San Pedro Garifuna Council launches November Celebrations activities calendar

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

The National Garifuna Council San Pedro Branch (NGCSPB) has prepared their calendar of activities for the November celebrations leading up to Garifuna Settlement Day, celebrated annually on November 19th. Held under the national theme, ‘Lererun Garifuna Laguchabei Labagaridun Garifunaduau!- Garifuna Language is the Foundation of Garifuna Survival!,’ this year’s activities include education and entertainment.

The Garifuna Settlement Day activities will commence on Saturday, October 26th with the return of the Miss Garifuna San Pedro Branch pageant to be held at Lions Den in downtown San Pedro starting at 8PM. Activities will continue with a two-day drumming event, on Saturday, November 2nd at the Central Park. On Sunday, November 3rd, it will be at the Boca Del Rio Park. Both events start at 7PM. On Wednesday, November 6th a Garifuna Translation Workshop will be held for all island teachers who are interested in raising awareness on the importance of keeping the language alive for the younger generation.

A Garifuna Mass will be held on Sunday, November 10th at 10AM at San Pedro Roman Catholic Church. The following day, a drumming competition will be held at Central Park starting at 7PM. To highlight the importance of the Garifuna culture and its contribution to Belize, a Social Studies Night for island students will be held at the San Pedro Town Public Library (SPTPL) starting at 7PM on Tuesday, November 12th. A storytelling activity will be held at SPTPL starting at 7PM on Thursday, November 14th. A Garifuna Awareness reenactment for all primary schools on the island will follow on Friday, November 15th at Boca Del Rio Park at 9AM.

On Monday, November 18th the official celebrations to commemorate the 186th anniversary of the arrival of Garinagu people to Belize will start from 8PM. Taking place will be the official coronation of the Miss Garifuna San Pedro 2019, live cultural presentations, music and of course drumming all night long to bring in the 19th.

On Tuesday, November 19th, the festivities will commence with the official Yurumein, which is a reenactment of the arrival of the Garifuna to Belize, followed by a parade through the streets of San Pedro Town. All are invited to Central Park, where there will be lots of food and live music all day long.

National Garifuna Council San Pedro Branch President Eden Velasquez is excited about the different Garifuna Settlement Day activities in San Pedro Town and is looking forward to a successful turnout during her term as president. “We are starting to raise awareness early about the different activities happening in November. We hope to see islanders take part and enjoy all the music, food and rich traditions that the Garifuna culture has to offer,” she said.

Persons interested in participating in any of the activities or wanting to become a sponsor can contact Velasquez at 614-7769 or email her at [email protected] You can also reach her at SPTPL, located on Barrier Reef Drive.

The Garifuna people arrived in Belize in 1832 after they left their native St. Vincent in the Caribbean. Their cultural contribution to Belize has been so positive that in 1977, under the leadership of the late Premier George Price, November 19th was officially declared a public and bank holiday. The National Garifuna Council, along with The San Pedro Town Council and the Cultural Committee on the island wishes everyone a Happy Garifuna Settlement Day!

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