DALLAS & HOUSTON DELEGATION SHOW OFF
HOST CITY CROWD
"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
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.
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: http://www.garifuna-world.com/texas_settlementday.htm
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
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
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.
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.
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