The Garifuna of Hopkins Village Belize: The Rich Heritage of a Proud People

belize garifuna people

There’s much more to Belize than sand, surf, and sun. This land is home to remarkable people, too.

North Americans learn all about U.S. roots when history teachers explain how the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in search of freedom from English kings and persecution.

Curiously, a segment of Belize society has a similar origin story: In 1635, a slave ship filled with Africans capsized off the coast of St. Vincent in the Caribbean Sea. They too sought safety after making landfall. Refugees were so warmly received, intermarriage became commonplace, leading to the establishment of the Garifuna society.

The Garifuna people enjoyed a full century of peace and harmony until they were once again subjugated by colonists from Europe. Unlike the U.S., these people had fewer lands and options, but their will to survive was indomitable. Fleeing first to Honduras and then to the land now known as Belize, the Garifuna people found peace, at last, settling into communities where their distinct culture flourished.

A contemporary epicenter of Garifuna society

Visitors eager to learn more about this vibrant society come to Hopkins Village, Belize—home to Belizean Dreams, one of the region’s most elegant resorts. It’s the best place to stay for myriad reasons, not the least of which is proximity to Garifuna businesses and attractions.

You may even find the language these people speak to be among the most exotic you’ve heard: it’s a derivative of Arawaken, though like all Belizeans, you’ll be able to converse in English. Enjoy all of the benefits of a luxury vacation at the resort and spend your days immersed in Garifuna culture.

There’s so much to see and do!

Few visitors leave Hopkins Village without a true appreciation for the Garifuna’s artistic legacy that includes music, dance, and art. Happy to share their passion for drumming, Garifuna musicians offer lessons to visitors eager for a “hands-on” experience. In fact, international guests flock to the area for the annual Battle of the Drums Festival where Afro-Caribbean music fills the air and warms the soul.

Gourmands find Hopkins Village to be a culinary festival of tasty, traditional Garifuna dishes like hudnut (fish cooked in coconut broth), cassava, plantains and yams. Order conch soup, darasa (a type of tamales) and cassava pudding and you couldn’t go hungry if you tried.

belize garifuna culture

How can you get your fill of all things Garifuna?

Take advantage of Belizean Dreams Resort’s off-season rates to secure luxurious accommodations and then spend your days in the Village, immersing yourself in all things Garifuna. You’ll also have access to other adventures courtesy of the resort’s activity menu, but if all you want to do is explore this fascinating society, you can.

In fact, Belizean Dreams staffers are happy to help you make arrangements for cultural experiences introducing you, in-depth, to a former society of slaves who reinvented themselves as a unique people in a land that takes pride in their unique contributions. Contact the Reservation Team to plan your vacation today!

Contact Us Today

Email: [email protected]
US Toll-Free: 1 (800) 456 7150
Local Belize Reservation Desk: +501-522-2400
Local Belize Front Desk: +501-670-2251
(add "011" to the local numbers to call from US)