April 12 is a huge deal for Garifuna people in Honduras. It is the anniversary of their arrival to Punta Gorda, Roatan; the first home of the Garifuna people after being exiled from Saint Vincent in 1797. This year we celebrate 222 years of survival.
In Punta Gorda there has been a Garifuna Settlement Day Festival since 1981, according to beloved resident of Punta Gorda, Maximo Castro. So what can you expect this Friday April 12, 2019? Since there is so much going on, we’ve decided to explain this by the type of experience you are looking for.
The Early Bird
The celebration begins at 7:00am with a walk through the community and a parade of boats on the water simultaneously. This part of the festival is called the “Yurumein.” Yurumein (the original name of Saint Vincent) is a reenactment of our arrival to Roatan. You will see several motor dory boats with drummers and singers. The boats land on the beach, near the Catholic Church, where the ceremony will be held. Afterwards, the community comes together to sing the Garifuna national anthem. The actual ceremony will begin at about 9:00am.
At 9:00am the program begins with a two hour presentation by the school children. Around 12:00pm the school children leave and the April 12 committee begins their presentation which includes traditional dances, games, historical facts and more. At 3:00pm, there will be a Garifuna mass at the Catholic Church, at this time the music will be turned off. The beach festivities end at 6:00pm.
The Inner Historian
For those of you who would like to dig deeper into our history and get a better understanding of our culture, we encourage you to visit us at Flamingo Cultural Center. At the center, we will debut our “222” exhibition. Here you will find several stations, each showcasing a different aspect of the Garifuna culture. This exhibition is hands on and interactive, it includes music, drumming, videos and a brief discussion of our recent research visit to the original Garifuna homeland, Saint Vincent. We will be open from 10:00am to 6:00pm with food available for purchase as well.
The Party Animal
There will be parties all over on the night of the twelfth and the festivities end at 5:00am so be prepared to dance all night! The planning committee will have a party at the community center with live performances by Garifuna musicians, Junior Martinez, Cacahuate and a live band dance performance by Joseph.
On Saturday, April 13, there will be a party at Flamingo Cultural Center with live performances by local Garifuna musicians. The party starts at 8:00pm.
April 12 is a huge celebration for the Garifuna people and Punta Gorda is going to be on fire this weekend! Don’t miss out on the action and for those of you who want more of a laid back, interactive experience with some history, visit us at Flamingo Cultural Center. For more info contact +504 3281 9914 or email email@example.com