanish Conquistador and a Mayan Princess. Hence, it is believed that the enhancement of this site will bring back the unique historical, cultural, social and the economic potential of this site. The revival of this centre as an official Maya Wedding Garden will honour our culture and heritage and will greatly benefit our present and future generations.
It is said that Guerrero became a great ally to the Maya in the struggle against the Spanish conquistadors in Belize. Historians generally accept the view that in the 16th century he served as a political and military advisor to Nachancan, the ruler of Old Chetumal (Chactemal) .(Santa Rita, Corozal was probably part of ancient Chactemal, the Maya capital of the area at the time of the first Spanish attempt to conquer the Yucatec Mayas in the early 16th century).
The northern districts were largely undeveloped in the nineteenth century until The Caste War (Guerra de Las Castas) changed that. Following an uprising in Mexico of the impoverished populace (mostly Maya) against the rich Spanish and Mestizo class many Maya as well as some Mestizo travelled across the border into Belize and settled there. They became very instrumental in populating the northern districts and, by extension, making necessary the implementation of a border to separate Belize and Mexico, as well as bringing with them their sugar plantations. Sugar plantations in the settlement helped to supplement an economy that historically had proven overly dependent on timber extraction.
Also interestingly, during the War of Caste, some 12 Mestizo families fled Yucatan in Mexico and came to Ambergris Caye where they found a haven and founded the village of San Pedro in 1848. These Mestizos laboured tirelessly in Chicle (chewing gum) and logwood camps, coconut plantations, and later on in the sea where they established a prosperous fishing industry. It was these same Mestizos who later on changed from fishing to tourism to develop it into our main industry today.
Today, the customs of the Mestizo are a perfect blend of Spanish customs as well as those of the Maya. The food as well, shows the influence of the Maya, as many of the Mestizo dishes make use of corn in some way or form. The Mestizos in most instances are very fluent in Spanish and though the British brought with them their Protestant faith, the majority of the Mestizo populace in Belize is Roman Catholic, having adopted the religion of the Spanish. Part of Belize's ethnic diversity is owed to the influence of the Mestizos, who have contributed to the livelihood of Belize and certainly a part of that has meant keeping our population cheerfully fed.
With a glowing Santa Rita Maya Temple in the background, the re-enactment has been a kick-off since its inception in 2012 and placing Corozal as an international Wedding Destination “a la Maya”. The site itself has undergone major restoration.
In January of 2013 NICH formalized the site as an International and Local Wedding Set as was done by the Mayas in their era in Northern Belize.
The local chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association in conjunction with stake holders invite everyone to this year’s Santa Rita Maya Wedding Re-enactment. Enjoy it!
Date: Saturday February 6th, 2016
Place: Santa Rita Site, Santa Rita, Corozal
Time: 7:00 P.M.
Presenters: Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College
Admission: Reserve $20.00, Adults $10.00
Children under 14 years $2.00
Photos of the 2012 re-enactment!
Click photos for more pictures!