Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United, Inc. established since 2005, is an Garifuna American non-profit
charitable and educational organization operating under the provisions of 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code and
based in California.
"We are dedicated to the preservation of the Garifuna language,culture, history and wellbeing."
Buiti Achülürüni - Bienvenido - Welcome!
On May 18th 2001, the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, proclaimed the Garifuna Language, Music and Dance a Masterpiece
of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
An educational, historic
study of Garifuna culture tells you that Garifuna people never suffered the inhumane act of enslavment, a terrible crime against
humanity that brutalized so many others, and their cultures. The Garifuna culture has preserved a lot that should
be shared with our descendants and the world. - Un estudio educativo e historico de la cultura asevera que Los Garinagu nunca sufrieron el
acto inhumano de la esclavitud, un crimen terrible en contra de la humanidad el cual afecto y brutalizo a muchos otros y sus
culturas tambien. La cultura Garifuna ha logrado preservar mucho de lo cual deberia de ser compartido con los
Afro-descendientes y todo el mundo.
The mission of GAHFU is to serve the Garifuna-American, Caribbean-American and Central
American/Afro-Latino community in the greater Los Angeles and Long Beach area, the Untied States and abroad through
cultural education programs, outreach, advocacy and social services programs. GAHFU is dedicated to the dissemination
and preservation of Garifuna heritage through the arts, music, culture and language education, in addition to providing social and
cultural awareness programs such as youth mentoring/leadership, Garifuna classes, cultural competency and enrichment programs,
community forums, and more. GAHFU believes that having an appreciation of one’s own culture sets the stage for developing
partnership with people who come from culturally diverse backgrounds. GAHFU serves a nation that reaches across the globe
annually and seeks to educate and inform the larger Los Angeles County about Garifuna culture and the contributions that Garifuna-Americans
have made and continue to make in the social and cultural fabric in Central America, North America and the Caribbean.
Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United, Inc. is an exempt organization
under section 501 ( c) (3) and all donations are tax deductible. Our main purpose is to preserve the uniqueness of the
Garifuna culture, history, language, music, arts & crafts and spirituality by working closely with community organizers
not only in Los Angeles County, but throughout the world. We seek to enhance and showcase the image and
vision of the Garifuna people through education, music and the arts. We are also committed to bringing
the necessary resources to improve the wellbeing of the Garifuna, Caribbean, Central Americans/Afro-Latino communities
through outreach, workshops/seminars and education. GAHFU
also recognizes the need to assist in acquiring adequate social service and immigration resources for the often
neglected Afro-Latino unaccompanied minors and families from Central America. GAHFU will advocate to obtain
services needed in our underserved communities. We will develop afterschool cultural enrichment classes and leadership
programs for our youth. GAHFU is also committed providing mentoring programs and provide scholarships to socio-economically
disadvantaged Garifuna children in California and in Central America. Our endeavor also includes to be able to properly channel
the music, dance and the arts to the world. There is a strong, talented and artistically inclined group
of Garifuna artists who are the lifeline of the Garifuna culture. This talent is in danger of being lost
if not preserved and/or exposed properly.
|Dr. Michele Goldwasser - Rest In Peace
It is with
sadness that GAHFU announces the passing of our beloved board member, Dr. Michele Goldwasser. She died on Thursday 22 February
2018 after several months of fighting cancer. She would have been 65 years old today 1 March 2018. Her body was cremated as
she wished and her ashes will be thrown in the sea. She gave of herself in the Garifuna community without asking for anything
in return. She was more than a GAHFU supporter, she was family and she will be greatly missed.
Dr. Goldwasser was a professor at
the University of California San Diego in the Department of Communication. She worked in the Communication & Anthropology
Departments at UC San Diego. She was a lecturer and she taught several courses and one of them was a course called "Biography
and Life Stories." She also taught a course in "Garifuna Ancestral Worship in a Transnational Community" as
well as Ritual Revisions of 'Black Carib' Identity. Dr. Goldwasser shared her research on the Garifuna people at the
3rd Annual Garifuna Community Forum NY 2007. She was very active in the Garifuna community in Los Angeles by working very
closely with Mr. Flavio Alvarez "Paps", the Wanaragua Dance Group chief. She secured funding for a few years for
the Wanaragua to have dedicated minivans transporting the dancers from house to house during Christmas and New Year. In addition,
she has also worked diligently with the "Garifuna Cultural Group" headed by Mrs. Martha Martinez. Michele also helped
to bring a delegation of Garifuna drummers, Gayusas, and dancers to the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, DC which
included: Libaya Baba Cultural Drummers, Garifuna Culture Group, and Wanaragua Dance Group from Los Angeles along with James
Lovell and others from the East Coast.
She conducted fieldwork with the Garifuna communities in Los Angeles and Central America
since the mid-1990s. Michele worked with the Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United (GAHFU), a grass roots 501(c)3 organization
in Los Angeles. GAHFU’s school, the Clifford J. Palacio Garifuna Language and Culture Academy, conducted Saturday classes
for the community since 2005. She was a board member for the GAHFU since 2005 where she helped in coordinating every event
such as the 6 Annual Garifuna Community Forums held in Los Angeles, Bronx, and Brooklyn. She also helped secure funding for
the “Clifford J. Palacio” Garifuna Language & Culture Academy in Los Angeles. With members of the community,
Michele wrote The Garifuna Language Workbook for the school. Her revised workbook offers a format that would be useful in
utilizing a software program to produce a computer course in the Garifuna language. GAHFU recognizes the need to develop computer
materials to aid in teaching the language for both their current students and for the transnational Garifuna community. Since
2005, GAHFU has been developing curriculum materials and expertise that would aid in this project.
|Garifuna Street Fest 2017
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