Celebrate the Historical Journey of a unified People-Happy “Garifuna Settlement Day”!

At the onset of day, be among the thousands of onlookers lining the coast of Belize to witness the reenactment of the Garinagu (Garifuna People) Historical Settlement to Belize. Travelers will have a rare glimpse into the past, as a colorfully clad colony of Garifuna Descendants, paddling man-made dugout canoes, retraces their Ancestors’ November 19th, 1802, settlement!  Enjoy an enticing line up of activities, such as live musical performances while indulging in Garifuna delicacies!

As a unified community, the People of the Garinagu (Garifuna) Culture, in recognition of their ancestors’ journey from St. Vincent, commemorate, “The Garifuna Settlement Day,” annually on November 19th.  These celebrations will take place in ALL Garifuna Communities around Belize, including: Belize City, Belmopan, Punta Gorda Town, George Town, Dangriga Town, San Pedro Town, Barranco Village, Hopkins Village, Seine Beight Village, and Stann Creek District.

A Brief History of a People:

There is an interesting tale of how the Garinagu Culture came to be.  Hundreds of years ago, in the mid-1600s, a slave ship bound for the West Indies (and carrying hundreds of African slaves) shipwrecked near St.  Vincent.  The survivors found refuge on St. Vincent, which at the time was occupied by the Carib Indians.  The mixture of these two groups gave birth to the Garinagu Culture.  Decades later the majority of the Garinagu then fled from St. Vincent to the Caribbean shores of: Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, after an invasion by the British.

Equipped with religion and traditions, as well as a universal “Garifuna Language,” the Garifuna descendants of Belize have managed to preserve their culture for generations to come!  Celebrations like the “Garifuna Settlement Day” invites travelers, worldwide, to join in the festivities!

Activities:

Embrace the suspense-filled activities on this festive “Garifuna Settlement Day”, under the theme “Wawansera Mémeba Lau Lubafu Bungiu hama Áhari (We Keep Going Forward with the Power of God and the Ancestors) and learn more about this unique culture and their milestone accomplishments!

Applaud the approaching Garinagu descendants as they make their arrival onto Belize’s shore lines, starting 6:30 a.m., this November 19th, 2012!  Participate in the parade at (7:30 a.m.–8:00 a.m.) from the shorelines to the churches, and witness seminars by Garinagu Priests 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.). Other highlights include a festival of cultural food, music, and live performances, as well as the “Crowning of the Miss Garifuna”.

Foods:
With spices, and unique recipes, expect an array of tantalizing dishes, such as:

  • Hudut
  • Tapou
  • Cassava Bread
  • Fried Fish
  • Cassava Pastries and more!

The Exposure to Culture:

Amidst our renowned natural wonders, Belize is known for its diversity. There is much to learn about the cultures of Belize, and festivities such as the “Garifuna Settlement Day” aid travelers (from all walks-of-life) to become more acquainted with the exotic and vibrant cultures by indulging in EVERY aspect of Belize.

Source: Travelbelize.org

Photo credit: Jose Luis Zapata

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