In Celebration of Garifuna Heritage Month
Why and How Garifuna News spread (Aba parte –Part 1)
Lachamuru Jerry Castro
In 2005, you may consider that the availability of Garifuna News and information is beginning to reach its peak, thanks to the works of websites and message boards .
But how did all this begin and why is the question you may ask yourself today? Frankly, the revolution the Garifuna community has engaged itself in today consists on the works of the many who paved the way to ensure that the future generation won’t go through the hardship our ancestors faced.
When I began to write news stories about Garifuna events and issues affecting the community early of the millennium, not many believed that the power of information and a computer will reach our communities as far as the Persian Gulf, Europe and remote places Garinagu reside in the world. This effort, however, was done due to the lack substance of information regarding the Garifuna community, what we faced and how we felt about decisions being made on our behalf in the decision making process without our presence. Today, that has changed. With the surge of new websites and information portals, the dissemination of news to our community and those who want to learn first hand about the Garifuna community has become a bit more essential as well as important for our development and evaluation of the future.
Writing news and editorials about the Garifuna community in the United States and around the world was not an easy task nor did I accomplish it alone. In fact, what influenced me to such was my interest on how the community felt about the results of the 2000 elections, let’s say and the growing concerns of immigration as well as the spread of AIDS within our communities. But most importantly, it was to promote the
values and the struggle of entertainment venue.
Since 1978, Pen Cayetano created and originated what we know today as Punta Rock.
Yes, many have disputed that claim, saying that it was the group known as “Goubana” who played Punta rhythm-like in parties in the late 60’s. That may be true, but the lack of documentation regarding their performances and how they identify their music is what lead to believe that the band may have been a “multi-rhythm” band playing meringue, salsa, calypso, etc. But it was the Turtle Shell Band composed of Punta Rock Gods like Pen Cayetano, Mohabob Flores, Myme and Faltas who created and blessed this movement as Punta Rock.
This my friends, it was what lead me to begin a process to which I hope we can continue to further nurture, empower and feed our future generation about the current accounts we are currently facing today.
Today Garifunas are powerbrokers in society in the many different fields of sports, finance, education, government, entertainment and clergy. Having the ability to distribute and create news about their agenda and how it affects and benefits our community…is the ultimate Garifuna experience.
About the author:
Jerry Castro is the person known for his signature introduction of
“Lachamuru/Lafanseja – Written by” in his award winning articles on Garinet.com and many Garifuna websites. He was born in Livingston, Guatemala and has lived in the United States for the past 15 years. A college graduate, Mr. Castro’s involvement with his community has been praised by the international community.
Regarded as the “Mastermind” of Garifuna story telling, Mr. Castro now resides now in the US Capitol of the United States in Washington, DC and works with a non-profit organization as a Director of Community Relations in helping low-income families obtain jobs, healthcare and housing among other services.
SOUDIGUI * SOUDIGUI
"Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Garifunaness"
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