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Mr. Darius Avila
President – Battle of the Drums Secretariat
Mr. Darius Avila was born in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District, Belize. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Belize and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of the West Indies.
He has been a businessman for over fifteen years. Currently he owns a business consultancy firm by the name of Business Information Services and Systems. Through this business he offers, to local and international clients, business related services including corporate set-ups, organizational plans and systems development, financial management and taxation, project management and business training. Along with his wife Lisa, he also owns and operates a hotel by the name of Beya Suites. This hotel is located in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District and has won the prestigious “Small Hotel of the Year for Belize” awarded by the Belize Tourism Board. This award is given each year by the Belize Tourism Board to one hotel in Belize, for excellence in service and superior quality in accommodations.
Despite his rigorous business commitments, Mr. Avila still finds the time to give back to his community. In 2006, as part of his corporate social responsibility agenda he conceptualized and established the Battle of the Drums Initiative. This initiative promotes the annual Battle of the Drums Competition and Show which brings thousands of people and tourism dollars to Punta Gorda Town, Belize. This year, 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the Battle of the Drums Competition and Show. However, the greater objective of the Battle of the Drums Initiative is the promotion of Garifuna cultural retrieval and preservation.
Along with a dedicated team, who collectively refers to themselves as The Battle of the Drums Secretariat, several Garifuna cultural retrieval and preservation activities have been established,nurtured and maintained. The Battle of the Drums cultural retrieval and preservation agenda are pursued under three (3) main programs, as follows:
(1) Garifuna Language Preservation Program:
(2) Garifuna Drumming, Singing and Dance Program:
(3) Battle of the Drums Community Support Program.
On-going Activities under these programs are:
1. The Battle of the Drums Garifuna Language in Schools Program
2. The Battle of the Drums Garifuna Language, Drumming, singing and dance program
3. The Battle of the Drums Annual Primary Schools Garifuna Translation contest
4. The Annual High Schools Battle of the Drums
5. The Annual Garifuna Children’s Talent Show
6. The Annual Ms. Yurumein Contest
7. Organizing of the Annual Re-enactment ceremony (Yurumein) in Punta Gorda Town
8. The Annual Battle of the Drums Competition and Show
Mr. Avila continues to be a part of the development process in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo and Belize. In recognition of his contribution to culture and economic development he was awarded,by the Prime Minister of Belize, the Meritorious Service Award. This is an award given to individuals for their selfless contribution to the development of Belize.
Darius Avila recognizes that his accomplishments are the result of divine intervention, hard work and perseverance. His daily life he is guided by three simple principles as follows:
1. It is in giving that one receives;
2. The African Proverb: “If many little people, in many little places, do many little things, you can change the face of the earth” and;
3. Success comes through planning, HARD WORK and perseverance. Produced by Rony Figueroa Media Management by Cheryl L. Noralez Sponsored by GAHFU, Inc. www.gariufnaheritagefoundation.org