The month of February brings many celebrations of independence by four of our Caribbean Islands in the Greater Houston Area and Texas: Grenada, Saint Lucia, The Dominican Republic and Guyana. On January 25, 2017, Aruba celebrated its thirty-first Anniversary of independence, better known as Betica Croes Day, named for the man who led the island nation to become an independence nation within the Netherlands Antilles. Haiti celebrated independence day on January 1, 2017.

Grenada - The Grenada Houston Association (GHA) celebrates Grenada’s forty-third Anniversary of Independence on Saturday, February 11, 2017. The event will be held at The Ensemble Theater in downtown Houston. Their Keynote Speaker will be The Honorable Senator Simon Stiell, Minister of Education, Government of Grenada. The address is 3535 Main Street Houston, Texas 77002. Independence Day is officially recognized on February 7, 2017. For more information, please visit GHA’s website.

Saint Lucia – The Saint Lucia Foundation of Texas (SLFT) celebration of independence will be held on Saturday February 18, 2017 at the Westchase Hilton, located in West Houston at 9999 Westheimer Rd. Houston, Texas 77042. Special Invited Guest and Keynote Speaker is The Honorable Stephenson King, former Prime Minister of Saint Lucia; Mr. King is currently the Minister for Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labour and Parliamentary Representative for Castries North. Saint Lucia officially celebrates independence on February 22, 2017. For more information, visit the SLFT website.

Guyana – The Guyanese community in Houston will recognize Guyanese Republic Day on February 23, 2017. Known as Mashramani, often abbreviated to "Mash", is an annual festival that celebrates Guyana becoming a Republic in 1970. This should not be confused with Guyana's Independence Day which is celebrated on May 26, 2017. At this time we have not been alerted as to any recognition of Republic Day in Houston.

The Dominican Republic – The Dominican Republic community in Houston will celebrate 173 years of independence on February 27, 2017. The two organizations in Houston, Circulo Cultural Dominicano (CCD), Alianza de Organizations Dominicanas (AODET), have not alerted us of their plans for Independence Day.

Haiti - January 25, 2017 also marked Haiti’s National Day Celebration as they marked 31 years of Independence. Secretary of State at the time John Kerry remarked, “Nearly one million people in the United States are of Haitian ancestry. Our shared pride in that heritage resulted this year in the designation of Little Haiti as an official neighborhood of Miami, Florida. The vibrancy of Little Haiti is a symbol of the community’s advocacy for historic preservation and a testament to its incorporation into the fabric of U.S. culture and society.”

Haiti - The Houston Haitians United celebrated on January 1, 2017 at the Haitian Caribbean Restaurant located in Houston, Texas, with cultural food, music and a book signing which highlighted the Independence day festivities. Haiti: Beyond the Rubble is a personal memoir of J. Sadraque Cius, a native Haitian now living in America, who recounts the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010 and the long-lasting consequences on a nation already suffering from poverty. Not only does Cius shed light on the catastrophe itself, he also recounts the ways lives are still affected today and the way Haiti’s people have been exploited, both in the past and as a result of the earthquake. The author was the special guest at the celebration and signed many copies of his book.