HOPKINS, Belize – Located off the beaten path in a cultural hub of Belize, Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resortoffers guests a unique cultural experience with the Garifuna culture in Belize. Travelers can partake in Garifuna festivities during national holidays, parades, street performances and at drumming competitions.
More than 200 years ago, the British deported the Garifuna people from their homeland in St. Vincent to the coast of Central America. In the beginning, roughly 2,000 Garifuna people settled in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua; today, their culture remains an important part of the area, including Hopkins Village. UNESCO recognized the Garifuna Culture as a "masterpiece of the oral and intangible cultural heritage of humanity", meaning it is an important culture that should be preserved, promoted and celebrated.
Hamanasi Resort and the town of Hopkins are a stronghold of the Garifuna ethnic culture. During Hamanasi's weekly Belizean Night, Garifuna performers entertain guests with traditional drumming and singing, welcoming guests to get up and dance. On Settlement Day each November, the Garifuna people present reenactments of their arrival to Belize, with whole villages joining in the celebraiton.
Food is one of the best parts of cultural appreciation, and travelers will have the opportunity to indulge in plenty of delicious ethnic dishes. At Hamanasi, guests can try local Garifuna cuisine created by the resort’s award-winning culinary masters. The Hamanasi chefs were even honored to prepare traditional Garifuna dishes for Britain’s Prince Harry during his visit to Belize in March 2012.
Cassava, fresh coconut milk, green and ripe plantains, local oregano and freshly caught fish are just a handful of the ingredients used in Garifuna cuisine. Hudut, a traditional Garifuna dish, pairs fish with mashed plantains and coconut milk, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. On the sweeter side, there is Garifuna cassava cake made from grated fresh cassava, coconut milk and other delectable ingredients -- this pudding-like dessert has a taste that cannot be beat. To top it off, much of the produce used in these traditional meals is grown in Hamanasi’s onsite organic garden.
For more information about Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort or the Garifuna culture, visit www.hamanasi.com.