November 19th celebrates the arrival of the dynamic and vibrant Garifuna people to the shores of Belize over 200 years ago. Officially known as Garifuna Settlement Day, this special holiday exemplifies the true essence of the Garifuna culture with the melodious beat of the drums, rhythmic dancing, and delicious food.
Representing almost 10% of Belize’s total population, the Garinagu play an immense role in shaping the country's identity with their culturally rich presence. In 2001, the Garifuna language, music, and dance in Belize was proclaimed a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity,” by UNESCO.
Garifuna Settlement Day is celebrated countrywide, with a special focus in the south, where most of the population resides. A reenactment of the first arrival takes place annually, following a parade, street dancing, and enjoying the glorious delicacies of the Garinagu gastronomy.
Experiencing this special holiday is an absolute must in Belize. At Itz’ana, we will celebrate the occasion with sunset drummers, dancing, and enjoying traditional Garifuna cuisine. On the menu, we will be serving the classic Garifuna dishes of Sere and Hudut, both representing the connection this group has to the sea. Sere, a soup made with coconut milk, okra, green plantains, fresh fish and herbs, is a rich and creamy specialty. This extraordinary dish is enjoyed by locals countrywide on this special day — an enjoyable way to commemorate the holiday, and appreciate the Garifuna culture and history.
At Itz’ana, we recognize the importance of culture and identity, and we are looking forward to celebrating November 19th with our guests! Combine cultural celebrations with a luxurious getaway by making Itz’ana your home. Stay a little longer and bask in the beauty of our beachfront property with our Extended Stay Special.
Happy Garifuna Settlement Day from Itz’ana Resort!