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Dec 20, 2000

Dear Garinagu:

We should have a good reason to join with our friends and families during these holiday season. A union that will manifest on how we are approaching the path for our people for the 21st century. During the last decade, there was a division among our people that created conflicts and confusion that resulted in the lost of lives of loved ones. Going to the 21st century, we should look for ways and paths to create our Garinagu University. A university that will educate and unite our people from our perspective republics and across the coasts of the United States and abroad. The time has come for Garinagu to become a primary contributor in the decision making process of society. Especially in the United States of America.

Currently, we are in no shape for representation in the regional, local, national and international level. Most, if not all, of our youth are caught up in a distraction of deviance and confused about who they are. During the last decade, the impact of the deviant confusion resulted in many of our kids dropping out of school, getting pregnant at an early age and arrested for criminal acts. Those young men and women could have been playing a major role in the process of constructing a strong social and political community.

It also should be noted that our culture is facing a possible cultural endangerment. Our language is not spoken at home neither our music is being heard nor played. Most of our customs are being replaced by the influence of what we see on television. It should also be noted that the Garinagu are the only people who so far hold the basic elements of their culture.

The holidays, as we have come to know them based on history, is an event were people get together and thank the Almighty for their success and achievements. Those who did not achieve or came to close to such thing, search for a solution of support for next year. As individuals, we may have achieved a lot if not many. However, it should be noted that based on the structure the society we live in, a group or community achievement has bigger impact than the individual. And to get a community achievement, we all must get together and look for solutions for our people. We should create organizations that are based on the needs of our people. Needs such as jobs, education and health issues. There is a wide spread of HIV and our people need to be educated about the prevention of this deadly disease.

We should also become part of the political decision the city, state and nation is involved in. This past presidential elections should be taken in consideration because it showed the impact of how important it is for citizens to vote. Next year there will be a mayoral election where a man who have done plenty for the community will be one of the candidates. Fernando Ferrer, the Bronx Borough President, will make history with the votes Garinagu in the city will cast. He is a man who is concentrating in improving housing, jobs, the current educational crisis and the relationship with the police department and the community. These are the issues we as a community should concentrate on as we are looking for a prosperous new year.

Finally, I want to announce to you, my people, that during the month of November of 2000, I was elected president for the Student Body Council at the Harlem campus of Touro College (New York). It is an honor and a privilege to represent our student community. But what makes it even more astonishing is the fact that my culture played a major in my campaigning for the elections. That should send a message to our youth and take education very seriously.

Jorge Garifuna, Dixon Marin, Virgilio Lopez, Tony Nery (NERY PRODUCTIONS & DJ SHOWTIME), myself and the Garinet.com family would like to wish you all the very best of these holidays. We want you to have the safest holidays and spend time with your loved ones. Give support to the bands who will promote parties to celebrate yet once again a Garinagu holiday.


Yours truly,

Jerry Castro, Jr

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