Monday, April 15, 2024

Ambergris Caye celebrates Garifuna Settlement Day


Every year on November 19th, Belize celebrates the Garifuna culture by honoring the arrival of the Garinagu people to Belize in 1802. This year, the Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations were again observed on the La Isla Bonita with traditional drumming, dancing, singing, and the re-enactment of the Garifuna’s arrival to the country performed at Central Park.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there were no large parades and performances as in previous years. This year the holiday was held under the theme ‘Au Bun, Amürü Nu Hagabüribei Garinagu; Awanse Wamá Lau’: ‘I for You, You for Me’ Is the Garifuna Way; Let Us Move Forward.

The festivity on the island started on Thursday, November 18th, with drumming and dancing. Councilors from the San Pedro Town Council, Adaly Ayuso, Dianeli Aranda, and Johnnia Duarte, joined members of the Garifuna community in a celebration under the theme ‘When You Hear That Drum’’’ where they distributed fish and plantain to the Garifuna community on the island.

Friday, November 19th, the public and bank holiday and official Garifuna Settlement Day started with the Yurumein, which means ‘homeland,’ and is a lively re-enactment of the arrival of the Garifuna people to Belize via boats arriving at the beach at Central Park. Dressed in traditional clothing and waving the white, black, and yellow Garifuna flag along with the Belizean one, participants swayed palm fronds, carried green coconuts still on the branch, and played their drums just as their ancestors did. They marched onto the Central Park drumming, dancing, and singing. Afterward, Father Eduardo Montemayor of the San Pedro Catholic Church greeted and blessed the crowd.

Cultural activities continued at Central Park with more drumming, cultural exhibitions, and traditional
Garifuna food. Some of the delicacies included Hudut, and Tapou, and Sahou. The San Pedro Sun wishes everyone a very happy Garifuna Settlement Day and encourages those celebrating the holiday to be careful and follow the COVID-19 health regulations.


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