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Six annual symposia were held and were so successful they attracted scholars and lay Maya enthusiasts from Colorado, Washington (state), Texas, Massachusetts, Virginia, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio, Missouri, Maryland, Nevada, as well as from Canada, Germany and even Japan.
Speakers came from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Germany, The Netherlands, and France. All together this was an international event unparalleled for a community college. This class of event was also a great educational asset for the local community around the small city of Cocoa which is an hour away from any metropolitan area (Orlando).
Unfortunately, the BCC District President was forced into retirement and most of his administration were abruptly removed from their positions. As typical in political coups so familiar throughout Latin America, new policies swept away programs that were closely affiliated with the success of the former administration.
The new administration did the best they could under the political turmoil, but the international aspects of the Maya Symposium and especially the emphasis on attracting interested people from outside Florida did not fit in with the new policies to focus on the local county of Brevard and its students.
Our contract was entirely with the former administration. As a result F.L.A.A.R. has moved, and to avoid future disruptive political coups of this nature, we are maintaining ourselves independent for the time being, though several very tempting offers have been made from universities in other states. The F.L.A.A.R. Photo Archive and the F.L.A.A.R. library on pre-Columbian Mesoamerica form a several million dollar plum that would be a valued research resource on any college or university campus.
We thank the former administration for the opportunity to demonstrate our abilities (these web sites being one example). We also appreciate the gentlemanly manner in which the separation and retirement was handled, on both sides, under the interim BCC administration. It is nonetheless a shame and a waste that so many years of labor, on both sides, came to such a needless end. BCC continues on its chosen path and F.L.A.A.R .is doing equally well in its independence, especially internationally, with F.L.A.A.R. Director giving a lecture on advances in digital imaging at the Universitaet Bremen in NW Germany. We see no reason to escape the reality of the multi-ethnic international world around us and look forward to the digital world and the new millenium.