According to your biographical information, we understand
that you were born in the town of Dangriga in the Stann Creek
District of Southern Belize in 1954. What was it like as a child
growing up in the Dangriga? How has the district changed since
Pen Cayetano: As a youth the people in Dangriga were
all cultural living (fishing, cassava processing and farming).
They were also speaking their own language the garifuna, for example
my father didn't tolerate any English speaking at our home. .
BELIZEmagazine.com: "Punta Rock is a
creation of Pen Cayetano". What does the importance this
music is playing today mean to you?
Pen Cayetano: It's a cultural awareness and
Belizean have their own music the Punta Rock. I'm proud that my
creation came out to be so great and important for Belize.
We understand that you live in Germany, Europe. Please give
a brief insight into what life is like for a Belizean living in
Pen Cayetano: A Belizean can either
go to drugs and Rock'n Roll or to education. Learning another
culture and language is an acess for me. To live in the first
world where everything is made and moving very fast you can learn
BELIZEmagazine.com: How often do you get
to visit Belize? Are there any festivals in Belize that you attend
regularly - as a visitor or a musician? What
are your next scheduled concerts in Belize?
Pen Cayetano: Every year I visit Belize
in November to do music and a major exhibition to show my new
paintings. My next musical show will be in Dangriga 18. and 19.
November 2004. I will also have an exhibition with my paintings
at the Culture House (former Government House) in Belize City,
starting on the 4. November 2004.
Are you still in contact with the original band members of
'The Original Turtle Shell Band'?
Pen Cayetano: Yes I'm still in contact with the original
band members of 'The Original Turtle Shell Band'. Brother Higgins
and Faltas are living in Los Angeles, Myme is in Chicago and Mohobub
is in Europe at the moment and will meet me in Germany. Two years
ago Mohobub and myself recorded the album 'Best of Punta Rock'
here in Germany. A reunion of the Original Turtle Shell Band is
planned for 2005.
BELIZEmagazine.com: We read that your creation
of Punta Rock was a reaction to the realisation that the Garifuna
youth of Belize was loosing their
cultural foundations. Punta Rock gave them something to step with
time. What is your take on today's Garifuna Youth? Are they more
of their own strong roots in the 21st century?
Pen Cayetano: I do believe that they are aware,
but they must speak their language.
BELIZEmagazine.com: Which art plays the stronger
role in your life today - music or
Pen Cayetano: Painting and music both go together.
Can you tell us a highlight of your personal life??
Pen Cayetano: My personal highlight was when my three
kids were born in Dangriga and I'm more than gald that they are
playing the Punta Rock in Germany. Another highlight in my life
is that I'm glad to be alive and healthy and that I created the
Punta Rock for the people of Belize and the world.
What do you do to keep in shape? What is your favourite past-time
Pen Cayetano: To keep in shape I do running, gardening,
nature hiking and biking.
What is your greatest outdoor adventure ever experienced in Belize?
Pen Cayetano: Diving on the reefs and exploring the underwater
world was great.
What is your most favourite Belizean food dish? Can you offer
Pen Cayetano: My favourite dish is Hudut: mashed green
plantains with a fishsoup based on coconutmilk.
What is your most favourite locally grown fruit, what the
most favourite vegetable??
Pen Cayetano: My favourite fruit is mango and the vegetable
is the tomato.
Have you ever had the luck to see any of Belize's exotic wildlife
such as a jaguar, tapir or the like? Have you ever been bitten
by a scorpion, snake or spider?
Pen Cayetano: Yes I have seen the tapir, jaguar and many
more. I was bitten by a scorpian and a spider.
How many of the Maya archaeological sites in Belize have you
visited? Which site was the most fascinating for you?
Pen Cayetano: I visited three sites in Belize:
Xunaantunich, Altun Ha and Caracol. I was impressed of Xunaantunich.
What is the greatest asset of Belize?
Pen Cayetano: The greatest asset for Belize is to have
the land and the sea.
What are the top five books we should all read in our lifetime?
What books are you reading at the moment? Which book do you plan
to buy the next trip to the bookstore?
Pen Cayetano: First
of all a person should read a book portraying to their culture
and history and then they could read any other four books.
BELIZEmagazine.com: Who would be on your
list of favourite Belizean artists, writers and musicians? Who
would be on your list of favourite non-Belizean artists,writers
and musicians? What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Pen Cayetano: Belizean: Evan X. Hyde and Assad
Shoman (writer), Benjamin Nicholas and Louis Belisle (painter),
Mohobub Flores and Myme Martinez (Music).
How would you answer the question "What is (the) Belizean
Pen Cayetano: Belizean Culture is a combination of many
cultures that has blended into the Punta Rock music.
Belize is so ecologically diverse with natural beauty abundant.
What do you consider the most beautiful spot in all of Belize?
Pen Cayetano: Dangriga.
What is your favourite vacation spot outside of Belize?
Pen Cayetano: Netherlands.
This Edition of BELIZEmagazine.com focuses on Belize's Cayo
District. What is your favourite place/spot in the Cayo?
Pen Cayetano: The Blue Angel Club.
What do you consider the biggest challenge for Belize and
Belizeans in the 21st century?
Pen Cayetano: Education and cultural preservation.
What would you most want someone reading this article to remember
about what Pen Cayetano has to say?
Pen Cayetano: I'm just an artist living in your time.