Latin America and the Caribbean

Broward Festival Celebrates Caribbean Culture

Jun 15, 2015
Miami Herald

Lauderhill and neighboring Broward cities celebrated Caribbean-American Heritage Month at a festival in Broward Regional Park Sunday. The Caribbean Village Music, Arts, Food, and Wellness festival featured food vendors, a parade, a talent show and a concert by Caribbean musicians.

Lindell Douglas, president of the Galleon Foundation, which sponsored the event, said a primary goal of the festival was to celebrate Caribbean American culture during its namesake month.

Right after Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people, I rode in a U.S. Army helicopter ferrying food and medical supplies into demolished Port-au-Prince neighborhoods.

As we descended near the suburb of Pétionville, and as corpses became visible amid the ruins and campfire smoke billowed up in our faces, the pilot said he couldn’t put us down. Too many people were running to the landing spot, and they risked being killed by the chopper rotors.

On Christmas Eve, the islands of the eastern Caribbean were hammered by 15 inches of torrential rain. The flooding and landslides killed at least 13 people. South Florida’s Caribbean diaspora is gathering relief supplies - and officials are sounding the climate change alarm.

Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, calls last week’s downpour “a disaster of a proportion…we have not seen in living memory.” Gonsalves himself lost a cousin killed in a landslide.