With countless talented painters across Belize, island artist Edwardo “Papo” Alamilla stands out in mastering realism in his pieces. Throughout the years, Papo has amazed the art community by mastering his interpretation of the Belizean lifestyle. He paints what he sees daily, recreating memories of his past on canvas. From gorgeous marine life to lush jungles and scenes of San Pedro in its early days, Papo brings a sense of life to his art.
As the son of a fishing family, Papo grew up surrounded by the beauty of the Belize Barrier Reef. From a young age, he developed a passion for art. He is self-taught and versatile, creating commissioned pieces or painting his ideas. Most of his work is acrylic, but he also paints with oils. Papo’s art is sold not only in Belize but carried by collectors and galleries around the world.
Papo’s talent has not gone unrecognized; in September 2023, he claimed the top prize in the Belize Tourism Through Art competition. His award-winning masterpiece, ‘Our People, Our Landscapes, Our Tourism,’ captivated a panel of judges well-versed in the arts by showcasing the country’s tourism landscape in all its beauty, including flora, fauna, and iconic attractions. Papo competed among 40 other artists nationwide, with only 19 submissions shortlisted.

Our People, Our Landscapes, Our Tourism

The winning painting included a well-known island fisherman, Wilfredo Alamilla Sr. Papo said he wanted to highlight his fishing practices and described the painting as capturing breathtaking vistas, showcasing the Lighthouse Reef Atoll area and the mesmerizing Great Blue Hole. The painting also included a Maya Archaeological site, a cultural gem drawing tourists to its historical allure. Other features include the great Belize Barrier Reef, mangrove system, and havens for numerous fish species. Sports fishing portraying the Grand Slam related to fly-fishing is included, along with the untainted splendor of the jungle, unpolluted by airborne contaminants, and featuring the majestic jaguar, the vibrant Macaw, and Belize’s national bird, the Toucan. The artwork also pays homage to the nation’s agricultural abundance, portraying the cane industry and a local woman proudly displaying her bountiful harvest from the fertile land.
Papo has even passed down his skills to his children, who have followed in his footsteps. The family’s paintings are displayed for purchase at his art studio on Tarpon Street in downtown San Pedro. The island artist welcomes art lovers and even works on customized paintings at his shop.

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About the Author: Janelle Cowo

The youngest member of the My Beautiful Belize family, Janelle loves traveling and experiencing new cultures both within and across the border of Belize. She particularly enjoys history and is an avid Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance reader. What she lacks in stature, Janelle has (and even surpasses) in spirit for adventure. She is willing to try pretty much anything, from daring jumps to new eats. Janelle lives her life according to Mae West quote “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

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