Garifuna Settlement Day

One of the biggest celebrations of the year in Belize is Garifuna Settlement Day, celebrated every November 19th across the country, but especially in the Garifuna heartlands of southern Belize.  For most people it’s an excuse for a day off work, but for the Garifuna it’s a celebration of their culture, and more specifically, their successful landing on the Belizean coast 180 years ago. Continue reading

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Garifuna Settlement Day

For a small country with a population of just over 300,000, Belize has a remarkable diversity of ethnic groups.  There’s the Creoles, descendants of African slaves and British colonists, with their distinctive patois of English.  Mestizos are people of mixed Amerindian and Spanish descent, who are found all over Central America and make up the country’s largest ethnic group.  The Mayans are the original inhabitants of the region, having been here before the arrival of the Spanish, building their now-deserted temples over two thousand years ago.  And in the south of Belize there are the Garifuna. Continue reading