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Every year on November 19th, Belize celebrates the Garifuna culture by honoring the arrival of the Garinagu people to Belize in 1802. This year, the Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations were again observed on the La Isla Bonita with traditional drumming, dancing, singing, and the re-enactment of the Garifuna’s arrival to the country performed at Central Park. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there were no large parades and performances as in previous years. This year the holiday was held under the theme ‘Au Bun, Amürü Nu Hagabüribei Garinagu; Awanse Wamá Lau’: ‘I for You, You for Me’ Is the Garifuna Way; Let Us Move Forward.

The festivity on the island started on Thursday, November 18th, with drumming and dancing. Councilors from the San Pedro Town Council, Adaly Ayuso, Dianeli Aranda, and Johnnia Duarte, joined members of the Garifuna community in a celebration under the theme ‘When You Hear That Drum’’’ where they distributed fish and plantain to the Garifuna community on the island. Friday, November 19th, the public and bank holiday and official Garifuna Settlement Day started with the Yurumein, which means ‘homeland,’ and is a lively re-enactment of the arrival of the Garifuna people to Belize via boats arriving at the beach at Central Park. Dressed in traditional clothing and waving the white, black, and yellow Garifuna flag along with the Belizean one, participants swayed palm fronds, carried green coconuts still on the branch, and played their drums just as their ancestors did. They marched onto the Central Park drumming, dancing, and singing. Afterward, Father Eduardo Montemayor of the San Pedro Catholic Church greeted and blessed the crowd.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun


Garifuna Settlement Day 2021 San Pedro, Belize
Garifuna Settlement Day is a public holiday in Belize, celebrated each year on November 19. The holiday celebrates the settlement of the Garifuna people in Belize after being deported from the Grenadines by the British. Festivities start at sunrise with a reenactment of the first arrival of Garinagu on Belizean shores and include parades, street music, and traditional dancing.