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Ministers tour of indigenous communities in Southern Belize concludes

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Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2021. 1:23 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Minister of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Dolores Balderamos Garcia along with Gilroy Usher, Minister of State, led a successful 3-day visit to indigenous communities in Southern Belize.

On April 30, they met with staff in the ministry’s offices in Independence and Punta Gorda.

The ministers also met with executive members of the National Garifuna Council, Punta Gorda Branch.

On Saturday, May 1, they were joined by Tanya Santos Neal, CEO in the Ministry, and Gregory Ch’oc, Commissioner of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs.

The delegation then visited the Rax Mu Q’iche Forestry Enterprise in Conejo Village, which is contributing to the livelihoods of the community members. They were warmly welcomed by villagers of Conejo with Marimba music.

The attendees shared concerns about the work of the Ministry.

At the end of the event, everyone was treated to a Maya traditional meal.

Attendees included members of the buffer communities of Sunday Wood, Crique Sarco, Santa Teresa, Midway and Barranco. Also present was the Governor General Designate Froyla Tzalam, who will be demitting her post as executive director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management.

The Ministry delegation met with Oscar Requena, Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government, and community leaders from San Antonio Village.

A brief overview of the Consent Order on the Maya Land Rights was discussed.

The delegation then visited with IxKän Tziit Women’s Group, which shared their concerns and plans.

The delegation also met with stakeholders and leaders of the Maya communities where the participants shared ideas of mutual interest.

On Sunday, May 2, the delegation travelled by boat to the southern coastal community of Barranco, where they were warmly welcomed by community leaders.

Egbert Valencio, Dr. Joseph Palacio, Irma Gonzalez and Rozel Arana led a short tour of the village, including the Garifuna museum.

The delegation engaged in a lively meeting.

The ministers pledged the ministry’s cooperation and gave their commitment to addressing the community’s concerns.

The ministers also received gifts from the Barranco Community.

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