This page is dedicated to the arts, creativity and artists.
Monday, 26.09.2011, 07:47pm (GMT-6)
Belize’s musical phenomenon, Francis Reneau, has produced a symphonic Hymn to Belize, which was performed for the first time to thunderous applause to honour the 30th anniversary of Belize’s independence.
As the tribute ended with breathtaking crescendo of drum, brass, string, and wind instruments and an ensemble of 96 massed voices drawn from every corner of Belize.
The singers came from the Belize Choral Society, the St. John’s Cathedral Choir, the Wesley Choir, reinforced withand singing groups from Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Belize City and Dangriga.
The captivated audience rose to its feet with one accord, cheered and clapped for a full minute.
“I believe it is my best work to date”, Francis later told The Reporter. “I feel truly proud of it”.
And proud he should be, because everybody else who heard the inspired music and the powerful lyrics was captivated beyond words.
The miracle is that such a work could be performed in Belize in the first place. The string section, bolstered by the violins and cellos of the Pallotti String Orchestra, performed magnificently, taking the melody and celebrating with it.
The brass section, which was challenging because of some of the high notes and counterpoint rhythm, proved magnificent.
The drums and cymbals, including a prominent steel band bass, put on quite a show, and the massed choir gave such a spectacular performance it reminded many of Handel’s Messiah, not in melody but in rhythm and the powerful blend of voices and instruments.
Later Frankie confessed that he had been moved to tears while composing the words and music.
“I knew what I had, but I did not know how it was going to turn out,” he said.
“I wasn’t sure I would find the talent in Belize to produce it.”
Not only did he find the talent, he discovered new ones in the person of Mr. Felix Hernandez, a music teacher at Pallotti, who produced a tenor voice of such clarity and resonance that he shone like a leading man. His companion, Mrs. Claudia Henderson, a housewife from Belmopan, rose to the occasion as leading lady.
The lyrics, composed by Frankie Reneau, powerful in themselves, provided a new dimension when combined with the massed choir and the symphony of sounds.
Frankie spoke of the possibility of producing a CD, maybe even a DVD, but there are no immediate plans for this.
A Hymn to Belize
by Francis Reneau
Arise ye Sons of the Baymen
Put on your armour
To God we offer thanks & praise
With heart and soul and voice we sing.
Arise, arise you sons and daughters
Arise and sing, Children of Belize
In celebration let us sing
Sing with gladness to celebrate this day
This day we thank our nation and our people
Long live Belize!
In acclamation we are gathered Here to honour you
Honour with our songs of thanks and praise.
Give thanks to God for all His blessings
His many blessings,
Thanks be to God
Give thanks for all his children here
We give thanks that the future generations shall inherit.
That future generations shall inherit
That future generations shall this land inherit.
I pledge to thee my country
My love and loyalty I give Land of my birth, my home
Deep in my heart you live.
Forward from strength to strength you go
Your many blessings here I do proclaim
With heads held high and hearts aglow
We proudly sing your name.
Belize, beloved copuntry We freely give ourselves to you
In deep humility
We stand before you
Belize my home, my country
O land from which all blessings flow
United all we stand
Together, hand in hand
We greet the dawning of a better day
Throughout this land!
Land of peace
Land so beautiful
God’s blessings on this nation
And its people
That we may all united be!
Jaguera libre laru barana!
Land of the free by the Carib Sea
Tierra de la libertad!
One in strength!
One in pride in our heritage
We shall never be divided
As we build our nation Strong and free.
The people call your name
We celebrate and sing today.
Da fi you
Da fi me
D fi me
Da fi you
Da fu we!
Da fu you, da di me, The people call your name, Belize.
to Warasa Garifuna Drum School - the hands-on way to learn about Garifuna drumming and culture.
Located in the peaceful coastal town of Punta Gorda, Belize, Warasa and its founder, local drummer Ronald Raymond McDonald, provide lessons to suit everyone.
Learn about the rich history and culture of the Garifuna while learning the different traditional drumbeats that influence music throughout Belize and Central America.
Call +501 632 7701/ 628 2337 or email [email protected] for more information, or ask any one in town for directions - we are also now featured in the 2011 editions of the Lonely Planet Belize and Moon Belize guidebooks.
Come and celebrate with us. Belize is celebrating 30 years of Independence on September 21, 2011.
Below is a calendar of events to celebrate this milestone.
