Google+

The Afro-Jamaican Presence in Guatemala

 

Guiou: The Other Blacks

guiou-gloria-arnoldThe Afro-Jamaican Presence in Guatemala

by Gloria J. Arnold

Tate Publishing

Paperback, $12.00

96 pages, Illustrated

ISBN: 978-1-62746-147-4

 

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

[This book] chronicles the journey of a group of Jamaican pioneers who went to Guatemala during the early 1900s and carved out a life for themselves and their descendants… Though a miniscule part of the African and Jamaican Diaspora, Guiou is another step in the unveiling and unraveling of our past, as it documents the lives, struggles and accomplishments of a people who, in spite of our adversity, have managed to excel in the areas of academics, medicine and sports…”

— Excerpted from the Preface (page 13)

 

Did you know that Guatemala once had both an English and Spanish-speaking black community? The latter group, known as Garifuna, arrived from Nigeria by way of St. Vincent where they blended with Carib Indians beginning in 1635 before migrating to Guatemala.

By contrast, the former group was brought there to work the fields only about a hundred years ago by the United Fruit Company, settling in an area called Colonia. These English-speaking Afro-Jamaicans, or Guiou, gradually disappeared over the intervening decades, but not before making a lasting impression upon their adopted homeland and elsewhere.

Written by Gloria J. Arnold, Guiou: The Other Blacks is a meticulously-researched and generously illustrated text dedicated to documenting the cultural contributions of Guatemala’s English-speaking blacks. The author ostensibly undertook this challenge as a labor of love, given her Afro-Jamaican Guatemalan roots.

Born in Guatemala, Ms. Arnold moved to New York City with her family back in the Fifties as an adolescent, around the time many other Guiou left for America, too. Sadly, most of the friends she made in the States knew next to nothing about her native country, especially regarding its black population.

So, as an adult, despite the fact that much of the Jamaican presence back there had gradually disappeared due to assimilation and emigration, she made it her mission to honor what remains of her vanishing traditions. To that end, she has preserved here an informative mix of photos and personal anecdotes, recorded and oral history, bios of leaders and luminaries, and a genealogy of Afro-Jamaican Guatemalan surnames. And she even included recipes for a variety of local delicacies, like Fish Escovitch, Fried Breadfruit, Bulla Cake and Sorrel Wine.

As much a history book as a heartfelt tribute reflecting a proud Guiou’s deep appreciation of her ancestors and her rich cultural heritage.

 

To order a copy of Guiou: The Other Blacks, visit:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1627461477/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

,

Entertainment

Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp

  The Bounce Back Film Review by Kam Williams Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp   Love guru Matthew Taylor (Shemar Moore) is the author of the new best seller, "The Bounce Back." Accompanied by his enterprising business manager, Terry (Bill Bellamy), he's been hawking the self-help book on plenty of TV and radio programs. Since Terry believes that "Image is everything," he's concerned that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This

  Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This Book Review by Amy Lignor What began in an unforgettable Volume 1—living Jerry Hall’s story and dealing with the heart-wrenching issues of the Viet Nam* War—continues here. The action of battle, fraught with the unending horrors that the “unwanted veterans” dealt with, grows even more painful. And as war comes closer to an end, what should have been peaceful … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Inside WildAid

  Inside WildAid by Amy Lignor   Donations can be made. Time can be volunteered. There are a great number of charities, organizations and hard workers out there who strive with everything they have to save the animals of the world. The National Wildlife Administration, the World Wildlife Federation – these are just two leaders that help keep our beloved species’ on the map. There is also an organization whose sole mission is to end … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Skeeter Boats Comes Up with Cure for Cabin Fever

  Skeeter Boats Comes Up with Cure for Cabin Fever By Craig Lamb   If you are overdosing on TV fishing shows, mindlessly flipping through tackle catalogs, or feeling down and don’t know why, then you are not alone. Count yourself among most of the fishermen in the entire country. We have cabin fever. It’s common this time of year when hunting and football overtake wetting a line on the list of weekend priorities. Or, it’s just plain too … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season

  The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season by Amy Lignor     Okay…we’re almost dead center, folks, so it’s time to sum up the best and silliest actions and reactions that the 2016 NFL season has provided fans thus far.   Analysts are always yapping, and most likely nothing they say will actually come true. However, right now almost everyone is agreeing to the fact that Tom Brady has a score to settle. Yes, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Charity Begins at Home

  Charity Begins at Home by Amy Lignor   Turning a blind eye is easy for some; preferred by others. But the fact is that the bad doesn’t become good – in any area – unless eyes are open wide to not only see what’s occurring, but also to gain the knowledge needed to stop the bad from getting even worse. Remarks are made about “other countries” and what they do wrong when it comes to the harming of animals for profit. However, in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

  Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe by Amy Lignor   Thanksgiving has been had. Games have been watched and the golden turkey has caused a great many belts to be loosened. So…here it comes!   From hanging the stockings on the chimney with care to the red-nosed reindeer who had to be there; from Santa heading down that chimney just right to lovely sleigh bells ringing softly in the night, the holiday season is a truly … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Forecasting Climate Change

  Forecasting Climate Change by Amy Lignor As with anything in this world, it depends on whose opinion or observations you trust as to just how bad climate change is becoming. As 2016 begins to wrap up, climate scientists, atmospheric physicists, chemists, oceanographers – you name it – no one can come up with any other explanation for climate change and the warming of our planet other than human activity. How fast is it happening? … [Read More its Good for You...]