Thursday, October 09, 2008

Garífunas Confront Their Own Decline

Garífunas Confront Their Own Decline

The Garífuna culture, a "masterpiece" of human heritage according to UNESCO, could disappear as the result of the privatization of Central America's beaches.

By Michael Deibert

Inter Press Service

MIAMI, Honduras, Oct 6, 2008 (Tierramérica).- "The Garífuna were the best sailors in the world," says Jermonino Barrios, standing barefoot on this slender thread of land between the Laguna de Los Micos and the blue Caribbean Sea.

Barrios, 67, a former soldier, speaks proudly of his ethnic group, whose members are scattered across Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

"Before, we had 200 or 300 Garífuna living here; now there are only a few," he tells Tierramérica.

"They went to the United States for work, and other places," he explains with a note of regret, gazing back at the collection of thatched-roof huts lazing under palms trees that front the crashing surf.

In the tumultuous history of Europe's incursion into the Americas and the trafficking of slaves from Africa to its shores, their are few stories as dramatic or moving as that of the Garífuna.

Read the full article here.


Newbrarian said...

Thank you for capturing the Garifuna story. One error - "Saint Lucia" should be "Saint Vincent". Also, thousands of our ancestors died in the months preceding the exile to Roatan on the island of Balliceaux, which may have been sold by the government

Michael Deibert said...

Many thanks for your note, glad that you enjoyed it. Quite right about "Saint Lucia," was just a typo on my part.