The NGC focuses on preserving the Garifuna culture through its language, music, food, dances, crafts, art and rituals as well as generating economic development for Garinagu (Garifuna in plural = Garinagu). Another objective is to seek education and training opportunities for Garinagu especially youth. One of the main activities is to initiate projects that will strengthen the Garifuna culture while improving the living conditions of Garinagu.

NGC is cooperates with the following regional Garifuna organizations:
Organizacion Negra Guatemalteca (ONEGUA), Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondure?a (OFRANEH) and Organizacion Afro Garifuna Nicaraguense (OAGANIC).

NGC is also a member of CABO (Central American Black Organization) and BITI (Belize Indigenous Training Institute).

Accomplishments

Since its beginning, NGC has made considerable achievements despite very limited resources. As well as publishing several books on Garifuna history, culture and language, important achievements are:

  • 2001 – The UNESCO proclamation ? see home page.
  • 1999 – NGC signed a Memorandum of Understanding between NGC and the Government of Belize.
  • 1997 ? Built the ‘Pablo Lambey Garifuna Cultural Center‘ in Dangriga.
  • 2002 Hamalali Garinagu Radio Station
  • 2004 Implementation of the Institutional Strengthening Project.
  • 2004 ? Opening of the first Garifuna Museum in Belize located at the Monument Land. The museum was mainly financed by a grant from the Taiwan Government and finished with assistance from the Government of Belize and private donors.
  • Publishing of several books on Garifuna history, culture and language.

Ongoing projects

Institutional strengthening

The NGC is a non-profit, Non-Governmental Organization run entirely by volunteers. The organization is well structured, with a Constitution, but the lack of financial support and organizational difficulties prevent it from functioning efficiently. Because NGC has been solely reliant upon voluntary work there are inefficiencies in the monitoring and co-ordination of many aspects of the organization and in making serious outreach to the branches. The NGC is the beneficiary of an institutional strengthening project sponsored mainly by the Danish Development Bank DANIDA (administered by IDB) and in part by the NGC and the Government of Belize. The objective of the Institutional Strengthening project is to develop the income generating potential of Garifuna communities while taking into consideration the cultural context of the Garinagu.

Monument Complex and Museum

The Garifuna monument, built 1984-89 near Dangriga, documents the arrival, struggles and prosperity of Garinagu around the world. In 1999, almost 14 acres of land surrounding and including the monument were purchased by the NGC. The council plans to expand the Monument Complex with a Garifuna tourism and education village. The Monument Complex will, in addition to the existing monument, include a museum / library, auditorium, dabuyaba (temple), cafeteria and a traditional home gift shop. The museum / library have been constructed with funds from the Taiwanese Government and the Government of Belize. The museum was opened and dedicated on November 18, 2004. The NGC views this as a long term project and hopes that the Monument Complex will be used as a source of information about Garifuna heritage and a learning resource for Garinagu, as well as a major tourist attraction for the area, thus raising national and global awareness of the Garifuna culture.Hamalali Garinagu NGC Radio Station

In 2002 the Commonwealth of Learning donated a portable radio transmitter to the NGC and the Hamalali Garinagu NGC Radio, broadcasting from Dangriga at 100.1 FM from 6 am to 12 pm, has been on air since 25th May 2002. Established as a community radio station to serve the wider community, as well as to promote Garifuna music and culture the station plays a variety of Garifuna and contemporary music. To date, the station broadcasts over the Dangriga area, but the long term goal is to extend broadcasts to all of Belize.Pablo Lambey Garifuna Cultural Centre

The NGC national headquarters known as the ‘Pablo Lambey Garifuna Cultural Center’ was completed in 1997. The Centre, located at 175 Commerce Street, Dangriga, is used as an office for the NGC as well as for meetings and cultural activities.