BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 22, 2018– Belize City mayor, His Worship, Mayor Bernard Wagner delivered the keynote address at ceremonies held in Belize City to commemorate the arrival of the Garinagu to Belize. In his inspiring speech, Mayor Wagner said that the Garinagu fled war and persecution and that “they came as strangers who today are indelibly and intrinsically a part of the very fabric of the cultural mosaic that is Belize.” He said they could have fallen away, but “the indomitable spirit of these people, our people, the Garinagu, was not to be denied.”
Mayor Wagner pointed out that it was not an individual thing, but “the solidarity of the Garinagu as a people,” that made them triumph. He described the Garinagu as an irresistible force. “From Chatuye to Alejo Beni to Thomas Vincent Ramos it has taken tremendous vision, courage and determination for the Garinagu to survive, to strive and to succeed,” Mayor Wagner said.
Mayor Wagner quoted a famous African proverb which says, “If you wish to go fast go alone, but if you wish to go far you must go together…” “We have come a long way together,” he then said.
“Today the stone that the builders refused is one of the cornerstones of Belize’s unique and amazing cultural diversity. In these modern times you are a ‘Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’…Today the Garinagu is surely Belize as surely and certainly as everyone else. None can deny your success, so let none deny your progress. Garifuna progress is a task for all Garinagu and all of us,” the Belize City mayor said.