Corozal House of Culture
Located in the heart of Corozal Town in northern Corozal District, the Corozal House of Culture serves as the perfect introduction to the area’s long and colorful history.
Originally built to serve as the town’s market in 1886, the Corozal House of Culture (known to locals simply as “Corozal House”) is now a combination museum, art gallery, and community center. Renovated and transformed into the Corozal House of Culture, the building is operated by Belize’s National Institute of History and Culture (NICH) which also manages several other museums and ancient Maya archeological sites across the country.
The official address of the Corozal House of Culture is First Avenue just a few paces from the beaches of Corozal Bay, but the unique design and prominence of the building make it quite easy to find from just about anywhere in Corozal Town. The Corozal House of Culture is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with free admission for everyone. The Corozal House of Culture does not maintain its own website, but you can get contact information as well as information about upcoming exhibitions and cultural events by visiting their Facebook page.
The Corozal House of Culture regularly hosts cultural events such as dance workshops, folk singing exhibitions, book launches, art exhibitions, and poetry readings. But the main attraction is the museum which documents more than 3,000 years of life in Corozal District that includes exhibits from the time of the ancient Maya and information about the failed Spanish attempts at colonization, the Mexican Caste War of the 19th century, the British colonial period, and the modern era of Belizean independence.
The Maya people have been living in Corozal District for approximately 3,000 years. In Corozal Town, visitors can explore the ruins of Santa Rita which was once an important coastal trading site for the Maya. In the 17th century, the Spanish struggled to control the Maya and many of the Catholic churches they built were burned down as the Maya were constantly revolting. In the mid-19th century, a war in nearby Yucatan, Mexico saw thousands of indigenous people (known locally as “Mestizos”) emigrate to Corozal District.
The warm climate and fertile soil make Corozal District ideal for growing crops such as sugarcane, but in the past few decades, the district has diversified by developing its tourism industry and growing other crops such as papayas and citrus fruits.