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Black & White Bar: A Cultural Center?

As the San Pedro Sun newspaper wrote a few days ago, the Black and White Bar just south of San Pedro Town is making changes.  But many people hear the name “Black &White Bar” and they think…girls.   A place were you can drink and hang out with ladies that make their money hanging out with you.But recently, after years of leasing out the building to others, the owner Julia Martinez has taken over.  She wrote a letter to the newspaper explaining her new ventures and how she wants to bring her culture, the Garifuna culture, to San Pedro.

I’d been in the bar before this turnaround (you can see some before pictures here from February) and wanted to see the change for myself…so yesterday I stopped in for a beer.

Here is Miss Julia.   She very kindly changed into her Garifuna clothing for us.

When you are driving south, just past the gas station, the turn off for the bar is by this sign.  Black and White had their sign covered since heavy rain seemed to come out of nowhere.

There are some intriguing signs when you pull up to the building.

We entered and the first room has been totally transformed.  Gone are the pool table and the dark lights….

The next room, the bar area still has the  original look…the look I remember.

I certainly didn’t expect to be walking into Black and White Bar and then watching a 20 minute documentary on Andy Palacio, maybe Belize’s most important cultural ambassador ever.  But hey, I like it.  And I love his group the Garifuna Collective (they have performed a few times over the past year in San Pedro.)

Here are some more pictures in the black room.

A mysterious date…what happened on September 7, 1920?

A gentle reminder to take all fighting outside.

A curious blend in this bar.

Miss Julia is trying hard to give her bar a new name…a new thing to be known for.  She is really a lovely woman, originally from Punta Gorda (southern Belize) and she wants to bring a bit more culture to San Pedro.   It’s going to be tough…a bar/cultural center…but I wish her well.

This Friday, Oct 26th at 7pm, she is having an opening party where all are welcomed.  She has invited the newspapers and the area representative.  There will be dancing and a presentation given in the Garifuna language.  There will also be samples of Garifuna food for all.  Yum, yum, yum.  Love hudut and sere.

I think focusing on this delicious cuisine and maybe having a lunch special of the day, everyday, might be the ticket to drawing people in.  We need a garifuna restaurant on this island.

I think I’m going to stop by on Friday evening…I hope to see you there.

And there won’t be a working girl in sight.

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