Seagrape Drive, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize
011 (501) 226-3739 (direct) | 1 (866) 352-1163 (toll-free)
info@banyanbay.com
Categories
KK or Secret Santa a Belizean Tradition?

Secret Santa or as commonly known on a local scale in Belize as “KK” (KRIS KRINGLE) is a yearly not to be missed tradition in households and workplaces across the country. It’s the king of all gift exchange games that seeks to keep alive the mystery, suspense, and surprise of holiday gifting. But how much to do you know about this gifting game that turns average Joes into sneaky elves? While we know that gift giving is a classic element of the Christmas season, it is said that the game is primarily a western tradition created by philanthropist Larry Stewart who started handing out anonymous gifts during the holidays. According to an article from USA today, ‘Stewart secretly donated $100 bills to people in Kansas for over 25 years. He also donated $25,000 in the form of $100 dollar notes to New Yorkers after the 9/11 attacks.’ It was reported that in 2006, Stewart came out as the “Secret Santa” everyone wondered about. Other sources have noted that the tradition derived from Scandinavia, where it is called “Julklapp” and involves leaving gifts at people’s houses, knocking on their doors and then running away. Whether each theory holds any truth one […]

Comments: 0
November is Garifuna History Month – Belize celebrates!

Of the many cultures and ethnic groups that make up the identity of Belize, none is more synonymous to November than the Garinagu/Garifuna culture. An annual celebration held in Belize on November 19th and a public and bank holiday, this day signals their prominence and arrival to our southern shores; almost 4 centuries ago. This holiday is known as the Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize. Here are a few facts focusing on this unique culture and people that share part of our identity as a country. History of the Garifuna More than four centuries ago, the British began importing slaves from Africa to work on plantations in the Caribbean. Over time, these people began intermarrying with local Carib and Arawak natives, developing a new culture called the Garifuna. After rebelling against the British, the Garifuna were pursued throughout the Caribbean. First landing on the island of Roatan (part of modern Honduras) where they adopted cassava into their diet, the Garifuna eventually arrived on the shores of Belize on November 19, 1802, establishing themselves in villages such as Barranco, Seine Bight, Dangriga, Hopkins and Punta Gorda. Their cultural contribution to Belize has been so positive that in 1977, under the leadership of […]

Comments: 0
The Belize Blue Hole Underwater Expedition

The Great Blue Hole, a natural sinkhole and top 5 diving destination of the world, off the coast of Belize, held the international spotlight on Sunday for a two-hour ‘Live’ broadcast on Discovery Channel in a special segment called “Into the Blue Hole”. This incredible underwater expedition conducted under the auspices of a Vancouver-based submarine technology company Aquatica Submarines, Business magnate Richard Branson and grandson of the great Jacques Cousteau, Fabian Cousteau, highlighted thousands of years of history and a step closer into completing a comprehensive mapping of the entire cave system. Despite choppy sea conditions and battling 30 knot winds, the crew did not abort the mission and continued to take the plunge on December 1st, up to its full depth. Taking the descending plunge was a team comprised of Ocean Unite founder Richard Branson, and ocean conservationist Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the legendary Jacques, and Erika Bergman, the submersible’s pilot. As the crew ascended, the underwater ecosystem continued to completely change, revealing majestic cave formations cited as thousands of years old. With the vessel fully equipped with cameras and additional lighting, viewers got a firsthand look at what they uncovered. Despite any sights of marine life, the explorers […]

