The Garifuna are descendants of Carib/Arawak Indians and West Africans, all free peoples that once resided on the island of St. Vincent. In the late 1700s the Garinagu were exiled from their land by British forces, and thus made their way to the shores of Central America. Today Garifuna communities are mainly found along the coast of Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Roatan, as well as Guatemala. Garifuna communities are also found in the United States, primarily in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and New Orleans. Traditionally, Garinagu men were hunters and fishermen while the women did most of the farming. The traditional Garifuna foods are based around seafood, poultry, cassava, bananas, and plantains. For centuries the Garinagu lived off the Earth and seas, and through time our ancestors developed recipes utilizing nature’s spices and herbs that have been handed down through generations.
Where Is Belize?
Sitting on the eastern coast of Central America facing the Caribbean Sea, Belize is the Caribbean gateway to Central America. Offering the best of both worlds – the majesty of lush tropical rainforest and legacies of its historically unique cultures coupled with white sand islands and a spectacular 174 mile long barrier reef – the options for adventure are endless. Located in the northern hemisphere above the equator, Belize is bounded on the north by Mexico, the south and west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. English remains the official language in Belize. The people of Belize have an array of traditions and customs that represent more than 10 diverse cultures. This is truly a melting pot of colorful personalities, making the 350,000 residents of Belize the country’s greatest resource on the tourism front. The Belizean people are comprised of a harmonious combination of Maya, Mestizo, Garifuna, Creole, East Indian, Mennonite and Chinese, as well as a number of European, American and other expatriates. This combination has resulted in one of the happiest and most peaceful countries in the region, and a widespread reputation as one of the friendliest tourist destinations in the world!