The visit to SVG by a 20 member Garifuna delegation as part of the Vincy Homecoming Program 2019 has been considered an eye opener and plans are in the works to make the visit annual.
Members of the Garifuna delegation arrived in the state last Wednesday and were engaged in a packed program of activities which included visits to historical sites such as Balliceaux, Garifuna communities, and the obelisk at Dorestshire Hill, which they considered “sacred ground” because of the sacrifice made by this country’s national hero Joseph Chatoyer.
Speaking at a farewell ceremony Tuesday evening, Garifuna Advocate Rosita Alvarez said she was grateful to all those who helped to make the pilgrimage to SVG possible.
She said her experience here was more than she expected and was delighted that some the stories she was told come to life.
Operational Control in the Department of Culture Maxine Browne said she is inspired by the love shown by the visiting Garifuna delegation to SVG.
She said their visit is a stepping stone towards a greater love and appreciation for Garifuna history and culture.
Minister of Sport and Culture Cecil Mckie said it is his hope that more persons from the Garifuna diaspora will come to SVG, their ancestral homeland.
Minister Mckie said the visit is beneficial to SVG, not just from a cultural standpoint but also tourism wise.
Acting Prime Minister and member of parliament for North Windward Montgomery Daniel reiterated a call for compensation for the historical wrongs committed against the indigenous peoples of SVG.
Speaking at Tuesday evening’s farewell ceremony, Daniel said the Garifunas are scattered around the world and has suffered tremendous loss.
While questioning whether the Garifuna people should wait another five years to rekindle relationships, Daniel said in the meantime the Garifuna story should continue to be told.