Indigenous Peoples Resistance Day is a vibrant celebration of Belize’s rich cultural tapestry. Formerly known as Columbus Day or Pan-American Day, the country honors its multiethnicity on October 12th, conscious of the hardships their ancestors faced. From Maya to Mestizo and Garifuna to Creole, Maya and African blood runs in the veins of Belizeans and is the core of the country’s melting pot identity. Visitors have a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the traditions, history, and way of life. Here are some exciting tours and activities to celebrate Indigenous People’s Resistance Day!
Engage in Indigenous Communities
Belize offers a captivating array of cultural experiences for travelers seeking to delve into the heart of its heritage. Explore ancient Maya temples such as Caracol, Xunantunich, Lamanai, or Altun Ha, where tours provide insight into the ancient Mayan culture, their architectural marvels, and the significance of these historical sites. Enjoy a truly immersive experience of the Maya culture while staying with an indigenous family in their village. Participate in daily activities such as cooking a yummy meal and gain a deeper understanding of their way of life.
Learn about the vibrant rhythms and traditions of the Garifuna people through a cultural tour that unveils the beauty of their music, dance, and cuisine. Take a chance at mashing the plantains for a delicious bowl of hudut, or let loose as you participate in a session of dancing Punta! These cultural activities provide a unique opportunity to connect with Belize’s diverse heritage, leaving you with cherished memories and a deeper appreciation for the country’s rich cultural tapestry.
Education about Indigenous Heritage
One of the highlights of this historic day is the second annual Indigenous Peoples Resistance Day Celebrations at the Chactemal Maya Temple, Santa Rita, in Corozal Town. This exciting event on October 9th from 10 am to 3 pm, will be a splendid showcase of indigenous heritage. Attendees can look forward to engaging in the ancient Pok Ta Pok Maya Ball Game, exploring exhibition booths, savoring delicious cultural foods, and enjoying captivating presentations. The day culminates with the El Fuego Sagrado ceremony at 5 am, a sacred fire ritual deeply rooted in Maya traditions.
Moreover, the University of Belize and the National Institute of Culture and Heritage (NICH) have organized an Indigenous Resistance Forum, which will be live-streamed on Facebook on October 12th, starting at 10 am. The event happens at the university’s Belmopan campus, featuring informative presentations and cultural booths centered around the theme “Advancing Indigenous Language and Cultures of Belize and the Region.” It’s a remarkable opportunity to celebrate and learn about Belize’s indigenous cultural heritage.
Indigenous Peoples Resistance Day is an invitation to explore the diverse and captivating cultures that have shaped Belize’s identity. These tours and activities provide meaningful and educational experiences that allow you to connect with the county’s cultural mosaic while creating lasting memories of your visit to the jewel!
Banner Photo Credit: Institute for Social & Cultural Research ISCR NICH, Row Photo Credit: To’one Masehualoon NPO Belize Maya