Labuga (Livingston) Guatemala

This page is dedicated to Labuga Livingston Guatemala that is a Garifuna Communtiy in Guatemala.  Would like to feature aspects of history and life in Labuga
US apologizes for infecting Guatemalans with STDs in the 1940s (NEW)


US apologizes for infecting Guatemalans with STDs in the 1940s

Asked whether Guatemala was planning to take legal action, Colom said, "That's part of the work of the commission."
"We reject these types of actions, obviously," said Guatemala presidential spokesman Ronaldo Robles. "We know that this took place some time ago, but this is unacceptable and we recognize the apology from Secretary Clinton."
The scientific investigation, called the U.S. Public Health Service Sexually Transmitted Disease Inoculation Study of 1946-1948, aimed at determining the effectiveness of penicillin in treating or preventing syphilis after subjects were exposed to the disease. Gonorrhea and chancres were also studied. Penicillin was a relatively new drug at the time.
The tests were carried out on female commercial sex workers, prisoners in the national penitentiary, patients in the national mental hospital and soldiers. According to the study, more than 1,600 people were infected: 696 with syphilis, 772 with gonorrhea and 142 with chancres.
The study came to light recently when Wellesley College researcher Susan Reverby found the archived but unpublished notes from the project as she was researching a similar study that was conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama. That study included nearly 400 poor African-American men with preexisting syphilis whose disease was allowed to progress without treatment. Researchers did not infect the subjects, but they did not tell them they had the disease either.
The Tuskegee study was done under the direction of Dr. John C. Cutler, a U.S. Public Health Service medical officer who died in 2003.
"I was doing what historians do," said Reverby, a professor of the history of ideas and women and gender issues, who has written a book on the Tuskegee study. She went to the University of Pittsburgh, where Cutler had taught, and searched through an archive of his papers.
"There was nothing on Tuskeegee in the papers, but there was this report of the Guatemala study," she told CNN in a telephone interview. "I started to read, and I almost fell off my chair."
She found that Cutler also led the research in Guatemala. It was carried out there, in part, she said, because prostitution was legal and prisoners were allowed to bring prostitutes in for sex.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes for Health, told reporters that the Guatemala study represented "a dark chapter in the history of medicine."
The study "appears to have been funded" by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, he said, citing four primary ethical violations: 1) study subjects "were members of one or more vulnerable populations;" 2) there is no evidence they gave informed consent; 3) they were often deceived about what was being done to them; 4) they were intentionally infected with pathogens that could cause serious illness without their understanding or consent.
U.S. officials said Friday that ethical safeguards would prevent such abuses from occurring today.
An Institute of Medicine task force will look at what happened in the study, and a group of ethics experts will convene to review the matter and report on how best to ensure such abuses do not recur, Collins said.
"The study is a sad reminder that adequate human subject safeguards did not exist a half-century ago," the U.S. statement said. "Today, the regulations that govern U.S.-funded human medical research prohibit these kinds of appalling violations."
Collins said the published literature contains more than 40 other U.S.-based studies "where intentional infection was carried out with what we could now consider to be completely inadequate consent in the United States."
Many of those studies were funded by the Public Health Service, he said.
But at least some people believed at the time that the experiment was flawed, according to Wellesley's Reverby, who cited this reaction to Cutler's work from his supervisor, PHS physician R.C. Arnold: "I am a bit, in fact more than a bit, leery of the experiment with insane people," Arnold said. "They can not give consent, do not know what is going on, and if some good organization got wind of the work, they would raise a lot of smoke. I think the soldiers would be best or the prisoners for they can give consent. Maybe I'm too conservative ... In the report, I see no reason to say where the work was done and the type of volunteer."
"The vast majority" of study subjects were adequately treated for their illness, Collins said. One subject died during an epileptic seizure, though it was not clear that the death was related to the study, he added.
Cutler's work helped refine testing procedures and suggested a better means of prevention, but "made little impact on syphilis research," Reverby concluded.
Clinton and Sebelius said the United States is launching an investigation and also convening a group of international experts to review and report on the most effective methods to make sure all human medical research worldwide meets rigorous ethical standards.
"As we move forward to better understand this appalling event, we reaffirm the importance of our relationship with Guatemala, and our respect for the Guatemalan people, as well as our commitment to the highest standards of ethics in medical research," the U.S. statement said.
CNN's Arthur Brice, Nick Valencia and Tom Watkins and CNNRadio's Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.


