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To:  Mr. Michael Polonio
  Board of Directors, National Garifuna Council

From:  Augustine Flores and Peter Ciego

Date:  1st. September 2005

Subject: 10th Anniversary of CABO Celebration

On Wednesday 23rd August 2005, a six-man delegation departed from National Garifuna Council of Belize to attend the 10th Anniversary Celebration of Central American Black Organization (CABO). The celebrations were held at Atlapa Convention Center in Panama City, Panama. The delegates were lodged at Hotel Soloy.

The celebration, which was planned with an opening and expositions on various topics affecting black people, was opened on Thursday 24th August 2005. In the opening ceremony, the audience was addressed by many speakers including the Vice Chancellor of Panama, who spoke on the contribution of the Black People of Panama to the economy of Panama. The mayor of Panama welcomed the delegates to Panama on behalf of the City of Panama. The President of CABO, Mr. Celio Alvarez Casildo, was honored for furthering the cause of the black people in Central America, Mr. Augustine Flores, was honored as the founder of CABO and was made an honorary citizen of Panama for the occasion. All member countries of CABO were present. Puerto Rico was present also. The opening ceremony included a documentary that CABO had done on the member countries earlier in the year. A short footage of Belize was included in the documentary.

The inauguration was followed by presentations / expositions including one on culture of the Central American Blacks done by the Vice president of CABO, Mr. Augustine Flores; and an official of UNESCO Office in Costa Rica, Ms. Sylvie Duran-Salvatierra spoke on culture also. Other topics of the expositions/ presentations dealt with Economics, Politics, Environment, Social, Aids and the Millenium Goals and were spread over three days, viz Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There were cultural presentations in the evening to entertain one and all.

The 2nd Vice president of NGC, Mr. Peter Ciego, and the Vice president of CABO, Mr. Augustine Flores, took time out to meet with the Chairman and two (2) members of the organizing committee who are preparing for the UNESCO meeting of the Garifuna Leaders which will be held in Labuga, Guatemala from September 19th to the 21st . 
Along with the President of Dangriga Branch of NGC, we met with the Project Officer of the Cultural Section of UNESCO of Central America, Ms. Sylvie Duran-Salvatierra.

There was also a meeting with the President of AAGANIC, who informed the Vice president of NGC and the Vice president of CABO that the Government of Nicaragua is proposing a Garifuna Summit in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. The possible dates are November 7th to the 12th. According to the report, The President of Nicaragua, who holds the presidency of SICA presently, would convene a meeting of the Heads of State of SICA and St. Vincent to present for approval by the Heads of State of the conclusions and resolutions reached by the Garifuna Leaders.

A serious request came from CABO that NGC submits a copy of its legal documents to ONECA but such document must first be presented to the Honduran Embassy in Belize for verification. This document is necessary for the process of legalization of ONECA.

At the end of the 10th Anniversary Celebration of CABO, one could conclude that the program was too ambitious. It is possible that all of the expectations were not met.

Submitted By


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Peter Ciego                            Augustine Flores  

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