ORGANIZACION NEGRA CENTRO AMERICANA (ONECA) (CENTRAL AMERICAN BLACK ORGANIZATION (CABO)
The Annual General Assemble for ONECA was held in Nicaragua in December 2013. Belize was represented by four organizations: the NKC, the National Garifuna Council, UBAD Educational Foundation and Emergent Corp. Ms. Myrna Manzanares represented the NKC. The main highlight of the Assemble was the revision of the constitution and election of a new executive. However neither of the above were fully resolved due to irregularities in the voting process.
ONECA is a non profit transnational organization that brings together national and regional organizations of Afro descendants (members) of all Central American countries and the Central African diaspora in North America. The organization provides leadership training and entrepreneurial skills to facilitate and conduct economic, cultural, educational, financial, educational, and social processes.
In 2008 the National Kriol council became a member of ONECA and presently holds the secretariat position for Education and Research.
The NKC participated in the annual ONECA Women conference which was held in Panama City from June 27th – 30th, 2013. Over 50 women of African descendants from Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, Salvador and Belize attended the conference. The NKC President, Ms. Dana Rhamdas attended the conference along with Ms. Cynthia Ellis from Belize. The sessions included presentations on Racism and Racial Discrimination, Spirituality and strategies to strengthen organizations of women of Afro Descendants. Belize has been asked to host the conference in 2015 and the NKC will be taking the lead in this regard.
CABO 15th, GENERAL ASSEMBLY
University of Belize Campus
Dec. 3rd - 5th, 2009
Myrna Manzanares' Impression of the CABO 2009 conference
Totally exhausted, body barely moving , -Satisfied
Because God sent the rain to signal his blessings on the deliberations and the resolutions that were made on this occasion
What a week one would say
What an awesome , challenging week
Awesome - to see the coming together
Of our afro brothers and Sisters from Central America in Belize
Awesome to see the dedication to a strong cause.
Awesome to be able to communicate through whan can be seen as a Language divide
Spanish, Garifuna English Kriol
Awesome, because despite all the adversities
The mission was accomplished.
Challenging - because of all the uncertainties From beginning to end.
Challenging - because of the clash of personalities
Challenging because of not being mindful
Of the choice of communication style
Which can often create conflicts
And challenging because of seeming disrespect for others
And negotiations agreed upon.
This was indeed an exhausting, awesome and challenging experience.
Irreparable ? No! Lessions learned? Many
So now is the time to really get to work
To analyze what could have been a regional calamity
With international implication
For the advancement of our people
What could have been a severing of ties
Causing irreparable damages to our image
And given credence to the perception
That indeed black people will forever
Be in mental slavery, even amoung their own
Yes this is a good time
This is the right time
The time is now to get back to the drawing board
To re-assess ourselves as Afro-descendants
To plan a multi-prong strategy
That will not leave anything to chance
The time is now to build our economic base
So that every group can share in the
Financing of their participation in the various activities
And let the business of CABO be to fill in the gaps
And to tend to the international fundraising and relationships
So that we can all benefit from the educational, social, cultural
Environmental , health and other programs negotiated for us.
AWESOME, CHALLENGING, EXAUSTING, SATISFYING
This Fifteenth General Assembly in Belize
One to be remembered and cherished
As the catalyst for truly moving forward – United for progress.
Myrna Manzanares ( December 5th. 2009)