Every year we take a day to celebrate and learn about the diverse cultures of Belize. And we have many! From the original Maya peoples, to the later emergence of the Mestiso, Creole, Garifuna as well Chinese, Indian, Lebanese, Mennonite and now a growing community of Caucasian expats, our island and nation is full of people with different backgrounds.
Each class learned about one of the different cultures and made a display to teach about the food, history and cultural traditions of one of the 5 main cultural groups. There was also a performance, showing different dances.
It was a fun day for all, with a chance to enjoy music, eat many different types of food and play and talk with friends.
The Garifuna have a vibrant culture and love dancing and good food. They are a mix of African and Arawak Indian and have their own language. Many Garifuna live in the Dangriga area of Belize.
The Mestiso are a mix of Maya and early Spanish Settlers. They are the most common people group in San Pedro and in the Northern parts of Belize. Their language is Spanish.
Three distinct Maya people groups were the original people in this area and had a vibrant culture that we still see in their many stone temples. Each Maya group has it’s own language. Some groups of Maya still live in the southern part of Belize.
The Chinese were one of the groups that came to the region along with the British settlers. They have a strong business community in the country, operating many of the supermarkets and fast food outlets around the country.
The Creole are those of African descent, either through slavery or later migration. They love music, and their food is recognizable as some of the iconic dishes of Belie. They speak Kriol, which is superficially similar to English.