Balliceaux Recommended As Sacred Heritage
The scholars, social and cultural activists and students attending the first International Garifuna Conference have recommended that the island of Balliceaux be preserved and protected as a sacred heritage site for the use of future generations.
This recommendation formed a part of the Yurumei Declaration which was read by President of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation David “Darkie” Williams at the closing ceremony of the Conference on Monday March 12, 2012, at the Peace Memorial Hall.
The International Conference, which ran from March 10 to 13, 2012, was held with the intention to share ideas, examine issues and to network and strengthen global link to support the development of the International Garifuna Research Centre.
Williams, reading the declaration, stated that the scholars, social and cultural activists and students who attended the conference were in support of all efforts to revitalize and encourage the Garifuna Heritage, language and culture on Yurumei, St Vincent. Also, to support cooperation between countries, such as the Memorandum of Understanding and alliance between Ethnic Community Development Organization Honduras and the Garifuna Heritage Foundation Yurumei and to commit to these alliances.
It was also recommended that there be a convening of an annual Garifuna Studies conference or colloquium in St Vincent. The declaration also expressed the conference members’ commitment to the retrieval and documentation of historical and cultural information about Garifuna people.
Giving brief remarks at the closing ceremony, Williams stated that it is important that they should always have faith in themselves and their ability to achieve. He added that the Garifuna Heritage Foundation was faced with many responses and innuendos based on its approach, not just in staging the international conference, but also with work in the communities.
He, however, stated that if the Foundation had succumbed to the many responses, St. Vincent and the Grenadines would have been worse off.
The International Garifuna Conference ended on March 13, 2012, with the official opening of the Yurumei House and International Garifuna Research Centre and a series of Film Screenings.
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St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority