El Proyecto Lagartija Centro America is an association which is comprised of professional actors and actresses who conduct several workshops and activities in the field of drama. The main objective of the group is to transform adversities into events and implement these practices so as to strengthen the theatre or what is commonly known as the art of acting.

The project was born as a result of the el ‘El Karomato Project’ which offered training sessions for drama within the Central American region. Though the project only lasted a period of three years, some it’s participants took the initiative of organizing the now existing El Proyecto Lagartija Centro America which includes Belize.

Every year, the asamblea or annual general meeting is held in a Central American country to discuss important matters including future activities and finance. This year it is being held in Panama and representing Belize are Nucleo for the Proyecto Lagartija Belize Beverly Swasey and Orange Walk’s very own Florencia Loyola Castillo who is the Activities Coordinator for the Belize Association for the Development of Arts (BADA).

Screen_Shot_2017-01-09_at_6.11.13_PMLoyola Castillo – Activities Coordinator, BADA

“This is a project that had started from 2005 but Belize joined in 2009 and from 2009 we have had representation with Mrs. Beverly Swasey from Belmopan and she directs and practically owns Capital Culture Drama Club, it’s a theater Group and she has been the nuclear for Belize, well recently since last year I was sked to be a part of this project because Belize as you know is very well not popular with Drama and Mrs. Beverly has been having some difficulties with the language because it is in Spanish so since I have been doing monitoring and reports from 2005 for Belize in this regional drama project I was asked to become part so that I can learn whatever they teach and we can come back and share here in Belize, this meeting is held once a year in a Central American country, it gathers participants who are the nucleus and representative from every country from Panama to Belize, two from each and we discuss at this meeting the topics for the following year and how we can assist financially the country that will be hosting all of us for the coming year.”

BADA which is also considered as an umbrella for drama here in Belize opens its doors to performing enthusiasts with the intention of offering them the opportunity to partake in the regional project.

Loyola Castillo – Activities Coordinator, BADA

“Most of the people involve are people who are enthusiast of drama within their area meaning their different districts but this Association too it has been more active which is Orange Walk and Belmopan, we had to be registered and we had to have our bank accounts so that we can be recognized within the region legally and that is the reason why we are legal and we are registered and we work within the region, the objective of this group is to have an umbrella for drama in Belize where people from within Belize can come an join us and take part in workshop and become part of this regional project, get trained comeback and have their theatre groups get bigger and have more presentation in the community, collaborate with the primary school and high schools.”

For Castillo who is representing Belize for the second consecutive year, her participation in the seminar serves as a medium to give back to the community through active summer programs as well as workshops.

Loyola Castillo – Activities Coordinator, BADA

“Personally I have tried to garner more people and it has been very difficult at times I get tired and I would like to hold back and don’t or quit but if I do then we would not have representation and I am hoping and I have seen progress within Orange Walk we can have dedicated people or enthusiast who would want to become part of this organization, who love drama and who would want to grow with it and they can be part and hopefully they can replace me and that would be my ultimate goal to have other people join and so that I can take a rest and look at them perform. I have been supporting the festival of arts here being a judicator for drama and wherever they call me to do workshop in drama I do like in Orange Walk Technical High School, and Bishop Martin High School and also at Banquitas House of Culture and every summer we try to keep up with this devolution because we cannot say replica because we cannot replicate a workshop so whatever we gain or learn in what we are going to and we give it back through our programs.”

Belize is expected to host the fifteenth annual general meeting in the year 2020.

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