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Biographies » Wagiameme Performing Troupe
Apr 14, 2004

Wagiameme Performing Troupe is a group of youth ages 12-21.  'Wagiameme' a Garifuna word that means, 'still us' reflects the philosophy of the group. We believe that we can still maintain our heritage despite being away from our homelands. Members represent the diverse immigrant population of Los Angeles.

The group was formed in response to the need for an organized and stable Garifuna performing/youth group to serve the Los Angeles community. We wish to share our cultural heritage and provide safe, positive and enriching activities for our youths.

Who are Garifuna People?

During the 18th century, Africans intermingled with Island Carib and Arawak Indians on the Island of St Vincent. This union formed the Garifuna people. In 1797 the British shipped thousands of Garifuna people to Roatan off the Coast of Honduras in Central America. Thus began the exile of the Garifuna people in Central America. They live primarily in Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. Today Garifuna communities can be found in many cities in the United States i.e. New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Wagiameme Performances

  • KTLA Channel 5, 'Eyes on LA', Los Angeles

  • Univision, Channel 34, Primera Edicion, Los Angeles

  • Pasadena Rose Bowl: L.A. Galaxy Central American Independence Celebration Soccer Game - Half-time performance

  • UC Santa Barbara, Multicultural Week

  • Pasadena City College, Culture Night

  • El Camino College Cultural Fair, Torrance

  • California State University, Dominguez Hills - Unity Fest, Carson, California

  • Manual Arts High School, Los Angeles

  • Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Cathedral of the Angels, Los Angeles

  • Annual Catholic Youth Conference, Universal Studios, Universal City

  • African Market Place, Los Angeles

  • Caribbean Sea Breeze Festival, Long Beach

  • Belize Trade Show, Pasadena

  • Bob Marley Reggae Festival, Long Beach

  • Sports Arena Caribbean Vision Awards, Santa Monica

  • Garifuna Music Awards, New York

  • Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations, Los Angeles

  • Guatemalan Expo, Los Angeles Convention Center

  • Jamaican Awareness Luncheon, Los Angeles

  • XIV Central American Independence Parade, Los Angeles

  • Latin American Museum Reception, Long Beach, California

  • Garifuna Street Festival, Los Angeles


  • Share our cultural heritage with a diverse population Provide safe and nurturing environment for youth.

  • Allow youth an opportunity to explore talents in music, song, dance, and to express themselves in the spoken word and other art forms.

  • Give youth from various backgrounds the opportunity to interact with each other therefore fostering understanding and tolerance.

What can be seen in our shows?

Our show consists of movements to the beat of authentic Garifuna drums accompanied by singing (call/response) reflecting our African and Amerindian heritage. Maracas and conch shells are included as necessary. Dances are choreographed to contemporary and traditional Garifuna music and other Caribbean and Central American sounds. . We include a brief overview of Garifuna history and a synopsis of the stories told in the songs.

The Directors

Anita Martinez is a Garifuna activist who has worked in the community for over 20 years. She has served as President of the Preservation of the Garifuna Culture Society, Director of the Walagante Garifuna Youth Group, co-founder of Project Help and a Project Success mentor at El Camino College.

Shantel Martinez , realized her vision of an ongoing group that would provide cultural enrichment and mentoring to youths when she co-founded Wagiameme Performing Troupe. She has been involved in the Los Angeles Garifuna Community for many years. She currently attends University of California, Santa Barbara.


Angela Apolonio
Natasha Banner
Preston Castillo
Taniesha Castillo
Adrin Davis

Chanetta Davis
Wyniesha Davis
Afra Lambey
Trisha Lambey
Harry Locario

Ashley Martin
Celina Martinez
Shantel Martinez
Marcela Palacio
Imani Palacio

Contact Info:
          Phone:  323.299.6005
          E-mail:   wagiameme@aol.com

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