"The Heart of Life" sculpture by Dr. Ludwig Palacio had it debut to the We Art Gallery in Punta Gorda Town on Thursday, August 11. This is a piece out of Mango Tree wood. The mango tree from Father's yard at the corner of Church St and Main St was cut down in April or so of this year. Curlette Palacio saw this not so beautiful piece of wood and asked the tree cutter what they will do with it. She was told it is going to the dump. She begged them please dump it into my yard. So they did.
At first Dr Palacio thought he was going to do a table top of some sort. Then he started incorporating some nature, some science and some abstract art. Then it became a wall hanging. On the piece you will see a large heart, moon, ovary, left male and right female, a bowl of fire and other aspects of this brilliant piece of art.
The debut featured various international and local performers. There were perfomers from Denmark, Russia, Japan and Belize. The piece is hanging in the We Art Gallery and Museum and has been well received.
Do you ever check for Facebook or text messages in
any of these places: church, movies, dinner table,
or even in the bathroom? Facebook, an international
receiving love and affection from people I didn’t even
know! Facebook, this ephemeral, intangible,
amorphous, fickle thing, had brought these people into
my life. They were kind enough to pause for a moment
from their busy lives to greet me for my birthday.
this author, his friends and his students have for
Facebook. Caution: Facebook is highly addicting!
monumental as that of the automobile in the early
On Facebook; don't forget to "Like" it:
The book may be purchased at
The book can be ordered toll free at 877-289-2665!
Frank Palacio Frank Palacio or 323-823-6010
Articles written by I Myrtle Palacio
The children´s book "We are free" cost US$ 22 (+ shipping)
About the book:
"With the help of the wonderful bird Dunuru, the brothers and sisters Binah, Namulé, and Hethu meet Dah, an old herbalist from the tribe of the Garinagu, who lives in the middle of the jungle. Like magic they fly into the past and experience the history of their people originating from Africa."
Malí Cayetano, was born 1984 in Dangriga, Belize/
Musician, artist, illustrator and designer
Photo by Tony Rath
The children´s book „We are Free“ is Malí Cayetano´s diploma project at the University of Applied Science Trier (Germany) where she studied Communication Design (2005 - 2010). She is the daughter of the well known Garifuna Belizean artist and musician Pen Cayetano.
Her motivation for the book is to inspire a new generation of Belizean youth to learn and connect with the rich heritage and journey of the Garinagu.
Ingrid and Ibo Cayetano
If you need more information just let me know.
The book is also available in Dangriga at the Pen Cayetano Studio for $40 BZD
Reply |Ivan Duran to me, Ivan
show details 9:10 AM (20 hours ago)
LARU BEYA is the new album by AURELIO MARTINEZ and dedicated to his late friend and mentor ANDY PALACIO. Recorded in Belize, Honduras and Senegal and featuring African superstar YOUSSOU N'DOUR, LARU BEYA is already bieng hailed by the international media as a strong contender for album of the year!
Recently released in North America by legendary Indie label SubPop Records of Seattle and in Europe by Peter Gabriel's Real World Records. Laru Beya debuted this month at #2 on the World Music Charts Europe and its on it's second week at #1 on the US CMJ New World Charts!
Laru beya will be available in Belize starting May 27 with with two special concerts with his Garifuna Soul Band scheduled at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Friday May 27th and Saturday May 28th.
Here are some of the international press quotes:
"Lara Beya is a texturally and emotionally involving treasure." ***** The Independent on Sunday (UK)
"This is one of the most eagerly awaited albums of the year, at least in world music circles. And for impeccable reasons. It is brilliantly produced and joyously sung; it swings with a rare soulfulness and conveys a sense of the Garifuna community." The Arts Desk (UK)
"Classy." **** Daily Mirror (UK)
"This promises to be one of the albums of the year." **** The Guardian (UK)
"An impressive album that simply sounds better which each new listening." BBC Music Magazine (UK)
"A potentially major figure to watch." **** The Daily Telegraph (UK)
"A rising star." ***** Evening Standard (UK)
"Part of the joy of this marvellous record lies in trying to pin down the different traditions floating in the air ... The first essential world music disc of the year." **** The Sunday Times (UK)
"Powerful and inspiring." Catch 22 magazine
"A sublime and original fusion of sounds, irresistible often poignant musical stories, the ‘feelgood’ factor (it was recorded in a beach shack) underpinned by a sense of audacious pleasure." ***** The List
"A fantastic follow-up to Garifuna Soul ... Aurelio's slice of island life upholds deep traditions and embraces new generations." Metro (UK)
"Garifuna music has been looking for its breakthrough release - it could be that Aurelio's is the one." The Wire Magazine (UK)
AURELIO (EPK The Laru Beya Sessions)
AURELIO (Recording LUBARA WANWA)
AURLEIO (Recording WAMADA)
To: Subject:You are Invited to Norman Reneau's Photo Exhibit Open House
Dear Community Members:
The Office of the Consulate of Belize will host an Open House of the Fine Art Photography Exhibit showcasing the work of Norman Reneau, on Saturday, May 7, 2011. The open house takes place at the offices of the Consulate of Belize at 4801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Mr. Reneau has been capturing the Belizean community in Los Angeles for the last 25 years and you can be assured of a professional and cultured display from his vast collection.
