previous page
next page

Twenty Questions - The July Interview

with Pen Cayetano

Pen Cayetano 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 your youth?

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. . "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 Europe?

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 a lot. 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. 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 the
time. What is your take on today's Garifuna Youth? Are they more aware
of their own strong roots in the 21st century?

Pen Cayetano: I do believe that they are aware, but they must speak their language. 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 occupation?

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 the recipe?

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. 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 Culture?"

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 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.


Table of Content

previous page
next page