Florencio Mess is one of the few remaining harpists to maintain the centuries-old tradition of Maya K'ekchi' harp music and instrument crafting. His music is a living link to the vibrant ancient Maya culture and is an important part of village celebrations in southern Belize as well as an important contribution to Belize's culture heritage.
Mess continues to live in the remote Maya K'ekchi' village of San Pedro Colombia where he works his farm, crafts instruments and plays at local celebrations and fiestas. He has also played extensively throughout Belize and the region.
Like most traditional Maya musicians, Mess learned to play as a child, studying under a mentor who taught him not only the music, but how to fashion instruments out of rain forest hardwoods and using traditional tools.
Mr. Mess has a large repertoire, based entirely on traditional songs which most villagers believe were composed by the Maya gods centuries ago.