What started as a project to beautify the Seashore Children’s Park in Buttonwood Bay, Belize City, has garnered the attention of the county, visiting tourists and now has received the full endorsement of the Belize Ministry of Tourism.
The colorful and attractive Belize Sign was mounted at the city park by the Buttonwood Bay community with resident and attorney Estevan Perera being the brainchild of the project. Big, bold and colorful letters made of concrete spell out BELIZE and adorn the park by the seaside. Once it was complete, it attracted attention from more than the community that was proud of their creation.
The sign, which was first officially recognized by the Belize City Council, has become a tourist attraction. Most recently, Caribbean Soca artist Machel Montano posed next to the sign to show his love for Belize and this week the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) also endorsed the project. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia held a small ceremony with Perera to seal the BTB’s endorsement.
Residents of Buttonwood Bay work on painting the Belize Sign
"Today we are here to witness the unveiling of this beautiful sign that showcases our beautiful Belize,” commented Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism, to Channel 5 News of Belize City. “If you see the colors it well reflect the logo of BTB and BTB is an institution of tourism but this park is a little different. This is about the children, a park that once used more by the adults for other activities. Today it is well lit and you can see the children enjoying, not only the swings but also the sign where you can see them climbing. On the other side of the tourism industry, it is being used as a Belize City tour. Many of the cruise passengers will pass over here and will take pictures in front of the sign and I believe a lot of it is owed to Steve Perrera's initiative and the neighbors around."
“The creation of the BELIZE sign was something done for and by the community,” commented Steve Perera, “It’s designed to bring Belizeans together and to enhance our appreciation for the jewel we live in. I must say that every assistance that we get is much appreciated. I applaud the Minister's efforts in endorsing the sign as a tourist attraction for all. The Minister, the Mayor, BTB and NICH supported the idea and assisted in having BEL provide additional lighting for the park and garbage disposal. The city council is to provide further landfill and park benches this week. The park is for the children of Belize from all areas to enjoy. Yesterday I saw two older folks about the age of 89 take a photo in front of the sign. I truly felt happy to see that.”
Heredia says that other seaside municipalities should consider mounting signs of their own.