Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. celebrated the proclamation of March 11 to April 12, 2010 as “Garifuna Heritage Month 2010,” in observance of the 213th anniversary of the exile of the Garifuna people from St Vincent on March 11, 1797 and their settlement in Central America on April 12, 1797.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. with José Francisco Avila, from the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc, and the group of residents that received citations of merit during the celebration of the Garifuna Heritage Month.

The event, which took place at the Bronx County Courthouse, highlighted the great contributions of the Garifuna-Americans to the fabric of New York and the Bronx, and to pay tribute to the common culture and bonds of friendship that unite the United States and the Garifuna countries of origin.

“Unfortunately, most of our residents learned about the Garifunas through tragedy, but today we want to celebrate the beauty of this great community, we want to recognize its contributions to the economy, culture and prosperity of The Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

New York City is home to the largest Garifuna Community outside of Central America.