"My Journey, My Life" by Aniceto Enriquez

1199er’s Memoir—“My Journey, My Life”—Now In Print



“My Journey, My Life”
By Aniceto Enriquez
IUniverse, 2009., 164 pages, $15.95

Reviewed by Mirtha Colon

After reading 1199SEIU member Aniceto Enriquez’s book, “My Journey, My Life,” my first thought was that not many Garifuna people write books and even fewer write about themselves. As Mr. Enriquez explains, the Garifuna are Central American and Caribbean people of African and Arawak descent. Many others have written about us, so it’s about time for our history to be told from our point of view, from our own experiences, needs and feelings.

Mr. Enriquez, an 1199SEIU member as I am, has worked at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan for almost 20 years. He is a social worker assistant.

I admire Mr. Enriquez’s courage in talking about his experience because it is not always easy to reveal your life and yourself so openly to the world. This alone is enough for me to encourage healthcare workers to read the firsthand the experiences of one of our colleagues. But the book is also important for anyone interested in the history of the people of the Americas, especially those of African descent.

It is through learning about each other that we become more comfortable, accepting and tolerant towards one another. We in the healthcare system who are immigrants may be familiar with Mr. Enriquez’ experience of coming to the US to escape unbearable circumstances. For many of us, migrating is our only choice, our only means of maintaining hope and the will to keep striving for life.

One of the book’s strengths is how it calls our attention to the way the political system in which we are born and live absorbs us, separating us from our self/ being. I say this because we Garifuna people have our own history, culture, creed and customs, which we must fight to preserve. That has a profound effect on our behavior and on our history of poverty and survival.

Mr. Enriquez’s book also informs the current immigration debate. His struggles remind us that immigration reform is urgently needed in the U.S. The experience of Mr. Enriquez is one of the many success stories of immigrants. He was able to achieve a lot of positive things, including an advanced degree, but a lot of our people continue to struggle here to better their life and those of their families back home. They, too, need a road to citizenship.

Finally, I believe Mr. Enriquez’s book would have made an even greater contribution by describing the forces in history over which he has prevailed. The Garifuna history is mentioned, but it I would have preferred for it to be explored more deeply. More analysis of the role of discrimination and racism against the Afro-Central American, in this case in Guatemala, also would have been appreciated.

That said, Mr. Enriquez’s inspiring account of his difficult journey from Livingston, Guatemala, to his triumphs in New York is a journey worth sharing. I urge 1199ers to read his book and share the lessons of his journey and his life.

Mirtha Colon is an 1199SEIU social worker at the South Bronx Mental Health Clinic, a board member of La Organización Negra Centroamericana, director of Hondurans Against AIDS and secretary of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities.



Part of Legendary Teodoro Palacio's Hospital Bill Paid  Ananimously


Pagan parte de la deuda y Teodoro Palacios logra salir de hospital

Un guatemalteco anónimo llegó al Centro Médico, en la zona 10, y canceló parte de la deuda que impedía que el veterano atleta guatemalteco Teodoro Palacios Flores saliera, después de haber estado internado más de una semana por un decaimiento de su salud.

Teodoro Palacios Flores
Teodoro Palacios Flores, leyenda del atletismo guatemalteco, es atendido por su esposa, Hortencia. ANTONIO IXCOT
La crisis económica que enfrenta una de las leyendas del atletismo nacional es evidente. Un seguro médico no cubrió la totalidad de los gastos médicos y quedó la deuda de 3 mil 200 quetzales, lo cual le impedía salir de nosocomio y regresar a su casa para terminar su recuperación.
Según la radio Emisoras Unidas, un ciudadano se presentó sin ánimos de alarde y sin dar a conocer su nombre canceló parte del saldo para lograr que el atleta saliera en compañía de su esposa.
La gloria nacional sufrió una descompensación de azúcar en la sangre, que lo ha mantenido hospitalizado en la última semana.
Con voz débil y pausada el veterano atleta dio declaraciones a la radio Emisoras Unidas desde la habitación 104 de dicho hospital donde se encuentra recluido.
El nombre de Teodoro Palacios Flores está inmortalizado en el gimnasio nacional, en la zona 5, y su marca de 2.10 metros en el salto altura ha permanecido como récord del país desde 1960.
Junto a esto, tres medallas de oro (Caracas 1959, Kingston 1962 y San Juan 1966) y una de plata (Panamá 1970) en Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe; otra de plata (Sao Paulo 1963) en Juegos Panamericanos y una de oro en un Campeonato Iberoamericano (1960) han hecho de este izabalense una auténtica leyenda viviente.


