The Garifuna Collective 
Kobo Town || Carnival of the GhostsThe Garifuna Collective || AbanThe Garifuna Collective || Hamala (Let Him Fly)Doctor Nativo || GuatemayaKobo Town || Where the Galleon SankGuayo Cedeño || Coco BarAurelio || DarandiRoberto López || Criollo ElectrikCalypso Rose || Far From Home || Garifuna RemixedThe Garifuna Collective || AyóAurelio || LándiniKobo Town || Jumbie in the JukeboxAurelio || Laru BeyaThe Garifuna Collective || UmalaliThe Garifuna Collective || WátinaAurelio || Garifuna SoulLeroy Young (The Grandmaster) || Just Like That.Various Artists || ParandaMr. Peters || Weh Mi Lova DehLugua & The Larubeya Drummers || BumariAndy Palacio || Keimoun
"Yes, my uncle; I am Garifuna just like you."

The tale of Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective traces its roots to the early 1980s, when a teenage Palacio traveled from his home in the Central American country of Belize to Nicaragua to serve in a literacy campaign. Palacio is Garifuna, a unique culture based on the Caribbean coast of Central America that blends elements of West African and Native Caribbean heritage. Andy was told that Nicaragua’s local Garifuna traditions and language were all but extinct. He was en route via boat to the Nicaraguan village of Orinoco to begin his first literacy assignment, when a storm forced a change of direction, leading to a surprise encounter that had a lasting impact on Palacio’s music, career, and life mission. The legacy of this life-changing meeting lives on in the music of Wátina, a stunning new album featuring an all-star, multigenerational lineup of Garifuna musicians from Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras.

The Garifuna people originated when two large ships, filled with a delivery of West african slaves, sunk off the coast of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent in 1635. Half of the Africans survived and intermingled with the indigenous Caribs of the region, creating a new hybrid culture. Fiercely independent, the Garifuna community resisted European colonization, and were forcibly exiled to the Caribbean coast of Central America. Some were segregated and held onto their traditions and language, while others were forced to homogenize with the local predominant culture.

To avoid his own mid-lagoon shipwreck, Palacio’s boat captain decided to take a detour to a nearby village until the storm passed. He said to Palacio, “There is a Garifuna man in this village. You should talk in your language and see how he reacts.” When the eighteen year-old Palacio greeted the old man, Mr. López, in the Garifuna tongue, the elder replied in complete disbelief, “Are you telling the truth?” “I told him, ‘Yes, my uncle; I am Garifuna just like you,'” explains Palacio. “He embraced me and would not let go. He could not believe a man so young could speak Garifuna, having imagined the language would perish with him.”

Music video for Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective. Directed by Brent Toombs. Belize 2007.
Andy Palacio
Rolando "Chiche Man" Sosa
Joshua Arana
Eduardo "Guayo" Cedeño
Ivan Duran
Paul Nabor
Lugua Centeno
Aurelio Martinez
Justo Miranda
Adrian Martinez
Denmark Flores
Sofia Blanco
Silvia Blanco
Marcela Torres
Al Ovando
Alantl Molina
Carlos Perrote
Shirley Dayana Paz
Rosa Bermudez
Sam Harris
Emmith Young
Lloyd Agustine
Jacob Edgar
Produced by Ivan Duran
Arranged by Ivan Duran & Rolando "Chiche Man" Sosa
Recorded at Sandy Beach, Hopkins Village, Belize by Ivan Duran
Additional recordings by Al Ovando & Ivan Duran at Stonetree Studios
Mastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge, New York, USA
Art Direction Tim O'Malley and Ivan Duran
Graphic Design and Photography by Tim O'Malley
Additional Photography by Katia Paradis, Ivan Duran, Greg Brosnan/Machu Picshurs, Cubola Archives
Garifuna Translations by Andy Palacio with Roy Cayetano
Introduction by Jacob Edgar with contributions from Dmitri Vietze
Videos by Katia Paradis