Light refreshments will be served to those in attendance.
I thank you.
Roland H. Yorke
Consulate of Belize
4801 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 250
Los Angeles, California 90010
Tel: 323-634-9900 Fax:323-634-9903
This is a piece of art that Mr Greg Palacio created. I just released an 48' x 36'' oil painting dedicated to Andy in poster form, which I included. It's only $10.00 a piece and I can be contacted via email at [email protected]
PRESS RELEASE - HABINAHAN WANARAGUA/DANCE WANARAGUA
The public is informed of Habinahan Wanaragua/Dance Wanaragua, an event scheduled to take place in Dangriga on 2nd January, 2011. Dance Wanaragua is a Wanaragua (Jankunu) Festival and Competition aimed at improving the quality of the dance and utilizing it as a tool for economic and cultural development. To this end, the Dance Wanaragua Steering Committee, with participation from the National Garifuna Council, the Dangriga Town Council and other entities, has been formed to plan and manage the event. This initiative also has the support of the National Institute of Culture and History.
Wanaragua groups from all over the country and even further afield in the region are encouraged to work on improving their performance and to enter the event and avail themselves of the opportunity to win attractive prizes. Entry forms and details can be obtained from Mr. Peter Ciego, Curator of the Gulisi Museum, who can be contacted at the museum, by writing to [email protected] or calling telephone number 605 1272. Closing date for the submission of entry forms is 15th December, 2010.
The Wanaragua Season traditionally begins on Christmas Eve so plans are underway to launch Habinahan Wanaragua and the season with a programme on 23rd December. More details of the event of 2nd January, 2011, will be released at that time and the public treated to Wanaragua related entertainment. All are invited to save both dates and not miss the chance to gain a new appreciation of our brand of a tradition that has enthralled the peoples of the Caribbean for centuries.
Habinahan Wanaragua Steering Committee
ANDY PALACIO’S BIRTHDAY
The Andy Palacio Foundation is pleased to remind the nation of Belize that December 2nd is the birthday of Andy Vivien Palacio. At the time of his death, nearly three years ago, Andy Palacio was the Deputy Administrator of the National Institute of Culture and History, Belize’s Cultural Ambassador, UNESCO Artist for Peace and the leading light behind the Belizean album Wátina that made it to the top of the European World Music Charts, a feat that was unprecedented for Belize. Andy’s role in taking Belizean music and culture to the world stage was likewise unprecedented. Belize still mourns his passing and it is fitting that we remember him on what would have been his 50th birthday.
Last year the Annual Andy Palacio Lecture was commenced with the idea that it would take place every year on his birthday. We regret that it has had to be postponed but inform the public that the lecture will be delivered by Dr. Joseph O. Palacio at a date to be announced in late January, 2011.
A song by Lloyd Augustine entitled Ayahuaháli ñou Balisi/Belize Weeps Yet Again and dedicated to the memory of Andy is being released by Stonetree Records. In this regard, radio and television stations are urged to play that song and other music by Andy Palacio on 2nd December to mark his birthday.
It is further announced that in April 2011 a children’s book titled Andy: Artist for Peace illustrated by Ian Gibson and written by Ian Gibson and Yasser Musa will be published by the Image Factory Art Foundation in collaboration with the Andy Palacio Foundation. The text for the book will be in English and Garifuna.
