Forest Home, Toledo declared Historic Community

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The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) along with the Forest Home Village Council officially recognized Forest Home Village, Toledo as a Historic Community. The event took place on Thursday, October 8, 2020 when a sign highlighting the village’s history and culture was erected near the entrance of the village along the Punta Gorda-San Antonio Road.
In 1868, Forest Home Village, which is located less than ten minutes away from Punta Gorda Town, was settled by several American Ex-Confederates. They had migrated from the United States of America (USA) following the end of the Civil War in 1865. These ex-confederates bought property from Young, Toledo and Company and that is how the “Toledo Settlement” emerged. Today, those lands encompass Jacintoville, Eldrigeville, Forest Home and Cattle Landing. Following their arrival, the ex-confederates established sugar plantations where they produced and sold sugar. People of East Indian heritage were brought into the Toledo settlement as indentured laborers to work on these sugar plantations. Along with the settlement by the ex-confederates was the introduction of Methodism in the late 1800s. The Community also saw the establishment of a Pallotine Catholic Convent in the 1930s and which coincided with the establishment of the Saint Peter Claver School in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo.
Today, Forest Home Village is a predominantly East Indian community. One can find traditional culinary practices, medicinal knowledge, customs and rituals among other cultural forms. One of the few East Indian museums in Belize is also found in Forest Home Village. The small museum features informational displays and various East Indian implements.
Forest Home is the third community to receive designation and signage following San Joaquin Village and Gales Point Manatee that were both recognized as Historic Communities in 2019.