HOPKINS, Belize – Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort is located in one of the last remaining Garifuna villages in the world, a community struggling to preserve its endangered customs. Hamanasi is a defender of this disappearing culture, educating guests about Garifuna heritage, encouraging travelers to participate in cultural festivals and offering traditional dishes in the resort restaurant. With Garifuna Settlement Day just around the corner, Hamanasi and the entire village is preparing for a unique food and culture festival that foodies and adventurers will not want to miss.
Throughout the year, Hamanasi guests can experience fresh, local Garifuna cuisine created by the resort’s award-winning culinary masters. Cassava, fresh coconut milk, plantains, local herbs from the resort’s organic garden and freshly caught fish are just a handful of the ingredients used in Garifuna cooking. However on November 19, travelers will witness and participate in a village-wide festival celebrating the Garinagu forefathers’ arrival to Belize. This celebration will be fueled by music, drumming and dancing competitions, customary fare and, of course, plenty of rum.
Villagers awake at daybreak, don traditional clothing, then jump into boats and make their way along the shoreline. The boisterous crew stops at local sites, blowing conch shells to herald their arrival at each beach, then march along the sand while beating drums, shaking sisera, singing and dancing. Hamanasi Resort guests greet the Garinagu with local rum and cassava bread while dancing along. The festival would not be complete without local cuisine, so prepare to dine on native dishes like ereba with lasdusu (cassava bread with gravy), hudutu (mashed green and ripe plantains with a fish coconut stew) and bimecacule (sticky sweet rice).