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Feb 26, 2002

Punta Boys: From streets to stage

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You’ve heard of the Punta Rebels and may have danced to the sounds of the Griga Boyz. So you are forgiven if the subject of this next story seems familiar. Make way for the Punta Boys.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Since they were children, these young men have been beating Garifuna drums and entertaining tourists in their hometown of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Today, the drums have been complemented with other musical instruments and the youths have formed the Punta Boys Band.

The seven musicians, all under twenty-one, have had a rough start.

Without jobs or marketable skills, they could have easily slipped into the seamier side of Belizean life. They are hoping that music will provide an alternative.

Dox Thomas, Promoter, Punta Boys

“I’m hoping we will give the country of Belize and everybody a new rhythm and everybody will enjoy this group, give everybody something to think about. These are very young men who are trying to do something positive. Here in Belize we find out everyday when we listen to news, young men are getting shot, young men are getting into problems.”

The band is headed by Carlos and Mario Chimilio. The brothers encouraged the group to try and make money the best way they can.

Carlos Chimilio, Band Leader, Punta Boys

“Well right now everybody is trying all their best in working on this stuff together as a team. I mean it’s a band and we all trying to push hard as we can.”

Mario Chimilio

“We start of small, we grow up together, so when I see this now, that everybody really serious into this and we play good, I really feel proud of this band.”

The members say they hope the public will appreciate the band when it performs for the first time. That performance will take place on Saturday in Orange Walk when the group embarks on a nationwide tour. Jacqueline Woods reporting for News 5.

The Boys say that a portion of the tour’s proceeds will be donated to schools for the development of cultural programmes.

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