Texas Garifuna/Belizeans Community
Published for the Garifuna & Belizean Community of  Killeen/Texas

ISSUE NUMBER:  003-2000                December,  2000
Scores Attend Celebration

"Please don't send me any type of correspondence to my job or any other email anymore. I'm not interested in any of your events. Good bye and I truly hope you learn to learn how to find out the truth about someone instead of dragging their name through the dirt where others looks at the as if they are sick. So just stay away from me and use your time to be constructive within your home."

I begin this report with the above quotation from one of our own, in response to an email sent out in early September, for determining who would take the baton from those who made past celebrations a reality and have moved on.  This statement illustrates a number of points, least of which is to show the level of mentality, the level of consciousness, we all have towards our friends, relatives, country and our people.  Luckily, not all of us thinks and feels the same way as this respondent, for indeed we would be in a sad and destructive state of affairs in our respective communities, and in the world on a whole.

Looking Back

The Celebration of the Garifuna Settlement-Day celebration in Killeen, Texas continues with it's traditional humble beginnings.  If you remember, it all started with a idea by four people:  Allan "Saraba: Partis and his wife Ardette, and Alethia "Lee" Flores and yours truly.  After kicking this idea around for some time with the 19th of November, 1998 slowly drawing near, one of the four took the bull by the horn and started calling others, preparing, sending out invitations, and so forth.  The rest is history:

The Second celebration was much easier to handle, because two people who regreted that they weren't here for the first - Glenda Castillo-Robinson; who was away then going through military basic and advance training and Delsie Cacho-Ramirez, then on deployment in Bosnia - were now back in town, with a mission to make this one happen, and happen on a grand scale.  Hence, the 1999 Celebration will always be remembered for attracting close to 200 participants, if not more.

Who Made GSD/2000 Muster??

If you count the number of of individuals listed in in the Thanks for Coming section above, you will arrive at a total of 63 people.  You will also notice that a number of individuals who were on this list last year and the year before are not there.  The transitory nature of the Killeen area, with most of it being (Fort Hood) military connected, took its toll on Belizean/Garifuna Community this past year.  We lost at least a dozen members, but regained that many back in newly stationed Belizean-Garifuna military personnel together with others who heard about the good things we're doing and joined our organization since.

The question is; are those now here die-hard Garifunas and true to form Belizeans as the ones that departed?  Or are we left with people who feels and have no qualms making statements such as that quoted above.  Did those who departed wish us good luck from their hearts?  Or is the showing this year the results of they seeds planted within the community on their way out?

The answer lies in how one measures success.  But consider the numbers:

Of these 63 individuals listed; of whom 35 are Garifuna, a total of 28 participated, contributed, and/or attend.

Of those 28, fifteen (15) of them are Garifuna.

Conversely;  Jennie Burns, along with Pete & Yolanda Campos of the Belizeans United Organization brought 30 people them from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, most if not all of them Belizeans or Garifuna.

Glenn Savery brought 7 others with him from Houston.

Adding these together with some 40 family members and friends, a grand total of a little over one hundred individuals were this years celebration.

What may be noteworthy in this years' event is that the number of outsiders this year; I.E: Americans, West Indian friends, etc were few in numbers compared to past celebrations. Therefore;  the participants in GSD/2000, to me, was a greater representation of US: 100 Belizeans and Garinagu together, in one place.

Are there any concerns amongst the organizers in the vast amount of "US" who stayed stayed away this year? Certainly.  We are an inclusive people.  We get along with everyone, and goes out of our way to make our guests feel welcomed and appreciated. Yet; knowing that everyone can't be pleased, we must be satisfied if at least one person who comes and participates ends up feeling good about their envolvement, and looks forwards to the next event, and the next, and the next.  Remembering at all time, that all a wi da wan.

Dear .....,
Thanks for all the information / correspondence you have so ably e-mail to me over the period in review. The efforts of the Garinagu / Belizean Community in Killeen TX need to be emulated by other Garinagu groups in California, New York and Chicago and wherever Garinagu peoples organize themselves. Your community is a true example of what a proactive organization is all about.


Again.....Thanks for Coming, and Participarting.

See You Next Year, for Celebration Number 4.

Copyright 1999 - 2000 by, All Rights Reserved