(PHOTOS) Bronx Central American Independence Festival – SUNDAY, September 14th 2014

 

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Bronx, New York — Photos from the 18th Annual Central American Independence Festival in the Bronx, which took place after the Central American Independence Parade.  This festival took place at Crotona Park in the Bronx. 

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

It was great to be able to attend the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx.  I missed the Central American Independence Parade, but by the time I got to Crotona Park in the afternoon, the place was filled with THOUSANDS of people, most of whom are from various Central American countries.

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

While there were plenty of talented people performing on stage showing off the musical talent, I focused most of my time with the people.  Walking down the area where vendors were set up, I spent most of my time talking with people buying food, music CDs, t-shirts, bracelets, etc.

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

It was like attending an informal family reunion.  I saw relatives I hadn’t seen in YEARS and I am sure many had the same experience at The 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx.

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

The 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx was also a great way for me to talk with BEING GARIFUNA Readers who often approached me to express appreciation for the work being done here on the website.

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved. 

The weather was beautiful (as it was in 2013 and 2012) and it appeared everyone had a great time.  Go to the link to see the photos on Facebook.  Maburigou to the artists who performed as well as to the organizers of the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx.

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival at Crotona Park in the Bronx. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

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

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, 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.  Donations are accepted through the PAYPAL website, so potential donations are SAFE and SECURE. 


Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Photo from the 2014 Central American Independence Festival. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Notes:

  1. Nancie L. Gonzalez, “Sojourners of the Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pg. 21

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