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Silvia Pinzon the Festival sponsor, my wife.
Silvia runs a library at Hialeah Campus, Miami Dade Community College in South Florida.

May 23rd, 2005

This is still May, 2005 of this writing and the next MAYA MOUNTAINS FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL is not until December, around Xmas. But we are going to make a start and running commentary.

The Folk Music Festival will be in the same place, a tent at the back of Falconview Hacienda in Hillview/Santa Elena, Cayo District. We hope by then the building will be open as Falconview Backpackers Hostel at $7 a night. But it depends a lot on the bureaucracy and their accomodations tax system. We were not able to open this year, due to being unable to comply with their monthly regulations which have fines and penalities and they had no office in the Western towns of Belize to pay at anyway. We wait patiently on them to organize themselves conveniently for small business.

Hillview is a small suburb of the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, in the foothills of the Belize Alps. We are 70 miles away from any serious mountains and two miles from downtown of the San Ignacio town center. None of this is very big. This is rural and quiet. Nice views and nice atmosphere!

We hope to include a TEENAGE MARIMBA CONTEST in this FESTIVAL. So far, we have donations accumulated to offer a $1,400 GRAND PRIZE for the winner. All the MARIMBA players are dying out. We need to get a new young generation learning the 120 year old traditional musical instrument and dance bands of this ranching area. The local Sacred Heart College has taken up the challenge and is offering music classes starting September of 2005. They are buying different musical instruments from grants and donations and locating music teachers. I'll be visiting in June, from my main home in Florida and will put up some posters at that time and distribute some to the local high schools.

A Corozaleano, Rich Zahniser ( US retiree on Social Security ) who plays the guitar, has started a three piece Ukulele group at the Corozal Community College and has promised to come to the FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL and present the youngsters with their new skills. Corozal town where he lives is in the dry sugar cane area on Chetumal Bay near the Mexican border about 4 hours driving from Hillview in Western Belize. He is designing and building a first native Belizean string instrument he calls a STRINGA. But recently said he will not have it ready for December. I'm working on one also, but haven't got far yet. Too many projects going on.

E mail links to associated web pages: Our main Folk Music Festival web page, click here!

Belize Teenage Marimba Contest of December, 2005 information. Click here!

Retiring, investing or vacationing in Belize. Click here for a BLOG of current comments.

For information about Western Belize where the Maya Mountains Folk Music Festival is located, CLICK HERE!

For information on retiring in Northern Belize, here is our friend's Rick Zahnisers informative site, CLICK HERE!

If your coming to Belize and plan to go to Caye Caulker Island, here is my youngest daughter's beach guesthouse/hostel web site. CLICK HERE!

You want a honeymoon or exquisite remote, semi-deluxe jungle experience, try our family friend Phylis's lodge at Ektun, on the walls of the jungle clad, Macal River Gorge, in the Cayo District. I definitely recommend it for your jungle experience.

You want fancier accomodations on the beach of Caye Caulker we recommend of course, my other three daughters web sites, who have condos on the beach. Look up Chateau Gissele, Tradewinds Suites on Caye Caulker, or Auxillou Beach Suites on Caye Caulker, or Dianes Guest House on Caye Caulker. This beautiful tropical island is a mile inside the Great Coral Barrier Reef.

For nice accomodations in San Ignacio in Western Belize, I like Martha'a Guest House. For a guest house it is ritzy! They have a web site with photos.

Falconview Back Pack Hostel in Western Belize at $7 USA a night. Canoe trips on the Macal River and the Mopan River, Day trip to Mayan Pyramid hilltop temples of XUNANTANICH AND CAHEL PECH. CLICK HERE FOR INFO! Camping trips into the Belize Alps with hiking views.

We expect to expand the Folk Music Festival this year, our second year. We have been getting wonderful help and assistance from everybody. Particularly from my daughters out on Caye Caulker island by the Great Coral Barrier Reef, Sharon and Wendy Auxillou. Also from members from a local debating discussion self-help group on a listserve, called the Belize Culture Listserve. To join send a message to bz-culture-request@psg.com and put the word subscribe in the body of the message followed by -end- on another line below to cut off the autoresponder rejecting submissions from e-mails with signature files. Great bunch of talented people, from around the world, interested in helping Belize build a new nation.
Rene Garcia on pipes.
Rene is a local poor Mayan concrete worker / sub contractor.
Hillview, Cayo District, Belize, Central America.
( The government doesn't provide mail delivery, so everything must go by e-mail. )


BIG SURPRISE PLANNED FOR THE 2005 FESTIVAL. A new Mayan instrument that has never been played in Belize in the last century. A version of a Mayan musical instrument of 900 AD. The SACRED HEART COLLEGE in San Ignacio Music Program starting in the FALL, will be teaching their music program and it is adaptable to this new instrument we will present at the Festival. It hasn't been built yet, but we have been planning the prototype and hope to have it built and finished within a month, by July. Should it work, we are going to invite some of those students from the college to play it at the Festival.

Garcia sisters museum marimba!
The Garcia sisters are up the road toward the mountains from Santa Elena town.

Jalacte village of the Toledo District marimba.
They were playing in honor of the Prime Minister's visit.

CD Marimba music of memory lane!
CD's are $25 each, or $20 each for a dozen, or $15 each for two dozen or more.

These CD's are collectors items of folk music. We are making them one at a time as a labor of love. Also as a historical record of a folk music that is dying out. All CD money is going to support the Annual MAYA MOUNTAINS FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL as a charitable donation. So far, there are less than a half a dozen out there of such musical memories. Marimba is a beautiful dance music. Bands used to go out to the jungle camps for chicleros and logwood camps in the jungles and play for the Christmas Festivals Jamborees. Dance and drink was the custom for the holidays. Nowadays there are about three Marimba bands left, playing occasionally in Belize for weddings and village festivals. It is hard to get three to twelve Marimba players together on one orchestra instrument anymore. We are trying to revive the music and get new younger players. These instruments are made with crude hand tools in remote rural villages out of jungle hardwoods. This folk music is about 200 years old in Belize.

If you want to help us and have a web site. Please put a link to our website here. Many thanks! Ray Auxillou, Maya Mountains Folk Music Festival organizer.