Belize in Dallas

 

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This colorful giant sign welcomed festival-goers to the annual Belize Day Celebration 2016 that took place this past weekend at The Juicy Pig in south Dallas.

Attendants were honored by the presence of the Honorary Consul of Belize in Dallas; Hon. Edwin E. Tench, and his lovely wife, Mrs. Rosaline Tench.

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Mr. Edwin Eisenhower Tench, Honorary Consul of Belize, and his wife, Mrs. Rosaline Tench

As far as I could tell, Mrs. Tench and I were the only non-Belizeans in the event (she is from Panama and I am from Mexico).

Unfortunately, the event was running a few hours late, so I did not get to enjoy the live music, the organized games, or the performers scheduled for that day. I did, however, had the opportunity to speak to a family from northern Belize who proudly shared a few facts about their country.

One story that stood out for me was the one the father told me about two sugar cane workers from Veracruz, Mexico, who came to Belize to work in the sugar cane fields. These two workers changed the way now Belize workers pick up sugar canes from the field and place them in the carrying trucks. The old process was to have the truck come by the field and have the workers place the canes in the truck a few at a time. The foreign workers showed how it was done in their native land, which was to tie dozens of canes forming a roll and carry them on their backs to the stationary trucks.

Since people from Veracruz are called ‘jarochos,’ the act of working in the sugar cane using this method is now called ‘jarochear,’ meaning cutting sugar cane ‘jarocho style’.

Lucky for me, a couple of the food vendors were already set up and I was able to try a few of their traditional food items. I tasted their chicken tamale, very similar in presentation to the Chinese version I tried the week before, but different in consistency and flavor, and dukunu, a Jamaican-inspired dish that tastes like corn bread, with chicken and a very spicy pickled sauce.

Belizean tamal and dukunu.

Another popular vendor was the souvenirs booth. Kids were interested in hearing what some of the items were made of and then trying them on.

People were very friendly and eager to make me feel welcome. I’ll be back next year, but this time I know to be ‘late’ so I can be on time. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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