The Info List - Toledo District

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Toledo District
Toledo District
is the southernmost district in Belize, and Punta Gorda the District capital. It is the least developed region in the country, and it features some of the most pristine rainforests, extensive cave networks, coastal lowland plains, and offshore cays. Toledo is home to a wide range of cultures—from Mopan and Kekchi Maya, to Creole, the Garifuna, East Indians, Mennonites, Mestizos, and descendants of US Confederate settlers.


1 Geography 2 Economy 3 Gallery 4 Transportation 5 Events 6 Indian Reservations 7 Notable architecture 8 Notable people 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

Geography[edit] The District has many villages, including Monkey River Town
Monkey River Town
and the Toledo Settlement, the Maya villages of San Pedro Columbia, Blue Creek, Indian Creek, Santa Cruz, San Antonio, San Jose, San Felipe, and the Garifuna village of Barranco. It also has a number of Maya ruins, including Lubaantun, Nim Li Punit, Uxbenka, and Pusilha. According to the 2010 census, Toledo District
Toledo District
had a population of 30,538 people. Economy[edit]

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The economy of Toledo relies heavily upon agriculture: crops grown include beans and corn, as well as rice which is sold to the Big Falls Rice Mill. Cacao is grown organically and sold via the Toledo Cacao Growers Association to Green & Black’s for their renowned Maya Gold chocolate, as well as to chocolatiers within Belize. The District’s ancient and modern-day links with chocolate are celebrated annually in May ( Commonwealth Day
Commonwealth Day
Holiday weekend) at the Toledo Cacao Festival. Farmers grow additional crops such as coffee, yams, sweet potato, chili, hot peppers, avocado, oranges and plantain for sale at the market in Punta Gorda, held each Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Fishermen practice small-scale fishing from their dug-out canoes, as well as diving for lobster and conch during open season. The Port Honduras Marine Reserve just north of Punta Gorda Town is a protected area, and Toledo’s waters are regarded as the permit capital of Belize. Many traditional fishermen have now trained as fly-fishing guides through the alternative livelihood projects offered by local conservation groups. Tourism is an important, and relatively new, industry for Toledo. Once regarded as an area only for the hardy and adventurous, the opening of new tourist accommodation and the development of tours, as well as a growing awareness of the district’s high proportion of protected areas, wildlife, excellent birding and the offshore cayes, have resulted in Toledo being recognized as an important ‘emerging destination’. Gallery[edit]

Blue Creek River, Belize

Monkey River Village

San Miguel Branch

Swasey Branch

Bladen Reserve looking towards the Maya Mountains

Southern Highway

Transportation[edit] The Toledo District
Toledo District
is served by the newly paved Southern Highway, as well as several bush roads to the many rural villages in the District. A regular bus service is provided by Punta Gorda-based James Bus Line, shuttling passengers between the other districts, also Punta Gorda Town is served by several daily commuter flights on Tropic Air and Maya Island Air and small, family run bus services that transport passengers to and from the rural villages.

Dump-Jalacte Road looking East just East of Santa Cruz Village

Events[edit] Each year, during the Commonwealth Day
Commonwealth Day
weekend, Toledo hosts the Chocolate
Festival of Belize. The festival features chocolatiers from across the country as well as chocolate-related arts and crafts.[3] According to the project coordinator for the Toledo Cacao Growers Association Thomas Tillett, the Association currently has a membership of about 1,100 cacao farmers.[4] Indian Reservations[edit]

Aguacate Indian Reservation, Toledo Black Creek Indian Reservation, Toledo Blue Creek Indian Reservation, Toledo Crique Sarco Indian Reservation, Toledo Graham Creek Indian Reservation, Toledo Hinchasones Indian Reservation, Toledo Machaca Indian Reservation, Toledo Xpicilha Indian Reservation, Toledo

Notable architecture[edit] Several significant ancient Mayan sites are extant in ruined form in the Toledo District. Nim Li Punit
Nim Li Punit
is a Classic Period Mayan site[5] with ballcourts and carved stelae. Lubaantun
is a drystone constructed site with ruined pyramids and stone tombs.[6] Notable people[edit]

Froyla Tzalam, Executive Director Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, Maya activist Gregory Choc, former Executive Director, SATIIM Cordelia Tzalam Foreman, Rural Community Development Officer Francisca Tzalam Choc, Accident and Emergency Nurse, Punta Gorda Hospital Christina Coc was born in Laguna in this district in 1981.[7] Wil Maheia, Leader, People's National Party Pulcheria Teul, Government Senator, United Democratic Party Mike Espat, Deputy Leader, People's United Party Kenny Jacobs, Executive Director, Teens Belize
Organization Shari Williams, Queen of the Bay 1998 Jahrine Avila, Queen of the Bay 2013 Fern Gutierrez, Punta Gorda Mayor, United Democratic Party Hon. Eden Martinez, former Area Rep. Minister of Social Transformation Hon. Juan Coy, former Minister of State

See also[edit]

The Forgotten District, a documentary film about ecotourism in Toledo


^ "Preliminary Findings of 2010 Census" (PDF). Statistical Institute of Belize.  ^ http://www.citypopulation.de/Belize.html ^ " Chocolate
Festival of Belize". The Toledo Howler. 6 (2): 1. 2013.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ Jones, Patrick.Toledo Celebrates Cacoa Festival. "Breaking Belize News ( Belize
Media Group News)." 25 May 2014 (retrieved 25 May 2014) ^ Nim Li Punit, published by the Department of Archaeology, Belmopan, Belize, Project ACP-RPR 544, Cubola Productions, March, 1999 ^ C.Michael Hogan, Lubaantun, 2007, The Megalithic Portal, editor: A. Burnham ^ "Our Belize
Community—Cristina Coc". San Pedro Town, Belize: The San Pedro Sun. 10 January 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 

External links[edit]

Official website - with maps and area attractions Toledo District
Toledo District
at belize.fm The Toledo Howler - quarterly newspaper published by the BTIA Toledo Chapter How to Cook a Tapir - a Belize
memoir, documenting the author's year-long working honeymoon in the Toledo District Treehouse Perspectives - Living High on Little - the story of the Salisbury family's move and new life in Punta Gorda Governmental influence on ecotourism in Toledo - Influence or interference?

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Districts of Belize

Belize Cayo Corozal Orange Walk Stann Creek Toledo

Coordinates: 16°20′N 88°45′W / 16.333°N 88.750°W / 16.