18:29hs | 29.04.2010 |
que lastima que despues de que una persona puso el nombre de guatemala muy en alto, hoy el gobierno no se digne a pagar la cuenta del hospital, que verguenza, a la persona que realizo el pago que Dios lo bendiga y dice la biblia que Dios no se queda con nada que si le da un vaso de agua a alguien ese vaso de agua sera pagado con Bendiciones de parte de Dios.
18:35hs | 29.04.2010 |
Animo don Teodoro...<br /> <br /> En primer lugar felicitaciones y miles de bendiciones para quien hizo tan generoso acto; acto que muchos deberiamos seguir, empezando por los dueños del hospital, ya no digamos el gobierno. El día que don Teodoro se nos adelante, allí estaran todos haciendo alarde de homenajes y monton de shows que de nada sirven. <br /> <br /> Pongamonos la mano en la conciencia y brindemos una mano a nuestro projimo, a nuestro hermano, a nuestro paisano.<br /> <br /> Yo por mi parte empezare por tenerlo en mis oraciones.
They pay part of the debt and Theodore Parker gets out of hospital
An anonymous Guatemalan came to the Medical Center, Area 10, and canceled some of the debt that prevented the veteran athlete out Teodoro Palacios Flores Guatemala, after having been hospitalized more than a week by a decline in their health.
Teodoro Palacios Flores, Guatemala athletics legend, is attended by his wife, Hortencia. ANTONIO Ixcot
The economic crisis facing one of the legends of the national athletics is evident. Health insurance did not cover all medical expenses and debt was 200 quetzales 3000, which prevented him from leaving hospital and returning home to complete his recovery.
According to the United Stations Radio, a national mood was filed without bragging and without disclosing his name canceled from the balance to bring out the athlete in the company of his wife.
The national glory suffered a decompensation of blood sugar, which has kept him hospitalized in the last week.
In a voice weak and slow the veteran athlete gave statements to the United Stations Radio from the room 104 of the hospital where he is being held.
The name of Teodoro Palacios Flores is immortalized in the national fitness in zone 5, and his mark of 2.10 meters in the high jump record has remained the country since 1960.
Besides this, three gold medals (Caracas, 1959, Kingston 1962 San Juan 1966) and one silver (Panama 1970) in Central American and Caribbean Games, a silver (Sao Paulo 1963) and Pan American Games gold Ibero-American Championship (1960) have made this a true living legend izabalense.
18:29 pm | 04/29/2010 |
what a shame that after a person's name Guatemala was very high, today the government will not deign to pay the hospital bill, that embarrassment, the person making the payment may God bless you and the Bible says that God not left with nothing if you get a glass of water to someone that glass of water will be paid with blessings from God.
Positive Negative Vote
18:35 pm | 04/29/2010 |
Animo Don Teodoro ... <br /> <br /> First of all congratulations and thousands of blessings for those who made such a generous act; act that many should follow, starting with the owners of the hospital, let alone the government. The day we don Teodoro forward, there will be all boasting of tributes and lots of shows that are worthless. <br /> <br /> Let us hand to raise awareness and provide a helping hand to our neighbor, our brother, our countryman. <br /> <br /> For my part, I start to have him in my prayers. 


Pablo Roberto Mejia to Receive a Garifuna Heritage Award (NEW)
 Pablo Roberto Mejia to Receive a Garifuna Heritage Award


 Celebrating and Promoting the Garifuna Heritage and Culture in New York


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 24, 2010


Contacts:      Jose Francisco Avila (718) 402-7700    e-mail:


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 that Mr. Pablo Roberto Mejia  will be presented a Garifuna Heritage Award, during the First Annual Garifuna Heritage Awards and Cultural Night on March 13th 2010 at 7 PM  at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture,   450 Grand Concourse Bronx, NY 10451.


Pablo Roberto Mejia or "Don Beto" as he’s known was responsible for the development of the Garifuna Community of Livingston (Labuga) in Guatemala. From the building of the main road, renovation of schools, building of Livingston's gym and securing the Martin Luther King School. But most importantly, was his tenacity to focus on economic empowerment and development. Many of Livingston’s older generation are products of the services brought to Labuga by Don Beto which include training Garifuna men to become electricians, painters, teachers and tailors. In the 1960's, he fought to bring the main educational and economic engines to the state of Izabal, a vocational institution in Puerto Barrios and The Technical and Productivity  Institute–INTECAP, Guatemala’s leading technical school. 


