November: Garifuna Settlement Day
November in Belize is when one of the country's most exciting national holidays takes place - Garifuna Settlement Day. Every year on November 19, the entire country pays tribute to the rich cultural heritage of the Garifuna people who arrived in Belize in 1832.
More than 400 years ago, the British imported African slaves to work on their sugar plantations in the Caribbean. Intermarrying with local islanders led to the creation of the Garifuna culture. After rising up against the British, the Garifuna were pursued across the Caribbean until they arrived on the shores of Belize in dugout canoes.
Today, Garifuna Settlement Day is a time for delicious food, parades, street processions, dancing, and lots of traditional Garifuna drumming. Villages and towns all over the country celebrate the holiday, but the town of Garifuna, the spiritual capital of the Garifuna, is where the most colorful parades, parties, and dramatic re-enactments of the Garifuna's arrival take place. Throughout the land, people will wave the traditional tricolor Garifuna flag - a yellow band representing the sun, a white one for peace, and black for the people.
Although the Garifuna constitute just 4% of Belize's modern population, the Garifuna language is alive and well and was declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009. Along with their language, Garifuna music and dance have played important contributions to Belize's melting pot of diverse cultural treasures.
Cahal Pech Village Resort
Before or after enjoying all of the fun and excitement of Garifuna Settlement Day, why not visit San Ignacio Town, the eco-tourism capital of Belize? San Ignacio is the capital of Belize's Cayo District, close to popular attractions like the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tikal (just over the border in Guatemala), the San Ignacio Market, the Maya ruins of Xunantunich, ceremonial caves like Barton Creek and ATM, and pristine nature.
Cahal Pech Village Resort offers guests the opportunity to stay in lovely thatched-roof cabanas and unparalleled service and comfort just minutes from San Ignacio Town. The resort encourages guests to book directly to secure the best rates on all accommodations.