“Just across the corner, are two historic events in the Garífuna communities of Belize and Guatemala, in this case Belize will celebrate the 19th November, which is a national holiday in Belize to honor the Garífuna People, and the week after, the 26th November will be Garífuna Day in Guatemala. We all know about the pivotal role our language plays in both celebrations as far as the songs and music is concern, not to mention the dancing. However, it is equally important to ask ourselves, how about our history and education?”
Thursday, November 22, 2012
I was in Dangriga, Belize on November 19th 2012, when Father Larry Nicasio gave his sermon in the Garífuna language. The sermon was about a blind man who wanted to see. Before I continue I would like to take you on a journey that brought us to this point. I would like for you join me on this wonderful odyssey. It has been forty years since I went to that church [Sacred Heart] where I heard Father Nicasio spoke about the blind man who wanted to see. The theme: Wawansera mémeba lau lubafu Bungiu hama Áhari (We keep going forward with the power of God and the Ancestors).
There was standing room only in the church for the ones who were late; in this case I am speaking about someone who was also blind. Somehow I lost track about how many people were in the audience, instead, I was searching for people that I had met at least once in my life. Father Nicasio and I grew up a few houses away from “Front Street” – that’s what it was called in those days in Dangriga. I can put my hands in the fire that Father Nicasio did not speak the Garífuna he is now speaking. In those days, we had to hide the Garífuna language behind educational politics. If my memory is correct, it has been forty years since I have not been to that church, and when I heard him speaking in Garífuna about the blind man who wanted to see, I realize he was talking to me and about me. I have a strong feeling that tells me that I was not the only one he was talking to. The words that I heard came with a message. A message with substance and essence, this is a messenger that many of us I have met at least once. Father Larry Nicasio, spoke about his visit to New York and Los Angeles, how I wish that he spoke about the same message.
I have written three articles about an open mind, the fourth has brought me to the point of open eyes, and I feel this to be a blessing for us as the Garífuna Nation. I hope the message is about opening our eyes and mind to our reality as a Garífuna Nation. I would like to share a paragraph I wrote just before I took the trip to Dangriga:
Speaking of the message, “The Blind Man”, captures my attention, to the point. I am a Blind Garífuna Man who is searching for light, a light that can show us the way towards a better tomorrow.