By Cheryl Noralez
As I search the different websites for information on the Garifuna people, I have found a number of misleading articles. It is a misconception that they claim that the country of Belize is the mecca of the Garifuna culture. However, Honduras, the nation with the largest population of Garinagu in the world, is the center of Garifuna culture. In the country of Honduras, they have more Garifuna villages, more Garifuna speaking people that have been able to preserve a lot more of the original culture, music and beliefs than in any other settlement in the Garifuna diaspora. Both Belize and Guatemala, have a rich Garifuna culture as well, but neither compares equally to that of Honduras. Some information provided on
certain websites in regards to Garifuna people, list Belize as the center of all things Garifuna; that is the most inaccurate, bogus and misleading information I have ever read on the web.
People in search of information on the Garifuna websites, tend to believe what they read even if what they read happens to be inaccurate and misleading information on Garifuna. I, as a Belizean Garifuna woman, would much rather look for reliable information about my culture from a Honduran website which contains more factual and precise data regarding our often misunderstood culture.
For example, I read an article on a website that states that the vast majority of Garinagu are found in Belize, truth is, that the largest population of Garinagu, live in Honduras. Another article claims that the Garinagu settled in Belize first, instead of the Caribbean coast of Honduras. And if you know your history, you would know that the Garinagu as they were exiled from the Island of Saint Vincent by the British, sailed the Caribbean sea. They made stops in the small Grenadine Islands of Beliceaux-inprisoned for one year-and Bequia and continued on to Jamaica for repairs. Then finally, they arrived to the Bay Islands of Roatan off the coast of mainland Honduras where the Garinagu still reside. Roatan was an Island then controlled by the British. Eventually, the Garifuna leaders made their way to the mainland in the territory known today as Trujillo. From there, they spread out off the Honduran coast and into Livingston (La Buga), Guatemala in 1802 and to Southern Belize in 1832. In addition, there was another group of Garinagu that ended up in the Miskito coast of Nicaragua lost in search of a way back home to Saint Vincent.
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