Belize City, Belize – August 22, 2012 - The first ever Mundo Maya Encuentro, titled “La Antorcha de La Paz” was hosted by the Minsitry of Tourism in San Salvador, El Salvador from August 15th-17th, 2012. The event was envisioned to reinvigorate the Mundo Maya Organization and to speak about the initiatives to be launched among the five Mundo Maya Central American countries. In fact, during the Mundo Maya encounter, a symbolic torch was ignited, which represented the re-igniting of the organization along with its efforts and activities. Belize was represented by Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture, Dr John Morris, Archaeologist from the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), Valdemar Andrade from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Maynor Larrieu from the Belize Tourism Board (BTB).
“With this international event, we are strengthening the Mundo Maya Region and highlighting the various investment and development opportunities in our countries,” commented Hon. Jose Napoleon Duarte Duran, Minister of Tourism in El Salvador and Pro-Tempore President of The Mundo Maya Organization (MMO). The MMO is a historical collaboration among Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Belize whose aim is to promote the sustainable development of the Maya Zones of its member countries through tourism.
Fifteen countries had representatives who engaged in a two-day event to share the history of the Mundo Maya heritage. The main objective of the event was to promote the “Maya Route” and also to have an exchange forum to further discuss challenges and opportunities for investing in our own Maya heritage.
Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. participated in a discussion panel entitled, “A Situational Analysis of our indigenous cultures throughout Latin America – Challenges and Opportunities in Tourism”. The discussion encompassed each country’s governments’ plans to foster the Maya Cultural Heritage. Dr. John Morris participated in a conference entitled “XII Baktun, End of the Maya Calendar”. During his presentation, he highlighted the celebratory events held in Belize in honour of the year of the Maya. Both events were well received and spurred a number of questions and meaningful discussions.
Invited guests to the Encuentro included Ministers of Tourism of the Mundo Maya region, Tour Operators, and renowned archaeologists from the UK, USA, Nicaragua, Belize, Costa Rica, Brazil, Guatemala, Canada and Honduras.
For more information on Mundo Maya Encounter “La Antorcha de la Paz”, contact Valdemar Andrade, Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, at email@example.com or via phone at 227-2801.
About the Belize Tourism Board
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is a statutory body within the Belize Ministry of Tourism and Culture, and it is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister of Tourism and Culture. The BTB works in conjunction with members of the private sector – including the Belize Hotel Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association and Belize National Tour Operators Association – and is dedicated to building tourism in the most economically and environmentally sustainable manner. As a part of its responsibilities, the BTB promotes Belize as a premier tourism destination to both in-country and international consumers. Among its outreach to the international travel market, the BTB markets the country’s unique attractions to travellers, members of the travel trade industry and media outlets in key markets.
The BTB is also dedicated to developing and implementing tourism programs that will help strengthen and grow the Belizean tourism industry; promote good destination stewardship; and instil high quality standards for accommodations and travel experiences. For more information on the BTB and its services, visit www.travelbelize.org.
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