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Oct 31, 2019

Chaya with the Maya & an Exhibition at Mex Institute

Chaya Dinner with the Maya – it is happening now at the Mexican Institute in Belize. It is the kick off to a three-month long exhibition which seeks to look at the gardening aspects of the Maya culture and history. The curator, Doctor Anabel Ford, has a non-profit called Exploring Solutions which looks at bridging indigenous and contemporary science for a sustainable future. She told us that that mission is a celebration of these heroes of conservation and development work. Here’s more from the organizers.


Anabel Ford

Dr. Anabel Ford, Director, El Pilar Project

“This is combining the idea of object museology which is the tradition with the whole new idea of calling the objects belongings. Every item that we find in the archaeological record belonged to someone. We all cook; store, serve, drink and so did the Maya. When we think about the connection from the ancient past, we have the Maya forest garden. So, here we are working at a site, El Pilar, which is archaeology under the canopy, which is a very different view of how to see the monuments. We are recording all the archaeological material and evidence there and we are recording the twenty dominant plants which are all useful. The milpa forest garden, which we are talking about here in this room, we have the El Pilar ancient and contemporary forest garden. Here we have the idea of blending it with belongings. So, we have the belongings of a university student who has something informal, quick and possibly not so neat. Then we have the Belmopanese – the average person who has good pots, with nice flatware. Then we have the Governor General’s plate and his service – the idea of that is very different because not everyone can go get that. Then we have the belongings of the Maya that you can see here. Imagine where the food that we eat; the cooking; where the food came from – not always the market and imagining where the water came from – not always the pipe. But they had the same needs we did and I want to bring that together.”


Cynthia Ellis-Topsey

Cynthia Ellis-Topsey, Community Outreach, El Pilar Project

“It is about education and affirmation of those people who are still here. The Maya never disappeared. They are still here. This is an opportunity for us to celebrate people like Dr. Narciso Torres and to identify education beyond a building and a classroom but to really honor the ancestors of their knowledge of two thousand years ago and now; about the plants, their uses for medicine and construction and so on.”


Again, the exhibition opens tonight at the Mexican Cultural Institute and runs for three months.

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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