Garifuna peoplea re a mixture of Indian Arawaks, Caribe Indians and West Africans who were exiled from the island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on March 11th 1797 to the Roatan Bay island of Honduras in Central America, where they arrived on April 12th 1797. From Honduras they spread to Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Today they are all over the U.S.A with the biggest population in the South Bronx in New York.
Chief Joseph Chatoyer Dance Company (C.J.C) was founded on February 2009 to represent the visibility and awareness of the Garifuna people in New York City and abroad. The name comes from Joseph Chatoyer who was a freedom fighter in the Garifuna mother land of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines also known as Yurumein in the Garifuna language. He fought to preserve the land of Saint Vincent against the British invasion. Chatoyer died defending freedom for the Garifuna people.
Chief Joseph Chatoyer Dance Company honors his legacy by preserving his name and the Garifuna Culture.