On Saturday November 2, 2019, National Garifuna Council held its annual Ms. Garifuna Belize Cultural Pageant at the Belmopan Civic Center in Belmopan City. This event followed the National Solidarity Mass held the same morning at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral.
The eight young ladies that vied for the title of Ms. Garifuna Belize were Niri Centeno – Ms. Garifuna Belize City, Dana Reyes – Ms. Garifuna San Pedro, Jessie Mclaughin – Ms. Garifuna Dangriga, Deveene Martinez -Ms. Garifuna Hopkins, Chastidy Williams – Ms. Garifuna Seine Bight, Kathy Ramirez – Ms. Garifuna Georgetown, Leretha Jones – Ms. Garifuna Peini and Taruni Gonzalez – Ms. Garifuna Belmopan.
The contestants showcased their fluency of the language through their introduction and presentation which focused on an issue facing the Garifuna community or relevant to the theme for the November celebration. They also performed the various cultural dances and displayed the traditional clothing. At the end of the night, Taruni Gonzalez was 2nd runner up, Chastidy Williams was 1st runner up and Deveene Martinez emerged victorious as the new Ms. Garifuna Belize.
Various cultural activities are scheduled in the different communities throughout the month leading up to the November 19 Yurumein (Re-enactment) and Official ceremonies. The theme for this year is “Lererun Garifuna lagùchabei labagaridun Garifunadúaü. – Garifuna Language is the foundation of Garifuna survival.”