By Keith D. King
Many people move to or visit San Diego and automatically assume that there isn’t much of a black presence here. This is especially true when it comes to the Caribbean culture. Elton Cumberbatch, and his team are trying to change that.
On Saturday, September 24th, the San Diego Caribbean Association held their launch party, celebrating the Caribbean Carnival and Festival that will be coming to San Diego in 2017 for the first time ever. The association, founded in 2013, is a community based organization that promotes multi-cultural unity, aims to expand cultural experiences, and enrich people of all origins and nationalities.
The night began with the entire team stopping in the middle of running around sporadically to get everything in order for the night, to hold a prayer circle and take pictures like a family does. Soon after the place began to fill with people of all colors and cultures. Everyone seemed to be in great spirits and enjoying themselves.
I sat down and talked with the C.E.O. of the Caribbean Association, Elton Cumberbatch. He is originally from Guyana, and is currently serving in his 14th year of active duty service for the U.S. Navy.
“My mom had passed away, and it was going on the two year anniversary of her passing, and I wanted to do something that would put a smile on her face. So I decided to put together a Caribbean BBQ at the park and over 500 people showed up from all walks of life. Afterward I thought to myself ‘I should start a Caribbean Association here in San Diego to bring more people like this together’”
He expressed the impact that his mother had on his life, and the love that she taught him to have for everyone.
“The core values of our association are the same values that my mother taught me while growing up. One love, respect, and unity. She always told me, no matter what color someone is, or where they come from always show them love, and peace. That’s exactly how she lived her life.”
The San Diego Caribbean Association has been in existence for four years now, and he also, expressed that the association is not just about partying, it is about uniting the community. They hold events where they go downtown and feed the homeless, pass out clothing, blankets and also do events for the youth.
The official Caribbean Carnival and festival will be in San Diego in August 2017, and leading up to the event, the association plans to hold events every month to continue to unite everyone, and make themselves known throughout San Diego to make the eventual event a huge success for the city. The next event will be held October 22ndd at Sisterlocks on El Cajon Blvd. It will be a Soca Fete and Costume party. For more information on being a part of the San Diego Caribbean Association you can visit their website at www.sdca-inc.org