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Nov 21, 2022

Celebrating Garifuna History and Future  

This year’s celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day drew record numbers in Dangriga where Belizeans from across the country, and others in the Diaspora, gathered for a weekend of nonstop music, food and dance.  It was a cultural experience chock-filled with activities for everyone, including Prime Minister John Briceño who led a procession to church for an ecumenical service.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Garifuna Settlement Day 2022 was celebrated in grand fashion on Saturday, as thousands of Belizeans converged on Dangriga on the nineteenth of November.  Festivities kicked off in the Kolcha Capital on Friday night and reached a high point the following morning when Prime Minister John Briceno and several of his cabinet ministers arrived to formally commence the celebration.


John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“Every years since 1977, we celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day across Belize as one people.  As diverse as our Belizean culture is, what unites us is that we are each a part of the sum total of a whole nation, one Belize.  What is also special though, is our ability to use occasions like these, not only to embrace but to celebrate the diversity and to reject those sentiments of our past which sought.. to divide us.”


Guest speaker at Saturday’s event was Desiree Pascual.  She spoke about Garifuna unity, cultural preservation and knowledge, as well as appreciation for Garifuna history.


Desiree Pascual

Desiree Pascual, Guest Speaker

“We need to learn to motivate each other and look out for each other.  This is the only way the Garifuna culture will continue to celebrate success.  There is a sense of congruence and unity that prevails among us as a people.  Garifunaduou is family, a community that shares common values and rituals that are highly fundamental in our lives.  When it comes to us celebrating, especially on a day like today, every family celebrates.  Yes, we need to celebrate as a family, but also, we need to remember the core values of why we’re celebrating.”


Dr. Louis Zabaneh, area representative for Dangriga also spoke about the Garifuna journey and the importance of the people to Belizean history, and living up to the theme for this year’s celebration.


Louis Zabaneh

Dr. Louis Zabaneh, Area Representative, Dangriga

“We have already started the journey and we must keep advancing forward and continuing to be there for each other.  It is in this spirit that I would like to share the importance of this perseverance we are talking about, this commitment that we are talking about.  As we have heard today, Garinagu have set a great example for all of us on the importance of being steadfast and enduring sacrifices to attain the important goal of remaining free and building a new future.  Sustainable human development is about ensuring a cohesive society, a vibrant and equitable economy, just and accountable institutions and a healthy environment.  So we must work together to achieve this sustainable human development and be true to this year’s theme.”


Isani Cayetano for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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