November 2018 vol 47
The Consulate of Belize in Florida
Monthly Newsletter
Consul General's Monthly Message

Welcome to the November Monthly Newsletter !
As Belizeans residing in the U.S. prepare to celebrate this important Thanksgiving holiday, let us too reflect on all the blessings God has bestowed on us and look the positives in our lives.

It goes without saying that as Belizeans we are grateful for coming from such a unique and wonderful country that has given us so much. We are fortunate to come from a country that is unlike any other country in the world. Belize is comprised of many cultures who live in peace and harmony, blending seamlessly, enjoying our commonalities as well as respecting our differences reflected through its diverse cuisine, art and music.
Part of that rich diversity are the Garifunas who settled in Belize which brings us this November to commemorate this brave group of people who made Belize their home on November 19th, 1802 thereby marking this day as Garifuna Settlement Day.
The Consulate of Belize, along with the South Florida Association for Garifuna Artists, participated in these events last weekend which involved a Garifuna Mass officiated by Reverend Canon Jerris Valentine, as well as a live performance of Garifuna Punta dancers.

Belizeans residing in Florida came to enjoy the music and food. In this edition, you will get to see pictures of these events and of the many celebrations that took place in Belize. It is apt therefore that in this edition you catch up on a little history of the Garifunas.
You will also read the Thanksgiving Message from Ambassador Daniel Gutierez and the unique work that Ms. Sayu Bhojwani, foundress and president of New American Leaders, is doing as a writer, advocate, and researcher who not only grew up in Belize but has a unique story to share.
We take joy in sharing this special recipe on how to make Hudut , a traditional Garifuna dish.
You will also learn what made Mr. Phillip McKay become our Star of the Month as well as how to stay informed about the ICJ Referendum. 
For those of you who have not had the opportunity to visit the Consulate's office nor are familiar with the services that we offer, you may visit our website at  or follow us on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram  to receive updates about Belize, the Consulate and upcoming events.
We are in the process of updating our database and as a result, The Consulate of Belize in Florida continues to conduct phone calls to its constituents to confirm each's contact information. We do this, so we can better serve you and your family. We appreciate your cooperation and support in sharing your contact information, so you can continue to be informed on services offered by the Consulate as well as get updates on Belize.
If you are aware of a Belizean residing in the United States who is making a positive impact on the lives of others while contributing to their native country, please submit their story to us so that we may feature them in our newsletter. Perhaps the Star of the Month for December could even be you!

We wish you all a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
From the Ambassador's Desk
H.E. Daniel Gutierez
 The Government of Belize through the Embassy of Belize in Washington DC, and our Consulates throughout the United States bring you greetings on this Thanksgiving Holiday. We hope that you and your families will have a relaxing few days together. To all Belizeans, whether in Belize or in the United States, belated Garifuna Settlement Day which just past on the 19th of November.

We also take the opportunity to share one more Belizean Story, that of Ms. Sayu Bhojwani. As usual, we are exceedingly proud of our people and their accomplishments and wish to use this forum to share them with you.

Additionally, we send heartfelt congratulations to Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, born in Belize and fighting out of Brooklyn. Jarrell had another resounding victory on Saturday night and has become an important name in the heavy weight division a platform he has used to point out his Belizean roots

If you are travelling to be with family and friends this Thanksgiving, we wish you safe travels.
Once again, have a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend. 

The Embassy of Nicaragua hosted the Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations in Washington DC. Ambassador Gutierez shared a few words in representation of Belize.
Do enjoy!

Productive meeting with the @ OAS_official team and Ambassador Gutierez of Belize to discuss current efforts and future activities in the Belize-Guatemala process.
Belizean Star of The Month
Mr. Phillip McKay was born in Belize City and is one of 6 boys and 2 girls. His father opened the first water taxi business that in most cases served all the off shore islands for people going on picnics. His water taxi was one of 3 when his father died. Mr. Phillip's mother was a housewife. He attended St. John's Anglican elementary and St. Michael's College, after which he migrated to the U.S. after Hurricane Hattie in 1961. He, his parents, and siblings followed Phillip's brother who was in the American Air Force in Germany and who worked for Pan American in the U.S.
Mr. McKay was employed by the city of New York and worked for the subway system for 28 years. After retiring from New York City, he decided to do things for the needy in Belize. He spoke with the Governor General who has every year requested his assistance in a fund drive that gives money to give to the needy of Belize. The Governor General hosts t wo Christmas parties every year for 300 Belizean boys and girls who are in need, evenly divided ages 6 through 12. This year the Governor General has requested a box of surprises to be sent by the end of November. Mr. McKay collects funds for the Governor General by sending out letters to local Belizeans. With Holy Sacrament Episcopal Church in South Florida, he has gone on 3 missions after speaking with the bishop who agreed. The first mission was fact finding with his priest Rt. Rev. Dr. Holder, and a pediatric doctor from Broward Hospital. The first mission targeted Belize City, the second, Cayo, and the third Dangriga. When Hurricane Earl hit Belize, he collected funds and distributed supplies. Mr. Phillip McKay served 2 years in the U.S. army. His wife of 50 years is from Suriname and they have two sons--one a civil engineer, and the other a lobbyist.
Consulate of Belize in Florida joins SAGA on the Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations
November 20, 2018 12:21 p.m. EST - South Florida Belizeans, including the Honorary Consul General of Belize, Janine Sylvestre Vega and Consulate staff, partook in Garifuna Settlement Day festivities in Pembroke Pines and Sunrise, Florida held on November 16 through 17. The festivities began with a service at Holy Sacrament Episcopal Church in Pembroke Pines, FL with the distinguished Garifuna guest, Reverend Canon Jerris Valentine on Friday, November 16th 6:30 p.m. Rev. Canon flew in from Belize for this special Garifuna Settlement celebrations organized and made possible thanks to the South Florida Association for Garifuna Artists (SAGA).

