Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Ragga boats commence their annual renovations!

On June 26, 2012 in Caye Caulker, Culture, News, Ragga Crew

Ragga Prince, out of the water to dry.Prince

Each year much time, effort and money goes into maintaining our fleet of boats.  June is the month where we commence this work as it is traditionally slow for business.  Ragga Prince is the first boat to be hauled up and, as you can see from the photos she has already dried and had numerous repairs to her already.

The wooden boats that are 75% of our fleet are modeled on the traditional wooden fishing boats.  Wooden boats need far more maintenance than the lighter fiberglass versions and therefore they are painted twice a year (June and November).  The work we do in June entails the boats to be dried out and for repairs such as replacing braces or planks, re-corking and eventually giving the boat that water tight seal (the gluvit) applied liberally to the boat.   After the boat has been repaired then the re-painting takes about a week to finally finish off the boat.

The work we do in June is a general re-touch of paint and does not require the boats to get haul out of the water at all.

Ragga Prince, due to the fact that it was originally a fishing boat that we converted to do tours is older than the other two wooden boats (Ragga King and Gal) as they were both made to our specifications.  This means that Ragga Prince takes by far the longest to repair and which is why she is always out of the water the first!!

Ragga King and Ragga Prince after they finished their renovations last June.

The finished product should be something like the photo above … these boats become an attraction for photographers around the world as they look like a perfectly painted toy for the next few months!!

 

How to win the ‘Greasy Pole’ – Lobster Fest 2012

On June 22, 2012 in Caye Caulker, Culture, News

Easter Temptation 2012, Greasy Pole

As the sponsor of this years Greasy Pole Lobster Fest 2012, it is important that we keep the competition tight and ensure all contestants have a good opportunity to train for this ludicrous game.

We are therefore posting video footage of all three contestants that entered into the Easter Temptation 2012 for those to learn from past entrants errors and tactics to make the game even more interesting.

For those who just want to have a good laugh and criticize the strategies and the efforts of the foolhardy teams that nominiate themselves for this spectacle, enjoy the video BUT remember the date – Sunday 1st August at the Palapa Gardens, Lobster Fest 2012 Greasy Pole – DO NOT MISS IT!!!

The splendid color of the culture in Belize!

On May 24, 2012 in Belize, Caye Caulker, Culture

Creole and Mestizo boys watch the dance on top of the slide.Mestizo girls!

The Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School held its annual Cultural Day today and it was once again it was array of color!

Three chinese!Mestizo FoodGarifuna cooks!

For some time now the children of the School have been by class divided into the five main cultures of Belize, Creole, Maya, Mestizo, Garifuna and Chinese.  Each group of parents and children creates a stand that best illustrates the key points of each culture ie what they eat (and indeed how they prepare their food) how they dance, what the traditionally they wear and various of their holiday celebrations information.

Garifuna drummers!Maya fertility dance.Creole dancing girls!

Parents (and indeed many locals who do not have any child directly in the school) come to witness this spectacle of color and indeed purchase the local food on offer.

Future Garifuna drummers!Audience entertained by dancers!The Chinese!

Well done to all involved – truly a beautiful spectacle!

 

‘Women of Caye Caulker’ Documentary due to start filming!

On May 14, 2012 in Caye Caulker, Culture, News

The ladies of Caye CaulkerBlayd (Wendy's youngest son) and her mother Ms Ilna Auxillou

Wendy Auxillou, one of the four dynamic Auxillou sisters to have been born and raised in Caye Caulker – is returning in July to create a documentary to highlight these amazing women’s stories as they have been instrumental in shaping the Caye Caulker we have today!

The documentary will definitely be fascinating to all of those of us that have even a half interest in this tiny island as these ladies struggles need to be told to preserve our history.  The director is asking for funding for the project and indeed at Raggamuffin have made our pledge, however more money needs to be raised for the film to get underway.

For those who want to make a donation, click here.

According to the funds site ……

INTRODUCTION:

The women of Caye Caulker who were instrumental in shaping the history of this tiny Belizean island of my childhood, when the population totaled less than 400 inhabitants about 40 years ago are now dying off, and their stories have never been told.  These heroic women endured hardships and innumerable challenges in this harsh frontier environment, and persevered.  My own mother is now 80 years old, yet her own story of being the most educated woman on this tiny island village where there was no electricity until the 1990′s has never been told.  She persevered, despite the deep-rooted poverty and lack of educational opportunities, and went on to become the first local principal of the elementary school.  This is her story, and the story of all the other Hicaquena women whose sacrifices have never been recorded … until now.

WHO ARE WE DOCUMENTING?

