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Oct 9, 2020

Forest Home is Designated a Historic Community!

The National Institute of Culture and History has designated the Village of Forest Home in Toledo a ‘Historic Community.’ In partnership with the village council, NICH installed a sign on the Punta Gorda-San Antonio Road near the entrance of the village to highlight its historical and cultural heritage. According to a release issued by NICH, several American Ex-Confederates who migrated from the United States at the end of the Civil War in 1865 settled in the area and bought property to establish the “Toledo Settlement.” NICH says that after their arrival, “they established sugar plantations and produced and sold sugar. East Indians were brought into the Toledo Settlement as indentured labourers to work on the sugar plantations. Along with the settlement by the Ex-confederates was the introduction of Methodism in the late 1800’s.  The Community also saw the establishment of a Pallotine Catholic Convent in the 1930’s. Forest Home Village is a few miles outside of Punta Gorda Town and is made up of predominantly East Indians. The villagers still carry out traditional culinary practices, traditional medicinal knowledge, customs and rituals. One of the few East Indian Museums in Belize is also found in the village.  Forest Home is the third community to receive designation and signage.  San Joaquin Village and Gales Point Manatee were both recognized as Historic Communities in 2019.

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