“The Garifuna People of Hopkins”

During the 1600’s, several slave ships were wrecked off the coast of St. Vincent, an island in the southern Caribbean.  The Africans who had been aboard soon found the Island Carib Indians, who inhabited St. Vincent and several nearby islands.  In defense of their land and freedom, Africans joined with Indians and the Garinagu culture was born.

By the early 1700’s the Garinagu population began to predominate the islands.  For years, equipped with muskets and ammunitions, they successfully defended the island of St. Vincent from European encroachment. In a final eventful battle however, the Garinagu were defeated, rounded up, and deported on a hired ship called ‘Experiment’ to the island of Roatan, off the coast of Honduras. It is from this island location, under the leadership of the now legendary Alejo Beni, that they made their way up the coast to Belize, which was called British Honduras at the time.

Between the years 1832 – 1900, the Garinagu made several settlements along the coast of Belize. Today, the Garinagu are known to be people whose main livelihoods surround the natural abundance of the sea and diverse coastal ecosystems. The Garinagu communities of Belize are primarily located in the south, in the beautiful seaside villages of Barranco, Sein Bite, Georgetown and our very own Hopkins. Dangriga Town is the largest community, and is often referred to by locals as the ‘culture capital of Belize’.

In 1941 Thomas Vincent Ramos founded Garifuna Settlement Day and began the celebration in Dangriga. By 1943 it had spread to include the southernmost district of Toledo and was declared a public and bank holiday in the south.  It was not until 1977 that the Government declared Garifuna Settlement Day a public holiday throughout the country of Belize.  Today, November 19th is celebrated by hundreds of Belizeans, in Garinagu settlements countrywide, with cultural drumming, singing and sunrise re-enactments of the boats arriving on shore. Like many other cultures in Belize, the Garinagu has maintained the integrity of their native tongue by raising the younger generations to proudly speak their language. Their language is called ‘Garifuna’.

This idyllic little village of Hopkins is quickly becoming the cultural center of the Garinagu population. The vile was created in 1942 to replace the village of Newtown, which was devastated by a hurricane further up the coast.  Hopkins consists of approximately 1’000 villagers, and is separated into two parts; the Northside (Baila) and the Southside (False Sittee). It is surrounded to the west by the majestic Maya Mountains and the lush Cockscomb Range, and to its east, by the Caribbean Sea. The people have traditionally lived from farming and fishing, but more recently have found work in the growing tourism industry. The residents are known for their friendliness and genuine hospitality, and welcome visitors to their village. Hopkins was recently voted “The Friendliest Village in Belize” by Belize First Magazine, and Destination of the Year 2010 by the Belize Tourism Board. Hopkins has a selection of gift shops, restaurants and small bars.

 

“September Green Newsletter”

                                                     Hamanasi Organic Garden and Current Production

With the addition of Mr. Juan Tun, organic gardener and environmental conservation activist from the Cayo district, as a part of our Gardening and Green team, our organic garden will further develop and become officially certified by Belize Organic Alliance, organic control and certifier in Belize, as being a sustainable garden. Moreover, we are now partnering with BOA to encourage and promote sustainable crop and livestock production in Belize.

 

 

 

 

Outside the cover structure, the organic garden is landscaped with fruit trees that attract birds and other wildlife around the property; and inside the structure, basil, mint, green onion, oregano, and cilantros have been intercropped as repellant crops amongst cash crops such as tomato, habanero and sweet pepper, cabbage, lettuce and cucumber to control pests and diseases.  (Report done by Francis Flores)

 

“Royal visit to Belize”

Prince Harry is expected to arrive in Belize on Friday, March 2nd, 2012 as a part of the celebration to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s II Diamond Jubilee. The Prince will be visiting Belmopan and San Ignacio during his whirlwind visit to Belize for which the Belize Tourism Board in collaboration with the Government of Belize has organized a packed schedule of activities for him to maximize his visit to the country.

Hopkins was chosen as the destination to represent the Garifuna Booth in the street festival welcoming Prince Harry to Belize. Chef Bernard from Jaguar Reef Lodge along with our very own Chef Sheridan and Chef Marcia were chosen to prepare and serve Prince Harry and all invited guests with our traditional delectable Garifuna dishes. Along with the Garifuna booth, there will be a Creole and Mestizo Booth.

It is being said that the Prince wants to dance to the Punta music and drink our Beliken beer. There will be professional cultural dancers and entertainment for this event.

We are all super excited and even more incredibly honored for this once in a lifetime opportunity and we want to welcome Prince Harry to Belize!

 

Jeffrey Brailas Plein Art Paintings in Belize!

Painting Trip to Belize by Jeffrey Brailas

“We recently traveled to Belize, a country rich in wildlife with a strong commitment towards conservation. Belize is also culturally vibrant and diverse, and the Belizeans are extremely warm and welcoming hosts.

We first traveled to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, which is the world’s largest protected environment (200 sq. mi.) for jaguars. A fellow traveler spotted and photographed a gorgeous female jaguar!!! We did, however, view many species of birds with the assistance of our excellent guide, Golden, a native of the nearby town of Hopkins. Among our sightings was a wood stork and a violet saber-wing hummingbird.

We also traveled to Monkey River and Monkey Bay, where we saw crocodiles, green iguanas, howler monkeys, and manatees!!! I was the only one who saw an elusive blue morpho butterfly which served as a reminder to conserve our wild environments.

We were the guests of the Hamanasi Resort which is strongly committed to conservation. There they have reduced beach erosion by maintaining the coastal forest which is threatened by development. It was here among the coconut palms and sea grapes where I did my plein air paintings.

