Observances of Garifuna Settlement Day were held all across Belize
yesterday but the official event was held in Dangriga Town. The Prime Minister
was in attendance and he was welcomed by retiring Mayor Frank Papa Mena.
[Garifuna Chant and Dance]
Mayor Frank ‘Papa’ Mena, Dangriga
“The Garinagu persevered. Triumph in life is achieved by those who
dare to believe that something within is superior to circumstances. We are blest,
talent filled, and ambitious. The 19th celebration affirms our resilience as
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
“We are blest to be able to live in a country where there are many
different cultures making up our national fabric, constituting the mosaic that
is the way of life for our society. Of course among these cultures, that of
the Garinagu is perhaps the strongest, the most beautiful and the most complete.
It is thus an act of obligatory national solidarity for all in the land to honour the Garinagu. That is why I can truly say not only to Garinagu but to all Belizeans
happy Garifuna Settlement Day.”
And while Dangriga’s event ended with a massive parade, in Punta
Gorda the cultural festivities were concentrated on the night before at the
first banquet of the National Garifuna Council. Three Ministers of Government
attended and even though Culture Minister Marcel Cardona tried to learn how
to play the drum, he couldn’t – even though a child led him. We
leave you with other images from the celebration tonight.