West indian culture

Group brings Caribbean culture to Cuba | New

A group of cultural ambassadors for the territory returned from Cuba this week after bringing traditional West Indian entertainment from the USVI to the newly opened country for the first time.

Groups from the Virgin Islands have been invited to participate in this year’s Fiesta del Fuego (Fire Festival), an annual symposium and people-to-people cultural tour of Cuba.

The fiesta celebrated its 36th anniversary – with the 2016 festival dedicated to Ecuador – and it was the first time that the USVI participated in one of the most important cultural events of the Cuban Ministry of Culture.

Organized by the Casa del Caribe – an organization and museum that honors Cuba’s African cultural heritage – the festival is a colorful and vibrant celebration of dance, music and traditions from Latin America and the Caribbean.

This year’s celebration included the participation of more than 200,000 artists and intellectuals from 18 countries who participated in events in 40 spaces around the city of Santiago de Cuba to exchange ideas and share history, religion and the culture of the region.

Two groups from the US Virgin Islands were invited to participate: Group I consisted of the Pan in Motion group of VI’s Rising Stars Steel Orchestra and two mocko jumbies of the Caribbean Ritual Dancers; Group II was there to support the territorial delegation and was made up of a sample of professionals including educators, artists and retired professionals.

While in Santiago, the two groups were invited and hosted by the Caribbean Guantanamo Society. Pan in Motion and the mocko jumbies performed and invited the people of Guantanamo to roam the city.

The VI delegation also adopted the West Indian Society of Guantanamo to assist with repairs to their headquarters and help them reconnect with their families in the Virgin Islands and the Eastern Caribbean.

In 1952, the USVI flag was presented to the Caribbean Guantanamo, and this year the USVI delegation replaced the old flag with a new one.

In honor of the meeting, delegation member Senator Myron Jackson agreed to fly the old flag on the grounds of the Sixth Legislature.

Each year, the delegation returns to Cuba, it will return with the old flag to remind its connection and the distance traveled.

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