The following is a biographical profile on Julian Armando Cho (1962 -1998), Belize indigenous rights advocate:
- Julian Armando Cho was born on April 6th, 1962 in the village of San Jose in the Toledo District of Belize.
- He served as an English teacher at St. John’s College (1990- 1991), Sacred Heart College (1991-1994), and the Toledo Community College (1994- 1998).
- He was a great story teller and his creative style of teaching incorporating local elements to ensure that every student was reached.
- Julian joined the Toledo Maya Cultural Council (TMCC), a group working for the indigenous people of the Toledo District and was a force for indigenous rights.
- Julian also mobilized his people into functional groups, inspiring the formation of the Toledo Alcalde Association (TAA), and the Toledo Maya Women’s Council.
- On December 3rd 1995, he led a peaceful demonstration march to voice the indigenous people concerns over the granting of logging concessions on indigenous lands.
- He was able to mobilize and influence communities and develop strong affiliation with the Indian Law Resource Center (ILRC) which enabled him to effectively present the indigenous agenda to Belize and initiated the production of a Maya Atlas.
- On November 25th 1998, the government of Belize signed a Memorandum of Understanding to negotiate a solution to the Maya land rights struggle.
- Cho’s untimely death in December, 1998 was a huge loss to the Maya people and to the environment of southern Belize. He was posthumously awarded the James A. Waight Conservation Award for his tireless efforts.
Information & Photo courtesy of: Julian Cho Society & Ms. Maggie Cho-Absher
How to cite: ISCR/NICH. “Julian Armando Cho (1962-1998).” Belize’s Heroes, Patriots & Benefactors Exhibit. Retrieved from: [Insert BHA Website URL]
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