Buckingham Palace has approved the appointment of Froyla Tzalam, as the next Governor General of Belize. Reported today News 5.
Mrs. Tzalam is the first Maya Mopan woman to become a governor general in the 54 member countries of the British Commonwealth that extents Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific.
On Friday, 28th May, Tzalam became Belize’s third Governor General and the second woman to assume the seat.
Belize is a member of the British Commonwealth with HM Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. The governor general represents Queen Elizabeth II in the Central American country.
In her inaugural address Tzalam stated “I am honoured to stand before you today as a Belizean Maya Mopan woman and to express my deep appreciation and gratitude for this recognition. I am very aware of the responsibility that comes from holding this office and I will do my work as I have done elsewhere with passion and commitment to do good to the best of my ability.
Many roots people and others have expressed their pride and happiness in seeing someone like them reflected in the highest office in Belize. All children can now aspire to be a Governor General, no matter their background.” Tzalam added.
Tzalam, has worked in the fields of culture, history and indigenous rights over the past decades. She wrote a grammar book on Mopan Maya and numerous articles on culture and identity.
She was co-director of the African Maya History Project and for which she wrote co-authored New Vision. During her time with the National Institute of Culture and History, she curated numerous exhibitions on Belize’s culture and history.
Before her appointment as General Governor of Belize, she was most recently the Managing Director of Tumul K’in Center of Learning, a Maya values based high school in Blue Creek.
The Maya are Belize’s indigenous population. They are the direct descendants of the original indigenous inhabitants of the Yucatán peninsula. The three Maya groups in Belize are the Yucatec, Mopan, and Q’eqchi’ Maya.