Not every traveler plans a tropical vacation that consists only of eating, sleeping, and lifting cocktail glasses to their lips. Some adventurous souls make ambitious plans to learn more about the country and the people they plan to meet—in addition to serious eating, napping, and happy hour socializing.
The nation of Belize is home to a rich cultural history. From exploring caves where prehistoric Maya skeletal remains continue to intrigue the most blasé traveler to sampling the foods and music of the country’s diverse populaces, your quest for variety won’t be complete if you don’t delve into the Garifuna culture, one of the most fascinating segments of Belize society.
Who are the Garifuna?
European ships filled with West Africans brought to the Western Hemisphere as slaves were wrecked in the West Indies. Passengers escaped and those able to save themselves after this 1635 tragedy sought refuge throughout the Caribbean. A large number of them wound up in Belize, settling around Dangriga. Today, Garifuna’s ancestors thrive and keep alive a rich music, food, and dance heritage. Even the language has been preserved.
Though historians and anthropologists worry that this culture is disappearing, don’t tell that to Belize’s Garifuna populace! Lifestyles, rituals, and traditions are kept alive by ancestors and interest in this society is increasing rather than diminishing. That’s why as many tourists come to Belize to learn more about this society as they do to dive into the Belize barrier reef or party at the nation’s social hot spots.
Channel your inner cultural explorer
Because Hopkins Village is home to a huge number of Garifuna people, there’s no better place to headquarters than the award-winning Belizean Dreams Resort where you have access to all things Garifuna when you’re not enjoying world-class lodgings and the amenities for which this resort is internationally renowned.
Take the Maya Ruin tour to Lubaantun and Nim Li Punit with a stop at a spice farm and local Maya restaurant for lunch. If you’re more hands-on, ask Belizean Dreams staff about the Garifuna Cooking tour and they can help you book this fun experience.
When you’re not listening to contemporary Garifuna music, dancing to the beat, attending festivals, or shopping for ethnic souvenirs, your stay at Belize Dreams gives you the perfect place to encamp, so you not only get your cultural fill but you’ll be indulged in ways you can only dream about by a resort staff delighted to help you discover this little piece of paradise and the warmest, most vibrant people you’ll ever meet.