Corozal Cultural Museum

Corozal Cultural and Information Center

Note:

The following information is from several years ago, when the Cultural Center/Museum was open. It was closed for over 10 years. We are keeping this information for historical purposes.

This building is located between 2nd Street South and Corozal Bay. It was built in 1886 by the Governor of British Honduras. In those days it was used as a market. This building has survived hurricanes and over 100 years of use. In 1996 it was renovated with the help of USAID and the Belizean Government. It has served as the Corozal Cultural and Information Center, including a cultural museum.

Miss Keila Gonzalez (left) is a 25-year-old citizen of Corozal Town. She is proud to be the tour guide at the Corozal Cultural and Information Center. She is very amiable and helpful. Since the opening of the center in 1996 she has become an expert in explaining the cultural treasures inside. An attractive carved sign (right) helps her greet the visitor.

Old Bottles

These seemingly insignificant bottles are valuable pieces of our colonial history. They were brought to our shores mostly by merchants selling imported ointments, vinegar, ink, and perfumes to citizens of Corozal. They are often found when digging building foundations. Most of them are easy to identify because they have a similar shape, with rounded edges.

This bottle (right) is one of the few large mouth-blown bottles remaining in Belize. These bottles were used to store rum in the years 1950s when sugar cane production was at its peak. It was owned by the Romero family.

Sugarcane Mill

This sugarcane mill was donated by the Belize Sugar Industry Limited. The mill was built in the United States and is typical of those used by sugarcane farmers in the early twentieth century. Before the the Pembroke Hall Sugar Factory was established in Libertad in 1936, each sugar plantation had its own mill to produce its sugar.

Its solid cast iron framework required great strength, supplied by the Maya-Mestizo workers. They fed the sugarcane through the sides of the mill, and vertical rollers crushed the cane. The juice and roughage came out through the front and back outlets respectively.

Maya-Mestizo Hut

The traditional Maya-Mestizo hut shows that these people had a good relationship with their environment. Everything used to make this hut came from the natural world. The materials were mostly thatch and sticks. Everything else in the hut was obtained from the forest. These included gourds and skins of animals.

Cooking Utensils

The image to the right shows the typical cooking utensils of the Maya-Mestizo. On the far right is a metate used to grind corn to make tortillas. On the left, close to the stick wall, is the lek used to keep the tortillas warm. You can also see gourds that were used as cups and water bottles, and to serve food.

Inside the Hut

The interior of the hut shows the metates and the lek again. On the ground is a deer skin used for sleeping.

Tourism Mural

The image to the right shows part of a mural you can see at the Cultural Center. It identifies some of our local Corozal District tourist attractions, including the Cerros Maya Site, the Santa Rita Ruins, the Shipstern Nature Reserve, the Bacalar Chico Underwater Reserve, and of course the beautiful Corozal Bay.

Also of Interest

Click on the small images below to see some of the many other sights to see at the Cultural Center. Perhaps we can prevail on someone to give us better descriptions. These are in no particular order.

For this topic we would like to thank Jaime Correa, a former student at CCC, who provided some of the pictures and most of the research and text. He in turn wanted to thank Miss Keila Gonzalez for her assistance on his project.

Printed from www.corozal.com (Old Corozal Museum)