Jamaica to assist Costa Rica in honouring Marcus GarveyMonday, July 26, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, says her ministry is pledged to assist Costa Rica with a plan by the Costa Rican Government to elevate the image and philosophy of National Hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, in Costa Rica.
Grange was speaking at a virtual function on July 2, marking the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Diplomatic Relations between Jamaica and Costa Rica.
She said that part of what Costa Rica intends to do is to install a painting of Marcus Garvey in its National Parliament.
“As part of our celebration in 2022 of Jamaica's 60th anniversary of Independence and the 135th Anniversary of the birth of Marcus Garvey, I am committing my Ministry to work closely with the Costa Rican Ministry of Culture to make this Garvey Project a reality,” the minister said.
“Further, we are prepared to also work closely with the Government and people of Costa Rica to re-habilitate Freedom House during Jamaica 60, when we celebrate our Diamond Jubilee. I will, through the Foreign Ministry and the Costa Rican Ambassador, discuss how we may collaborate with the Costa Rican Ministry of Culture on these projects during the year 2022.
“Perhaps not well known is that Marcus Mosiah Garvey left home in Jamaica in 1910 for Puerto Limon where he worked as a timekeeper on one of the banana plantations of the United Fruit Company. There in Costa Rica and later in Panama, Garvey's concern for the condition of black people grew. Garvey returned to Costa Rica on different occasions and established one of the most successful Freedom Houses/Liberty Halls, headquarters of his Universal Negro Improvement Association in Limon, the community in Costa Rica with the largest population of Jamaican descendants and with the strongest Jamaican cultural retentions.
“Soon, Jamaican folk songs flowed within the new mixed families. Later, Reggae Music inserted itself alongside the very expansive Marcus Garvey Movement there in Costa Rica. Jamaica's presence within Costa Rican culture and society became solidified and, as I stated earlier, has become the essence of the diplomatic relations that we celebrate today.
“I am so very pleased to have the privilege of sharing this moment with Her Excellency Epsy Campbell Barr, Vice President of Costa Rica, and her delegation. Vice President Campbell Barr is herself of Jamaican descent and so we are especially proud of her and admire her.
“As we celebrate this wonderful milestone of the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations, let us all feel at home in each other's space. Let us consider this vast expanse of the warm Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, as waters that unite, rather than separate us. We are, after all, all Caribbean people,” Grange concluded.
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