Second GARIFUNA Meeting in BRONX About Conflict Over Ancestral Community Land in Honduras on FRIDAY, May 1st 2015

 

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Bronx, New York — The Public is Invited to a Bronx Meeting regarding the Conflict Over Garifuna Ancestral Community Land in Honduras.  As presented by Garifuna non-profit organization, Casa Yurumein (a.k.a. “Hondurans Against AIDS, Inc”) and Carla Garcia, representative of Honduran Garifuna N.G.O. Ofraneh, it is scheduled to take place on FRIDAY, May 1st 2015 at 6pm at the headquarters for Casa Yurumein.

Some of the Garifuna Audience at the Meeting about the Conflict over Ancestral Garifuna Community Lands in Honduras on April 17th 2015.  Photo courtesy of Casa Yurumein / Facebook.

Some of the Garifuna Audience at the Meeting about the Conflict over Ancestral Garifuna Community Lands in Honduras on April 17th 2015. Photo courtesy of Casa Yurumein / Facebook.

This meeting is the second part of a meeting on the same subject which took place at Casa Yurumein on FRIDAY, April 17th 2015.

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Meeting about Conflict Over Garifuna Ancestral Lands in Honduras

FRIDAY, May 1st 2015.

TIME: 6pm

LOCATION: Casa Yurumein In The Bronx

Carla Garcia of OFRANEH and Mirtha Colon of Casa Yurumein at the Meeting about the Conflict over Ancestral Garifuna Community Lands in Honduras on April 17th 2015.  Photo courtesy of Casa Yurumein / Facebook.

Carla Garcia of OFRANEH and Mirtha Colon of Casa Yurumein at the Meeting about the Conflict over Ancestral Garifuna Community Lands in Honduras on April 17th 2015. Photo courtesy of Casa Yurumein / Facebook.

Casa Yurumein (a.k.a. “Hondurans Against AIDS, Inc”)

874 Prospect Avenue

Second Floor

Bronx, NY 10459

Subway: 2 or 5 Train to Prospect Avenue Subway Stop



 

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About CASA YURUMEIN

Casa Yurumein is the location of Hondurans Against AIDS Inc, a Garifuna non-profit organization based in the Bronx.  It offers social services to the Black Central American (Garifuna and Non-Garifuna) and Central American population in the Bronx. Informally known as Casa Yurumein  (“Yurumein House” in Spanish, Yurumein is the Garifuna word for St. Vincent; the ancestral homeland of the Garifuna People), it was housed in a former convent owned by St. Augustine Church in the Bronx since June of 2009.  In the fall of 2012 it moved to it’s new location on Prospect Avenue in the Bronx.    1

Since being founded in 1993, Casa Yurumein essentially evolved into a hub for most things Garifuna in the Bronx.  Not only were Garifuna Arts & Crafts classes for youth held there, but the Garifuna Language Course takes place there as well.  Not only that, but most Bronx Garifuna organizations from other non-profits to Garifuna Hometown Associations in the Bronx hold meetings there.

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Recently, most town-hall type meetings regarding the immigration surge crisis as well as related issues of interest to Garinagu have been held there.  The Executive Director of Hondurans Against AIDS Inc (a.k.a. “Casa Yurumein”) is Mirtha Colon, a Garifuna Woman from Trujillo, Honduras.,  Miss Mirtha Colon is a clinical social worker with a Masters in Social Work.  2

About OFRANEH

According to it’s website, OFRANEH (A Spanish Acronym for the Black Fraternal Organization of Black Honduran Women), was founded in 1978 as an organization of the Garifuna people of Honduras, focused on defending their cultural and land rights, with the aim of achieving survival as a distinct culture.  3

While OFRANEH represents both the Garifuna, other Honduran Blacks as well as Indigenous ethnic groups in Honduras through the shared common interest of a mutual struggle; another N.G.O; ODECO, distanced itself from the struggle of Honduran indigenous groups in favor of focusing on the problems of Afro-descendants in Honduras and throughout Central and Latin America.  4

Carla Garcia of OFRANEH at the Meeting about the Conflict over Ancestral Garifuna Community Lands in Honduras on April 17th 2015.  Photo courtesy of Casa Yurumein / Facebook.

Carla Garcia of OFRANEH at the Meeting about the Conflict over Ancestral Garifuna Community Lands in Honduras on April 17th 2015. Photo courtesy of Casa Yurumein / Facebook.

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.  5

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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.

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 Caribbean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.  Finally, Garifuna People have also migrated to the United States of America where generations have settled in cities like New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.  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.

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.

Entrance to Garifuna Non-Profit Organization, Casa Yurumein (a.k.a. "Hondurans Against AIDS Inc" in the Bronx.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Entrance to Garifuna Non-Profit Organization, Casa Yurumein (a.k.a. “Hondurans Against AIDS Inc” in the Bronx. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

 

Notes:

  1. http://www.casayurumein.com/index.html
  2. http://www.casayurumein.com/board-and-staff.html
  3. http://www.ofraneh.org/ofraneh/quienes_somos.html
  4. Mark Anderson, “BLACK AND INDIGENOUS: Garifuna Activism and Consumer Culture in Honduras” Page 2.
  5. Nancie L Gonzalez, “Sojourners of The Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pgs 21-23

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