Punta Gorda, Roatan, Honduras info@flamingoculturalcenter.com +504 3281 9914

Film Screening @ FCC in Roatan: The Path of Stone Soup

On Saturday, September 2, 2017 there will be a film screening of the documentary, The Path of Stone Soup, at Flamingo Cultural Center (6:00pm). The co-director of the film, Sarah Borealis, will be there to answer any questions from curious viewers. This documentary has been featured at numerous film festivals in different countries, South Africa, India and France, to name a few. The Path of Stone Soup tells the story of a pre-Hispanic recipe that lives on thanks to the deep-rooted symbolic value it holds for the Gachupin Velasco family, who have fought to preserve it, reinvent it and share it as a means of honoring and savoring their most cherished ritual. Here is some more info about the film:

HISTORY OF THE PROJECT

In 2010 historian and producer Sarah Borealis traveled to the Mexican state of Oaxaca while conducting fieldwork. Along the way she visited the family restaurant owned and operated by the Gachupin family, where she tasted Stone Soup for the first time. This unique dish, prepared with organic herbs and freshwater seafood cooked to perfection using red hot stones, captured her attention as it reminded her of a fable from her childhood. Due to this transformative experience, she decided that her next project would be to investigate the origins of the delicious dish. Don Cesar Gachupin de Dios, the patriarch attending the restaurant, consulted with the rest of his family and together they began planning a type of pilgrimage that would take them all back to the roots of their ancestral soup. As pre-production unfolded, Borealis contacted the Mexico City based production company Aberracion Optica to assist in the project’s development. With director, producer and photographer Arturo Juárez Aguilar at the helm, the international team worked together to give the project a cinematic narrative. This docu-legend introduces a culinary treasure that sustains the harmony of an unforgettable indigenous culture while transmitting it to the world with red-hot intensity.
This docu-legend is a co-production of Aberracion Optica, Banda Ancha Productions, and Caldo de Piedra Unico en el Mundo.

POINT OF VIEW

Oaxaca is one of the Mexican states with the most diverse representation of indigenous cultures and dialects. This diversity enriches all local traditions; in this case the focus falls on a culinary ritual from the Oaxacan highlands, which draws upon an abundance of natural resources. The Chinantla is the birthplace of many prehispanic cultures. Even today the region is inhabited by the heirs of these ancient people, who maintain and nurture their roots as a bridge between their local traditions and the outside world. This is the story of stone soup, a nourishing dish that has survived due to the perseverance of families in the village of San Felipe Usila such as the Gachupin Velasco family and their regional council of elders, through whom the millennial recipe has been transmitted as a gift from the ancestors. Men are the only ones who prepare stone soup, which they offer in honor of the women, children, and elderly of the village; it is also prepared to welcome guests held in high esteem. In this way, The Path of Stone Soup becomes a means of transmitting both ideological flavor and native language from generation to generation.

About Sarah Borealis

Sarah Borealis is a visual historian who completed a Ph.D. in Latin American History at Tulane University and a certificate in film editing from New York University. In 2010, she co-founded Banda Ancha Productions and currently produces independent documentaries and cultural events. Her documentaries have been screened at the Juan B. Ambrosetti Museum of Ethnography in Buenos Aires, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC) at Mexico City’s UNAM, and her work has been featured on the Travel Channel, the Journal of Video Ethnography and National Geographic online.

Rotary Club de Roatan Dona Sillas y Pizarra al Centro Cultural Flamingo

Nuestra primera sesión de clases de inglés comenzó en diciembre de 2016. Fue una clase de tres meses que fue diseñada como un programa piloto para darnos información sobre las necesidades de nuestros estudiantes. Aprendimos varias lecciones y también nos conectamos con personas que nos ayudaron a mejorar nuestra clase. Una persona que se convirtió en un amigo del centro es el Dr. Charles C. Parchment. A través de Charles, pudimos recibir sillas y una pizarra blanca como una donación del Rotary Club de Roatán. Antes de la generosa donación del Rotary Club, utilizábamos una pizarra de 2’x3 ‘que se desmoronaba y sólo teníamos suficientes sillas para que 12 estudiantes pudieran sentarse cómodamente. Ahora somos capaces de tener hasta 30 estudiantes por clase.

Charles visitó el centro para conocer a los estudiantes y compartir su sabiduría con el personal. Como educador, también nos dio algunas herramientas para usar y consejos sobre cómo podemos diversificar nuestro método de enseñanza. Estamos inmensamente agradecidos con él por todos sus esfuerzos para ayudarnos a llevar nuestra clase de inglés al siguiente nivel. También queremos agradecer al Rotary Club de Roatán por ser la razón por la que podemos aceptar más estudiantes en nuestra próxima sesión.

