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Special Envoy’s Wonder Woman of the Week is Culture and Arts advocate, Florencia Castillo

Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2022. 6:08 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children, Rossana Briceno features outstanding Belizean women making a difference in Belize every week.

Today’s feature is on Florencia Castillo. Castillo is an advocate of the arts, culture, and heritage. 

Florencia “Mutt” Castillo is an active promoter of classical dance, theatre, and the Maya Yucatec culture of Belize. Her passion for community service has involved her in a number of organizations over the years.

In 1993, she was the founder of the classical and culture dance program at La Inmaculada primary school in Orange Walk Town.

Florencia taught art and handicraft to children from across the country from 1995 to 1998 through the Belize Arts Council, which later became the Institute of Creative Arts. In 1999, she collaborated with the music composer Andy Palacio to write music and produce the children’s rights song “nuh mek nobody chance yuh!”.

Florencia then became the first coordinator of the Banquitas House of Culture in 2002 where she developed more of her artistic programs. She founded the Louisiana Government School music program in 2002 and prepared students to site the Royal Society of Arts in English under the tutorship of Carlos Perrote. She brought to Orange Walk Carromato theatre workshops, became a member of the board of directors of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), and executive member of the Belize Association for Development of Arts.

Since 2002, she has been studying and practicing self-healing.  She believes in applying Natural Herbal treatments, along with deep meditation as practiced by our Yucatec Maya healers. 

Today, Florencia teaches and shares knowledge in her close community.

She encourages eating what we grow and promotes Traditional recipes using primary food plant that has been used and still grow in Belize.

Florencia is proud of her Yucatec roots and avidly promotes its culinary elements through the preparation of traditional Maya dishes, jams, and chutneys at her family-owned restaurant “El Manisero”.

Likewise, she is deeply involved with the Northern Maya Association of Belize where she participates in the safeguarding and promotion of the Maya Yucatec Intangible heritage. 

“Thank you Castillo for keeping our culture alive and passing it on to our younger generations,” the Special Envoy said.


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