Indigenous Music With a Message

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Sarstoon_Temash_National_Park_southernmost_Guatemala_border
Photo: Sarstoon Temash National Park

First Peoples Worldwide recently received a wonderful Spring gift from one of our grantees in Belize, the Sarstoon-Temash Insitute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM). This original song about SATIIM’s work, written and recorded in collaboration with Belizean musician Denroy Garcia, puts the struggle and optimism of Indigenous Peoples in Belize to powerful, danceable music.

Click here to listen to the song: SATIIM’s Fight Is Also Our Fight

Here’s what SATIIM’s executive director, Gregory Ch’oc, had to say about the song:

SATIIM and the indigenous communities in southern Belize have been engaged in tense political and legal advocacy against oil drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park and Maya Ancestral lands. I made this song as part of our campaign to sensitize the larger Belizean public to SATIIM and the indigenous peoples fight/struggles in southern Belize. I want for the Belizean public to recognize that the struggles of SATIIM and the indigenous people is the struggle of every Belizean. The song is written in a mix of English and Creole. Creole is a dialect spoken by Afro-Caribbean Belizeans which is commonly spoken in Belize. I [have tried] to translate the lyrics into English. It has a brukdown/Punta Rock music beat. The song was written Denroy Garcia with my input. Denroy Garcia is a Garifuna artist who has released many albums. He is the singer. This song will be used at public events, radio shows, and press conferences, etc.

Here are the lyrics:

SATIIM’s Fight Is Also Our Fight

Fighting for the rights and dignity of our people, that is SATIIM Mantra,
That is why we are on fire,
With the help of all the people, we will prosper in the Nation
Sustainable development we need for our future generation

It is SATIIM that we support, and that we do not hide.
B’cas through our farming and our land is how we survive
SATIIM’s fight is also our fight
I want you to understand
That is why I am proud to be a Belizean

It is SATIIM that we support, and that we do not hide
B’cas through our farming and our land is how we survive
SATIIM’s fight is also our fight
I want you to understand
That is why I am proud to be a Belizean

People will mislead you about the work that SATIIM does
As Bob Marley said, they will slander you
Who the cap fit let them wear it
You can look around your village; you will see a lot of it

It is SATIIM that we support, and that we do not hide
B’cas through our farming and our land is how we survive
SATIIM’s fight is also our fight
I want you to understand
That is why I am proud to be a Belizean

It is SATIIM that we support, and that we do not hide
B’cas through our farming and our land is how we survive
SATIIM’s fight is also our fight
I want you to understand
That is why I am proud to be a Belizean

Yes, All of us are with SATIIM (translation from Q’eqchi’—a Maya language)
It is SATIIM that we support, and that we do not hide
B’cas through our Farming and our land is how we survive

Songwriters: Denroy Garcia and Gregory Ch’oc
Singer: Denroy Garcia

Read more about the situation in southern Belize in our recent blog post.