Coming Soon: The Seine Bight Welcome Center Concept

by Carolee Chanona

Seine Bight, the small Garifuna fishing village on the Placencia peninsula and one of the handfuls of coastal communities in Southern Belize, will soon offer transformative guest experiences to come with the construction of a new Welcome Center Concept. Announced on August 3 by the Belize Tourism Board at the current Seine Bight Police Station, the planned facility will provide modern amenities and versatile spaces with lighting, landscaping, and a heavy-handed focus on culture and heritage. Undoubtedly, this new infrastructure will expand and enhance Seine Bight’s already vibrant collection of tours, events, educational programs, and community experiences.

What’s Planned Ahead for Seine Bight

A 2500 sq. ft. open concept welcome center will include a Garifuna culture museum, while a 500 sq. ft. mini-amphitheater entertainment center will have a seating area for drumming and cultural performances. The outdoor seating area, complete with benches, will be able to accommodate 60 visitors, with three vendor booths available for food and artists. A walkway from the road, all the way up to the Caribbean Sea, is included in the plans. While the relocation of the Police Station is expected shortly, the anticipated completion of the Seine Bight Welcome Center is nine months.

Seine Bight is accessible by a fully paved 27-mile road that heads off the Southern Highway, after Maya Beach, and en route to Placencia Village. As a stronghold for the Garifuna culture, their joy and sheer pride for heritage are palpable. Understandable, given the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed the Garifuna language, dance, and music as one of the “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” in 2001. As plans to expand guest experiences in Seine Bight grow by way of a new Welcome Center, this is one space to watch.

All images via Belize Tourism Board.

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