The following day, festivities took place at an art venue in Sunrise, FL called ArtServe. Festivities included performances with Garifuna-styled music and dance. Vendors of Garifuna-themed t-shirts, jewelry, and dolls had tables, as well as the Consulate of Belize in Florida and Loyal and Patriotic Order of Belize. Garifuna food was available for purchase cooked by "Lady T". Approximately 100 people attended the event.

The Consulate of Belize in Florida attracted many people with free BTB gift bags, posters and postcards, as well as its large banner that advertised services offered by the Consulate. It also took the opportunity to let people know about the upcoming See and Taste Belize festival to be held in October 12, 2019.

Click link below to watch video:

10 Things You Did Not Know About Garifuna Settlement Day
  1. Garinagu is the name of the people and the language they speak is called Garifuna.
  2. They are the descendants of Nigerian slaves aboard two Spanish ships that shipwrecked in 1635 off the coast of St. Vincent.
  3. They were accepted by the Carib Indians of St. Vincent and intermixed with them, the two fusing into what became the Black Caribs, or Garinagu.
  4. By 1773 the Garinagu were the dominant population of St. Vincent and were forced to flee after they and France lost in a war against the British, ending on June 10, 1796.
  5. The British--rather than killing them--transported them to Roatan, Honduras for the Garinagu to make their new home. From Honduras some migrated to Nicaragua and Guatemala.
  6. A civil war erupted in Honduras in 1832 and the Garinagu allied themselves with a Spanish fortress in Trujillo that unfortunately lost the war. Thus, the Garinagu would be forced to flee once more, but this time without any assistance and some chose to make British Honduras (now Belize), their new home.
  7. The Garinagu came to Belize in two waves: one in 1802, and another in 1832.
  8. Their flag consists of three stripes of colors --yellow, white, and black-- representing the sun, peace, and pride of the Garinagu people.
  9. The Garinagu are the only Blacks in the Americas to conserve their native culture.
  10. The Garifuna language is an Amerindian language of the Arawak family. Below is a sample of the Garifuna language in song:

Landmark Beauty of The Month

Let us preserve and protect our historical landmarks!
The Swing Bridge, Built in 1922
Belize City
Tourism Tidbits
Have you heard of the Chiquibul National Park in the Cayo District of Belize nestled in the Maya Mountains? Explore this breath-taking nature reserve and click the image below to go on an expedition. Ready for the adventure?
Chiquibul National Park, Cayo, Belize
Trade and Investment Tidbits
Belize among Lonely Planet’s top ten “Best in Travel for 2019”

(click image to read more)
MFA's Public Awareness Campaign
"Where you can be informed on the ICJ and Belize-Guatemala Dispute."

Follow on Facebook @MfaReferendumBZ
T. 822-1408

ICJ Lecture | University of Belize Auditorium | MFA Referendum Belize |

Click the link below:

"Belizeanism" of The Month
"Bokotora law" (bokotora=tortoise)

NOTE: The meaning of this old saying is clear--it is quoted in situations where it's "every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost"--but what connection this sentiment has with the tortoise is obscure. Perhaps the tortoise was regarded as a type of the unsocial creature (as compared to, say, ants or bees).

November 20, 2018 11:40 a.m. EST - This past November 19th Belize celebrated the 216th anniversary of the arrival of the first group of Garinagu (a.k.a. Garifuna) to the south of Belize. Re-enactments took place in various towns through out the country accompanied by musical performances.
San Pedro
Recipe of The Month

4 green plantains
2 ripe, soft plantains
2 medium-size fish (such as red snapper), cleaned and filleted
2 cans of coconut milk
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 handful of okra
Cilantro, fresh
Oregano, fresh
Salt and black pepper

Peel the green and ripe plantains and cut into three-four pieces.
Boil green plantains in water 7-10 minutes until well softened.
Add the ripe plantains to the water and continue to boil.
Once well soften, remove from water.
Allow to cool for one minute and then blend in food processor until smooth.
Note: If the plantain mixture is too thick, add a little water
Instructions for making the stew:

Season fish fillets with salt and black pepper.
Dice the onion and garlic.
Mince the oregano and cilantro.
In a pot, add coconut milk, oregano, cilantro, okra, and salt and black pepper to taste.
5. Cook coconut liquid on medium heat, stirring regularly to recent curdling, unit it begins to boil.
Using a frying pan, lightly Sautee the fish in oil until it is browned.
7. Add fish to boiling coconut mixture.
Boil fish and coconut mixture together for 20 minutes.
Serve with plantains on the side.

One of the richest features of the Garifuna culture is the delicious food. It strikes a brilliant balance between African and Indigenous American heritage. Many people travel all the way to southern Belize just to get a taste of this food’s natural flavor, which comes as a result of the many organic ingredients used in its preparation. Speaking of ingredients, foods such as coconut, plantain, banana, garlic and cassava make up the basis of the Garifuna diet. These fruits and vegetables are used to prepare many of the staple Garifuna’s dishes.
One famous Garifuna dish is Serre, which is a soup that uses coconut milk as the base and a multitude of other vegetables such as carrots and okra, along with whole fish to add rich flavor. It is known for its spiciness, which is usually not provided by soups. Hudut is one of the more straightforward dishes. It is simply mashed plantain with the same coconut mil that is used in Sere and fish as well, nonetheless it is beloved by many who enjoy consuming it with cassava bread.

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