Within hours of arriving in Guatemala City, I was excited to witness a street performance by Garifuna musicians and dancers. The Garifuna are an African and Indigenous people sometimes called Black Caribs.They are a distinct cultural group that are rarely seen beyond the coastal areas of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize. So I watched this performance of music and dancing as long as possible, absorbing the rhythms and intricate moves. The Garifuna dancer had pulled the girl into the circle to dance with him and she shyly obliged. The percussion was purely West African and the crowd loved the energy of the performers. Most African decedents tend to be marginalized in Latin America and the Garifuna have battled to maintain their heritage. Historically,the Garifuna are traced to the Caribbean island of St. Vincent where a boat of enslaved Nigerians were shipwrecked in 1675. They formed families and communities with the local Kalinago or Carib population and developed a
Showing posts from April, 2015
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My exploration into the layers of Latin America's rich culture continues as I dive into Guatemala and its Mayan traditions. I'm honored to be hosted by the Guatemala Tourism Board and I'll be visiting the historic towns of Antigua, Lake Atitla'n and Chichicastenango. I'll delve into the women's textile community of San Juan La Lagua, participate in Mayan rituals in Iximche and explore cultural monuments, including Cerra de La Cruz, Plaza Central and Iglesia and Museo de San Francisco. I'm especially excited about scaling my third volcano, Volcano Pacaya, pictured above. So please look out for my Guatemala posts and photos in the coming weeks!