Sen. Luis Sepúlveda introduces resolution to celebrate Garifuna-American Heritage Month

New York State Sen. Luis R. Sepúlveda.   Garifuna Coalition, USA, Inc.
New York State Sen. Luis R. Sepúlveda.
Garifuna Coalition, USA, Inc.

The Bronx-based Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. says it was “pleased to announce” that New York State Sen. Luis R. Sepúlveda, 32nd Senate District, has introduced Senate Resolution No. 1802, “memorializing Gov. Kathy Hochul to declare March 11, 2022, to April 12, 2022, as Garifuna-American Heritage Month in the State of New York.”

The Coalition said on Saturday that this is “in observance of the 225 anniversary of the Forcible Deportation of the Garifuna People by the British from their ancestral homeland St. Vincent “Yurumein”, (presently known as St. Vincent and the Grenadines), and their settlement in Central America in 1797.”

“For more than 10 years, from my community work and activities as an elected official, I have been able to develop a relationship of friendship and solidarity with this magnificent community,” Sepúlveda said. “Thanks to this relationship, I have been able to learn and be enriched by their culture, roots, dreams and concerns.

“I have been able to allocate funds for problems that affect them, and I have seen how they are an essential part of our community,” he added.

As the former Assembly member of Assembly District 87, the Coalition said Sepúlveda was among the sponsors of a New York State Assembly resolution and became the lead Senate sponsor, on his election in April 2018.

Furthermore, on April 8, 2016, then Assembly Member Sepúlveda introduced Assembly bill No. A09791, an act to amend the education law, in relation to instruction on the Garifuna people, the Coalition said.

It said he also nominated Rosemary Ordonez-Jenkins as a Democratic Judicial Delegate in the 2014 State elections, becoming the first Garifuna person elected to a political position in New York State.

Beginning in 2011, the Coalition said a Garífuna delegation would travel from New York City to the Capitol Building to attend the introduction of the resolution ceremonies at the Assembly and Senate Chambers.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coalition said Sepúlveda will present Senate Resolution No. 1802, during the Hello Spring Pop Up Shop Party Part 6, on Saturday, March 12, 2022, 3:00 pm. – 8:00 pm., at Princesos NY Venue, 360 E Gun Hill Rd., Bronx, NY 10467.

The Coalition said Garifuna Heritage Month celebrates the history, culture, achievements, and contributions of the Garifuna People to the societies of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United States of America.

“It raises awareness and promotes greater appreciation of Garifuna history and traditions,” the statement said, adding that New York City is home to the largest Garifuna population outside of Central America, with an estimated population of 250,000.