Alysa Landry
Tourists walk through the ruins of Xunantunich.

Mayan Pyramids, Crystal Caves and Cracking Coconuts in Belize

Alysa Landry
6/11/14

Native culture thrives in Belize, a small Central American country bordering Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. Although smaller than the state of Massachusetts, Belize boasts a population of more than 300,000 people and eight distinct racial groups.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or already acquainted with Belize, here are eight ways to encounter Native culture while you’re there:

Experience the simple life on one of the many islands—or cayes—off the east coast of Belize. Opportunities abound to learn how early residents of these islands lived and explored the Caribbean coast. Book a stay at International Zoological Expeditions on South Water Caye, and learn from Mayan guides how to crack open coconuts, identify native birds and wildlife and dive near the coral reefs.

Jose Yatz, a Mayan guide working on South Water Caye, demonstrates how to crack open a coconut. (Alysa Landry)

Get to know the unique Garifuna culture through dance in the coastal town of Dangriga. The Garifuna are descendants from renegade African slaves who were shipwrecked in 1675 on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent. Lirahunu Satuye is a group of female dancers who tell stories about life and culture through movement, song, humor and audience participation.

Lirahunu Satuye is a group of female dancers who tell stories about life and culture. (lirahunusatuye.com)

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Ben Morning Star's picture
Ben Morning Star
Submitted by Ben Morning Star on
Get to know the unique Garifuna culture through dance in the coastal town of Dangriga. The Garifuna are descendants from renegade African slaves who were shipwrecked in 1675 on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent. Lirahunu Satuye is a group of female dancers who tell stories about life and culture through movement, song, humor and audience participation. these people are NOT native. do not include them in native articles. I do not think this is imperative to American Indian culture, and is obviously trying to say that 100% non American Indians can rightfully claim indigenous heritage to the Americas (even those that are quite obviously and have never been native)

Leo's picture
Leo
Submitted by Leo on
Garifuna people are descendants of African slaves and Island Caribs (Kalinago). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garifuna_people
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