Sunday, April 7, 2013

Funeral Procession -Dangria, Belize

The last couple days have been very busy for me. Sean and I (finally) got a vehicle, allowing us to explore further. I have so much to tell you all about! I have been promising some of my Pittsburgh readers a blog about the emergency services in Belize. I will blog it. But today, I have something else...something I found to be infinitely more interesting!

I went out yesterday afternoon to buy an ink pen, not a difficult item to find even here in Belize. As I approached the town, I couldn't help but notice the strong police presence and gathering crowd. I figured that I'm too new to be a nosy neighbor so I bought my pen and went on home. I was sitting here in the living room writing drink recipes for my new friend David. He's 18, married and a father trying to support his family. I'm sure Davis will get his own blog...he is fascinating! But anyway...he needed to know how to mix drinks, and I made him his own recipe book. While I was doing that...I heard the saddest, most forlorn marching band I have ever heard. The melody and tempo were so solemn and proud! I went out onto the balcony to look.

It was a funeral procession through the streets of Dangria, Belize. I have never seen anything like it in the states. My grandfather had a 21 gun salute at his funeral, quite moving....but this....! Just amazing! Eerie. Beautiful. Haunting. and again...Proud.  I wish I could describe the music....I don't have the words for sad beauty like I heard echoing off the buildings and flowing out to sea. I  watched from my balcony for several minutes wanting to photograph the procession, but not wanting to make a tourist attraction out of this most solemn ritual. After a few minutes, I saw that a member of the press was here taking photos and so were many of the gathered crowd. I grabbed my camera and took a couple shots....

The police carried the casket in their truck. They were led by the band, and followed by the family. I didn't get any shots of the band, as I was still on my balcony wondering if I would be rude to photograph this....

 Next started all the people in uniform. The first group were females and each carried a flower wreath. I tried to blow this one up so that you could see how very beautiful the wreaths are...but alas...
 I think the girls with the wreaths were my favorite!
 In this picture, you see the family and the girls following them.
 All of the people in uniforms were polished and shined!
 They marched slowly and in step while the band played it's mournful melody.
 Different leader. The man who was calling cadence set the pace, and everyone in uniform followed his command.

Toward the end of the procession, the man called for everyone to march more quickly, and the faster march also had arm movements.
The procession moved out of town and I'm sure went on to the final resting place. Town was quiet again for a while, then....The band marched back up Commerce Street...This time playing a joyful and upbeat tune. I'm sure this funeral was for someone important. I will be reading the news until I figure out what type of official gets a funeral parade. In the meantime, I prayed for his soul and for his family's comfort. I will be touched forever by what I saw yesterday. Such a moving experience...I wish I could explain it better...The music...the flowers....the beauty! There are no words....May God bless you all today and every day.


  1. Good morning Melanie....

    Thank you, again, for sharing your experience. I'm glad you were to get some photos. It is always so interesting to see the ways of other cultures.

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