Friday, July 27, 2007

Andy Palacio in Los Angeles

Thanks to CAC editor Cheryl Noralez for forwarding the following announcement:

Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United (GAHFU) is proud to announce that Andy Palacio & The Garifuna Collective will be performing a Benefit Concert for GAHFU’s 2ND Annual School Supply Drive/Fundraiser in Los Angeles, Ca on August 3, 2007 at the Latino Night Club located at 3054 West Pico Blvd. (corner of Western).
Please call (323) 898-6841 for information.

Please view for concert details:

The concert will benefit the new NGC School in Dangriga and the children of Belize. The school supplies donated will be distributed by the National Garifuna Council (NGC). A percentage from the Benefit Concert will be donated through GAHFU, INC. directly to the NGC to purchase additional supplies. The president of NGC Michael Polonio has provided GAHFU with a “Wish List” of the supplies needed for the new NGC School.
  1. Net workable computers with facility for internet access
  2. Printers, photocopiers, a projector, a VCR, filing cabinets
  3. Books of all different fields that serve as teaching aids at the pre and primary school level in all of the typical subject areas of Math, Language, Geography, Reading, Sciences and so on
  4. Standard teaching and Learning aids such as pens, pencils, exercise books, folders, magic markers, erasers, coloring pencils and the like.
  5. A speaker system for school announcements would also be nice.
Please arrive early the concert will begin at 8pm sharp with an opening performance by Guwie Posse.

View pictures of GAHFU’s 1ST School Supply Drive which benefited the children of Livingston, Izabal-Guatemala in August 2006.

Thank you in advance for your support and we hope to see you there.

More on Andy Palacio...

From The San Jose Mercury News:
Palacio uses music to keep Garifuna culture alive
By Andrew Gilbert

"Everybody wants to be cool, especially young people," says Andy Palacio, 45, the moving force behind the Garifuna Collective, a band that's attracting international attention to the endangered, little-known Garifuna culture of Central America.

A native of Belize, the singer and guitarist has assembled a cross-generational cast of leading Garifuna musicians in an ensemble mixing traditional instruments and rhythms with electric guitars, bass and keyboards. The result is a galloping sound built on distinctive Garifuna punta grooves.

With the release in February of the Garifuna Collective's debut album "Watina" on the new label Cumbancha, Palacio is helping to spearhead a cultural renaissance in the Garifuna enclaves of Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua, while introducing the world to a people whose origins are as dramatic as their music is soulful....(read more at the link above)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Andy Palacio: Diffusing Garifuna Culture Internationally

Andy Palacio, a Garifuna singer and songwriter from Belize and a former teacher and current government minister, has been recording a string of hits and making news across Central and North America. Recent coverage in the US press has included feature articles in The San Francisco Chronicle (see: "Music that could save a culture," by Chuly Varela, Wednesday July 25 2007, which appeared on page E-1 of the print edition), and The Wall Street Journal (see: "Black, Amerindian and Proud of Building on a Tradition," by Ed Ward, June 26 2007, which appeared on page D5 of the print edition).

In The San Francisco Chronicle article, Palacio speaks at length on the issue of the Garifuna language. He says: "I think my generation in Belize is the last to be raised where Garifuna was our first language in the home, streets and playground. But in the classroom, English was the language of instruction." He adds that, "in its essence Garifuna is one of the Arawak family of languages, with borrowed words from Africans, who intermarried with Arawaks and Caribs. The French also had a significant impact on the Garifuna vocabulary when we were relocated to the Central American republics."

Palacio also praises the role of women in maintaining Garifuna culture: "[It is] the women who have nurtured these songs and kept them alive [and the] men who have been beating these drums all along. Our mothers who have retained in their minds recipes for tasty Garifuna dishes. It is at their feet that I sit in order to learn."

The article in the SFC also notes that, "in 2001, UNESCO proclaimed the Garifuna language, music and dance Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Palacio played an important role in securing that recognition, and that led to his appointment as deputy administrator of the National Institute of Culture and History in Belize."

The Wall Street Journal article also reveals Palacio's concern for the loss of the Garifuna language, rooted in a visit to a Garifuna community in Nicaragua where the language had virtually disappeared: "This established a certain consciousness in me, that there was the frightening prospect that we could wind up in Belize like the Garifuna in Nicaragua."

The article ends on a note of ambiguity, indicating that while Palacio has generated a great deal of excitement at home and abroad, it is doubtful whether his success will help to preserve the language. On the other hand, as the writer of the article noted, similar efforts to revive Cajun music and Irish music in the 1960s and afterwards proved successful.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Gli-Gli Carib Canoe: Final Report

Many thanks to Aragorn Dick-Read for sending the final report for the voyage of the Gli-Gli Carib Canoe of Dominica through the Greater Antilles which took place this summer. Readers can download a PDF copy of the report from:

(File size: 997 Kb)