Comments: 0
Belize Spotlight; The Great Blue Hole Expedition

What lies beneath Belize’s and arguably the World’s largest sinkhole, the Great Blue Hole? That is what a marine contingent from Aquatica Submarines and British philanthropist, Richard Branson will unearth as they board two underwater submersible vehicles on this incredible two week underwater expedition scheduled to take place from Sunday, December 2nd, 2018. The upcoming submarine exploration of the Belize Blue Hole will be helmed by documentarian and conservationist Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of Jacque Cousteau. This underwater expedition will be a coordinated effort between the Branson-funded NGO Ocean Unite, Aquatica Submarines, and a team of scientists from the Roatan Institute of Deep Sea Exploration (RIDE). Aquatica has enlisted a team of scientists, explorers and filmmakers collect scientific data, focusing on a complete sonar scan of the interior. Branson, philanthropist and founder of Ocean Unite, said one purpose of the trip is to raise awareness of the need to protect the seas. Calling the Blue Hole “One of the ocean’s most magical wonders,” he went on to say, “We all share the common goal of conserving, protecting our beautiful global ocean.” Branson is hoping that his involvement in the project will generate awareness around ocean conservation, and is supporting the goal […]

Comments: 1
Paying tribute to “The Garinagu” in Belize

Of the many cultures and ethnic groups that make up the identity of Belize, none is more synonymous to November than the Garinagu/Garifuna culture. An annual celebration held in Belize on November 19th, a public and bank holiday, signals their prominence and arrival to our southern shores; almost 4 centuries ago. This holiday is known as the Garifuna Settle Day in Belize. Here are a few facts focusing on this unique culture and people that share part of our identity as a country. History of the Garifuna More than four centuries ago, the British began importing slaves from Africa to work on plantations in the Caribbean. Over time, these people began intermarrying with local Carib and Arawak natives, developing a new culture called the Garifuna. After rebelling against the British, the Garifuna were pursued throughout the Caribbean. First landing on the island of Roatan (part of modern Honduras) where they adopted cassava into their diet, the Garifuna eventually arrived on the shores of Belize on November 19, 1802, establishing themselves in villages such as Barranco, Seine Bight, Dangriga, Hopkins and Punta Gorda. The unique Garifuna Culture While Garinagus are known as skilled crafters and talented painters, there biggest contribution has […]

Comments: 0
‘El Gran Carnaval’ de San Pedro – An Island Tradition

February might be known as the month for romance, but travelers to Ambergris Caye will quickly find that El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro takes precedence over any other event on the island (even the lovey-mushy stuff). This year, the long-standing island tradition will kick off from February 10th through the 14th and is usually celebrated to signal the start of the Lenten season (Lent). When it comes to an island with huge personality and character, Ambergris Caye is among the top ten islands in the world. Can you picture men in drag dancing in the streets? How about fully-donned groups performing skits for carnival goers? Or do you fancy a good old paint war? These are all the elements that make up El Gran Carnaval, making February an ideal time to travel to Belize! What is El Gran Carnaval? This traditional festival derives from the Mestizo culture over a hundred and fifty years ago, brought down from Northern Belize. The carnival is centered on a character named Juan Carnaval. History depicts that Juan was a rich man who loved to party and was known for breaking hearts of women he came across, with whom he had several children. History also suggests that […]

Comments: 0
Garifuna Settlement Day: What is It?

Of the many reasons as to why November is the ideal month to vacation in Belize, the country’s observance of Garifuna Settlement Day and the celebration of American Thanksgiving tops the list. While both holidays are incomparable and individually unique, one thing is true; both occasions celebrate diverse identities and rich cultural history. If you find yourself vacationing in Belize in this particular month, be sure to bring along your dancing shoes and an open mind; November at premiere tourist destinations across Belize is annually a big deal. Let us tell you why: On a local scale, the nation of Belize celebrates its diverse identity with the observance of Garifuna Settlement Day every November 19th. As history has it, the Garinagu people, who have contributed significantly to the antiquity of Belize, arrived and settled in British Honduras (now known as Belize) and along Central American territories in the early 1800’s. Over the next century, the population inter-mixed with settlements of Carib Indians and fused into a single culture called “Garinagu” (or “Black Caribs”). Around the 1800’s, the Garinagus were a dominant population in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but European politics began to exert its influence throughout the Caribbean. A series of […]

Comments: 0
Belize is the Perfect Honeymoon Destination
A Belize Wedding
Banyan Bay Donates to First Children’s Home on Ambergris Caye
Getting Here