His children and grandchildren are involved in the Guatemalan government affairs. His oldest son, Augusto Mejia was a senator for the state of  Izabal and head of the Port Authority of Santo Tomas de Castilla. 


In the 1990's he received Guatemala's Highest Presidential Recognition, making him one of few Garinagu to receive such accolade, including Teodoro Palacios Flores. 


True to his faith and conviction about being Garifuna, "Don Beto" Mejia, has left a mark and legacy of activism and set a standard for all Garinagu in Guatemala. But most importantly makes them proud to be Garifuna. The Garifuna Coalition is proud to recognize Mr. Pablo Roberto Mejia "Don Beto"


The first Garifuna Heritage Awards will   honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the preservation and promotion of the Garifuna Culture. The annual event, which is a flagship event of the Garifuna Coalition, celebrates the contributions, legacies and future of those of Garifuna heritage.


A dynamic cultural stage production will feature James Lovell and the AfriGarifuna Youth Ensemble, Hamalali Wayunagu Garifuna Dance Company,Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna  Folkloric Ballet of NY, Paula Castillo and Hechu Garinagu and a grand finale directed by Mr. Armando Crisanto Meléndez.

The Garifuna Heritage Awards and Cultural Night is an integral part of the Garifuna Heritage Month 2010. The proclamation will be presented by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr and New York State Governor David A. Paterson’s office during a press conference in the Rotunda of the Bronx Borough President’s Office on Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 11:00 AM. 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY.

 José Francisco Avila
The Garifuna African Influence in Central America (NEW)

Global Hit

The Garifuna: African influence in Central America

Download MP3
The story behind today’s Global Hit starts on the Caribbean Island of St. Vincent. In 1635, two slave ships wrecked there, and the African slaves escaped to freedom. They mixed in with the native Caribs, giving birth to a new Afro-Caribbean culture – the Garifuna (Gareefoonah). In the centuries since, the Garifuna migrated and founded villages along the Caribbean coast of Central America. Lonny Shavelson reports from Livingston, Guatemala. Download MP3

Lonny also sent this video:


Marcos Sanchez Diaz, Ahari-Mayuru-Haitian Ancestry

Subject: Marcos Sanchez Diaz, Ahari -Mayuru-

"Marcos Sanchez Diaz was a military leader who led the garinagu into Guatemala and settled in Livingston - La Buga - Izabal.Labuga - Livingston was founded by Marcos Sanchez Diaz in 1802.  He was believed to be a native of the island of Hispaniola, now known as Haiti in the Caribbean.On February 2nd 1802, Marcos Sanchez Diaz and his group of Black Caribs, abandoned the military located in the coast of Honduras where they served as guides.  They fled along the coast, crossing the Motagua river, arriving to Punta Manabique in Guatemala until they reached their destination Gulfu Iyumoun (Labuga).  The Ahari and Mayuru arrived to Livingston on a 500-ton-sail-boat with 162 passengers among whom were his wife and children.  He settled in this place he named Labuga.  He spent some time around the bay.  He travelled through Tameja, Yojoa and he sailed around what we now know as Sarstun where he founded La Guaira as part of this voyage. Marcos Sanchez Diaz was a descendant of French Black slaves and it is believed that he came from Haiti.  He served as a major in the haitian military after its independence on January 1st 1802.  He died at the age of 113 in the place he founded, La Guaira, which belonged to him and where hed had retired.  This place today is owned by his brother Tomas Sanchez Diaz who inherited it. Marcos Sanchez Diaz was also known as Mayuru (in honor of his ranking with the haitian military).  He was believed to possess Super Natural powers "He cleaned up this beautiful place, got rid off plagues and poisonous animals which prevented humans from settling Labuga".  He was also believed to be a Buyei but oral history tells that for this task, he relied on Jose Maximo -Masi- Castillo.  He was very well-known in the area as a medicine man that even some of the sick and afflicted traveled from abroad to see him.  The Ahari, as he was called, is a superior spirit that remains vigilant over his people in Labuga.The contingent of Haitian -French Black Caribs- who Marcos Sanchez Diaz commanded as they arrived to Livingston, suffered what is called "Garifunazation" since they were the minority among Garinagu.  It was like an alliance to remain as one, strong, united group of people connected by a common link -French francofonia and the Garifuna language.  

