NICH is bringing archaeology into the national museum and district houses of culture. The history of the Maya people, coupled with the benefits of forest gardening from a climate change standpoint, will be featured at the museum. That was the official message sent today during a brief ceremony held at the Government House in Belize City after an agreement was signed with an archaeology group out of western Belize. News Five’s Duane Moody attended the M.O.U. signing and files this report.

Duane Moody, Reporting

The memorandum of understanding signed between the National Institute of Culture and History and Exploring Solutions Past; the Maya Forest Alliance will see the installation of an exhibit at the Museum of Belize showcasing Forest Gardens and the Maya of El Pilar.

Sapna Budhrani, President, NICH

“We are welcoming to this partnership; it is one that we look forward to mainly because it is one that we’ve always been partnering with archaeologists and Doctor Ford is one of them that has been with El Pilar. But this time, we are bringing archaeology into the museum and houses of culture. This partnership is not just between us and Doctor Ford, but also with the communities. It involves the communities and we are looking forward to creating that narrative that is our story, looking at it from an angle of climate change and the forest involved.”

The exhibition will be in Belize City, but will include a traveling component to all Houses of Culture. It has a climate change element as well and will show how indigenous peoples maintained biodiversity, while reducing erosion and building soil fertility. The project is being considered as an opportunity to create avenues to tell Belizean stories.

Dr. Anabel Ford, Exploring Solutions Past; the Maya Forest Alliance

“It will highlight the traditions that are indigenous to the forest gardening of Belize. This exhibition will be mounted in several ways – virtually, setting up our real languaging and narrative that we have been looking for. It will also be mounted at the museum of Belize and it will travel to all the Houses of Culture that we have around this beautiful country.”

Ilona Smiling, Acting Director, Museum of Belize

“We are very excited here at the museum; it gives us the chance to showcase our talents. But what I am really interested in is in ensuring that we are being extremely open to our community so that their voices are at the head of the narrative of whatever story we choose to put forward at the museum. So we are hoping that with this exhibit, we are going to create more partnerships and to include those who need to be included within this exhibit.”

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