Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Garifuna Reunion In Yurumein

The Garifuna Reunion In Yurumein
A Journey to the homeland of the Garifuna culture

Contacts:      José Francisco Ávila   (718)
402-7700  info@garifunacolaition.org
New York– The Board of Directors of the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. a, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) tax-
exempt nonprofit organization is pleased to announce The Garifuna Reunion in St Vincent and the
Grenadines on July 18-23, 2009.

St Vincent and the Grenadines is the homeland of the Garifuna people, who
defended it against the colonizers intwo so-called Carib Wars of 1772-73
and 1795-96. The struggle against the rapacious French and British
colonials, resulted in the Caribsin St Vincent being the last of the indigenous
people in the region to hold out against rampant European imperialism.
Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer, first National Hero of St Vincent and the
Grenadines, is the most visible symbol of that struggle to maintain the
sovereignty of lands.

Chatoyer was killed on March 14, 1795, after his death, approximately 5,000
Garifunassurrendered and were subsequently interned on Balliceaux, a
small island off the mainland. Disease, melancholy and starvation reduced
the population to 2,500 when the remainder were rounded up in British naval
ships and, under the leadership of Captain Barrett of the HMS Experiment,
were exiled off to Roatan Island off the coast of Honduras, there to begin a
period of wandering and subsequent settlement in many Central American
republics, including Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaraguaand Belize. The
survivors of British injustice formed the nucleus of the modern Garifuna
community in the Diaspora.

Members of the Garifuna Diaspora will be returning to their homeland St.
Vincent and the Grenadines (Yurumein!) after 212 years,during the Garifuna
Reunion, which will include with government officials, as well as a
pilgrimageto Balliceaux dubbed “A journey of spiritual remembrance”
intended to pay tribute to their ancestors who died there. In addition, they
will lay a wreath at the obelisk on Dorsetshire Hill, overlaying Kingstown,
where it was believed that Chatoyer was ambushed and killed, as well as a
Garifuna memorial mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption. They will also
hold a town hall meeting in the Garifuna community of Sandy Bay.

“This will be a historic event as we journey back to our homeland, Yurumein!
Said Rejil Solis, president of the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.

      Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.
Garifuna Pride - Our Voice - Our Vision