BELIZE GARIFUNA NATIONAL HERO THOMAS VINCENT RAMOS BORN—HEALTH ADVOCATE & GARIFUNA ACTIVIST
Born in Puerto Cortes, Honduras, Ramos spent most of his life in Belize as a school teacher and Methodist preacher. Concerned with health care available to the Garinagu living in Dangriga, he formed the Carib Development Society to help the sick and render financial aid to bury their dead. Fighting against discrimination of Garifuna people and Afro-Belizians, Ramos lobbied successfully for the colonial authorities to provide native nurses in the local hospital. He was involved in Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association. He also founded the Independent Manhood & Exodus Uplift Society and the Colonial Industrial Instruction Association. He is best known for lobbying to establish a Public and Bank Holiday to commemorate the arrival of the Garifuna in Belize. Garifuna Settlement Day—first known as Carib Disembarkation Day–was first celebrated on November 19, 1941 in Stann Creek District. Since 1977, it has been a national holiday. Ramos died November 14, 1955, Stann Creek.
Source: “Thomas Vincent Ramos created Garifuna Settlement Day,” MyBelize.net. Retrieved 7/11/2020, https://www.mybelize.net/thomas-vincent-ramos-created-garifuna-settlement-day/ Photo: Author and date unknown. Fair Use.