Catch the Overflow by Dr. Ludwig V Palacio & Rosalind Martinez (NEW)
Catch the Overflow by Dr. Ludwig V Palacio & Rosalind Martinez
Get your copy of the limited edition for $50 BZD
Contact Dr Palacio at 6676275
A mark of becoming a mature nation-state is having several writers flood our schools, homes, libraries, and work places with our literature – fiction and non-fiction, textbooks, novels,¬¬ poems, etc., etc. Catch the Overflow, an autobiographical compilation, is certainly a most welcome contribution to a growing collection of works written by Belizeans about Belize. Coming from the proverbial “forgotten district”, this book vividly broadcasts that Toledo is no longer forgotten but has truly become the unforgettable district, as Rob Hirons of the Lodge at Big Falls has always reminded me. Indeed, other Belizeans may not be aware that Toledo has been steadily increasing its list of publications. The author of Catch the Overflow himself has written a book of poetry – Sugarosi, 1998, several plays and a movie script Agada, 2006 each covering different aspects of the rich cultural landscape of this beautiful district. Other local writers include: Bismark Ranguy Sr. Toledo Recollections, 1999, Govel Morgan Jr. Southern Children, 1993 and Anigi, 1999 Elroy Johnson, Ah Baan Deh, 2009 and Geraldo Baltazaar, Broken Dreams, 1998. But the uniqueness of this one over the others comes from the unique style of the author together with its cross-regional and transboundary scope.
Reflecting the true meaning of its title, this book is literally an overflow of stories put together into twenty-two chapters. The author’s infectious style of weaving a tale to catch the interest of his reader left this reader asking for more on reaching the last chapter. Each chapter reveals one or more basic human characteristics often with a good dose of humour as a punch line. As a result, one is entertained while learning about the physical environment of southern Belize, the rich cultural tapestry that ties together people representing several ethnicities, while following the author as he travels from Punta Gorda to Belmopan to Belize City, and away from Belize to Cuba and back to Belize. The thread that pins the whole work together is the passage of the author from being a toddler in San Antonio to growing up as a boy in Punta Gorda, to a young man going to attend high school in Belmopan, and eventually taking up university studies in Cuba as an adult.
Because of the focus on the youthful phase of the author’s life, the book lends itself to the young reader, who might be reading it as a textbook or for the fun of learning from the author’s experiences. But the book captures some human values that are so universal that we need to be constantly reminded of them. They include pulling oneself by the bootstrap from the difficulties of poverty by the petty trading of foodstuff; not being afraid to stand by one’s conviction even when others are quickly walking away; cherishing a deep appreciation for the several types of persons that make up one’s home community; and, most of all, seeing humour even at the darkest of times and being able to share the joke with others.
Ubafu Sanchez Satuye is not producing a code of moral social behaviour in sharing his life story with the reader. There is, however, an underlying theme of social justice in his encounters. A good example was his feeling of sympathy on seeing for the first time the derelict homeless persons in Belize City. A second example was his refusal to apologize about a high school incident when he was convinced that he had done no wrong. A third example is his deep affection for his mother, who promoted him to be her home business partner at the tender age of eight. Her role in forming Ubafu’s strong moral fibre is undisputed.
From the larger socio-political terrain the book captures some significant moments in our movement toward independence in the late 1970s, putting on them Ubafu’s inimitable stamp. We see the initial stage of populating the new capital city of Belmopan. More especially, among those moving in were not only public officers but also poor people from Punta Gorda, who were looking for more opportunities for themselves and their children. There was the civil unrest prior to independence when Ubafu cut his politically rebellious teeth in organizing his high school to join the public parade around the issue of independence. Around the same time Belize was entering into bilateral exchange relations with Cuba, now accepted as normal, but at that time had to be clandestine.
In short, Catch the Overflow starts as a series of stories taking place in Toledo. The painting that the author sketches for his reader gradually takes place on a canvas that extends to the rest of Belize, bringing in bits and pieces that are found as far away in Cuba and in other parts of the world. It fits on the bookshelf of all homes in Belize and wherever Belizeans find themselves. Catch the Overflow is also a book that is inherently Pan-Caribbean, tying together the English and Spanish-speaking portions of the region; it is a Third World story in depicting stages of building a national identity within a colonial society; finally in projecting some underlying human values it has a universal appeal. A work that started off in Toledo can also reach for the stars within the region and beyond.
Joseph O. Palacio
Catch the Overflow—as narrated by Ubafu Sanchez Satuye—is divided into two parts. Part I is a collage of stories, events, characters, (most names have been changed or altered but all are based on real events or created by the author) and scenarios of his home town Peini—also known as Punta Gorda—a small Garifuna town in southern Belize in the 1960s to early 1980s—which coincide with Ubafu’s childhood to adult years. Part II describes life in Camagüey, Cuba—as a university student—from 1983 to 1989, as he saw and experienced it.
