Happy GUATEMALAN Garifuna Settlement Day (November 26th)!!!

 

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Guatemala, Central America — Buiti Hafedu Garinagu Wadimalu!  Happy Guatemalan Garifuna Settlement Day (November 26th)!!!  Buiti Hafedu Garinagu Wadimalu houn sun niduhenu Garinagu Wadimalu.  Pantawama lau Garinaguwama!  (“Happy Guatemalan Garifuna Settlement Day to my Guatemalan family. Let us be proud to be Garifuna” in the Garifuna Language).

Below is video from some of the sights and sounds of Guatemalan Garifuna Settlement Day from the Garifuna Files website.  I believe it was recorded in 2009.  1


Garifuna Settlement Day is celebrated on November 26th in the Central American country of Guatemala.  This Garifuna Settlement Day commemorates the arrival of Garifuna people to the country of Guatemala.  Most of the Garifuna people who live in Guatemala live in the Garifuna town of Livingston (a.k.a. “La Buga”), Guatemala.  Others live in Puerto Barrios, which is a town and port city in Guatemala.

Map of Guatemala. The Towns of Livingston and Puerto Barrios can be found in the east corner of the map (on the right). Map courtesy of sobralia.autrevie.com

Map of Guatemala. The Towns of Livingston and Puerto Barrios can be found in the east corner of the map (on the right). Map courtesy of sobralia.autrevie.com


I didn’t know the origins of Garifuna Settlement Day in Guatemala.  However, the Garifuna Research website helps shed light on this special day in Guatemala.  2

According to the Garifuna Research website;  Jose Felipe Mariano Galvez became the head of state of Guatemala in 1831.   3

Mr. Galvez wanted to colonize parts of Guatemala (north Guatemala and eastern Guatemala) for European interests.  He felt that those parts of Guatemala did not have many people and needed to be developed.

Former Guatemalan Head of State, Jose Felipe Mariano Galvez. Painting courtesy of wikipedia.org

Former Guatemalan Head of State, Jose Felipe Mariano Galvez. Painting courtesy of wikipedia.org

To that end, Mr. Galvez allowed the provinces of Peten and Chiquimula to be developed by the British, the Dutch and the Germans for business purposes.  At the suggestion of Manuel Pineda de Mont, Galvez implemented the Livingston Codes; which were a set of new laws (and code of conduct) for prison reform and were created by Edward Livingston.  Mr. Livingston was a United States politician (Mayor of New York City, U.S. Representative, Senator, and Secretary of State) and landowner.  4

Former United States politician Edward Livingston. The Garifuna town of Livingston "LaBuga" Guatemala is named after him. Image courtesy of wikipedia.org

Former United States politician Edward Livingston. The Garifuna town of Livingston “LaBuga” Guatemala is named after him. Image courtesy of wikipedia.org


In tribute to Mr. Livingston, Jose Felipe Mariano Galvez announced that a section of what was Chiquimula would be cut-off and used to form a new territory called Izabal.  It’s head would be called “Livingston” and this was declared on November 26th 1831.  So November 26th marks the official naming of the settlement of Livingston, “LaBuga”, Guatemala.

However, it was Garinagu who settled the land and made the land livable.  They always called that town “La Buga”, a morphing of the Spanish term “La boca” (“the mouth” in Spanish).  Indeed, the edge of Livingston opens up into the Gulf of Honduras.


Labuga was founded by the mysterious figure Marco or Marcos Sanchez Diaz.  I’ve read various things about Marcos Sanchez Diaz and it’s been difficult getting a precise biography. Some say he was a Haitian general, others say he was a Garifuna (a.k.a. “Black Carib”) general (and buyei) in the armies of Garinagu fighting against the British in St. Vincent.  Who knows?

Founder of Labuga, Guatemala. Marcos Sanchez Diaz

Founder of Labuga, Guatemala. Marcos Sanchez Diaz


Again, the Garifuna Research website tries to pin down who Marcos Sanchez Diaz was, but their conclusion is somewhat inconclusive.  5

Honduran Garifuna Intellectual Salvador Suazo has also written about the ethnicity of Marco Sanchez Diaz as well.   I have an essay by Mr. Suazo on this matter but do not have permission to post it.  His website is currently inactive.  Anyway, as more information is unearthed; I hope to share the findings with readers of beinggarifuna.com


Garifuna Settlement Day is also celebrated in Belize and Nicaragua on November 19th, and the commemoration of the arrival of Garifuna people to Central America is April 12th. Garifuna Settlement Day is a public and bank holiday in Belize, the ONLY place in the world where this happens.

