San Ignacio-Santa Elena House of Culture

The San Ignacio-Santa Elena House of Culture sits atop a limestone hill overlooking the twin towns’ historic downtown area, the Police Station and the Hawksworth Bridge. Thousands of years ago, the Maya inhabited this area and the remains of a chultun and potsherds on the premises attest to that.  

The building that houses the SISE House of Culture served as a hospital from the 1920s to 2009. Under the stilts that hold up the wooden structure are a few remaining tombstones from over a hundred years ago when there was a cemetery there. The ‘Old Hospital’, as it is commonly referred to, is an emblem of history for the Twin Towns.  

Today, as the SISE House of Culture, the building serves as a cultural center, where, in line with NICH’s vision and mission, we promote history, art, culture and community. We do this through activities like the Good Friday Sawdust Tapestries Project and the Summer Arts programs as well as through exhibits, school visits, workshops, lectures and presentations, and by hosting community organizations. We collaborate with artists, youth groups and cultural promoters, schools, institutions like the Town Council and NGOs, as well as the business community.  

The SISE House of Culture has a Gallery room and small studio and two Activity/Conference rooms and a small Music room. The gallery and conference rooms are available for workshops and meetings for a fee or donation to the SISE House of Culture so that we can continue to carry out our programs and activities. We also have a big yard, which we intend to continue to beautify and grow a garden in.   

Our vision for the SISE House of Culture is for it to be a hub for community, the arts, history and culture.