Garifuna Culture Tour in Hopkins Village, Belize

One of the unique things you can do in Belize is partake in a cultural tour to the Garifuna village of Hopkins on the Caribbean coast. The Garifuna make up just 4% of the country’s population, but their unusual history and special contributions to the music, dance, and cuisine of Belize has made them a vital part of the community.

The Garifuna culture first developed hundreds of years ago when enslaved Africans working on British plantations in the Caribbean intermarried with indigenous islanders. After rising up in revolt, the Garifuna were harried throughout the Caribbean until they manage to escape by arriving on the shores of Belize approximately 200 years ago. 

Today, the Garifuna are celebrated throughout the country with Garifuna Settlement Day, a public holiday that takes place every November 19. In 2001, the United Nations declared that the Garifuna culture is a masterpiece of the intangible heritage of humanity. And one of the best places to experience and learn more about Garifuna culture is at the village of Hopkins in southeastern Belize. 

This tour begins by traveling to Hopkins, a small village of around 1,000 individuals who have maintained their traditional lifestyles. At Hopkins, participants will learn more about traditional Garifuna clothing and get a chance to prepare, cook, and eat a traditional Garifuna dish such as hudut, a beloved stew made from fish, plantains, and coconut.

Hudut is a sacred food to the Garifuna, who believe that the combining of both sea and land elements tell a story about their culture’s history. Hudut is always made from scratch, starting with the husking of coconuts grown right in the village. From there, fresh-caught fish is added, along with signature Garifuna spices, in order to create hudut, a dish enjoyed by all cultures in Belize.

Barefoot Rentals and Services, a locally-owned and operated company based in Placencia, just a few miles from Hopkins, organizes Garifuna cultural tours

Barefoot specializes in providing rental vehicles suited to the terrain of southeastern Belize and has a full fleet of rugged SUVs, dirt bikes, scooters, and golf carts to allow visitors to explore the natural beauty of Belize at their own pace. Barefoot Rentals and Services also provides ground transportation to and from any destination in the country.

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