GARIFUNA HISTORY TIMELINE
· 160 A.D. Arawak emigration to the Greater Antilles
· 1220 A.D. Caribs invaded and conquered those islands
· 1492 – October 12 – Columbus lands on shores of Watling Island
· 1600s- Slave ships transporting captive Africans are wrecked off the coast of St. Vincent. The shipwrecked Africans seek refuge with the inhabitants of St. Vincent, the Caribs. They intermarried with the Carib Indians. This results in the birth of the Black Caribs.
· 1795 – Final British Carib War – March 14, 1795, Paramount Chief of Carib Chiefs in St. Vincent, Joseph Chatoyer is assassinated.
· 1797 – Following an almost century-long battle against the British, who gain the upper hand, 5,080 Black Carib men, women, and children are deported from St. Vincent to Roatan, off the Northern Coast of Honduras.
· 1802 – The Black Caribs begin to move up the coast to Belize (British Honduras).
· 1832 – Black Caribs in Honduras become involved in a political battle in Honduras, to escape the widespread massacre, many flee to Belize under the leadership of Alejo Beni. Many settlements were formed along the southern coast of Belize are founded.
· 1832-1900 – Black Caribs consolidated their settlements and spread from Dangriga to Seine Bight, Monkey River, Punta Negra, Punta Gorda, Barranco, Livingston, Hopkins, and Georgetown (Names were given to these settlements by the British.) 1961 as the aftermath of Hurricane Hattie people were moving inland to higher ground from Seine Bight (similar to Hattieville)
· 1922- Thomas Vincent Ramos establishes the Carib Development and Sick Aid Society. His primary goals are: (1) cultural promotion; (2) the reunification of the Garinagu; (3) to help the sick; (4) improving health facilities for the people in Stann Creek Town; and, (5) have the proper burial of the dead.
· 1926 – The Carib Sick and Burial Fund was established in Puerto Barrios
· 1941 – Garifuna Settlement Day began the celebration in Dangriga. This day was advocated by Thomas V. Ramos, Catarino Benguche, and Matias Avaloy who advocated and wrote to the Governor requesting a day to recognize the contribution of the Black Caribs.
· 1943 – The Holiday spreads to Toledo and becomes a Public and Bank Holiday in the Southern Districts.
· 1950 – Garinagu are actively engaged in the nationalist movement and trade unionist movement in Belize. Pioneers of note are Catarino Benguche, Nathaniel Cacho, Faustino Zuniga, Hon. David Mckoy and Charles Martinez.
· 1955 – Thomas Vincent Ramos dies peacefully in his home in Stann Creek Town.
· 1974 – 1975 – Leaders advocated for Stann Creek Town to be renamed and Black Caribs to be called Garifuna/Garinagu.
· 1977 – Garifuna Settlement Day is declared a Public and Bank Holiday throughout Belize.
· 1981 – National Garifuna Council of Belize (N.G.C.) is established with the primary goal of coordinating and enhancing the economic, cultural, and social development of the Garifuna people in Belize.
· 1982-1998 – Great strides are made by the Garifuna people: (1) Catholic Diocese of Belize ordains O.P. Martin as Bishop of Belize and Belmopan. (2) Links with the Garifuna Diaspora are strengthened. (3) The N.G.C. becomes a founding member of the Caribbean Organizations of Indigenous People. (4) The N.G.C. in 1990 receives its first subsidy from the Government towards the financing of Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations. Also in that year, Minister of Education, Hon. Said Musa assisted the N.G.C. with a $10,000 grant towards the construction of a Cultural Centre and a Regional Museum. (5) The People’s Garifuna Dictionary produced by Mr. Roy Cayetano and the N.G.C. et. al. is launched. (1993)
· 1991 – Andy Palacio received the award for “Best New Artist” at the Caribbean Music Awards
· 2001 – Garifuna music was proclaimed one of the masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO.
· 2002- Bicentenary of the arrival of Garifuna people to Belize arrival to Belize.
· 2006 – Battle of the Drums established in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo. The organization’s main aim is Garifuna’s cultural retrieval and preservation. The initiative is pursued under three (3) main programs, namely, (1) Garifuna Language retrieval and preservation; (2) Garifuna drumming, dancing, and singing preservation, and (3) Garifuna community support.