February 23rd was the first year anniversary of the inauguration of the Park. Celebrate with us by helping.

Visit personal web site of Maria Garcia.


Resume of Maria Garcia
Itzamna Society, Chairperson


Maria Garcia
San Antonio Village
PO Box 75
San Ignacio, Cayo District
091-2023 Home • 016-7739 Cell
e-mail: life@epnp.org


Employment History

Chairperson of the Itzamna Society (1998-present)

  • Elected chairperson of Itzamna Society
  • Coordinate community meetings for the villages of San Antonio, Cristo Rey, and Seven Miles
  • Educate villagers and elicit their support for the Elijio Panti National Park
  • Coordinated a co-management inauguration celebration for 350 people, which included Mayan spiritualists, environmentalists, embassies, other NGO's, and local villagers, June 2001
  • Prepared educational material for students of the United Pentecostal School for the General Symposium, March 2000
  • Awarded a certificate for "Contribucion al Desarrollo de la Cultura Ecologica," from SEMAneta International, December 2001
  • Coordinated the following seminars for community and Itzamna members:
    Park Management - Friends for Conservation and Development, 2000
    Cave Tour Training - Ministry of Archaeology, 2000
    Organic Cultivation - Cacao Grower's Association in San Antonio, Toledo District, 2000
    CO-management of Protected Areas - Forestry Division, 2001
    Protected Areas Conservation - Janus Foundation, 2001
    Conservation, National Park Regulations and Development plans for EPNP - Itzamna Society and Forestry Division, 2001
    Pine Beetle and Fire Monitoring - Forestry Division, 2002
    National Park Conservation and Planning - Friends for Conservation, 2002
    Community Awareness in Fire Control - Itzamna Society and Forestry Department, 2002

Professional Artist, Self-employed (1981-present)

  • Opened and managed a gift shop containing local art in San Antonio, Cayo since 1985
  • Trained others to carve slate rock
  • Educates visitors of the ancient Mayan religion and beliefs
  • Promoted Mayan art and Culture through the Belize Tourism Board
  • Awarded "Permanent Artist of Belize" at Riverfest in 1995

Tanah Museum Manager (1991-present)

  • Built a museum to demonstrate traditional Mayan culture
  • Collected Mayan artifacts, tools, instruments to display
  • Educate visitors and students of Mayan beliefs and traditions

Chichaan Kaa Lodge Manager (1995-present)

  • Designed, built, and furnished an eight-room lodge
  • Responsible for the advertisements and promotions
  • Maintain the lodge and grounds

Farmer/Business Manager (1976-1981)

  • Monitored and accounted for family farming business
  • Collected chicle
  • Coordinated farmers

Other Skills/Training

  • Accounting and Promotion through the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Bob Wilson, 1996
  • Introduction to and Intermediate level of Computer Use through the Cayo Computer Center, 2001-2002


  • Roman Catholic School, San Antonio, Cayo
  • Finished third in class

Background Information

Maria Garcia is the niece, student and inheritor of the work of the erstwhile Elijio Panti. Before his death in 1996, Panti was renowned in Belize and in the world of herbal medicine as a knowledgeable Mayan herbalist and he was a spiritual leader for his people.

Maria is a native Mayan who lives in a village within the newly created National Park. You can visit her web site about her work in her village. Maria has dedicated her life to her people, to her uncle’s dream of protecting and preserving wild nature and the plant heritage of this area from increasing destruction by humans and to education about our interrelationship with nature.