Is Honduran Garifuna Martial Artist and Actor ANGEL VALERIO JR, the next Bruce Lee? Will We See In The New Action Dramatic Movie, WAYUNAGU?

 

Orange, California — Garifuna fans of Action Movies should rejoice, as Honduran Garifuna Martial Artist, Actor and Movie Producer Angel Valerio Jr is preparing to shake up the world with his new movie, Wayunagu (“Our Ancestors” in the Garifuna Language).

Copyright 2016 by Teofilo Colon Jr. (a.k.a. “Tio Teo”).  All Rights Reserved. Telephone: (646) 961-3674.

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A teaser trailer to this independent action drama movie, Wayunagu (“Our Ancestors” in the Garifuna Language) was recently put up on youtube.  A martial artist from Triunfo de la Cruz, Honduras, who moved to Brooklyn, New York City as a child; Mr. Valerio has earned black belts in various martial arts styles and competed in professional kickboxing tournaments.

Garifuna Martial Artist, Angel Valerio Jr.

Garifuna Martial Artist, Angel Valerio Jr.

Here is a Mr. Angel Valerio Jr’s promo video for Chuck Norris’s World Combat League.

Upon being cast in a play entitled, “Children of Legacy” by Sean Nelson, Mr. Valerio’s love of acting was born.  After moving to California, he met filmmaker Christopher R. Miles and the two teamed up to co-produce and act in two short films and one feature film.

Mr. Valerio and I recently had an email correspondence where he explained what he aims to do with this movie.

Teofilo Colon Jr:  Is Wayunagu an action movie?

Angel Valerio Jr:  It is an action drama.

Fight in the movie, Wayunagu ("Our Ancestors" in the Garifuna Language). Photo courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Fight in the movie, Wayunagu (“Our Ancestors” in the Garifuna Language). Photo courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Teofilo Colon Jr:  What made you want to make a Garifuna movie?

Angel Valerio Jr:  I go back and forth to Honduras often.  About 2 years ago, I went to Honduras and I asked the children there why don’t they speak the Garifuna Language?  One kid replied that he “don’t speak that shit”.  Other children said they were embarrassed to speak it.  Since I’ve been making films in the United States, one day I just made up my mind to make movies for my people.  So I decided I would go film in Honduras and do films just for us in OUR Garifuna Language and OUR Garifuna culture.  It became my mission.

Actor and Co-Producer Angel Valerio Jr gets made up to look bloody on the set of the movie, "Wayunagu" ("Our Ancestors" in the Garifuna Language). Photo courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Actor and Co-Producer Angel Valerio Jr gets made up to look bloody on the set of the movie, “Wayunagu” (“Our Ancestors” in the Garifuna Language). Photo courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Teofilo Colon Jr:  When did you film Wayunagu?

Angel Valerio Jr:  We filmed Wayunagu over the course of three weeks in June 2016.

Garifuna Actress Seiry Martinez on the right in a scene from the movie, "Wayunagu" ("Our Ancestors" in the Garifuna Language). Photo courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Garifuna Actress Seiry Martinez on the right in a scene from the movie, “Wayunagu” (“Our Ancestors” in the Garifuna Language). Photo courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Teofilo Colon Jr:  Where did you film Wayunagu?

Angel Valerio Jr: 90 percent of the movie was filmed in Honduras.  We filmed it in Corozal, Honduras; Sambo Creek, Honduras and The La Ceiba International Airport.  10 percent was filmed in the United States, mainly in Chicago where his character is compelled to go to Honduras through dreams of his ancestors.

Garifuna Actor Angel Valerio Jr and Garifuna Actress Seiry Martinez in the new movie, Wayunagu ("Our Ancestors" in the Garifuna Language). Photo courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Garifuna Actor Angel Valerio Jr and Garifuna Actress Seiry Martinez in the new movie, Wayunagu (“Our Ancestors” in the Garifuna Language). Photo courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Teofilo Colon Jr:  Who amongst the cast in this movie are Garifuna?

Angel Valerio Jr:  All the actors and actresses in this movie are Garifuna.

Teofilo Colon Jr:  You mentioned that you wanted to do the movie entirely in the Garifuna Language for fear of the Garifuna Culture being lost.  Would you like to add anything as to why you wanted to have all the dialogue in the movie spoken in the Garifuna Language?

Angel Valerio Jr:  Garifuna people have forgotten about their ancestors and their language.  This movie is for them.

Scene with Garifuna Actress Seiry Martinez in the new movie "Wayunagu" ("Our Ancestors" in the Garifuna Language). Photo courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Scene with Garifuna Actress Seiry Martinez in the new movie “Wayunagu” (“Our Ancestors” in the Garifuna Language). Photo courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Teofilo Colon Jr:  Are you familiar with the award-winning independent movie, Garifuna In Peril?  Have you seen it?  If so, what did you think of it?

Angel Valerio Jr:  Yes, I saw the Garifuna In Peril film.  It was good.  I enjoyed it.

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.

Teofilo Colon Jr:  What do you hope to achieve with this Wayunagu movie?

