“Celebrating Twenty Years of the UNESCO Declaration; A Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Mankind- Living the Garifuna Heritage and Culture After 224 Years”

 May 18th, 2021 will mark twenty years since the Garifuna Heritage and Culture was declared by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Mankind.

The Garifuna culture, having made a tremendous contribution to the economic, social and political landscape of Central America and the Caribbean, has attracted researchers at Universities and other Institutions worldwide in the fields of anthropology, history, archaeology and music among others.

 The Garifuna Heritage Foundation (TGHF) of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been working since 2001 to make research on the Garifuna Heritage and Culture more accessible through the establishment of the International Garifuna Research Center.

TGHF has also been working to make the Garifuna Heritage and culture more available to the general public for the purposes of informing policymakers, cultural practitioners, social activists, students and other researchers.

The year 2021 marks 224 years since the expulsion of the Garifuna from the island of Yurumei, the Ancestral Homeland, (presently known as St. Vincent and the Grenadines), to Roatan, Central America.

 This traumatic event binds the Garifuna in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize, the United States and other parts of the world with Yurumein, with their culture and with each other.   Over time, links between Garifuna people in the diaspora and those in St. Vincent have slowly been forged and continue to be strengthened.

TGHF in collaboration with UWI Open Campus will be hosting its 8th International Garifuna Conference from March 10th-12th, 2021, to share ideas, examine issues, forge networks and strengthen global links to support the Center’s development.

 The Opening Ceremony will be held on March 10th at 8:00 pm (St. Vincent time) and the keynote address will be delivered by Mr. Roy Cayetano of Belize who was the person responsible on behalf of the National Garifuna Council of Belize for successfully submitting the Application to UNESCO in 2001 for the  Declaration of the Garifuna Heritage and Culture as a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of  Mankind.

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