Garifuna Culture impresses UNESCO World Heritage Center
The international jury of World Heritage Center in Paris has proclaimed the "Garifuna
Culture" to be "a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity." The
proclamation recognizes Garifuna language, music, dance and spiritual values to be of
outstanding universal value to all humanity.
The Secretary General of the Belize National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Teny Topalien
received this welcome news from UNESCO Paris headquarters last Friday, May 18.
Congratulations are in order for National Garifuna Council president Roy Cayetano, who
compiled the file, and for punta rock composer Andy Palacio and Suzette Zayden, who
collaborated in preparing the video documentary entitled, "The Garifuna Heritage."
Cayetano, also chief executive officer in the Ministry of Rural Development and Culture,
submitted the file to UNESCO last December.
Belize signed the World Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural
Heritage in 1990. Belize's membership in UNESCO dates back to 1981.