By Benjamin Flowers
The Belize Tourism Board said this week that the third annual Village Arts Expo received favorable public turnout throughout the day.
The event, held at the Fort George Memorial Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday November 1, gathered 175 artisans from 44 villages across the country to showcase authentic Belizean handicrafts such as jewelry, baskets and wood carvings.
Clive Myers, destination planning and development coordinator for the BTB, explained that while an official head count was not possible because of the nature of the event and the layout of the venue, the expo had a consistent influx of people throughout the course of the of the day’s activities.
Myers added that participants in the expo prepared for six to eight months before the expo, by attending meetings with the BTB along with several workshops in marketing and entrepreneurship, to give extra refinement to their products.
The expo resulted from the BTB’s Destination Village Outreach program, an umbrella program that encourages rural development through employing local resources and skills to create entrepreneurship opportunities.
The expo started with only 70 artisans in 2012. The BTB expanded the effort because of the benefits it has brought to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME’s) in the various villages.