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TOLEDO DISTRICT is the southernmost district in Belize
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
Mennonites
, Mestizos , and descendants of US Confederate settlers.

CONTENTS

* 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

The District has many villages, including 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
Lubaantun
, Nim Li Punit
Nim Li Punit
, Uxbenka , and Pusilha
Pusilha
. According to the 2010 census, Toledo District
Toledo District
had a population of 30,538 people.

ECONOMY

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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 ">

Blue Creek River, Belize
Belize
*

Monkey River Village *

San Miguel Branch *

Swasey Branch *

Bladen Reserve looking towards the Maya Mountains *

Southern Highway

TRANSPORTATION

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

Each year, during the Commonwealth Day
Commonwealth Day
weekend, Toledo hosts the Chocolate
Chocolate
Festival of Belize. The festival features chocolatiers from across the country as well as chocolate -related arts and crafts. 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.

INDIAN RESERVATIONS

* 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

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 with ballcourts and carved stelae . Lubaantun
Lubaantun
is a drystone constructed site with ruined pyramids and stone tombs.

NOTABLE PEOPLE

* 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. * 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
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

* The Forgotten District , a documentary film about ecotourism in Toledo

REFERENCES

* ^ "Preliminary Findings of 2010 Census" (PDF). Statistical Institute of Belize. * ^ http://www.citypopulation.de/Belize.html * ^ " Chocolate
Chocolate
Festival of Belize". The Toledo Howler. 6 (2): 1. 2013. access-date= requires url= (help ) * ^ Jones, Patrick.Toledo Celebrates Cacoa Festival. "Breaking Belize
Belize
News ( Belize