Taiwan’s Ambassador Explores Garifuna Culture in Dangriga

Taiwan’s Ambassador Explores Garifuna Culture in Dangriga

Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, Lily Li-Wen Hsu, was immersed in aspects of Garifuna culture, cuisine, and traditions as she toured the Culture Capital, Dangriga Town, yesterday. The Ambassador along with Dangriga Mayor, Robert Mariano, met with residents around the municipality, and had lunch with several dignitaries.  Entertainment at the luncheon was provided by the Uwarani Dance Group. Stann Creek Correspondent, Harry Arzu, spoke with Mayor Mariano, who explained that he also met with the ambassador to discuss collaboration on proposed projects. 

Robert Mariano, Mayor of Dangriga: “We had a meeting together first in my office, we discussed how we can strengthen our friendship and relationship with Taiwan and Dangriga of course. Thereafter we went and we had a lunch at Pelican and thereafter there was a presentation of the different Garifuna dances to her at Pelican Beach Hotel. The meeting went well and at the end of the day she presented me with a gift and I also presented her with a gift on behalf of the people of Dangriga. Well as you know she had just arrived in Belize about four months ago and she had not visited Dangriga as yet and so yesterday she took the opportunity to stop in Dangriga and to familiarize herself with Dangriga and also the Mayor and the Councilors. There was some other proposals that we have applied for and so those were discussed in the meeting and so there will be a follow up meeting and she will be getting back in touch with me very soon to give me an update in relation to where we’re at with those projects.”

Marino added that it his hope that through the assistance of the people and government of Taiwan, Dangriga will be able to construct a new sewing factory to uplift female entrepreneurs in the community. 

Robert Mariano, Mayor of Dangriga: “We already have equipments and the Charles Locario Sewing Factory is already in swing but it is not to the standard that we want  because at present we have the sewing factory inside the market and the rooms are too small, very, very small. And so we are expecting to get a three bedroom size building so that the women can start to generate their own income. Of course, they have started already, let me correct that because they are already in operation in the market but again because of the space they cannot reach out to the quantum that they would want to do in relation to making of clothes.”

Reporter: So in other words the area is not conducive? 

Robert Mariano, Mayor of Dangriga: “Yes, and so having a building is important for them and so I continue to do what I can to get a building. I have already located a piece of land, or a piece of lot or identified a piece of land for which they will be able to use for the purpose of this sewing factory. Again, the sewing factory will be in the name of the people of Dangriga it won’t be named by individuals. Well we are hopeful that will materialize very, very soon and so I will continue to do all that I can to get that building so that our women who works at the sewing factory or who are part of the sewing factory can generate even more salaries for themselves.”

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