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Jul 31, 2019

The First Grant Recipients of Receive Funding from Cultural Development Fund

Today, the National Institute of Culture and History handed over twenty-five thousand dollars to the first ever recipients of the Cultural Development Fund. The fund was launched two weeks ago to provide micro-financing and other support to persons in the creative and cultural industries.  The first cycle of disbursement of funds took place this afternoon at the Bliss and the News Five was there. Reporter Andrea Polanco tells us more:


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

NICH awarded twenty-thousand dollars for community-based projects that will promote and preserve Belizean culture and history. The twelve recipients received the money through the Cultural Development Fund. Festivals, Videos, live plays, and museums are some of the projects that received funding and other technical support.


Sapna Budhrani,

Sapna Budhrani, President, NICH

“We are looking for projects where youths, women and communities are involved. It ranges from museum building to creative projects where today as you may have seen; an animation video received some funds. So, it is not specific to one style, but it is open to everyone. Once it is something positive, something to do with culture, something to do with heritage, it would qualify.”


The twelve recipients are from a pool of twenty-seven applicants. These twelve completed their applications on time and have projects that directly contribute to culture and history in Belize.  Hugo Carillo will use his four thousand nine hundred dollars grant to complete the building of a first ever Yucatec-Maya museum; while Hipolito Bautista will do a live play.


Hugo Carillo

Hugo Carillo, Belize Cultural Development Fund Grant Recipient

“At the moment, we are about to complete the building of the structure. Besides the museum, we are going to have a garden, medicine and other outdoor things so that when you walk it is like when you are in a little Mayan village within our village. We plan to work in collaboration with the primary schools and high schools because we think it is very important to teach our history.”


Andrea Polanco

“What kind of elements are we going to see inside the museum?”


Hugo Carillo

“What we will definitely have will be a section for the Caste War; the Belize-Yucatec Maya; an audio room. Many people have come forward making donations of artefacts from their families. We are working on a documentary that is being done right now in the area of the Rio Hondo.   It will teach the people to respect other cultures and in this case indigenous cultures. If we educate the people through respect it will definitely make an impact. Our culture is not dead. It is rich. It is beautiful. It is big. It is colossal.”


Hipolito Bautista

Hipolito Bautista, CDF Grant Recipient

“We got this award of one thousand five hundred dollars to assist us with our expenses for the production of a play for next month. It is a play that was written by a Caribbean author but we have “Belizeanized” it. We have re-written it to so to speak and so you wouldn’t even really realize that it is a foreign show until you see the play but we have localized it. The play is a one act play and we are showing it at the UB Campus in Belmopan. We have gotten this donation from NICH. It is such a happy occasion because we plan to do more plays.”


The second cycle of grants through the Cultural Development Fund closes on August thirty-first. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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