They are a non-governmental organization representing the indigenous Garifuna people of Belize. Their mission is to preserve, strengthen and develop their culture as well as promote economic development of the Garifuna people.
Last year, on April 12th, they observed the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Garifuna People in Central America. Events surrounding the observances brought a new awareness to many of the circumstances surrounding their exile from St. Vincent, and the real reasons for the attempted genocide, as well as a new appreciation for the miracle of their survival.
While they managed to survive the inhuman treatment two hundred years ago and continue to exist today as an distinct group it is their view that that survival is now threatened. The threat comes from themselves as well as from some of the modern day institutions that have a profound effect on us.
The danger from within arises from the fact that they are fast losing the identity and cultural strength that enabled their ancestors to resist great hardships and privations. They learned and taught the history, language and culture of those who colonized us and are losing theirs. Consequently they become vulnerable and allow others to define us and their rights according to their pleasure. Clearly, this is something that has to be addressed with some urgency.
Staff at The National Garifuna Council of Belize have experience in