Memorial Mass and Garifuna Community Tribute To Pioneering Garifuna Activist DIONISIA AMAYA-BONILLA To Take Place in Brooklyn on SUNDAY February 23rd 2014

Photo from the wake of Mrs. Dionisia Amaya-Bonilla in La Ceiba, Honduras.  Photo by Carlos Gamboa.  All Rights Reserved.

Photo from the wake of Mrs. Dionisia Amaya-Bonilla in La Ceiba, Honduras. Photo by Carlos Gamboa. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2014 by Teofilo Colon Jr.  (a.k.a. “Tio Teo” or “Teofilo Campeon”) All Rights Reserved.  Telephone: (646) 961-3674.

Twitter:  @beinggarifuna

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

Brooklyn, New York — There will be a Memorial Mass and Tribute to Pioneering Garifuna Activist Mrs. Dionisia Amaya-Bonilla in Brooklyn on SUNDAY, February 23rd 2014.

Garifuna Community Activist Dionisia Amaya-Bonilla (a.k.a. “Doña Nicha” or “Mama Nicha”) passed away in La Ceiba, Honduras on MONDAY, February 3rd 2014 after being afflicted by a massive stroke (which arose from complications from her diabetes) the week before.  The stroke resulted in a coma.  Doña Nicha died a few days into her coma at the age of 80.

Photo from the wake of Garifuna activist Mrs. Dionisia Amaya-Bonilla in La Ceiba, Honduras.  Photo by Carlos Gamboa.  All Rights Reserved.

Photo from the wake of Garifuna activist Mrs. Dionisia Amaya-Bonilla in La Ceiba, Honduras. Photo by Carlos Gamboa. All Rights Reserved.

Organized by the founding members of pioneering Brooklyn-based  Garifuna organization MUGAMA (an acronym for the Spanish phrase, Mujeres Garifuna En Marcha), this Memorial Mass will also be followed by a community tribute.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

The Memorial Mass will take place at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn on SUNDAY, February 23rd 2014 and is scheduled to begin at 2:30pm and last until 7pm.

When Beinggarifuna.com first reported on Mrs. Dionisia Amaya-Bonilla’s death, it explained that MUGAMA Inc was founded in 1989 by Dionisia Amaya, Mirtha Sabio, and Lydia Sacasa-Hill to showcase Garinagu during International Woman’s Day so that the accomplishments of Garifuna Women in the New York tri-state area could be recognized.  The name translates into Garifuna Women On The March.

Mujeres Garinagu En Marcha (MUGAMA).

Mujeres Garinagu En Marcha (MUGAMA).

MUGAMA was incorporated under the nonprofit organization laws of the state of New York on June 28th 1990 to:

  1. preserve and advance the history and culture of the Garifuna people through cultural and educational activities;
  2. encourage and support the education of the Garifuna community in academic pursuits, leadership and personal growth.

Eventually the organization branched out and its activities included awarding scholarships and offering English as a Second Language classes.

Our Lady of Mercy Church in Brownsville, Brooklyn.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Our Lady of Mercy Church in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church

680 Mother Gaston Blvd. (bet. Livonia Ave and Riverdale Ave)

Brooklyn, NY 11212

SUBWAY: 3 Train to Junius Avenue or Rockaway Avenue Subway Stop

L Train to Livonia Ave Subway Stop

BUS: B14 to Macdougal St and Mother Gaston Blvd.

B15 to New Lots Ave and Mother Gaston Blvd.

Below are two links to an interview that I conducted with Mrs. Dionisia Amaya-Bonilla for Beinggarifuna.com in August of 2012.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

ABOUT The Garifuna People

The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent. From this fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.  They are noted for being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men,  1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.  1

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

Finding much of Roatan unliveable, the Garifuna people petitioned officials representing Spain and it’s government (which controlled much of Central America at the time) to be allowed to move to the Honduran mainland.  Upon being allowed to move to the Honduran mainland, namely the port town of Trujillo, Honduras in May 1797; the Garifunas settled many towns and villages along the Caribean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.

Notes:

  1. Nancie L Gonzalez, “Sojourners of The Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pgs 21-23

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Website