New finding at Caracol

“Everyone moved into the various huts and situated themselves while Diane and I went to the top of Structure A13 and photographed the new monument with an elaborate flash setting. The resultant photograph was remarkably crisp and revealed a lot of detail on the new altar. The iconographic scene is one of two seated individuals facing each other, with the one on the right making a gesture of submission or alliance; both are named in the accompanying hieroglyphic text.” PhD Arlen Chase

The story coming in of this new finding at the ancient site of Caracol is still very vague and downright sketchy if you ask me but I tell you as I heard it. We know that the BDF Belize Defense Force are situated at the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve and the Chiquibul National Park specifically in Douglas Da Silva Forestation and Tapir camp. Everyday or whenever they have a working vehicle members of the BDF will accompany tour groups heading to Caracol. One one such day a member of the BDF had climbed on top of structure A13 possibly to get a higher vantage point such tactics can also me observed at the site of Xunantunich. While also cleaning in the same area a caretaker of the site climbed to the top of A13 and noticed that the BDF was observing an exposed stone the caretaker later commented that he had always climbed above to clean and had never given the stone any importance. Continue Reading

Christmas in Cayo

When it comes to Christmas in Belize, we certainly do it big! It’s a time that Belizeans do home improvement; this can be making an addition to their homes, painting the house or fence, wash and clean the windows, even power wash pathways, all to get it ready for the season. Many of us decide to purchase a new sofa set or dinning set, electronics, kitchen appliances or even washers and dryers. Economists say that during the second week in December, Belizeans spend the most money. I could compare this time to the American Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas all in one. In the past, nativity scenes were what people did, some being very detailed; but as time progressed, likely because of media, Christmas trees became more popular and so did that jolly happy man known as Santa. As a child, my parents arranged and decorated real pine trees. The scent of pine in the house was amazing. They would also decorate the house with lights. As time went by, more and more Belizeans caught on to this activity. Later came the introduction of artificial or plastic pine trees now widely used, likely because it’s more economic, convenient and, why not, it saves a lot of our pine trees! Continue Reading

CTGA Christmas Dinner

On Friday, 12th December 2014, the tour guides wined and dined at Hode’s Bar and Grill. As a ritual, every end of the year as new board members are elected, we have our Christmas party, a day for tour guides to celebrate being tour guides. Tour guides are the face of Belize; we are the people that introduce international travellers to Belize’s Ancient cities, natural phenomenons, culture and wildlife.

We had a delicious Christmas dinner with ham, baked chicken, stuffing, the full works. Tour guides that excelled during the Tourism Eco Camp were also recognized and awarded a special calendar with the logos of the CTGA and the Eco-camp. The Tour Guide Service award was given to Eric Tut for his unconditional support to the Association throughout the year.  This is the second time this award is given, Herry Pena was the first recipient for his service to the Board. Continue Reading

Finados

Death is a part of life. In fact, in some Mesoamerican cultures, life is described as a dream, and what happens after death is the person’s awakening from that sleep. In Christianity today, we are led to believe that if we do good things and follow Christ, we will go to a beautiful upper world we call heaven.

To the ancient Maya, life and death is represented by the corn god planting the corn, and directly behind him is the death god breaking that corn plant. The ancient Maya believed that when someone passed away, they came upon a river waiting for them. On the river was a canoe with two paddler gods, one in the front and the other in the back, and your place would be in the center. They would then paddle you into a cave and then to your afterlife. In the Yucatan, the Maya believed that you fell down into the opening of a sinkhole that lead the soul to the afterlife. The Maya also described the afterlife, Xibalba, as two places: a place of eternal rest and a place of fright, giving us reason to believe in a heaven and a hell as Christianity describes it, the difference being that for the Maya, both places are under the earth. Continue Reading

Che Chem Ha Guide Training

Earlier I showed you pictures of a birding expedition that the tour guides did in Crooked Tree. This time around, the guides visited the site of Actun Che Chem Ha Cave. This adventure is part of our guide betterment project which means tour guides are, and should be, constantly upgrading their skills in different fields. We also want more guides to access the cave so the guides needed to be trained by other guides. So, here are a few pictures of this tour, images provided by Daren Lamb. Continue Reading

Guides Birdwatching

 
The tour guides of the CTGA thrive to be the best tour guides that they can be so training is very important to us all. On this day for example guides that wanted to fine tune their birdwatching skills could have done so with the help of other guides. They had a field trip to crooked Tree where the birds are plenty full here are some of those pictures I received from Daren Lamb.

Myths laid to rest (Post·Script)

The reason I had decided to write about Hawkesworth bridge and E. G. Hawkesworth was because you can’t speak of one and not the other, but mostly because there is nothing that is truly written about both, allowing certain myths to settle in. In fact, for many years I had heard that the bridge was in South Africa before coming to Belize and reassembled. I myself, and I’m sure many other tour guides, are guilty of delivering this wrong information that was then spon out of control. We know now that it was not the bridge itself that was in Africa, but rather it was Sir Gerald Hawkesworth who was in Nigeria for many years before giving service to British Honduras; so therein lies the confusion. With this research I have answered many questions. I keep thinking about how many phone calls I have to make and how many emails I have to write to my past guests to correct myself that I had delivered wrong information all these years. Continue Reading