[he cultural .wonder of our time
UYANA'S sponsorship of CARIFESTA '72
was noted with satisfaction as a "positive
step to promote the indigenous cultures of the
Caribbean" at a meeting of UNESCO Regional
Commission heads just concluded in Trinidad.
SThe occasion was the second Sub-Regional
Meeting of English Speaking National Com-
missions for UNESCO and was attended by Com-
mission heads from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago,
Barbados, United States of America, and Canada.
The Government of Guyana was represented by
the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of
Education, Mr. W. 0. Agard.
The meeting saw CARIFESTA as playing a
major role in bringing about a greater degree of
co-operation in cultural activities on a Regional
level and made a strong recommendation :for
financial assistance to be extended to Caribbean
territories which are not member states of the
pAS a result of representations made to the Secreta-
riat of the Caribbean Festival of the Creative
Arts (CARIFESTA '72), the Government of Guyana
has extended official invitations to the Governments
of the Republic of Mexico, the Republic of Panama,
the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Netherlands Antilles.
This brings the total number of countries invited
to the three-week Festival in Georgetown, to twenty-
The inclusion of Mexico among the participating
countries would bring one of thqeeading Amerindian-
oriented nations into CARIFESA.
The Republic of. Panama, with its large population
of West Indians and Guyanese immigrants and their
descendants, will also bring an interesting dimension
to CARIFESTA, as there are many surprising cultural
survivals of former times in the West Indies cus-
toms and traditions which are no longer seen in the
The Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Curacao anc'
* Bonaire) also have large immigrant communities from
the Commonwealth CaribbeanW, who have expressed
a strong desire to be involved in CARIFESTA.
In recent years there
has been a great upsurge
of cultural activities in
the U.S. Virgin Islands.
who have themselves
been hosts to small but
highly successful Carib-
bean Festival and Fairs.
in some of which Guy-
ana- and Guyanese have
played prominent roles.
It is now estimated ;hat
there will be approxi-
mately 800 participants
from overseas attending
CARIFESTA and an-
other. 400 from Guyana