La Fundación de La Buga por Marcos Sánchez DíazLa tradición oral del pueblo garifuna de Livingston (así como algunos ancianos garifuna en otras partes de la costa), recuerda diferentes versiones sobre la fundación de este asentamiento. Se resumen de la siguiente manera. En 1802 llego a lo que hoy es el puerto un haitiano de nombre Marcos Sánchez Díaz a bordo de un bergantín con esposa y familiares. Tras una prolongada discusión decidieron quedarse en el lugar. A Marcos Sánchez Díaz se le atribuían poderes sobre naturales, y se dice que era Buyei, razón por la que logro sanar el área que se encontraba plagada de mosquitos y suampos (pantanos) que hacían imposible la vida (otras versiones al contrario son claras en señalar que le acompañaba José Máximo Castillo como buyei). Debido a malos tratos por parte de las autoridades y lo difícil del lugar como punto de habitación los garifuna debieron buscar refugio en el área de Punta Gorda, donde posteriormente se les pidió que regresaran a la altura de 1806 (Rubio:1957:1); ya que las autoridades se dieron cuenta que sin el concurso de estos la tarea seria más difícil.Mucho se ha dicho respecto a la nacionalidad de Marcos Sánchez Díaz, la más común es la Haitiana, pero he escuchado otra que dice que era trinitario. Sabemos además de la confusión que existía con la población llamada "negros franceses" (de origen haitiano) que habitaban algunos puertos de la costa. La tradición de consolidar un asentamiento, indica que era una actividad protagonizada por caciques oriundos de San Vicente. El personaje pudo haber sido confundido, como haitiano, lo que fue común con esta población en general; otra posible respuesta es, que pudiese haber sido "caribe" y autoproclamarse francés, dada la causa y simpatía por las ideas republicanas; finalmente cabe la posibilidad que efectivamente fuera un haitiano, con nombre cristianizado y probablemente haya tenido por esposa a una mujer caribe. El caso es que Marcos Sánchez Díaz llego a constituirse es un personaje capital para la tradición oral de labuga; su relevancia es tal, que se le conoce en Belice y Honduras. Por su vigencia como guía espiritual de este pueblo puede considerársele como un "Héroe Cultural". Su importancia es tal que se ubica en el panteón religioso de los caribes, en el ámbito regional en la actualidad.Marcos Sánchez siempre fue considerado como el fundador original del pueblo y su papel en la consolidación del puerto fue clave, lo que le valió para que las autoridades le tuviesen consideraciones especiales. El viajero Francés Alfred de Valois (1861) en su paso por el puerto de Livingston, dice haber conocido a "Tata Marco" (1860), de mas de cien años, quien hablaba un buen francés. "Tata Marco" le indico haber sido el fundador del viejo puerto, aunque para ese entonces se encontraba de nuevo retirado en "La Guaira". Hoy por hoy Marcos Sánchez Díaz forma parte de la memoria colectiva de los "labugana", y es bastón clave en la reivindicación de este grupo.GAHFU, Inc.Source: Marcos Sanchez Diaz Ahari Fundador y Protector de Gulfu Iyumou (Labuga) Alfonso Arrivillga CortesPicture of Marcos Sanchez Diaz came from ONEGUA - Livingston, Guatemala(Black Guatemalan Organization
Periodico La Hora Guatemala"

Members Area


Latest Belize News


Personality of the Month 
Mr. Godsman Celestino Ellis

'Middle Schoolin' by Frank Palacio and Jacques Rallion

Beneath the Golden Mango Tree by Trish St Hill

What Coffee Does to Your Body

Recent Blog Entries

Recent Videos

2153 views - 0 comments
2455 views - 0 comments

Newest Members

Create Your Own Website

Recent Photos


Recent Forum Posts

Cheap Tickets Airlines, Car Rental & Hotels

No Fee (155x155)

Car Rentals Cheap

Rentals From $8.98 A Day 7 Major Car Vendors. Save Up To 40%

Pingo Reasonable International Calling Card

$1 Banner

One Travel Reasonable Flights, hotels, car rental


Google Translator

Upcoming Events


  • "HI Angela. I remain fascinated by and greatful for this site. It is not only a wonderful tool in linking Garinigu and Belizeans worldwide, but it establishes new relationships f..."
    Jason Guerrero, May 2010
    BSCAP Grows Through Linkage on Belize and Garifuna Community
  • "Congratulations on the site, I'm really impressed I have a lot to contribute & look forward to interacting with my beloved people. Once the access problem is resolved I'll po..."
    Rob Pandy

Recent Prayer Requests



    your artical is very good ,thanks for ur sharing and i have learn many things from it .