Our last week in Belize was spent attending the 2019 Belize Archaeology Symposium. This symposium was a great networking opportunity and we got to see the new research currently being conducted in Belize. This experience was very informative and gave me insight into how professional projects are prepared, researched, and presented in Maya Archaeology. A lot of the presentations helped solidify the idea of myself working in the region in the future.
I met a few highly regarded Maya archaeologists and discussed paths for furthering my career in archaeology. Many of the presenters started out assisting faculty members in the field like we are doing with Dr. Spenard before starting their own research here. This symposium helped me see what’s possible for my own future in archaeology, what a graduate-level education can help me achieve as well as employment opportunities if I decide to work in the region later.
If students want to experience archaeology abroad and are interested in the Maya, I highly recommend talking to Dr. Spenard about the possibility of accompanying him on his research trips to Belize. I hope more students in the future can have this same opportunity as I’ve had. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that can help put you on a path to furthering your academic career and help you find your place in contributing to the body of research being conducted in some of the most interesting and elaborate cultures in the Mesoamerica regions.