Nine Belizeans were today honored for their invaluable work in the development of Belize as the nation marks the fortieth anniversary of its political independence. Among the esteemed group of honourees are a writer, a dramatist, a dancer and a musician. Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology Francis Fonseca described each recipient as vanguards of Belizean culture.
Evan X Hyde, Althea Sealy, Lucio Alcoser Sr., Fernando Cruz, Leroy Green, Leonides Sanchez and Florencia Castillo received the prizes named after Zee Edgell, Rosita Baltazar, Andy Palacio, George Gabb, Beverley Smith-Lopez, Leela Vernon and Don Elijio Panti respectively. In addition to a plaque, each prize winner received a cheque of two thousand dollars.///