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Traditional Garífuna Music From Lívingston

On Sunday April 16, 2023, as it’s customary, I paid a visit to my padrino Flavio Alvarez “Paps”. He was clearing up his garage and found this collector’s LP which he gave me as a gift. I appreciate his trusting me with this kind of items which have a very deep connection with the work I do in the Garífuna community with my wife. This is one of the many recordings I have amassed so that in the near future, I will donate to a university that can guarantee the preservation of these delicate materials such as cassettes, 45 and 33 RPM LPs, compact discs, and digital downloads. Material that I’ve collected since 1985 for the preservation and dissemination of the Garífuna music.

The album cover reads:

The goal of the First Meeting of Músicians of Livingston's Popular Tradition, sponsored by the Guatemala Tourist Commission and by the Group Despertar Garifuna "Sanchez Díaz”, was to make a scientific survey of the Garifuna and Maya-kekchi traditional music of that Caribbean municipality of Guatemala. This was done by applying anthropological research techniques on recording procedures and photography. The event took place on August 26 - September 2, 1990, in the Port of Lívingston. Sixteen bands of the area and a multi-disciplinary team including anthro specialists and professional photographers, took part in this event.

This album is made up of a selected choice of the Garifuna traditional music of the port of Livingston, gathered during the event. This ethnic group of Afro-Caribbean origin, established in Guatemala since 1802, preserves a rich heritage of musical expressions, such as: working, religious and festive songs, lullabies, processional marches, and trümpet-like blows into sea-snail shells.

The Guatemala Tourist Cömmission and the Group Despertar Garifuna "Sanchez Díaz”, are glad to present de Garituna musical treasure of Livingston. We hope that this contribution will help to acknowledge and dignify the traditiorial music performers of Guatemala, and that the ancestral heritage of our people will become widespread.

Yours truly,

Rony Figueroa, MPA

GAHFU’s Vice President and Co-Founder


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