Saturday, April 23, 2005

Garifuna Forum, 2005: Responses

The following messages were forwarded by Cheryl Noralez for posting on this website:

From: Cheryl Noralez (see her articles at

Monday, April 18, 2005

Greetings to all of my Garifuna brothers and sisters!

The First Garifuna Community Forum L.A. 2005 was moving, informative, memorable and a complete success. The spirit of Chatuye was with us all. I am currently writing an article about my personal experience at the forum. The article will also summarize the topics of discussions presented by the different guest speakers. So please look forward to that article in the days ahead. Thank you so much for all of your positive words of encouragement and support. I would especially like to thank all of the guest speakers without your dedication and voices this event would not have been spiritually moving and mentally rewarding. I appreciate, respect and admire all of you dearly. Thank you also to all of the attendees who came to listen and support our united forum.


Cheryl & Rony

The First Garifuna Community Forum L.A. 2005 was a total success. Now, read some of the comments that have come to us in the form of e-mails.

Basilio Castillo from Livingston in L.A. wrote:

“Labuga como estas mi hermano? Te felicito ati y a tu esposa por la fuerza que hicieron de unir mi gente. Me gusto y quiero seguir participando en eventos como este. Te felicito especialmente a ti porque no sos garifuna. Y lo que estas haciendo por mi gente, yo siento que si lo sos. Gracias hermano. Quisiera consegir una copia de la grabacion que se hizo. Tambien quiero salir con mi primo Topo hoy. Si es posible, por favor me puedes hablar cuando mires este mensaje. Gracias"

Dear Cheryl, Millions of thanks for making this event possible! Although I could not be there for the entire time, the few moments that I was present, were very profound. I heard many great testimonials from many attendees, including my father, Ruben Reyes. Once again, thanks a million for making it happen!
Kind regards,
Jorge Garifuna
CEOGarinet Global Inc.

Dear Cheryl & Rony:

“Please allow me to add my congratulations and compliment to the swelling list of individuals who have expressed their satisfaction with last Saturday's Garifuna Community Forum. What I found very fascinating was the diversity, timeliness and appropriateness of the subjects discussed. Each speaker, all in all, did a creditable job and treated his or her respective subject admirably well.
"What impressed me most was the fact that the Taino Race and St. Vincent were represented in addition to Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. That was a great beginning and an auspicious reunion. The participation of the audience was admirable. Everyone was attentive and well-behaved.
"On a whole the meeting was a success although there is room for improvement. What I found disappointing was the fact that our current Garifuna leaders were absent, as a participant aptly observed. However, the healing has begun and lasting, favorable impressions were made.
"Another outstanding feature observable was the amount of work that entered into the preparations made by the co-coordinators and, of course, the quality of the food served. Again, congratulations! Keep up the good work.
The master of ceremonies did a superb job keeping the program moving smoothly and efficiently. Ronny, special congratulations to you!

Humala abiniruni lumagienti Afurugu Gunfuliti.”
Au le
Clifford J. Palacio

To: Cheryl

Dear Sister:

“It was a tremendous honor for myself and the United Confederation of Taino People to have been able to participate in such an auspicious occasion. You and Rony did such a fantastic job in bringing together a group of rich, warm, kind and loving examples of what the Garifuna are all really about. I had learned so much from all of the speakers and representatives and am looking forward to more and more interaction between the Taino and Garifuna. On behalf of the UCTP, I send you and your house all our love and all our blessings.
Taino Ti, Huacan Vidal, naboria.”

Hello Rony & Cheryl

“Au le Buck, I want to congratulate and thank you both especially and also everyone that made it possible. I know how difficult it is to cater to events like these. The turnout was great and I was very amazed at the participation of our audience. I also found out that a lot us know the many problems we as garinagu are facing but maybe don't know where to turn to start doing something about it. I thought that by joining forces with a certain Garifuna organization that I could do my part towards fixing something, but I am finding out that the problem is so huge. This Forum was a great start for the healing process to begin, all the speakers impressed me, and I have e-mailed some of them to say thanks. I had mentioned my disappointment that some of our fearless leaders were not present, I had planned to ask some questions about unity. I really do thank you for the wonderful experience, the good food and the wonderful friends and potential new customers for my business. I will spread the positive word about the success of the forum and hopefully those who didn't think it was worth their while to show up will do so next time. Seremien.”
Aban Rasa
Aban Isien

Jeff Bernardez from Libaya Baba wrote:
"Ida Biangi Namule I'd like to congratulate you on the success of the Garifuna forum. We at Maabatuwa have gotten nothing but positive reviews on the entire progam. You and yours did a splendid job coordinating and organizing the whole project. I only wish Libaya Baba could have stayed to close the show, but this only the beginning of things to come. It's always a pleasurable experience working with you and yours. Put on your gloves and boots there's a lot more work to do ...Aba Isiene...Libaya Baba"

Josefina Gregorio, Hermandad Livingsteña in Los Angeles, wrote:
"Hi Cheryl and Rony “The forum was very informative. Tainos were a surprise to me. Where in the world did you find them? That is a good sign that you did a good job in researching. The food service was good, as you know, I couldn't eat lunch. I was happy to see others eating and it was enough food for everyone. Each presenter was great. On Sunday, I met with two different people, one was a presenter and the other was an observer. They gave good input and comments. It made me happy! I hope to follow up next year and make it much greater. Thanks for the opportunity”

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