From the bible to ethnographic profiles, we often use imperfect oral traditions to inform our perspectives about a society. In Belize, there is no shortage of speculation about one of the nation’s most prominent people: The Garifuna. According to writings of British major John Scott in 1667, this society’s earliest arrivals in Belize resulted from a single shipwreck in the Caribbean when two Spanish ships were beached in 1635, stranding a mix of slaves stolen from Africa and Caribbean nations.
Not so fast, say equally-credible historians who insist that the ships in question were not Spanish but Dutch. And whether these captives were truly victims of a shipwreck in 1635 may also be more lore than fact. The grounded ships, said to have experienced the storm that capsized these vessels, weren’t even commissioned for sailing during the 1600s, so while there’s even a holiday commemorating this event, it may be based more on storytelling than actual truth.
Would you like to know more?
One of the most concise reports about Garifuna societal beginnings was a scholarly study published by Michelle A. (Forbes) Ocasio, PhD. Her research unearthed four distinct theories that are sure to intrigue you—and you’re going to want to know more.
The only way to truly do that is to come to Belize, still home to a thriving Garifuna populace where visitors find a rich cultural heritage that includes distinct culinary traditions, magical art, amazing literature, and music guaranteed to convert even non-music lovers. Where to find the most concentrated exposure to all of this? The Village of Hopkins. It’s a destination unto itself.
Where to stay? Belizean Dreams Resort in Hopkins, the town voted “friendliest village in Belize” and “#1 cultural destination in Belize,” and where a mix of resort amenities, lovely accommodations, and perks that come with booking an all-inclusive package simplify a sojourn.
An itinerary filled with fun
Even if you’re not the adventurous sort, a sojourn at this resort includes plenty of experiences in addition to learning more about the Garifuna. A Belizean Dreams itinerary can include everything from diving and snorkeling to exploring Maya ruins and caves—or going zip-lining and repelling. That’s the beauty of a Belizean Dreams stay: You pick the package based on your desires and customize your stay by adding tours. Finding this many options at one lush resort is uncommon, and return guests appreciate that.
Proximity to Hopkins is the key to a successful holiday for those eager to learn more about Garifuna society and you wouldn’t be the first to learn more about yourself as you sample everything from the yummy cuisine to drumming, all of which represent a people who may have had unfortunate beginnings, but their survival is a lesson in tenacity that never goes unnoticed by Belize visitors. Fun. Fascination. Fantastic experiences. What starts as a peek at a fascinating culture has the capacity to deliver on the most eclectic vacation you’ve ever taken!