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More talk of Tren Maya expansion into neighboring Belize

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Chatter has begun again about the possibility of extending a section of Quintana Roo Maya Train into Belize. On Wednesday, Governor Mara Lezama Espinoza broached the topic as a proposal once Mexico’s seven Tren Maya sections are complete.

She said there is the possibility of expanding the Tren Maya project beyond Mexico’s borders by extending the route to Belize. Such a project would efficiently connect southeastern Mexico with Central and South America, thus strengthening commercial and tourism ties in the region.

Lezama Espinoza indicated that the proposal to extend the Maya Train to Belize would be carried out after the completion of all 1,554 kilometers of currently planned track, which is scheduled for the end of February 2024.

The Governor pointed out that the proposal to extend the Maya Train to Belize is already in the hands of the Federal Government of Mexico. She reported that evaluations are currently being conducted to determine the feasibility of connecting the Maya Train internationally with a particular focus on the neighboring nation of Belize.

This project represents a unique opportunity to improve connectivity and cultural and economic exchange between Mexico and Belize, she said. The possibility of the Maya Train crossing borders implies not only progress in terms of infrastructure, but also an important step towards greater regional integration.

However, Lezama emphasized that President López Obrador’s current priority is the completion of the Maya Train in Mexico. The focus is on ensuring that the project reaches its full potential domestically before expanding internationally.

Mexico’s President López Obrador is seen here with Belize Prime Minister Johnny Briceño during one of many between-country visits.
Photo: AMLO May 7, 2022

In October 2021, during a visit to Mexico, Belize Prime Minister Johnny Briceño expressed interest in connecting his country with Mexico’s Tren Maya. During that visit, the Prime Minister of Belize met with various Mexican authorities in Cancun including then-Fonatur head Rogelio Jiménez Pons.

The pair discussed the possibility of the Maya Train connecting not only to the Chetumal-Belize border, but also to Santa Elena, which Pons said at the time, would bring great benefits to that area.

If approved, it would not represent any modification in terms of investment to the project in Mexico since Belize would seek its own investments from private initiatives, Pons reported during that visit.