US Embassy Donates over $200,000 for Cultural Preservation Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 13 August 2009 13:22

Diane Haylock, J.A. Diffily, Jaime Awe, and Lita KrohnOn Monday, August 10, the United States Embassy held a handing over ceremony at the House of Culture in which it donated over 0,000 from the US State Department’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.

J. A. Diffily, Charge D’Affaires at the US Embassy, said, “The Ambassador’s fund is a global program sponsored by the US State Department to promote the preservation of

international cultures.“ Diffily said that there were over 160 projects submitted from 60 different countries. He continued, “Since 2003 Belize has received over $500,000 for six approved projects; therefore, Belize has been one of the most successful beneficiaries of the program.”

There are two projects from Belize that have been approved for funding this year. These projects are the renovation of the House of Culture and the preservation of the Temple at Lamanai. Diane Haylock, Director of the National Institute for Culture and History, was in charge of developing the proposal. She said, “One of NICH’s responsibility is to take care of historical monuments. We are always seeking funding to help in our effort. We have received funding for archaeological preservation over the last three years through this program. This year we decided to seek funding for the renovation of the House of Culture as well and it was approved.”

Lita Krohn is the Director of the House of Culture. She said, “The first time money was allocated to the Government House it was 3,000 pounds sterling - Now its $106,000.” She said that the structure is in constant need of renovation primarily because the structure is next to the sea. She spoke about the many important visitors who have been guests at the House including members of Royal Families, Marcus Garvey and Muhammad Ali.

Jaime Awe of the Institute of Archaeology said that the donation came at a perfect time. Their project received almost $122,000 to preserve the Mass Temple at the Lamanai Site. Awe said, “The monuments are subject to deterioration because of pounding by the weather.” He said the Ancient Mayas had the same problem and they often had to demolish their monuments. He continued, “We are determined to preserve our temples. The plan is to construct a fiber glass replica in front of the temple for its protection.” The same process has been done at other Mayan Sites and visitors cannot recognize the difference.

In speaking of the newly named ambassador to Belize Charge D’Affaires Diffily said that the new Ambassador is scheduled to arrive in Belize in September.