The Garifuna Coalition USA’s reunion in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which has just concluded, was an unqualified success, the St Vincent and the Grenadines blog reports. The reunion was part of the Vincy Homecoming 2009 spearheaded by the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit/Office of the Prime Minister (RIDU) and offered an opportunity to members of the Garifuna people in the diaspora to re-establish their connection to their islands of origin. Among the highlights of the Reunion was the first ever Bilingual English Garifuna Mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Kiingstown; the laying of a wreath at the Chatoyer monument, an obelisk in Dorsetshire Hill, where Chatoyer fell 214 years ago; and the presentation of a Commemorative Certificate by the Garifuna Heritage Foundation featuring a 1770 survey map on the background, developed by a team to surveyors for lands sent by King George III, during England’s claim to the islands. The visiting members of the Coalition had the opportunity to tour the islands and visit sites of historical importance to the group, which included a tour of the Leeward Side of the Island where they met the son of the last Carib Chief of the village, and of Greggs, where many Garifunas remain today. The reunion concluded with a farewell Reception at Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves’ Residence .“The Garifuna Reunion represents the beginning of the Renaissance of the Garifuna Heritage and Culture in St Vincent and the Grenadines “Yurumein, ” said Dr Cadrin E Gill, member of the Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United, Inc.
To see the article in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Blog go to http://svgblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/garifuna-reunion-2009.html
For a video and photos of the Garifuna Reunion 2009 go to http://www.garifunacoalition.org/vincy_homecoming_2009