Belize History Association holds General Meeting


The Belize History Association (BHA) recently held a virtual General Meeting. At the opening of the meeting, Karla Pinelo, was the junior member of the Executive to welcome everyone online.
BHA is a non-profit organization that was established in 2014 to undertake pioneering research work on Belize’s history.
Dr. Abigail McKay, the current chair of the BHA took time out to remember those members who have passed on, such as Fred Hunter, author of ‘The History of the sovereignty of Belize by occupation Force of Arms Treaties’.
During the general meeting, various members had an input on the lively discussions. Margaret Ventura commented that there is now a need to take Belize’s history and culture into the digital world but with intellectual property rights in mind.
Nigel Encalada, the Director of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research ISCR also spoke during the session. According to Encalada, COVID-19 has led to a reduction in the technical capacity within the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) as the human resources there has been reduced. The Government of Belize provides a subvention to NICH, but there are not enough funds for programming.
BHA has over the years enjoyed the support of NICH. However, the BHA is now being encouraged to become autonomous. “I don’t know where NICH will be in the next six months,” remarked Nigel Encalada.
Meanwhile, the BHA was able to successfully raise some funds during the online meeting towards the cost of having a host for a planned website. Supporters contend that by having an active website, the BHA will be able to have a greater outreach in the national and international community.
BHA has also encouraged more Belizeans and members of the Diaspora to become actively engaged as members.
“What COVID-19 has not taken from us is our intellectual wealth,” said Dr. Abigail McKay at the bi-annual meeting.