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Aug 9, 2016

NICH Provides Status Report on Archaeological Sites in Wake of Earl

Holly Edgell

A number of archaeological sites, including Altun Ha and Lamanai, were also closed due to the severe weather system.  The ancient Maya sites were largely unaffected by heavy winds; nonetheless, the Institute of Archaeology was forced to shut down tour operations at the sites because of the debris strewn across the ceremonial grounds.


Isani Cayetano

“The storm also passed through or in the direction of several archaeological sites within the Belize District; namely, Altun Ha and Lamanai.  Can you give us an update as to where they stand in terms of the reopening?”


Holly Edgell, Communications & Marketing Director, NICH

“So those are both open.  We are really excited because the day after Earl we started [cleaning], specifically at Lamanai and Cahal Pech.  They had volunteers joining with our staff and basically just worked long days to clear up and again the structures have stood there for hundreds and hundreds of years.  It’s more about the debris.  Are the facilities on the sites for visitors safe?  For Lamanai, the dock was damaged.  There’s a lot of trails and paths at other facilities and so we had to go in and make sure that all those things were safe.  Most of our sites are open as of right now.  Caves remain closed simply because of the water and we really are mainly concerned now with what we’ll find at Xunantunich and Caracol because we weren’t able to get into those areas until today.  Xunantunich because of the river and Caracol because the BDF had closed the roads off for safety purposes and that’s now open.  So we expect to know more.  But if you picture both of those sites and the kind of vegetation and surroundings that are there, we can probably anticipate some cleanups at those sites as well, so we’ll keep you posted.  We really had the great work of volunteers.  The Cayo Tour Guides Association and Lamanai Eco-Tours at that site basically volunteered and helped us, so that’s how we were able to really open so quickly.”

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