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#221500 - 11/27/06 05:32 PM Caye Caulker's Drum Debate
Auxillou Beach Suites Offline
Excerpt from:

Caye Caulker's Drum Debate

Last night we showed you the brewing problem of traffic regulation on Caye Caulker. But that is not the only issue in the small tourist hotspot. Over the past few weeks there have been complaints by entertainment businessmen that they are not being allowed to play loud music on the caye, in particular live Garifuna Music.

And just like the traffic tiff, the drum debate has as many nuances as a well beaten primero.
Alfonso Noble, Reporting

For most the pulse of Garifuna drums with shakas are an invitation to dance.
Add those contagious rhythms to an island setting and you have a recipe sure to entice tourists.
And that's just what Jeovanni Melendes has been serving up at his herbal tribe establishment for years.
But now Melendez says he can't mix drumming with drinking and dining anymore.
Strict enforcement of publican licenses on the island has forced Melendez to muzzle his drums.

Marcial Alamina
Chairman Liquor Licensing Board
The law says that if you have a publican special or any kind of liquor license and you want to have live or loud music on your premises you must soundproof. We have given one particular establishment a few hours to play like maybe 6 to 8 in the evening, he claims that it's for cultural purposes, which is nice.
(But) He became a nuisance to the neighborhood. You could pass there and you could see and hear the music being played loudly. After several letters, he refused to comply
But Melendez says, he's not refusing to comply, he simply wants to show off his culture.

But culture to some is noise to others at least that's the logic of the Chairman of the Liquor Licensing Board in Caye Caulker.
Melendez disagrees.

Jeovanni Melendez
Owner, Herbal Tribe Restaurant
Everytime I request to play couple hours of culture music, they say no.

Marcial Alamina
Chairman Liquor Licensing Board
You give them tow hours and they take three, four, five, you give them one day and they take three, four days.

Jeovanni Melendez
Owner, Herbal Tribe Restaurant
Most of the times we play 15 minutes, then we stop and then we come back in 15 minutes, and play another 15 minutes. It's not noise it's just two drums, a primero, bass and a shaka man and turtle shell. And everyone accuse me of doing noise pollution. That's what they calling the drums, the culture, noise pollution, I don't know…
Marcial Alamina
Chairman Liquor Licensing Board
Like I told him and every other establishment if he soundproof, he can play when he wants, whether I am on the board or not .
If you allow people to just "rif-raf" the place, the place will look "shisshy"
To avoid this, the publican license regulations state that those wishing to play loud music must sound-proof their establishments.

That solution is one that Melendez simply won't entertain.

Marcial Alamina
Chairman Liquor Licensing Board
When it comes to prejudice and all that, it has nothing to do with what the law is saying; it's simply put, if you want to play live music, you must simply soundproof.

Jeovanni Melendez
Owner, Herbal Tribe Restaurant
Soundproof I really don't want to do it. I better give them the rights and things. If culture is noise pollution, I'll leave that. It's their mentality. My mentality (says) the drumming is just culture and if you not support culture, what we gonna have later?
Now culture is against the law, or the law is against the culture you know?
And there lies the conundrum that Caye Caulker is grappling with: where does culture and commerce end, and the community's right to quiet nights begin?

Melendez told us that to comply with the Liquor Licensing Board, he did not have celebrations for the 19th November.
Wendy Auxillou
Auxillou Beach Suites
Caye Caulker, Belize

#221501 - 11/28/06 10:19 PM Re: Caye Caulker's Drum Debate
Cooper Offline
Some months ago Jeovanni had his liquor pulled and was cited for the drums playing to late. I snooped around and talked to the guest at the neighboring hotels some even wrote letters. Not one person was offended. All thought Herbal Tribe a great place. The best example of authentic Belize culture. The message board was all a chatter about it. Its a pity, sad for the tourist. Knowone here stays up to late most are up at the crack of dawn to go to the reef or beyond. Let the culture flow at least til 10 oclock. The tourist who come to this Island can just as easily go somewhere else.

#221502 - 11/29/06 11:29 AM Re: Caye Caulker's Drum Debate
chancie Offline
Nobody, complains about the noise pollution from the Lobsterfest,Easter or other noise when it's in the ccvc's interest.We hear the bass beat from the Disco, supposedly soundproof. Let culture prevail. If it's good for one, it's good for all.