We will be documenting the lives of 20 women of Caye Caulker Village in Belize, from their earliest history on the island until now.  Many of the women are now in their 80′s.  Their stories are dying off along with them, and a rich history of struggle, entrepreneurship and endurance in the face of adversity is being lost along with them.  This must be preserved.

HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS?

We will be producing a 1.5 to 2.0 hour documentary on the lives of these women from childhood until now — how life has evolved over the passage of time for them, what they think of development on their once laid-back island village, the cultural traditions that have been lost in the process, and what they think of all the changes they have seen in their lifetimes.

This will be a made-for-local-television documentary, plus a 1000 “print” run on DVD and flash drive, for those would like personal copies.  It will also be distributed to local schools as an educational tool, and to the national archives of Belize as a historical archive.

WHEN IS THIS GOING TO BE DONE?

I will be heading to Belize in the next few weeks to begin filming of the documentary.  The final product should be ready by the end of September 2012.

Again, if anybody sees the value in this documentary, please pledge your donation by clicking here.

A Look In To Rastafari

On July 27, 2011 in Belize, Culture, News

Emperor Haile Selassie Ital Food

There are many misconceptions surrounding the Rastafari Movement with many people believing that to be Rasta simply means to have dreadlocks and to smoke ‘ganja’ while listening to Bob Marley. Although these certainly are customs of this “religion” (Rastafarians refer to their beliefs as a way of life as opposed to a Religion) it is much deeper than that. Because Belize has a substantial amount of Rastafari followers I thought it would be worthwhile to give some information and history into this movement for those who are interested.

The Rastafarian faith was born in Jamaica in the 1930’s due in great part to a man named Marcus Garvey who’s aim was to unite the black community in his country and promote freedom from oppression, black pride and to reconnect his people to their African homeland. It was a prophecy preached by Garvey in 1927 that became the foundation for this faith when he told his followers, “Look to Africa where a black King will be crowned, he will be your redeemer”. Just three years later on November 2nd 1930 Emperor Haile Selassie I was crowned King of Ethiopia. It was then that the movement received it’s official title after the Emperor’s birth name, Ras Tafari. Rastas believed Emperor Selassie to be the physical presence of God (or Jah) on earth, referring to him as ‘King of Kings’ and ‘Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah’. Selassie was King of Ethiopia until 1974 when he was pushed out by a military coup and kept under house arrest until he was apparently killed by his captors in 1975. Many Rastas believed that his death was a hoax, and that he lives on in hiding until the Day of Judgment. Others say that he lives on through individual Rastafarians.

Rastafarians believe in the Judeo-Christian God, whom they call Jah. In general, Rastafarian beliefs are based in Judaism and Christianity, with an emphasis on Old Testament laws and prophecies and the Book of Revelation. Jah was manifested on earth as Jesus, who Rastas believe was black, and Emperor Haile Selassie. Selassie is referred to as His Imperial Majesty or H.I.M. (pronounced “him”). Rastafarians do not believe in an afterlife, but instead look to Africa (called “Zion”) as a heaven on earth. True Rastas are believed to be immortal, both physically and spiritually, a concept called “everliving.” An important Rastafarian concept is “I and I,” which is said instead of “you and I.” It emphasizes the oneness between humanity and God as well as the equality of all humans. Another central concept is Babylon, which refers to the white power structure of Europe and the Americas. Rastas seek to resist Babylon, which once cruelly enslaved blacks and still continue to hold them down through poverty, illiteracy, inequality, and trickery. The greed and conceit of Babylon is contrasted with the humble simplicity and naturalness of the Rastas.

Some of the most common practices of the Rastafarian Movement are as follows:

Marijuana (Ganja)

Marijuana is regarded as a herb of religious significance. It is used in Rastafari reasoning sessions, which are communal meetings involving meditation. Marijuana is used by Rastafarians to heighten feelings of community and to produce visions of a religious and calming nature. It is believed to open the mind and allow you to have a greater understanding of the world.
(* I must note that Marijuana is illegal in the entire country of Belize, as it is in most parts of the world. Please understand if you are caught using Marijuana during your stay in Belize there will be legal ramifications)

Bob Marley One Love

Dreadlocks

Rastafarians can often be recognised from the way they style their hair. Rastafarians grow their hair long, before coiling it into dreadlocks. The wearing of hair in dreadlocks by Rastafarians is believed to be spiritual; this is justified in the Bible: They shall not make baldness upon their head – Leviticus 21:5.
Rastas may also refrain from shaving their facial hair and grow beards following the same principle as above.

