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Garifuna Festival during November in the Caribbean | Nov 6, 2009

Róger Solórzano Canales

Cultural, artistic and sports activities will be held in the city of Bluefields, as well as in great number of Garifuna communities of Pearl Lagoon (RAAS), during a Garifuna Festival, which started on Saturday, November 7. The activities will end on November 19, National Day of the Garifuna Community.

The Garifunas are an Afro-descendant community whose strong culture is present in the Caribbean side of Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and the United States.

Kensy Sambola, directive of the Nicaraguan Garifuna community and member of the organizing team, informed that the main activity will be held on November 19 in the community of Orinoco (Pearl Lagoon). A parade of international and local dance groups, a gastronomic fair, a concert and dance performances, in addition to the presence of delegations of other local communities such as the Ramas and Ulúas.

Other activities will take place at the city of Bluefields from November 7 to 14. Sports and cultural events, as well as a bonfire at night, will be held at Loma Fresca. Moreover, there will be a conference on the cultural identity of the afro-descendant community on November 10 and 11. On Saturday 14, there will be a gastronomic and cultural fair, in addition to the election of the "Garifuna Ladies Queen", beauty contest in which ladies from 45 to 115 years old participate, according to information given by Kensy Sambola. A boat will leave on Thursday 19, at 5:00 pm, to the community of Orinoco.

Besides the closure of the festival on Thursday 19, there will be other activities such as traditional diurnal games and other ones at night, from November 7 to 10, in Orinoco. From Friday 13 to Saturday 14, a conference on African culture and Garifuna identity will be held. Other cultural activities will be developed at Garifunas communities like Marshall Point, Brown Bank, La Fe and San Vicente.

Delegations from Garifuna communities from Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and United States will be present for all the activities that were mentioned above. Last year, the main activity took place at Orinoco and had more than 3,000 visitors from 16 nationalities, according to information provided by the organizers.

The fifteenth edition of this activity will celebrate the accomplishment of the Garifuna community related to the protection and promotion of their culture and identity, as well as strengthening the ties of the Garifuna communities from Central America and the United States, said Kensy Sambola.