Nuestra próxima sesión de clase de inglés comenzará el 5 de junio de 2017 y terminará el 3 de septiembre de 2017. Tendremos una clase de principiante para niños y adultos. También tendremos una clase avanzada de inglés para adultos que puedan hablar inglés pero que deseen incrementar su nivel de inglés.

Para obtener más información sobre nuestras clases de inglés, haga clic aquí.

Si desea ser voluntario como profesor de inglés, haga clic aquí.

Roatan Rotary Club Donates Chairs & Whiteboard to Flamingo Cultural Center

Our first session of English classes began in December 2016. It was a three month class that was designed as a pilot program to give us feedback on the needs of our students. We learned several lessons and also got connected with people who helped us improve our class. One person who became a friend of the center is Dr. Charles C. Parchment. Through Charles, we were able to receive chairs and a whiteboard as a donation from the Roatan Rotary Club. Before the Rotary Club’s generous donation, we were using a 2’x3’ blackboard that was falling apart and we only had enough chairs for 12 students to sit comfortably. Now we are able to fit up to 30 students per class.

Charles visited the center to meet the students and share his wisdom with the staff. As an educator, he also gave us some tools to use and tips on how we can diversify our teaching method.  We are immensely thankful to him for all of his efforts to help us take our English class to the next level. We would also like to thank the Roatan Rotary Club for being the reason why we are able to accept more students in our upcoming session.

Our next session of English class will begin on June 5, 2017 and will end on September 3, 2017. We will have a beginner’s class for children and adults. We will also have an advanced English class for adults who can speak English but would like to improve their English language level.

To find out more information about our English classes please click here.

If you would like to volunteer as an English teacher please click here.

Mejorando la educación de los niños y jóvenes en Roatan

El Centro Cultural Flamingo en Roatán implementa talleres de inglés para niños y jóvenes con la finalidad de que adquieran una segunda lengua que les permitirá estar mejor preparados para su vida personal y profesional.

Los talleres de inglés están dirigidos a niños y jóvenes de las comunidades más vulnerables de la isla de Roatán, cuyas condiciones de vida no les permite cubrir los costos de una academia privada de clases de inglés.

“Los talleres tienen como objetivo que nuestros niños y adolescentes aprendan una segunda lengua, justo en la edad ideal para absorber todo el conocimiento lingüístico del idioma inglés, lo cual les permitirá tener una mejor formación personal y profesional”, comenta Audrey Flores presidenta ejecutiva del Centro Cultural Flamingo.

La metodología de los talleres fue desarrollada por un pedagogo experto en la enseñanza del idioma inglés. “Los talleres de inglés conjugan dinámicas audiovisuales, dándole énfasis a la parte auditiva y de pronunciación para luego profundizar con más facilidad en la estructura gramatical de la lengua”, comenta Mauricio Flores, vicepresidente del Centro Cultural Flamingo.

La institución cuenta con profesores voluntarios, nacionales y extranjeros, quienes han recibido un curso previo para conocer la metodología de enseñanza de los talleres de inglés, comenta la presidente del Centro Cultural Flamingo.

Los talleres de inglés elevan la calidad educativa de niños en edad primaria y de jóvenes en secundaria o bachillerato, lo cual les facilitará, cuando sean adultos, encontrar un mejor empleo, adquirir una beca universitaria o integrarse al mercado laboral del turismo en Roatán de manera exitosa.

Los talleres de inglés tienen un costo mínimo de recuperación para los niños y jóvenes con la finalidad de que sus padres valoren la calidad educativa que están recibiendo sus hijos. Sin embargo, para incrementar el número de estudiantes y adquirir más material didáctico y audiovisual, el Centro Cultural Flamingo gestiona donaciones con empresas, donantes internacionales y turistas que visitan la isla.

Si estás interesado en conocer más de los talleres de inglés y hacer una donación haz clic aquí

Si estás interesado en ser maestro voluntario de inglés haz clic aquí

Improving Education For Children and Youth in Roatan

The Flamingo Cultural Center in Roatán implements English classes for children with the purpose of acquiring a second language that will allow them to be better prepared for their personal and professional life.

The English classes are aimed at children from the most vulnerable communities on the island of Roatan, whose living conditions do not allow them to cover the costs of a private English language academy.

“The workshops aim to make our children and adolescents learn a second language, just at the ideal age to absorb all the linguistic knowledge of the English language, which will allow them to have a better personal and professional education,” says Audrey Flores, executive director of Flamingo Cultural Center.

The methodology of the class was developed by an expert pedagogue in the teaching of the English language. “The English classes combine audio-visual dynamics, emphasizing the auditory and pronunciation, and then delving more easily into the grammatical structure of the language,” says Mauricio Flores, co-founder of the Flamingo Cultural Center.

