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Honduras News

Making the difference: Lucy Thomas

Today browsing on the internet found a great article, that described the work of Máxima Thomas, the Garifuna Museum Director. In 1996, the Garífuna Museum was founded with the objective to promote Garífuna culture and to offer cultural education and tourist services to those who visit their communities, interested in knowing more about Garífuna culture. The Museum offers information through exhibitions on the life, work, and transcendence of Garífuna culture since our arrival to Honduras. Also, it provides a few of the antecedents from the Garífuna’s departure from St. Vincent. We are an educational resource for grade school, secondary, and university students, whose programs explore Garífuna culture but had no previous center for investigation.

Sustaining Local Artists and Producers

To support the Garífuna Museum, they have implemented a craft shop and a small art gallery, which sells paintings, on the first floor. They earn a profit of 10 to 20% from each sale, which sustains the museum and the entrance fees. The Museum also helps Garífuna painters and artists, who sell their work in the area, to make a name for themselves. There is an artisan exposition room so that Garífuna handicrafts can be seen, and so that the artisans can sell their products and get money to cover their daily expenses. There is also an expo-sale of paintings that we call the Art Gallery. However, it still does not meet all of the necessary conditions to preserve the paintings. The paintings are exposed to dust and need a more enclosed place so they don’t deteriorate.

The museum directors are planning to create a Garífuna Plaza, where those people who make typical baked foods and pastries can bring their products to the Museum and market them. Before, there wasn’t a place where you could come to sell and buy Garífuna products. We are satisfying these supply and demands. We also have a restaurant service, where you can sample traditional plates and learn about Garífuna gastronomy. With our food sales, they underwrite the project, “Garífuna Plaza”, which makes the project more sustainable because of the sales commissions they earn.

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