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The Maya Centre Women’s Group

A small section of the region known as the Cockscomb Basin in Belize was declared a National Forest Reserve/Jaguar Preserve on 2 December 1984 — the fi rst protected area devoted to the largest feline species in North America. The reserve was gradually extended until, in 1995, the area — now known as the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS) — encompassed 122,000 acres, incorporating a vast range of rivers and valleys bounded by the Maya Mountains (BAS, 2008). Well inside the park lands, inaccessible to most visitors, are the ruins of a three small Maya archaeological sites.