Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Letter From Garifuna Of Los Angeles, CA

On Saturday, June 13, 2009, GAHFU’s Garifuna Culture and Language School started its third 8-week session of the year with a vibrant group of students. One new class was added for those interested in learning Garifuna Dance and the long awaited Drumming Class was brought back by popular demand.

The Garifuna community of Los Angeles young and old responded in numbers by attending our opening session. The Garifuna Culture and Language class started at 10:00 am and ended at12:00 noon followed by the Drumming and Conversational class and the Garifuna Dance classes from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm. The Blazer Learning Center is the home of our school. The Blazer learning center is located at
1517 West 48th Street Los Angeles, CA 90062
(323) 898-6841. The two sessions of language and drumming were broadcasted live on 3 of the most popular Garifuna websites: www.labuga.com, www.garitv.comand www.garinet.com.

Thanks to the hard work that the teachers and staff have put into this project, we have been able to celebrate one year and three months at the Blazer location. GAHFU, Inc. would like to thank our Teachers and Founding Fathers Clifford Palacio, Sidney Mejia, Ruben Reyes, Carlos Domingo Alvarez, Melecio Gonzalez. We also want to thank Mr. Benny Davenport, Carlton Davenport and the staff from The Blazer Learning Center for making this project possible. A big thanks goes to Nichole Martinez our Secretary and to Ms. Helen Laurie, Community Liaison. In addition, our gratitude goes to our funding source The Alliance for California Traditional Arts. We couldn’t forget the people who have given their donations through our website www.garifunaheritagefoundation.org.

GAHFU, Inc. also welcomes our new staff to the school: Ms. Anita Martinez, Georgette Lambey and Luisito Martinez. Ms. Martinez will be teaching a new class in Garifuna History and Culture in the month of July 2009. Anita brings to our organization years of experience working with our youth as the President and Founder of Wagia Meme Dancers. Wagia Meme Dance Group is a non-profit organization and it has performed in such events like the annual Bob Marley Day Reggae Fest in Long Beach, CA. and many others. Ms. Georgette Lambey has been involved in cultural events in the Los Angeles area for a long time not only as a singer, dancer and drummer but also as a teacher. She has choreographed cultural groups for presentations all over Southern California. Georgette has recorded three albums as a solo artist and along with Belize’s finest Nuru. Luisito Martinez came to us via New York where he danced for Wanichigu Dance Group. He was part of
Giriga Impacto punta rock band which traveled all over the United States in numerous performances. Then, he moved to Los Angeles and joined the well-known local band Punta Cartel.

Arufudahati Ruben Reyes is so dedicated to this noble cause that he has spearheaded the opening of a Garifuna Museum on site. The Garifuna Museum is planning to have not only Garifuna artifacts but also books, photos and any other valuable objects that can be displayed to the public. So far, Juan Martinez has taken it upon himself to build a life size Wanaragua dancer dressed with an attire that was tailored in Honduras. For more information about the Garifuna Museum of Los Angeles and if you are interested in donating or lending a piece that can be displayed, you can contact Mr. Reyes (323) 864-1007.

We would like to share some of the pictures taken during our grand opening of our third session for 2009. If you are interested in attending classes, please contact GAHFU, Inc. You can also participate in our sessions via internet every Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Pacific Standard Time. Please make a donation! Your kind contribution will play a vital role in preserving the Garifuna legacy and help us make this project grow and reach out to more people.

Date: Monday, June 15, 2009, 12:11 AM