The weekend of April 15th through the 18th was unforgettable. In Los Angeles, there was the Los Angeles Garifuna Street Festival and the highly anticipated event, the Los Angeles Garifuna Community Forum that featured Garinagu from around the US and the world as well as the brothers of St. Vincents and the Taino.
Lidani is currently putting a piece together regarding the events that took place in New York as an assembly was held to have a discussion about Garifuna Spirituality in the Bronx. The Somos El Fututo Conference in Albany and of course, the Garifuna Forum in Los Angeles.
Below is a letter from Cheryl Norales, a Garifuna author and organizer of the event, thanking the people who attended and publishing comments made from Garinagu about how they felt about the forum.
Monday, April 18, 2005
Greetings to all of my Garifuna brothers and sisters!
The First Garifuna Community Forum L.A. 2005 was moving, informative, memorable and a complete success. The spirit of Chatuye was with us all. I am currently writing an article about my personal experience at the forum. The article will also summarize the topics of discussions presented by the different guest speakers. So please look forward to that article in the days ahead. Thank you so much for all of your positive words of encouragement and support. I would especially like to thank all of the guest speakers without your dedication and voices this event would not have been spiritually moving and mentally rewarding. I appreciate, respect and admire all of you dearly. Thank you also to all of the attendees who came to listen and support our united forum.
Cheryl & Rony
The First Garifuna Community Forum L.A. 2005 was a total success. Now, read some of the comments that have come to us in the form of e-mails.
Basilio Castillo from Livingston in L.A. wrote:
“labuga como estas mi hermano.. te felicito y atu esposa por la fuersa que hicieron de unir mi jente, me gusto y quiero segir partisipando en eventos como este, te felicito especialment ati porque no sos garifuna, y loque estas haciendo por mi jente siento que si lo sos gracias hemano, quisiera consegir una copia de la gravacion que se iso,,tambien quiero salir con mi primo topo hoy si es posible, porfabor me puedes hablar cuando mire este mensaje,,,,gracias“
“Millions of thanks for making this event possible! Although I could
not be there for the entire time, the few moments that I was present, were very profound. I heard many great testimonials from many attendees, including my father, Ruben Reyes. Once again, thanks a million for making it happen!
Garinet Global Inc.
Dear Cheryl & Rony:
“Please allow me to add my congratulations and compliment to the swelling list of individuals who have expressed their satisfaction with last Saturday's Garifuna Community Forum. What I found very fascinating was the diversity, timeliness and appropriateness of the subjects discussed. Each speaker, all in all, did a creditable job and treated his or her respective subject admirably well.
What impressed me most was the fact that the Taino Race and St. Vincent were represented in addition to Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. That was a great beginning and an auspicious reunion. The participation of the audience was admirable. Everyone was attentive and well-behaved.
On a whole the meeting was a success although there is room for improvement. What I found disappointing was the fact that our current Garifuna leaders were absent, as a participant aptly observed. However, the healing has begun and lasting, favorable impressions were made.
Another outstanding feature observable was the amount of work that entered into the preparations made by the co-coordinators and, of course, the quality of the food served. Again, congratulations! Keep up the good work.
The master of ceremonies did a superb job keeping the program moving smoothly and efficiently. Ronny, special congratulations to you!
Humala abiniruni lumagienti Afurugu Gunfuliti.”