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Nov 21, 2016

Garifuna Settlement Day in Dangriga: P.M. Gives to Garifuna Council

This past Saturday was Garifuna Settlement Day, celebrated annually on the nineteenth of November. It is a national tradition, as all of Belize pauses to celebrate with the Garifuna their rise into a people integrated and contributing to Belizean society. In Belize City and across the country, Garifuna and others observed three traditional pillars of Garifuna Settlement Day itself, since its start in 1941 by Thomas Vincent Ramos: the re-enactment of the first arrival of the Garinagu to Belize, also known as the Yurumein; the church service, traditionally held at a Roman Catholic Church and re-affirming Garifuna spirituality, and the parade and official ceremony. Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned to Dangriga for this year’s ceremonies, sharing the stage with Leader of the Opposition John Briceño and Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize Charles Liu, who received his own Garifuna drum. Last year, the Prime Minister gave contributions to fund a partial payment for the bust of Thomas Vincent Ramos by Stephen Okeke and to the Gulisi Community Primary School. This year’s bounty as announced on Saturday was smaller.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Last year I was able to offer a significant contribution to the Gulisi Primary School, dedicated to the all-important endeavour of the teaching of the Garifuna language. This year, after a wonderful visit that I had with the National Garifuna Council, Government was able to commit to an increase of subvention to the N.G.C., in order to help it embark on full time service to the Garifuna community. We were also able to help with the acquisition of the lot in the nation’s capital, earmarked for the siting of an office for the Belmopan Branch of the National Garifuna Council. And I publicly reiterate my promise to Miss Cynthia Cayetano of the Belize City Branch that Government will help to fund the extension of the Gulisi teaching project to the Old Commercial Capital of Belize City. Finally, I am also happy to announce that from next year, Government will re-institute, the post-ceremony, post-parade school children’s treat.”


Also in Dangriga, apart from the annual events and street parties, there was a tourism expo. The event was hosted by the Belize Tourism Industry Association. Here in the Old Capital, activities got started Saturday morning at the Belcan Bridge with the Yurumein re-enactment.

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