The Garinagu, are valiant fighters who today continue to practice their cultural values within the land they occupy. These are people who have triumphed in history and their celebration is grandiose. The Garinagu are the descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people who lived in the Lesser Antilles, especially St. Vicent.

Garifuna Settlement Day

The Garinagu arrived in Belize in 1802 and settled in Southern Belize. The historic activist, Thomas Vincent Ramos, cannot be overlooked, as he disputed for the rights of African-descent people in Belize. Thomas Ramos along with Pataleon Hernandez and Domingo Ventura spoke freely and successfully petitioned for the government to observe November 19th as a public and bank holiday. Today, this holiday is referred to a Garifuna Settlement Day.

On this day the arrival of the Garinagu to Belize in 1832, is being celebrated. It is a week of celebration concentrated in southern Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. The festivities begin with the Battle of the Drums and continue throughout the week. On November 19th a reenactment of the arrival of the Garinagu by sea to Belize is done. Following the reenactment official masses and celebration continues with a parade and street festivities.

Proudly we join in and celebrate this historic day, Happy Garifuna Settlement Day to all!