The institution has volunteer teachers, both national and foreign, who have received a previous course to know the methodology of teaching English classes, says the director of Flamingo Cultural Center.

The English classes raise the educational quality of primary school children and youngsters in secondary or high school, which will facilitate, when they are adults, find a better job, acquire a university scholarship or integrate into the tourism market in Roatán in a successful way.

Our English classes have a minimum recovery cost and parents can be assured that their children are receiving a quality education. However, to increase the number of students and to acquire more educational and audiovisual material, the Flamingo Cultural Center manages donations with companies, international donors and tourists who visit the island.

If you are interested in learning more about the English classes and make a donation click here

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer English teacher click here

Visitor Orchestrates School Supply Drive for Roatan Students

We have the most awesome guests visit the center throughout the week. Even though they are on vacation, they still take the time out to bring us some goodies. In December of last year, one of our guests went all out. Not only did she bring us some school supply donations for our English classes, but she also volunteered to read to the students during her visit. This amazing woman is Kindergarten teacher, mother and wife, Denise DiBiasi Bowers.

Denise had a short visit but it was enough to inspire her to take it a step further. A couple of weeks after visiting Roatan, Denise started a school supply drive for the elementary school children of the Punta Gorda Primary School (Centro de Educacion Basico Jose Santos Guardiola).  Denise got in contact with her school, parents of her students, friends and family to spread the word and it worked. Last week we received the box of wonderful donations and immediately called principal Ligia Andino.

We asked Ligia to coordinate with the teachers so that we could get the school supplies to the students who were most in need. Since the public school students of Honduras are almost two months in the school year and the rush is over, it was easy for teachers to identify the students who really needed the help. We were able to help 72 students and there was also enough left over to donate some school supplies to the teachers.

From all of us here at Flamingo Cultural Center, we’d like to extend lots of hugs and thank you’s to everyone who made a donation for this school supply drive. Special thanks to Denise for simply being a beautiful person, inside and out.

If you are visiting Roatan and would like to volunteer at the center or make a donation please email audrey@flamingoculturalcenter.com.

Teamwork Allows Punta Gorda to Receive Solar Panels

Two weeks ago, we had the pleasure of hosting a fantastic group of people at Flamingo. We were so excited to be “in the know” of one of the most important projects of our beloved community, Punta Gorda. Now that everything is signed, sealed and delivered, I can give you the scoop.

Penn State and Peacework partnered up with Vegas Electric (a Roatan alternative energy solution company) and the Punta Gorda Town Council, to install a solar system that will help power the community well. This is a very big help, since the cost of electricity is extremely high( four times higher than the average in the U.S.) Penn State and Peacework have been working together for five years. Penn State has been working on Roatan and partnering with communities on the island since 2011.

After the installation of the solar panels, the community now receives water six days out of the week, whereas before it was just three days (Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

Moms who have to wash clothes for the entire family are extremely happy about this advancement. More frequency of water means less dirty laundry throughout the week. Business owners are very appreciative especially during busy season like Christmas or Spring Break.

We’d like to thank David & Lisa Riley and all of the Penn State students who volunteered to make this happen. We had so much fun entertaining you all during those brief breaks that you had throughout the day.  We’d also like to thank Jessica Rice and the entire Peacework team for simply having such an awesome mission and getting it done!

 

Some more info about Peacework:

Peacework started in 1989 with a belief in the power of collaboration to build a better world. They started small, bringing together volunteer engineers from the U.S. and the Soviet Union to Esteli, Nicaragua in the wake of the Cold War to rebuild communities alongside displaced families. In that first project, they learned that the best way to make positive social change is through diversity  of sectors, cultures, and ideas  and they have been doing it ever since.

Garinagu Celebrate 220 Years of Survival on April 12, 2017

April 12 is the annual Garifuna Settlement Day Festival in Punta Gorda, Roatan. Every year, Garifuna communities all over Honduras celebrate the arrival of Garifuna people to Honduras.

Photo Credit: DG Creations

A little background story….

The Garinagu (plural for Garifuna) are descendants of Arawak Indian and African descent peoples from the island of St. Vincent. In the 1600’s, a slave ship carrying slaves from West Africa shipwrecked off the coast of St. Vincent.  The surviving slaves settled on the island of St. Vincent and began to mix with the Arawak Indians. This mix of people is what gave birth to the Garifuna nation, also known as the Black Caribs.

During the 1700’s, the British were colonizing all throughout the Caribbean and they wanted to do the same to the Garifuna people. Since Garinagu were never slaves, they opposed and went to war with the British. They eventually lost the war and were exiled from St. Vincent. On April 12, 1797 the Garifuna landed on the island of Roatan and founded the first Garifuna community in Central America, Punta Gorda, Roatan.