Diet

• Rastafarians eat strictly I-tal which means natural and clean
• Early Rastafarians are unlikely to eat meat, scavengers or shellfish
• Rastafarians do not eat pork
• Rastafarians regularly eat fish, but will not eat fish more than twelve inches long
• Rastafarians eat copious amounts of vegetables, as they are of the earth, and therefore good
• Food is prepared without salt, and coconut oil is the most likely form of oil to be utilised
• Rastafarians do not drink alcohol
• They do not drink milk or coffee, but will drink anything herbal, grown from natural roots, e.g. herbal tea
• Rastafarians consume plentiful amounts of fruit and fruit juice

Red, Gold, Green and Black

When you arrive in Belize you will notice lots of people dressed in red, gold and green or wearing jewelry in these colors. This is because these are the colors of the Rasta Movement. Red stands for the triumphant church of the Rastas as well as the blood of the martyrs in the black struggle for liberation. Gold represents the wealth of their African homeland and green symbolizes Ethiopia’s beauty and lush vegetation. Black is often also included, representing the color of the Africans. You may have noticed that the Raggamuffin logo, boats and office are adorned in these colors.

Bob Marley

The reason Bob Marley has essentially become the face of Rastafari was that he helped spread awareness of the religion among outsiders through his appearances and his lyrics. Many people believe that Bob Marley was the main factor in the spread of Rastafari to the USA, Canada, most of Europe, Africa and Australasia. His lyrics were influential in the spread of political and social ideas of the Rastafarian movement. He spoke out against the inequality experienced by the black community and the negativity they were subjected to.

So there you have it! Hopefully now you will have a better understanding of what Rastafari is when you encounter it in Belize. In Belize you will find both strict followers of Rastafari as well as people who incorporate only some of these customs to their lives (eg. dreadlocks and a vegetarian diet). If you have any more questions or would like to find out more, just talk to the locals while you are here. Belizeans love to talk and answer questions regarding their country and culture :)

Cultural Day At Caye Caulker Primary School!

On June 10, 2011 in Caye Caulker, Culture, News

School kids representing the Garifuna culture dancing punta. Parents cooking food at the Garifuna stand.

Belize is proud of its rich cultures and therefore it is very much part of the school curriculum!! So here on the island The Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School held its Cultural Day.

The cultures were broken down into Garifuna, Creole, Mestizo, Maya and the Chinese and divided amongst the classes. Stands were set up in the playground, to represent each group and the children dressed up similarly to put on a colorful show for all who looked upon. Each stand told the history of it’s culture, identified and sold food that were indicative of their ethnicity and many prepared it right there in school.

Towards lunchtime, as many were indulging in their favorite food, each group took to the floor to give us a wonderful display of their dancing skills whilst dressed in their costumes. Fun and festivities were in the air in an excellent way for children to learn to identify how this very unique country is put together!

Mestizo Tent School girls dresses in traditional Maya outfits.

Girl Power!!!

On June 08, 2011 in Caye Caulker, Culture, News

San Pedro Celebrating Caye Caulker Women's Football Team

The boys have always dominated the different sports across the island, but now the girls are holding their own against them! Caye Caulker’s Women’s Football team (that’s soccer for the Aussies and Americans) have been training hard every night and as a result have been kicking some serious butt in the last few competitions!

On Sunday crowds gathered to watch Caye Caulker (decked out in purple) and San Pedro battle it out on the field during the sweltering midday sun. But despite the heat the girls from these rival teams played hard and never gave up. By the end of the day Caye Caulker came out on top winning all their games – including the last match which they won 5 – 1 – taking out first place in the competition. Everybody watching from the sidelines were cheering and jumping around when the final whistle was blown. We were all very proud of the girls and what they had achieved. It was great moment where island came together in support.

Crowd Celebrating Caye Caulker Wins!

The two San Pedro teams were then left to fight it out against each other for second and third place.

It’s great to see so many ladies from the island getting involved in some competitive sport and hopefully it will encourage others to get involved as well. They are a very talented group of players and if they keep training as hard as they are they will only continue to improve.

We will make sure that we keep you update on any upcoming competitions as well so that you are also able to show your support and share in their success :)

Sunday Is Family Day On Caye Caulker

On April 12, 2011 in Caye Caulker, Culture, News

As the weather warms up on the island families are flocking to The Split to spend their Sundays in the sun and in the water. People come in boats and on bikes or simply on foot, and by lunch time the place is packed. It is such a great site to see the kids running around playing together – rolling in the sand and splashing each other in the water. The sweet sounds of children’s laughter drowns out the music coming from the speakers. The games only stopping when their tummys start to rumble.

With temperatures in the nineties there really is no better place to be then catching some breeze and cooling off in the water down at The Split…all while enjoying the wonderful company of your friends and family.

Sundays are the best!