True and intimate events beginning in San Antonio are narrated in this book. These include a young child’s connection with his puppy: Othello, and a conversation he had with a prisoner.
Ubafu shares the endurance and hard work of his dear mother—who was the rock of his family. Closely linked to his mom is her aunt—Nagut (Ubafu’s grandaunt), a typical, proud and strong Garifuna woman who was poignant in the transformation of a very desperate situation into a delicious family dinner.
Several characters are highlighted, each with an aim of understanding and appreciating human nature in all its varied forms and expressions. There is Sawmani who laughed and danced and made money from Belizean-Americans. Aunt Elsie is an abused woman who lives in denial, yet she finds strength to raise her children successfully. Mama’s Coconut Oil, is a story of struggle and enterprise—that we can all learn from.
Stefe and Benni meet at a cultural event and thrilled the crowd with the erotic Punta dance. They fall in love and get married, raise a family, get old... In spite of Benni’s constant drunkenness, Stefe remained a devoted wife.
Uncle Sonny deferred his sickness to go fishing in order to put food on the table. He embodies everything that has to do with caring and sharing.
Part I ends with Ubafu leaving from his small home-town of Peini during the late seventies to a new evolving Capital City that lacked the soul and the social life he was accustomed to.
In Belmopan, Ubafu deals with racial and ethnic discrimination. Together with his friend Phil Blesseth, they organized the students of their high school to participate in national demonstrations.
A school teacher—at Belmopan Comprehensive—becomes very instrumental in generating greater consciousness into a divided set of students— this division is directly linked to our colonial past. This became a big step in helping them to mature and appreciate each other, accepting their differences. Phil Blesseth, a Kriol and Ubafu Sanchez Satuye, a Garifuna from Peini, formed an unlikely alliance. Both learned the divide and conquer strategy the British employed to keep apart brothers and sisters linked by blood to Africa.
Together they go on an expedition after being suspended as ‘troublemakers’. The trip was more than an adventure; it allowed them to see people who were living on the margins of society. These were the destitute, the mental patients abandoned by their families relegated to a wretched life on the streets.
Ubafu parts ways with Phil and goes on to Cuba, at a time when the Superpowers were engaged in a ‘cold war’. Security Forces had to be eluded many times to leave Belize via Mexico to Cuba. Mexico is a crucial land bridge between Belize and Cuba and exciting events are described; this include Eugenio Gonzalez the merolico (street peddler) turned patron (business-owner) and back to merolico. According to Eugenio’s friends he is a thief and is better known as La Rata. Eugenio actually agrees to this name and accepts himself as La Rata. Eugenio was always ready to assist Ubafu when he was most in need.
Part II is about life in Cuba—more specifically Camagüey—and the experiences of Ubafu on the ‘communist’ island, where it was said that Fidel Castro was the ‘Devil’ and Cuba was ‘hell.’
Ubafu quickly adjusted to his new environment and continues to learn more about life from a wide range of people—from literally all over the world. He dates a young lady from Zimbabwe—the daughter of a Chief. She plays a key role in his eventual success as a student.
Several situations that were potentially fatal are narrated in this section—some linked to alcohol abuse.
Mi Papa cubano is a story that relates in simple language, what
Fidel and the Revolution meant to one ‘ordinary’ Cuban family.
Ubafu—after listening to many of Fidel’s long speeches—become obsessed with meeting him in person. However, it was not until the last days of his entire six years living in Cuba that he was able to see this unique individual.
The events leading up to seeing Fidel are colored with Cuban humor. It was rainy on that 26th of July 1989. Several persons fainted and had to be carried off on stretchers to ambulances. Ubafu will never forget the sight of fainted-persons—hoisted in the air on stretchers—as the paramedics sped through the dense crowd—to strategically positioned waiting ambulances.
At the plaza where Fidel gave his address, Ubafu later discovered that the crowd—that came out to hear him speak—numbered around two hundred and fifty thousand people—the same amount as the entire population of his country at that time.
The characters and essence of all the stories have some essential commonalities, such as: tenacity, the need to analyze situations thoroughly, the ability to turn a ‘bad’ situation into a positive one; and pure humor.
That said, turn the pages and Catch the Overflow, read and enjoy.
Ludwig V. Palacio
Happy 29th birthday Belize. We received independence on September 21, 1981. This video is a birthday song by Boom n Shine Band featuring the late great Mr Wilfred Peters.
Secretary of State - Hillary Rotham Clinton congratulates Belize on our 29th year of Independence.
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