Flamingo Cultural Center Program – Garifuna Settlement Day

This year we are very excited to be celebrating 220 years of survival. At Flamingo Cultural Center we have a day planned that will satisfy those who are culturally curious. Below is what you can expect to  find at the center on April 12, 2017.

Breakfast – we are aware that visitors come to our beautiful community early that day to catch the mini parade. We’ll have some quick breakfast items for sale like the Honduran favorite, baleada ( flour tortilla with refried beans and cheese) coconut bread with butter, and coffee.

Lunch/Dinner – What is a festival without some delicious local food! Our menu will include island favorites like coconut rice ‘n’ beans, Garifuna dishes like machuca soup of course and Honduran natural drinks such as Horchata (a delicious and refreshing rice milk drink).

Photo Credit: Belizelogue.com
Horchata – common beverage in Central America made out of rice milk.

Honorary Guest – Gilbert Whitfield

Gilbert Whitfield is a man from San Diego, California who didn’t find out he was Garifuna until the later years of his life. During a trip to St. Vincent, Gilbert visited the Garifuna museum and began taking pictures of some of the exhibits. Unbeknownst to him, it was illegal to take pictures, and a couple of minutes after snapping some, he was arrested by local authorities for violation of the picture taking law. Little did he know, Mr. Whitfield was being led to the story that connected him to his grandmother, Ebby, a Garifuna woman from the island of St. Vincent who survived the war in the 1700’s. Gilbert’s story will send chills down your spine as you listen to him. He will be sharing his story with our guests and we would be delighted to have you listen. Read more about Gilbert’s fascinating story here.

Historian – Alfred Arzu

Mr. Arzu is not only part of our staff; he is like family to us as well.  Alfred is full of stories, legends, and Garifuna quotes. A conversation with him will make you feel like time travelling just to learn more about what really happened in history.

Dashiki Themed Party

What’s a celebration without some good music. Join us as we close this very special day with a dance that will have you on your feet ’till morning.  The party starts at 7:00pm and you can purchase your African inspired outfits right here at the cultural center.  We will post some pics of the items we have for sale soon.

What to expect in Punta Gorda on that day

Photo Credit: DG Creations
Photo Credit: DG Creations

On this day you can expect lots of music, drumming, food and lots of vibrant colors as the Garinagu of Punta Gorda, Roatan grace the streets in traditional clothing. Some of the goodies to look out for are Guifity, a famous drink with medicinal and aphrodisiac properties, machuca, a seafood soup made in a coconut broth and lovely hand crafted souvenirs. The entire community celebrates so you can simply walk from end to end that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books Galore!

Yesterday we received a very thoughtful donation from the Roatan Children’s Fund. They gave us lots of great books and school supplies to be used for our English classes that will begin on Monday, December 5, 2016. Part of our mission is to empower Roatan families and one of the ways that we plan on doing that is by becoming more involved with the children. They are the future and by working with them, we will spark a generational change. Special thanks to board member Janice Carter for reaching out to us, we truly are grateful for your generosity.

When God Has His Hands On Your Plans

When we decided to change courses in our business, we didn’t know exactly how things were going to unfold. First, I received a word from the lord, Next, a couple of months later a tragic incident occurred, afterwards, we decided to switch things around, next thing you know, we find out about a project that fits in to our new plans. Talk about divine intervention.

One week after the incident, Marshall  González  of Bay Islands Mission Outreach, an organization that supports socioeconomic aide in the poorest communities of the Bay Islands, visited us to offer his support. I explained our new plans to him and he told me of a project that was designated for our community.

Little did we know….

Two years ago, Roatan Because We Care, an organization that focuses on helping the needy and reaching out into the most remote places of Roatan, worked with The Mentz Foundation to create a sewing project for women.

The Mentz Foundation is a non-profit organization with the mission to provide medical supplies, food, clothing and other essential items to underserved communities throughout the world. Members of the foundation brought sewing machines, supplies and fabric for the Handmade on Roatan Project.

The project started in the Brass Hill section of Coxen Hole. The ladies who participated have been able to make a living off of the clothes that they make. One of the ladies said she was “so blessed to have an opportunity to earn income while still being able to manage her household.”

This same blessing made its way to our beautiful community of Punta Gorda two weeks ago. Theresa Renee Arriaga of the Mentz Foundation and volunteers arrived with sewing machines, fabric and tools to give us a huge head start on the Handmade On Roatan Project – Punta Gorda.

Do you see what happens when God has his hands on your plans? Miracles, coincidences and “perfect timing” situations.