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Ray McDonald's Warasa Garifuna Drum School

Corner West Street & Cemetery Lane, Punta Gorda, Belize
+501 632 7701
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Ranked #3 of 13 Attractions in Punta Gorda
Type: Educational Sites
Owner description: The hands-on way to learn about Garifuna drumming and culture.Learn about the rich history and culture of the Garifuna while learning the different... more » Owner description: The hands-on way to learn about Garifuna drumming and culture.Learn about the rich history and culture of the Garifuna while learning the different traditional drumbeats that influence music throughout Belize and Central America. Located in the peaceful coastal town of Punta Gorda, Belize, Warasa and its founder, local drummer Ronald Raymond McDonald, provide lessons to suit everyone. Individual lessons or half-day packages on drumming, drum-making, dancing and group performances are also available, as well as performances by Warasa Garifuna drum group. Warasa is now featured in the 2011 editions of Lonely Planet Belize and Moon Belize guidebooks. « less
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30 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

We visited this school during a city tour of Punta Gorda with one of the guides from the Belcampo Lodge. Both Ray and his wife were very gracious and took the time to explain Garifuna culture and the drum making process to us. Ray is making it his personal mission to keep the Garifuna culture alive through his drum school.... More

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Bloomington, Illinois
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

Ray McDonald and his family provided a very informative and fun presentation on the Garifuna culture. He was extremely knowledgeable. The drumming was excellent and the food was outstanding! It was a very fun night!

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Palo Alto, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

We went here for a dinner and a musical presentation. The food was excellent and totally different, all from Belize traditions and cooked in the traditional way. It was creative and interesting music and fun to dance to and to talk to the musicians who have been playing for many years. A very cultural and interesting night out for sure.

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Manitoba, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014

Loved Ray's personal instruction and understanding of the culture and history of Garifuna drumming. He is also a very good drummer. The new drumming workshop offered open space, shelter and shade. This is a family-based cultural experience, and they are very personable.

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Irvine, California
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

The Warasa Garifuna Drum School was a highlight to my visit to PG - I learned so much and had a great time!! Thank you!!

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Arlington, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

I booked lesson with Ray on the spur of the moment based on a local recommendation and was delighted that he was able to fit it in. Despite the fact that I have no rhythm, I thoroughly enjoyed the lessons, and but mostly just liked listening to Ray play (man, he's talented). While instructive, the lesson was also fun and... More

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Ontario
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

We have no drumming experience, but had done a little reading about the Garifuna and heard some of their music at Hickatee Cottages. Ray and his father were wonderful, patient teachers and it was a very interesting visit. We ran into Ray a few days later and he remembered us warmly. Thanks for sharing your culture with us. Wish we'd... More

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Purmerend, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

At Garifuna day, we had a dinner at the Lazy Fish. Ray McDonald was there with a few students. It was a very nice concert, we had lots of fun. Thank you for the experience.

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ruthalicesherratt, Owner at Ray McDonald's Warasa Garifuna Drum School, responded to this review

Thanks so much for your review and we're so glad you enjoyed your meal and the little drumming at Da Lazy Fish! The group of teenagers that Ray played with that day weren't even his students - he just loves helping anyone out whenever he thinks they need an extra drummer, singer or dancer, and since Tiffany is also one... More

Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

My family-myself, husband and our 5 and 7 year old boys-had a wonderful drumming lesson with Ray. He was patient and kind, and the rhythms of the Garifuna people are wonderful.

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Sierra Vista, Arizona
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

A wonderful family operation whose heart is in preserving music, songs, and instrument-making of the Garifuna culture. My granddaughter and I opted to attend the drum lesson & performance one week and the drum-making the following week. We were richly rewarded by being able to participate in every instance. The family is warm and welcoming. Our visits were a highlight... More

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