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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 […]

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Pan American Day – Celebrating the melting pot of cultures in Belize

Why is Pan American Day a Holiday in Belize? Despite it being a 3-day holiday weekend in Belize (Public & Bank Holiday), there is more to the observance of Pan American Day than we know. Formerly dubbed Columbus Day, for the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the new world on October 12th, 1492, Pan American Day is an annual celebration of the melting pot of cultures that make up the Belize we know today. This significant date in history marks and celebrates the multi-cultural groups that exists such as the Mestizo, Yucatec Maya, Lebanese, Chinese, Indians, Mennonites, Garifuna, among others. This rich cultural diversity has catapulted Belize’s status as a friendly, little nation off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. A brief history on Columbus Day Columbus Day commemorates the voyage taken by the Italian Voyager, Christopher Columbus about 500 years ago on behalf of Spain. Columbus made four voyages to the “New World” in 1492 to San Salvador Island, Cuba and Haiti; in 1493-96 to Guadaloupe, Montserrat, Antigua, Puerto Rico and Jamaica; in 1498 to Trinidad and the mainland of South America and in 1502-04 to Honduras and Nicaragua. The discovery of the “New World” allowed European countries like […]

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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 […]

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