#221503 - 11/29/06 03:58 PM Re: Caye Caulker's Drum Debate
skubakat Offline
Does anyone complain about the music from the CD/jewelry shop near the Sand Box? Sounds of "Papa Hungry, Mama Hungry...." and "Ganja, Ganja".....Personally, I think it adds to the atmosphere. I agree that we all like to get a little sleep, so a noise cutoff time is good, but during the day....enjoy it!

#221504 - 11/30/06 11:39 AM Re: Caye Caulker's Drum Debate
wika Offline
We were on Caye Caulker last year and we really enjoyed the drumming sessions at Geovanni's, as did all the other tourists we talked to. It was a pleasure to hear really expert Gerifuna drumming and chanting and it was a live experience of Belizean culture for us. It's a pity, they want to take this piece of attractiveness away from tourists, probably just due to some jealousy of Geovanni's good business.

#225935 - 01/07/07 06:49 PM Re: Caye Caulker's Drum Debate [Re: wika]
CorozalBayResort Offline
That is exactly what it is.
Jealousy of him having more business than others & I bet politics. I go through the same thing here in Corozal, year after year, after year.
Everyone on the Liquor Licensing Board is on my side, except for the Chairlady who refuses to grant me a license. I have already been told by insiders that she has already said at the closed meeting (a few days ago) that she will not agree to giving me a license again in 2007. Our meeting is on the 14th of this month. Every year she shuts down the bar for a few days while I make phone calls to Belmopan.
BUT!, the local brothels are granted a license by her in a second.
And she does not complain about the super loud music from political rallies, public dances, weddings, beach parties and so on.
Doug & Maria Podzun

#225992 - 01/08/07 11:25 AM Re: Caye Caulker's Drum Debate [Re: CorozalBayResort]
Cooper Offline
Its BULLSHIT!! Excuse my language but I actually went out and asked all the guest I could find staying near Herbal Tribe last year when they took Herbal Tribes liqour License away, Barefoot Caribe guest as well, some even wrote me letters. NOT ONE TOURIST had anything bad to say. EVERYONE said it was great, at that time the drums went on til 10pm. The tourist ALL said it was the most authentic experience they had here, even if they were listening from their rooms, The 10 pm quit time was totally acceptable, I did have 2 of the 15 or 16 couples say the drumming down the street that was ALLOWED to go on til well after midnite did bother them. This is political, its conjured up by other business owners, how dare they say it is to provide a better experience for the tourist!!!!

#226241 - 01/09/07 07:34 PM Re: Caye Caulker's Drum Debate [Re: Cooper]
auxilloubeachsuites Offline
Tourists are not the only people that live near Herbal Tribes, and in fact they only have to listen to the drumming a few days out of their entire lifetime. Families with babies and small children that need to sleep so they can be rested for school the next day also live near Herbal Tribes. In fact, they live right behind it. I hope a happy balance can be reached.
Auxillou Beach Suites
Caulker Properties
Caulker Chronicles

#226301 - 01/10/07 11:36 AM Re: Caye Caulker's Drum Debate [Re: auxilloubeachsuites] Offline
Right on Wendy. When you're living next to it, or near it, day in and day out, its not so charming. People have to get up and go to work the next day and many times they don't stop at 10 p.m. I feel sorry for the people living close there.
Caribbean Colors Art Gallery, Caye Caulker

#226496 - 01/11/07 06:53 PM Re: Caye Caulker's Drum Debate [Re:]
Cooper Offline
I still do not think that drumming that ends at 8 pm should be a bother to anyone. Almost everyone on this island depends on Tourism for their livlng, including myself. I lived right in the Village for the first 3 years I was here, it had its ups and downs, I never knew what night I would get any sleep or not, but it was never the drumming that kept me up, always a neighbor being loud til 2 or 3 am. Or folks deciding to party outside all night. Our small community has months of slow season and all is sooo quiet. That a few months of High Season and the little extra noise that comes with it is just one of those things that comes with the Territory. Wendy would be living a very different lifestyle without the Tourist as we all would who live here.I respect the different cultures that make up Belize, I dont think it should get lost in the modern day world. Most of the villages in Belize allow drumming, even promote it. Tourism is going crazy in Hopkins, rooms are ALL full,most through the season. The Garifuna Culture is alive and well and the drums are beating, and still people seem to get enough sleep..

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