A Memorandum of Understanding was penned today for the rehabilitation of the Gulisi Museum. The museum, which is located in Dangriga, is the home of Garifuna cultural heritage. The M.O.U. between NICH and the National Garifuna Council gives way for the restoration with financial backing from the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody with a report.
Duane Moody, Reporting
The National Institute of Culture and History in collaboration with the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust and the National Garifuna Council today officially signed on to a Memorandum of Understanding for a project that would see the rehabilitation of the Gulisi Museum in Dangriga. The museum opened its doors in November of 2004, but the artefacts and images exhibited there have deteriorated over the years. The project seeks to enhance the experience of visitors for them appreciate cultural heritage of the Garifuna people in Belize.
Janelle Carcamo, Research & Education Officer, Museum of Belize
“NICH is providing technical assistance and in-kind contributions and in doing so, we affirm our continued commitment to supporting the national Garifuna Council and its members in their mission to preserve, conserve and sustainably develop by safeguarding through their promotion, appreciation, cohesion and enhancement of the Garinagu culture in Belize.”
Sapna Budhrani, President, National Institute of Culture and History
“People have a right to cultural expression and benefits. Culture is central to the development of our people and our country. Education is fundamental to understanding and appreciating culture. Culture contributes a social cohesion and fosters national identity. Gender equality and equity enhances our national development. Partnerships are essential for developing our cultural potential and sustainability—nationally and internationally. Respect, integrity, appreciation and excellence are our hallmarks.”
The B.N.E. Charitable Trust annually awards funding for schools, groups and community projects. In 2018, an application was forwarded and successfully chosen to receive twenty-five thousand dollars to fund the project to refurbish the museum displays.
John August Jr., Chairman, Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust
“Some may ask why do we seek to upgrade a museum. A museum is not only a place to store art collection or to display the past, but rather to enlighten the public, residents and visitors about our past and our present. It reflects an illustration of the Garifuna cultural identity that is a part of us. The Gulisi Museum should not only be a building to store the past, but a building in how we look at our history and our place within humanity in general. With this remodelling and refurbishment and enhancement that is about to take place at the Gulisi Museum, it will give visitors and residents a greater appreciation and understanding of the Garifuna people.”
President of the National Garifuna Council, Sandra Miranda says that the project helps to keep the council’s dream alive.
Sandra Miranda, President, National Garifuna Council
“It has always been in the dream of the National Garifuna Council to have a museum and a radio station and these are two ways of educating Garinagu. This dream finally game to reality when way back in early 2000, the Government of Taiwan funded the museum. The Garifuna journey is one that is long, unique and sad and our story needs to be told; our history needs to be shared. And it is not only with the Garinagu, but with the entire world and visitors who will visit the museum. The refurbishment of the museum will have the chronological order for Garinagu to where we are now. And so Belize also need to know our real history; not everything that the text book said is true. So our story needs to be told.”