Belize’s fascinating diversity isn’t only found in its people, but in places throughout her 8,867 square miles. Her small, unpopulated geography affords glimpses into untouched lands as they blend naturally into communities that make her vibrant and culturally rich. One place that pops up on the radar after a long scenic drive down the Hummingbird Highway is Hopkins Village.
Located eight miles south of Dangriga and four miles off the highway, Hopkins is fascinating. A red dirt road, with more than its share of bumps along the way, leads to brick, thatched and wooden homes. The breeze that blows in comes from the Caribbean Sea, its waves crashing onto brown sugar-like sand, so thick your feet sink in, the footprints washed away almost as soon as they’re made. The clip-clopping of horse hooves fill the air, and soon, two animals race down the beach, ridden by young boys out for a jaunt.
This is Hopkins, a fascinating, culturally stunning and oh-so-beautiful Garifuna village.
Established in the 1940’s, Hopkins was a haven for farmers and fishermen from a nearby area that had been devastated by a hurricane. Its location is stunning: Maya Mountains and the Cockscomb Range behind it, and the beautiful Caribbean Sea in front. It’s full of charm, with the brightest smiles coming from its Garinagu people. Approximately 1,500 villagers extend warmth and hospitality to visitors, providing delicious food, knowledgeable guides and fishermen, and of course, the fantastic drumming and dancing skills of its young people who strive to keep tradition alive.
Referred to as the top cultural destination in Belize, Hopkins awaits your arrival. If you want to experience their cultural essence, on November 19th, witness their Garifuna Settlement Day activities: drumming and local music, traditional Garifuna food staples like hudut, sere and bundiga, and of course, the anticipated Yurumein – a re-enactment of the Garifuna landing the shores of Belize as they fled Honduras.

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About the Author: Mary Gonzalez

Mary Gonzalez writes under the pseudonym ‘Tia Chocolate’. Tia Chocolate enjoys writing short stories that focus on her life growing up in the small Maya village of San Antonio, Cayo District, Belize.

Tia loves (and we mean LOVE) eating and writing about her food experiences, often times trying out new recipes to try and recreate the foods of her memories. She also loves to travel, indulging in the culture wherever she is privy to visit.

She is slave to a giant cat named Kitty Boo Boo, and her cooking exploits are enjoyed by her significant other, Pookie.


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