We toured nearby villages and developed an deeper understanding of Belize. We also were enjoyed a dance and drumming performance given by a group from Dangriga. They were outstanding!!! I am currently researching Belizean folklore as subjects for studio painting.

I will be posting my Belizean plein air paintings soon.”

Belize International Film Festival 2010

Belize Film Festival 2010

THE SILENT ARMY will open Belize’s 5th International Film Festival…

A Carnival like excitement is growing across the country as the BELIZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL’S Red Carpet Opening Night Gala set for Friday, July 16th at the Bliss Centre draws near. International celebrities like Daryl “Chill” Mitchell and Anthony Anderson are confirming their attendance and so are the BelAms, with comedienne Lauren Burgess leading the bunch returning home to be a part of this glamorous JULY SUMMER EVENT being promoted by NICH and its many partners in the tourism sector. The Festival will open with red carpet events in Belize City at the Bliss on the 16th, San Pedro at the Reef Village Resort Paradise Theatre on the 17th and San Ignacio’s Ka’ana Boutique Resort on the 21st of this month.

The real heart of this festival, however, is its wide diversity of films, industry workshops and seminars. And the long awaited list of selected films was revealed. A sneak peak, however, reveals that The Silent Army, a Dutch film, has been selected to open Belize’s Festival this year.

4th Belize International Film Festival Underway

Belize Tourism Industry Association

The fourth Belize International Film Festival is taking place from July 17-24, 2010 and tickets are now on sale!

This is not the regular Hollywood screening…in the past, shorts, documentaries, and other film types have been shown highlighting powerful issues, e.g. from Brazil, Mexico, India, Canada, Belize, and other countries.  It is fun and enlightening for adults and kids alike.  Some of the actors and producers also come to Belize for the screenings during the Festival.

For the first time, the Film Festival will be hosted in three locations….Ka’ana Resort near San Ignacio, in San Pedro Town, and in Belize City.  Check out www.belizefilmfestival.com for more information.  Also, HOTEL DEALS can be found on the website.

Prices for the passes are as follows:

MOVIE PASS – $50

(Access to all movies in Belize City, San Pedro and San Ignacio except Opening Night Films)

Belize City: Princess Cinemas, July17 – 24

San Pedro: Paradise Theatre, July 18-19                        San Ignacio: Ka’ana Boutique Resort, July22-23


OFFICIAL RED CARPET OPENING GALA – $50

6 p.m. Fri., July 16 (Bliss Centre, Belize City)

(Red Carpet Entrance, Cocktail Gala, Opening Ceremony, Screening of Opening Film)

SAN PEDRO ALL WHITE AFFAIR – $50

8 p.m. Sat. July 17 (Paradise Theatre, Reef Village Resort)

(Red Carpet Entrance / Opening Ceremony, Screening of film, Pool Side After Party)


RAINFOREST EXCLUSIVE – $50

Wed. July 21 (Ka’ana Boutique Resort, Benque Rd.)

(Red Carpet Entrance, Cocktail Reception, Opening Ceremony, Screening of film)


AWARDS CEREMONY & TRIBUTE TO HAITI BENEFIT- $50

Sat. July 24 (Bliss Centre, Belize City)

(Red Carpet Entrance, Closing Ceremony and Awards, Screening of Haitian films)

Belize National Agriculture & Trade Show 2010

NATIONAL AGRICULTURE AND TRADE SHOW 2010

04/30/2010 – 05/02/2010
National Agriculture Showground’s, Belmopan

The National Agriculture & Trade Show (NATS) is Belize’s leading agricultural show which is organized by the National Agriculture & Trade Show Committee in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries.  Held in the Nation’s Capital this show welcomes more than 80,000 visitors over three days. The main objective of the show is to educating the public on the importance of agriculture and its contribution to the Belizean economy and food security.

The weekend was filled with exhibitors of all kinds, great food and fun rides for the children!

Hamanasi guide wins Village Council Seat!

"Golden" Miranda

Hamanasi is very proud to announce the election of one of its very own… inland guide, Ashford “Golden” Miranda, is one of the newly elected Hopkins Village Council Representative. Village elections were held on Sunday, April 18, 2010, and Golden was announced one of the six council seat winners around 11:30 p.m. later that night. Golden will be a wonderful representative for the people of Hopkins, and we all look forward to great things from him. His position on the Council is a three-year term that begins one week from the date of the elections.

Congratulations Golden!

Hopkins Humane Society Clinic for April comes to a successful close…

The April 2010 Hopkins Humane Society Free Spay & Neuter Clinic has come to a close after enjoying a hugely successful clinic and fundraiser!

The clinic was manned by ER vets from Minnesota, Clara Lee Arnold (the Stateside clinic coordinator), Nancy & Les Collier (local Humane Society organizers) and many, many wonderful local volunteers from in and around Hopkins Village. Congratulations to everyone involved! Hamanasi looks forward to future joint endeavors with HBHS and will continue to be a proud year-around supporter. Thank you, again, for the generous donations from Hamanasi guests past, present & future! For more about the Hopkins Belize Humane Society, click on the following link to see information and photos!

Hopkins Belize Humane Society

Friday Happy Hour Drink Special: Tropical Tsunami!

Tropical Tsunami!

Cranberry Juice, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, Vodka and Champagne & a wedge of fresh pineapple come crashing together in King’s Tropical Tsunami. After a day of exploring the Mayan Ruins, a Tsunami is a welcomed event!

Cheers from Hamanasi