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Froyla Tzalam

Froyla Tzalam
Tzalam in 2022
3rd Governor-General of Belize
Assumed office
27 May 2021
MonarchsElizabeth II
Charles III
Prime MinisterJohnny Briceño
Preceded bySir Colville Young
Personal details
BornSan Antonio, Toledo, British Honduras (now Belize)
SpouseDaniel Mendez[1]
Alma materTrinity University
University of Sussex

Dame Froyla Tzalam GCMG, is a Belizean Mopan Maya anthropologist and community leader, who has served as the third governor-general of Belize since 27 May 2021.

She is the first indigenous person of Maya descent to serve as governor-general of any country in the history of the Commonwealth.[3][4]


Tzalam is from the village of San Antonio, Toledo. She graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Trinity University, Texas. This was followed by a MA in Rural Development from University of Sussex.[5]


She was the executive director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM).[6]

Tzalam was shortlisted for nomination to the Senate in January 2017, but declined in order to concentrate on her work with SATIIM.[7]

Governor-General of Belize

Viceregal styles of
Dame Froyla Tzalam
Reference styleHer Excellency
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Dame Froyla meeting Dame Cindy Kiro, Governor-General of New Zealand, in London, 2022

It was announced on 22 April 2021 by Prime Minister of Belize John Briceno that she was nominated to be the next Governor-General of Belize following the retirement of Sir Colville Young.[8] She is the third Governor-General and the second woman appointed to the role.

On 21 March 2022, she was invested as a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge on behalf of Elizabeth II, Queen of Belize, during the Platinum Jubilee royal tour of Belize.[9][10][11]

Tzalam with the Duchess of Gloucester and the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace during her visit for the coronation of King Charles III


  1. ^ "Prime Minister John Briceño Independence Day Address 2021". 21 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Heartiest congratulations to Her Excellency Froyla Tzalam on her appointment as Governor General !! Ms. Tzalam is a woman of substance, of keen intellect, and of deep and abiding commitment to Belize and all our people. She will surely do us proud in executing her duties as our country's highest official. We wish her, her husband Daniel Mendez, and her lovely children Yasil and Yanil all of God's richest blessings today... - Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples' Affairs". Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  3. ^ Magazine, Diplomat (31 May 2021). "First Woman of Maya Descent Elected as Governor - General in the Commonwealth". Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  4. ^ "Congratulatory Outpouring for GG Froyla T'zalam |". Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  5. ^ "froyla tzalam". Namati.
  6. ^ "Staff & Board of Directors | Welcome to SATIIM".
  7. ^ "SATIIM's Froyla Tzalam Explains Decision to Decline Nomination". Channel 5 Belize. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  8. ^ "PM Confirms Nomination of Froyla Tzalam as the next Governor General". 22 April 2021. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Court circular: March 21, 2022". The Times.
  10. ^ "Governor General Froyla T'zalam Bestowed Title of Dame". Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  11. ^ "Investiture Ceremony". Twitter.
Government offices Preceded bySir Colville Young Governor-General of Belize 2021–present Incumbent
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Froyla Tzalam
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