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Jam Cruise 14 – Saving the Deer Dance



Join Positive Legacy’s Campaign to Save the Deer Dance of Belize!


Thank you for your interest in joining our campaign as we raise $13,500 to support the Deer Dance of Belize and insure this Mayan tradition lives on for generations to come.


Positive Legacy invests in projects that are a direct need or ask from the communities that we visit. The people of Belize have asked us to help protect and preserve their culture by investing in the Deer Dance Project. We have worked to develop a plan, now it’s time to start fundraising!



What is the Deer Dance?

FullSizeRender-5-300x225The Deer Dance is an important heritage practice of the Maya communities of southern Belize. The Maya are intimately connected to the rainforests where they have made their homes and livelihoods for hundreds of years. This connection is reinforced through the ecological practices of daily life, as well as through the celebrations and rituals that mark the changing of the seasons, the passing of time and the traditions of Maya heritage. The Deer Dance tells the story of the relationship between Maya people and the land, and is traditionally danced during the Christmas/winter solstice week.  Maya heritage practices are not simply important for telling the story of the past, but they are also critical to maintaining well-being in communities today.


To watch this short video of The Deer Dance click here: The Deer Dance



Project Details

551234_10151004072237990_238375268_n-225x300With the seemingly inevitable changes sweeping through indigenous communities in Belize and around the world, many community leaders in Santa Cruz village are concerned that the young people will not have an opportunity to learn the Deer Dance. There is a fear that, because of the rising expense of putting on such a dance, in addition to the encroachment of “development,” that young people who know how to dance and play the music for this elaborate tradition are dwindling. Heeding the communities’ desire to pass on these practices is, therefore, critical to a vibrant culture. This project will fund not only the Deer Dance in Santa Cruz this coming year but also the documentation of the dance, in audio and video and in the form of a workbook.



Fundraising Goals & Incentives:

We are asking that Jam Cruisers help us as we raise funds for the project before we set sail on Jam Cruise 14. This is an excellent opportunity for cruisers to donate directly to a specific project, personally get involved with a project and most certainly Leave a Positive Legacy in Belize for Jam Cruise 14. 100% of the funds that you raise will go directly to this project in Belize. If we happen to raise more than the cost of the project we will hold those funds in reserve for future projects.


Causevox Campaign– Positive Legacy will host a CauseVox Fundraising Campaign from October 15-December 1 to raise funds online for the Deer Dance Project. We are asking for a few conscious cruisers to setup a personal fundraising page under our campaign page and be ready to start fundraising with us on October 15. We are asking that you set a goal for yourself as far as how much you intend to raise and try your best to reach that goal. We have established some incentives for you that may help you make up your mind about your fundraising goal:

$25 Good Karma

-$50 Positive Legacy Poster

-$100 Positive Legacy T-shirt

-$250 Positive Legacy T-shirt & Klean Kanteen

-$500 All of the Above, No Charge for the JC14 Positive Legacy Day of Service in Belize, & An Appreciation Champagne Brunch on Jam Cruise 14 with the Positive Legacy Board and some special artists

-$1000 – Major Sponsor – All of the above plus your name in the workbook forward, video credits, and a highlight on the Positive Legacy website.



How to setup a personal fundraising page:

Go to positivelegacy.causevox.com and click create a Fundraising Page. The Causevox site will walk you through the steps to creating your personal page. You can also watch this video on setting up a personal page (last video featured on page).

CauseVox Support Videos


You can use these pics on your page and share in your social media circles Deer Dance Photos.



Tips on Fundraising:

Create a compelling story for your fundraising page that states your reasons for wanting to raise money for this cause.

Share your story and fundraising page on social media.

Share your story and fundraising page via email. You can also add your fundraising page to your footer for all emails that you send.

Share your story and fundraising page with your favorite musicians on Jam Cruise 14.

Take your fundraising offline and raise funds with a raffle, a community garage sale, a special event, an auction, or some other unique/creative face to face fundraising effort.



More Details about how our grant will be used to preserve The Deer Dance:

Support to conduct the Deer Dance, a four-day community dance festival highlighting traditional marimba musicians and dancers of all ages in the community of Santa Cruz in December 2015.


Audio and video documentation of the dance, along with  editing and dissemination on Ak’ K’utan Radio, a community radio station of and for the Maya people of Toledo, located in Blue Creek village. The radio station shares grounds with Tumul K’in Center of Learning, a high school that teaches Maya values, ecological and cultural traditions alongside the government curriculum. The school, like the radio station, which the students are involved in running, seeks to integrate traditional knowledge with skills for a changing world.


Production and printing of a workbook for students, explaining the significance, both past and present, of the Deer Dance, documenting the many stages and movements of the dance for students to learn as part of their school curriculum.


A $13,500 grant from Positive Legacy will allow for the training and rehearsal of a newer generation of Deer Dancers and musicians, as well as the training of the video production team. The equipment provided will enable Ak’ K’utan Radio to offer additional courses at a reduced cost and classes will be supported through Tumul K’in Center of Learning’s operating budget. Having the video, audio and workbook as tangible results of this project will allow the community to document and demonstrate their skills for future generations to learn and experience, and for potential funders including both local and international organizations interested in supporting environmental and cultural heritage preservation, the arts, capacity building and education.



Click Here To Donate to the Deer Dance Project



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