Angel Valerio Jr:  I hope this action drama can get children to be proud to speak their Garifuna Language and to better know their culture.  Image is everything and if they see a movie and the image they see on the big screen is a Proud, Strong, Garifuna man, I hope it may inspire them to just be Proud to be Garifuna.  You know that Spanish is the main language spoken in Honduras.  Do you know how hard it was to find actors in Honduras that speak the Garifuna Language?  It was really HARD.   I speak Garifuna fluently.

Garifuna Actress Seiry Martinez in the new action drama movie, "Wayunagu" ("Our Ancestors" in the Garifuna Language). Photo courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Garifuna Actress Seiry Martinez in the new action drama movie, “Wayunagu” (“Our Ancestors” in the Garifuna Language). Photo courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Teofilo Colon Jr:  What kind of movies did you watch growing up.  What’s your favorite movie?

Angel Valerio Jr:  I grew up watching Bruce Lee films and all the Shaw Brothers Kung Fu films.  I watched films from Hong Kong, China and Korea.  My favorite movie of all time is Enter the Dragon.  I am also a big fan of the 1985 movie, The Last Dragon.

Teofilo Colon Jr:  When will the public be able to see your action drama movie, Wayunagu?

Angel Valerio Jr:  There is a lot more to do.  However, The Wayunagu movie will premiere in January 2017 in La Ceiba, Honduras.

With all that said, that this is an action drama may bode well for the producers of this movie.  Action movies tend to sell a lot more than contemporary dramas.  There isn’t much of a reliance on dialogue to get a point across as punches to the face and kicks to the stomach translate into any language.

Hopefully the storyline is something that is relatable to contemporary audiences.  Action dramas have built-in appeal and perhaps the combination of action combined with a compelling story will broaden it’s appeal.

On the youtube channel for Lake Street Films, the description reads as follows:

“A Man returns to his country a stranger. Through blood, sweat, and tears he returns to his Culture. And finds his True Self….”

The Teaser trailer begins with the sound of water rushing through a brook.  We then hear the voice of Garifuna Percussionist and Singer Bodoma Garifuna singing in the Garifuna Language in a voiceover over shots of:

a river,

plants,

a flame atop a candle burning in an apartment

trees in the jungle

Suddenly, we hear a voice say, “Afabei” (“Kill him in the Garifuna Language) and at the same time we see the hero, Mr. Angel Valerio Jr look wildly around at his jungle surroundings.

Garifuna Drumming is heard on the soundtrack as the hero races through the jungle while being chased by Garinagu holding machetes.  A man points offscreen, and then we see Garifuna men fighting the hero, Mr. Angel Valerio Jr.  We see the burning candle again as it fades to black and the Title Card for the movie appears.

About Angel Valerio Jr. 

Angel Valerio is from Triunfo De La Cruz, Honduras. He moved to Brooklyn, New York as a child, where he began his training in Martial Arts. He dedicated himself to his craft, acquiring black belts in Tae Kwon Do, Hwa Rang Do, and Hapkido. He also studied Capoera, Long Fist Kung Fu, Muay Thai and Kickboxing. In Los Angeles, he’s trained with Kickboxing Legends Benny “the Jet” Urquidez and Peter “Sugarfoot” Cunningham.


He is a winner of various awards from Kickboxing Tournament Circuits, has fought for the Chuck Norris World Combat League and the USA Kickboxing Team, and was the USKBA Light Heavyweight Champion. Angel’s martial arts skills attracted the attention of Producers, and he was cast in a Play called “Children of Legacy” by Sean Nelson. Angel continued competing in Kickboxing tournaments, but his love of acting was born.

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In 2011, he met his friend and business partner Christopher Miles and the two teamed up for their first short film, “The Wait,” A dark Drama about three people in an apartment, waiting to learn their fate after a violent home invasion. In his next project, Angel assumed the dual role of Fight Choreographer and Actor when he starred in “Redemption.” A martial arts Action short about a Man who has to betray his friend to stop a terrorist attack. Now in 2015, Angel’s talents have expanded to Film Producer, as he helped to Produce and also Act in his first feature film, “Sleeper,” about a Wanted Man hiding out in a secluded house, trying to convince his friend and his hostage that he’s not the one who killed the President, it was a Clone.


Angel is a versatile and committed Martial Artist, Film Producer, and Actor and is destined to make a name for himself in the Action Genre of the Movie Industry.

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

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.

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.  

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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, 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.

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.

Is Honduran Garifuna Martial Artist, Film Producer and Actor, Mr. Angel Valerio Jr the next Bruce Lee? That is a devoted martial artist turned International Movie Star? We'll find out with the new independent movie, Wayunagu ("Our Ancestors" in the Garifuna Language). Photos courtesy of Lake Street Films.

Is Honduran Garifuna Martial Artist, Film Producer and Actor, Mr. Angel Valerio Jr the next Bruce Lee? That is a devoted martial artist turned International Movie Star? We’ll find out with the new independent movie, Wayunagu (“Our Ancestors” in the Garifuna Language). Photos courtesy of Lake Street Films.

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2 thoughts on “Is Honduran Garifuna Martial Artist and Actor ANGEL VALERIO JR, the next Bruce Lee? Will We See In The New Action Dramatic Movie, WAYUNAGU?

  1. Angel my bro from another mother hope all this goes good for u

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