Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrated

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 14, No. 41            November 25, 2004

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San Pedro Town joined the Garifuna community across Belize in commemorating Garifuna Settlement Day - the day when their ancestors first arrived on the southern coast of Belize.

     On Thursday, November 18th, the San Pedro Garifuna Council held their opening ceremonies and cultural exhibition at Central Park. Present for this event was San Pedro Town Mayor Elsa Paz and Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr.

     On Friday, the heart of town was filled with the sounds of the Garifuna drums and the appetizing aroma of their native foods. A variety of traditional Garifuna dishes were sold including Hudut, an appetizing dish of fish in coconut soup served with mashed plantains.

     A reenactment of the Garinagu's arrival in Belize highlighted the festivities during the weekend. Two boats filled with revelers landed on the beach at Central Park shortly after sundown. Once on land, the merry crowd led by recently crowned Miss San Pedro Garifuna 2004 Kristy Samuels and Miss San Pedro Garifuna 2002, Ella Carr, danced the Punta and Chumba among other traditional dances. The rest of the night was filled with Garinagu songs and the lively beat of the Punta drums.

     Locals and tourists alike joined the Garifuna in celebrating their special day and in Keeping Garifuna culture and language alive - at home, in our communities, and worldwide.
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