And sticking to the subject of Guatemala and Belize a two day event entitled “The Belizean and Guatemalan Garifuna Culture as an Expression of Social Cohesion, Intercultural Dialogue and Promotion of Peace” came to an end yesterday in Guatemala City. The event was organized by both countries and comprised of cultural and academic presentations from both parties showcasing the historical cohabitation of the communities living on the borders of Livingston and Puerto Barrios, Izabal, Guatemala as well as Toledo and Stann Creek Districts of Belize.
The cultural groups performed near the busiest outdoor centers in Guatemala City, attracting large audiences. In addition to individual country performances, both groups collaborated in joint performances illustrating a celebration of unity through culture.
The program also involved an academic conference consisting of presentations by experts of both countries which reflected the history, culture, traditions, music and language of the Garinagu people. Presenters from Belize included the President of the Belize National Garifuna Council, Sandra Miranda, Roy and Sebastian Cayetano whilst those from Guatemala included Alfonso Arrivillaga, Dr. Gutberto Leiva and Olivia Núñez.
The event was organized through the joint efforts of the Embassy of Belize in Guatemala, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, UNESCO office in Kingston accredited to Belize and the UNESCO office in Guatemala. It also had the full support of the Organization of American States, the Garifuna Council of Belize, the Presidential Commission Against Discrimination and Racism of Guatemala (CODIRSA) among others.