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ABOUT The Garifuna People / SOBRE el Pueblo Garifuna

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 cultural fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.

Los Garífunas son personas de ascendencia africana (en otras palabras, la gente negro) cuya ascendencia se puede remontar a los africanos mezcla con los indios caribes y arahuacos en la isla del Caribe Oriental de San Vicente. A partir de esta fusión cultural de la raza y etnias en la isla de San Vicente, una cultura y una lengua distinta surgieron.

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The Garifuna (then known as The Black Caribs) are noted for not only being the main source of resistance against European expansion into the Lesser Antilles over the course of over 150 years, but also 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.

Los Garífunas (entonces conocido como el Caribes Negros) están marcadas no sólo por ser la principal fuente de resistencia contra la expansión europea hacia las Antillas Menores en el transcurso de más de 150 años, pero también es uno de los pocos (sólo?) Pueblos de África descenso (de nuevo, en otras palabras, los negros) en las Américas que han mantenido los aspectos de su cultura ancestral y la plena utilización de su lengua ancestral para el uso diario a lo largo de cientos de años.

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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.

Después de ser derrotado en la guerra con los británicos en San Vicente en 1796; 1004 hombres, 1779 mujeres y 1.555 niños por un total de 4.338 personas (en su mayoría Negro caribes, como los garífunas se conocía entonces) fueron capturados y llevados a Baliceaux, una pequeña isla, una roca, básicamente, en la costa de San Vicente . Esto se llevó a cabo entre julio de 1796 y febrero / marzo de 1797. Cerca de 2,000 garífunas murió de una fiebre misteriosa y muy infecciosa mientras viven en Baliceaux espera de su destino.

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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.

A principios de marzo de 1797, los garífunas restantes se cargaron en el Experimento HMS y otras naves. Una vez que fueron detenidos, el convoy fueron llevados a un Bequia, que es otra isla de la costa de San Vicente. Se procedió a ir a Granada para conseguir agua, a continuación, Jamaica para repostar, y finalmente Roatán, Honduras, llegando el 12 de abril 1797.

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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. Subsequently, the Garifunas settled many towns and villages along the Caribbean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.

Encontrar gran parte de Roatán inhabitable, el pueblo garífuna solicitaron a los funcionarios que representan a España y es el gobierno (que controlaba gran parte de Centroamérica en el momento) que se le permitiera pasar a la parte continental de Honduras. Al que se le permita pasar a la parte continental de Honduras, a saber, la ciudad puerto de Trujillo, Honduras de mayo de 1797. Posteriormente, los garífunas se establecieron muchas ciudades y pueblos a lo largo de la costa caribeña de Honduras. También emigraron a los países vecinos de Guatemala, Belice (entonces conocido como Honduras Británica) y Nicaragua en los últimos años.

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Finally, Garifuna People have also migrated to the United States of America where generations have settled in cities like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Boston, Miami and Boston.  Despite their mainly Spanish surnames, their culture and history are distinct from other Afro-American and Latino ethnic groups and it’s important to keep that in mind.

Por último, Las personas Garifunas también han emigrado a los Estados Unidos, donde las generaciones se han asentado en ciudades como Nueva York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Boston, Miami y Boston. A pesar de sus apellidos, principalmente españoles, su cultura y la historia son distintos de otros grupos étnicos Afro-americanos y latinos y es importante tener esto en mente.

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.

Si encuentra que ese sitio web SER GARIFUNA / SIENDO GARIFUNA sea útil, por favor DONAR.  Cada dólar donado ayuda a mantener este sitio web en funcionamiento. Se aceptan donaciones a través de la página web de PAYPAL para que sus donaciones potenciales son SEGURES y PROTEGIEDOS.

 

Happy Guatemalan Garifuna Settlement Day. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Guatemalan Garifuna Settlement Day. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

 

Notes:

  1. http://www.garifunafiles.wordpress.com
  2. http://www.garifunaresearch.com
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariano_G%C3%A1lvez
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Livingston
  5. http://garifunaresearch.com/marcosanchezdiaz.html

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