Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2023. 11:12 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Garifuna Coalition USA announces the observance of Garifuna Heritage Month, with activities marking the survival of the Garifuna people after their forced deportation from St Vincent and the Grenadines, relocating to Central America in 1797.
Garifuna Heritage Month promotes greater knowledge of and interest in the heritage, culture, and contribution of the Garifuna people to the development of society. It raises awareness and promotes a greater appreciation of Garifuna history and traditions.
On Tuesday, March 14, Garifuna Coalition will sponsor the 12th Annual Garifuna-American Delegation to the New York State Capitol in Albany for the annual Garifuna-American Legislative Day. There, members of the state legislative assembly Karines Reyes and Senator Luis Sepulveda will introduce a Resolution Memorializing Governor Kathy Hochul to declare March 11, 2023, to April 12, 2023, as Garifuna-American Heritage Month in the State. Today you can find more Garinagu in New York City than anywhere else outside of Central America – an estimated quarter million concentrated in the south Bronx, the Brownsville and East New York neighbourhoods of Brooklyn, and Harlem in Manhattan.
Saturday, March 11, was the 226th anniversary of the British exiling Garinagu from “Yurumein,” first to the nearby island of Baliceaux, then to Roatan in Honduras from which they migrated up and down the Central American Caribbean coast. 2,248 started the journey on ten ships, covering 1,684 miles in 33 days, though 222 died en route. The remainder landed at Roatan on April 12.
March 14 also commemorates the 228th anniversary of the death of Right Excellent Joseph Chatoyer, Paramount Garifuna Chief, in 1795.
After their arrival in Roatan, the Garifuna founded the village of Punta Gorda (not to be confused with Punta Gorda Town in Belize which was founded in 1823), the first Garifuna community established in Central America. Garinagu first settled in Belize in 1802, but the largest single migration of Garinagu in 1823 led by Alejo Beni is annually commemorated as Garifuna Settlement Day.
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