During a recent trip to Belize, we had the opportunity to spend the day learning about Garifuna culture in the coastal towns of Dangriga and Hopkins. Though commonly referred to as “Garifuna”, the people are properly called “Garinagu”. The Garinagu are relatively recent arrivals to Belize, settling the southern coast in the early 19th century.
Our day started with a visit to Pen Cayetano’s Studio in Dangriga. We toured the art gallery and studio and sampled hudut cooked on an open fire before learning about Punta Rock and traditional Garifuna rhythms.
We then continued south to Hopkins for a drumming lesson at Lebeha Drumming Center. There we learned the difference between primero and segundo drums and punta and paranda beats.
The day ended with a traditional Garifuna dinner of cassava, fish, coconut and mashed plantains at Hopkins Bay Resort.
Belize offers an array of activities for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts on land and in the water. When planning a trip, consider venturing off the beaten path to experience Belize’s unique Afro-Caribbean Garifuna culture in southern Stann Creek and Toledo Districts.
We would like to thank Exito Travel, Delta Airlines, Tropic Air, Pen Cayetano, Lebeha Drumming Center, and Hopkins Bay Resort for hosting us on this recent scouting trip to Belize.