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Nov 20, 2013

All Aboard: Belize in Motion through the Years Exhibit is launched

On display at the Museum of Belize is a historical journey of the evolution of transportation in Belize. The exhibit includes archival information such as photographs and items that show the transformation and development of all forms of transportation. It goes back to the Maya civilization to how technology has changed the industry in present day Belize.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

All Aboard: Belize in Motion Through the Years is a visual journey.  This exhibit, which incorporates photos, documents and historical objects, looks at the various modes of transportation that have been employed in various industries across the country dating back to the ancient Maya civilization.  The display was officially launched this morning at the Museum of Belize.


Sherilyn Jones

Sherilyn Jones, Director, Museum of Belize

“It really takes a snippet of our history and brings it to life.  The fact that transportation has been an integral part of who we are as a people.  It takes a look from the ancient Maya, they paddled in dugouts throughout the waterways of this country.  We have evidence of it all the way out in the cayes.  How were they able to do that?  And then it takes a look at the logwood development and the railway and the Cayo boats and these passenger boats that use to take people along the rivers into the interior of the country.”


While there is enough history on seafaring and other means of land transportation, including the light rail system, emphasis is also being placed on the use of passenger trucks, airplanes and riverboats.  These vehicles were the precursor to present-day commuter buses.


Sherilyn Jones

“When the roads first developed it was these trucks that were open in the back and people would file on and take days to reach San Ignacio.  But I think it’s interesting because there’s a lot of information that I found out when we were doing the research.  A lot of people don’t know the fact that we had a very extensive railway system that took logs to the ports.  The first plane that landed, that Charles Lindberg landed, you know, people hear about Lindberg’s Landing.  Where did that come from and so we talk about that history and the fact that Belize at one point had its own airlines.  So for me it was also key for people to know.”


Isani Cayetano

“What precipitated the idea for this particular exhibit?”


Sherilyn Jones

“Well, the staff of the museum we have what we call think tanks and we go through these topics that are either relevant to today or it was relevant back then and we come up with ideas and we use the collection that we have.  What we have was an extensive set of maritime models and boats and we said how can we just, rather than just showing boats what’s the story behind these boats?  And so that’s how we really conceptualized the idea.  So we then took it from instead of just looking at boats let’s talk about railways, let’s talk about trucks, let’s talk about mule and carts and so that’s how it ended up coming together.”


According to Sherilyn Jones, Director of the Museum of Belize, visitors will appreciate how far Belize has come in terms of infrastructure development.


Sherilyn Jones

“I think that key is the fact that we have come a long way in terms of modes of transportation, I mean, like I’ve said when we think of transportation nowadays we think about jumping in our cars and the controversy surrounding the bus system but there’s much more to it.  There was much more thought.  How did the highways develop, the canal system, why did that develop and you’ll also get the history behind our development.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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