Every November you can count on a couple of good Ambergris Caye events and cultural celebrations around Garifuna Settlement day. This year, (2023) is no exception.
1. It’s Last Call for the Battle of the Drums
Born in October 2006, Battle of the Drums has been keeping Garifuna culture and values alive through drumming, voice and dancing.
I asked organizer Tyrone Avila for his two cents about tonight’s event and here’s what he had to say:
“The 2023 event is titled, The Garifuna Experience. The objective is to share and educate our attendees on the different aspects of the Garifuna culture in a fun and safe space. For this tour we are focusing on health and wellness through dancing and drumming. We are also introducing nutritional Garifuna drinks in the name of Sahou and Hiu to our attendees. This is the second year of the tour and our goal is for it to evolve annually, turning this into a long-term event.
The Battle of the Drums Competition and Show is a drumming competition and show that allows groups to compete and display their musical artistry in playing five (5) different categories of Garifuna drumming. The first Battle of the Drums was held in Punta Gorda Town on November 17, 2006, and was well received by spectators from home and abroad. In 2007, there was even a bigger audience and greater enthusiasm. In 2008 the event evolved into an international Garifuna drumming competition and show, involving drumming groups from various parts of our country as well as from neighboring Guatemala and Honduras. This competition and show have become a major local and tourist attraction and a catalyst for significant economic activity in the Punta Gorda area during the period when it is hosted. The Battle of the Drums Competition and Show is held every year on Saturday immediately preceding the 19th day of November.”
Battle of the Drums is happening tonight at Island Wonder Beach Club, south of San Pedro. There are still a few tickets available, so make your plan to head south for 7:00 pm start. Don’t forget to pack some bug spray, with the recent rains it’s been prime skeeter hatching time. Thankfully I have not had any in town, I did have a recent encounter up north though, they were thirsty buggers and I did not have spray.
To learn more about this year, or start making plans for a culturally inspired November Holiday in Belize – visit Battle of the Drums website and Battle of the Drums social page. You can also check out the GarifunaRobics for a cultural style workout.
2. Ales & Tails fundraiser for ACES
Another last call event for tonight is the ACES Wildlife Rescue Fundraiser on the roof of the Watermark Hotel. Doors open today at 4:45pm so you can start your evening with a cocktail and enjoy the sunset on the lagoon. Picture courtesy of ACES Facebook Page.
It’s a very worthy cause, a few of my friends are going, so you will get to read about it soon.
3. The Truck Stop Farmers Market
Barring some crazy unforeseen event, and as long as Kimberly and Dan are the owners – there will be a November Farmer’s Market every year.
If you can’t make them all, here’s a useful tacogirl listable in alphabetical order – 12 booths to browse tomorrow at the November Truck Stop Farmers Market.
- Ambergris Caye Sausage Factory
- Brooklyn Bagels
- Caye to the Heart
- CG Esthetic
- Coconut Café
- Fantasea Gems
- Fresh N Go
- Lunch Box
- Marisue Jones
- Pretty Baked
- Saga Humane Society
- Vero Bijoux
See more about their markets and other fun stuff on The Truck Stop FB page.
While there, last time my friend Sanford and I also enjoyed wildlife watching on the west dock. My picture does not quite do it justice as to just how interestingly alien the snowflake jelly fish are.
4. Garifuna Settlement day at Central Park
This is a fun annual Garifuna cultural event. For 2023, it falls on Sunday, Nov 19th with the public holiday on Mon., Nov. 20, 2023. There is a sunrise reenactment that finishes inside the Catholic Church.
According to Wikipedia Garifuna Settlement Day History, the popular cultural holiday was brought to life in 1941 by Thomas Vincent Ramos, a Belizean civil rights activist. It was later recognized in 1943 as a public holiday in the southern districts of Belize, and declared a national countrywide holiday in 1977.
No matter when you are planning your Ambergris Caye Vacation, you can find Garifuna Culture.
You can catch a Garifuna drumming show weekly at the Black and White Cultural Center. Julia also does great cooking classes – trust me when I say… If she can oversee me to cook queen conch in any kind of edible way – it was a big win. I tried at home once and even with tenderizing, it was rubberier than my sz 9 Swiftwater Crocs. I have also tasted the most delicious hudut made by my friend and a fabulous cook, Island Rosemary – she was gifted one of Julia’s Garifuna cooking classes last Christmas. Contact me if you would like to set one up as a gift or a holiday cooking class.
*if you are an online shopper, the shoe link above may give me a small commission when used within 24 h of clicking.
*If you do not like the cooking classes, I am betting you will love the tasty Garifuna Food buffet option that Black and White offers on Thursdays.
taco tip # 31 – The Town Council is Great for Vacation Planning Help
Whether you are on holidays or living on Ambergris, always check the @San Pedro Town Council FB page (under Mayor Wally.) They are always putting on and sponsoring great events around town.
*Sometimes you have to scroll back a bit to catch major events listed early. It was that ways for their Independence Day Celebration at Saca Chispas Stadium (aka The Old Football Field, aka Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Arena.)
This island is absolutely crazy about re-naming places, areas and roads.
It’s no surprise to me that a few roads change names at odd places. Downtown San Pedro Example: More commonly known Back Street, Almond Street, turns into Angel Coral St. once it crosses Buccaneer Street.
*If you landed here because you are interested in enjoying island events, you are likely interested my tacogirl List and a 10% golf cart discount for getting around Ambergris Caye.
November Weather on Ambergris Caye
Typically in San Pedro and on all of Ambergris Caye, November weather marks the transition from rainy to dry season. However, this year it has been unseasonably wet.
Generally average island highs in November hit around 84°For 29°C with low temperatures around 73°F or 23°C. Humidity can reach up to 80% or 90%, but our coastal island location has a fairly constant sea breeze. Both yesterday and today, it has been pretty dry and yesterday I deemed it comfortable enough to wear pants in the morning and shorts in the evening – it’s feeling similar today. This absolutely makes the November weather more comfortable and so do occasional winds from the north.