These are some of Maya First's favorite websites for information on Belize, followed by the web address' of our favorite lodges. You can find information about traveling in Belize and descriptions of some great places to stay.
Ecotourism is a term used to describe visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, in a low-impact and often as a small scale alternative to the standard commercial style tourism. The purpose is to educate the traveler and to provide funds for ecological conservation. This type of tourism directly benefits the economic development and political empowerment of local communities. Maya First embraces and practices the concept of ecotourism to foster respect especially for the Mayan culture and for rights of the Mayan people.
Team Maya First prepares to explore The Cenote, a series of 2 natural limestone sinkholes. Here we see them preparing to lower a team into the smaller sinkhole, which is 750 by 900 feet across and some 350 to 450 feet deep. It contains an entire ecosystem. Great care is taken by the team members concerning safety to the team and the surrounding ecology of the land. When all concerns have been addressed, and all safety issues have been resolved, The Cenote will become part of the Maya First Eco-tours.
Heritage Cultural Tourism
A Blessing at a 900 year old sacred Cieba Tree, a Heritage Cultural Tour offered at Maya First
Maya First both practices and promotes the concept of Heritage Cultural Tourism. Heritage cultural tourism provides a key opportunity for tourism-related economic development. The educational experience gained from heritage cultural tourism can be partnered with other tourist attractions. The key issue is the economic impact of heritage cultural tourism. It includes examples of cultural events, tours, and historical communities that can capitalize on their cultural heritage. It can be defined as “traveling to places and activities that authentically represent stories and people of the past and present”. It includes irreplaceable historic events both cultural or of natural origin.
The Prayer Ceremony at Ancient Sacred Ceiba Tree on November 2nd, 2012
That tree is estimated between 950 and 1150 years old. This tree, like many of its kind supports its own unique ecosystem. Local Mayans consider it sacred because of its age all the life it sustains and all that it has endured. The Ceiba is axis mundi, the world center, the connection between the heavens and the Earth. It is considered the point between sky and earth were the four cardinal directions meet. The ceremony combines elements of Catholicism and the traditional Mayan beliefs concerning and nature's connection to mankind and the spirit world