A Travellerspoint blog

Happy Go Luckie in Hopkins

Garifuna Drumming and Snorkelling on my birthday, by Mirren

sunny 32 °C

Happy Birthday to me! We just finished two weeks on the beach in Hopkins, Belize. It is a small coastal fishing village of a few thousand people. It is a Garifuna settlement, the people are descendents of shipwrecked African slaves and Island Caribs with a distinct culture, language and music; especially drumming. I am going to write about our experience in Hopkins while my Daddy helps with the details.

The day after we arrived in Hopkins, Ailsa and I had our hair braided. It took 5 hours! That night we had Miss Marva's Hudut - a Garifuna stew of fish, coconut milk and mashed plantains (we all helped them mash the plantains) - while we listened to a drumming concert. Our family got called to the front and had to do a dance that showed something we do at home, so we did a conga line pretending to shovel snow.


On most days we enjoyed swimming in the ocean at least once if not more, reading books and relaxing. It was very hot, but there is no ice cream store. Daddy made dairy-free sorbets for us. He made Coconut, Mint Dark Chocolate, and Pineapple flavours. My favourite was the Coconut.


On my birthday, we went on a snorkelling adventure to see the second largest barrier reef in the world. Our guide was Luckie from Happy Go Luckie Tours while Beaver drove the boat. They spoke Garifunian to each other. First we saw Bird Island, where the Frigate birds puffed up their red gullet sacks like a balloon to attract a mate. Then we went snorkelling near Carrie Bow Caye. We saw starfish, stingrays, a nurse shark, eel, sea cucumber, anemones, barracuda, and tonnes of colourful fish and reef corals. We saw hundreds of conch shells, and Luckie found a live one so we could feel the rubbery conch while it was still in its shell! We had a BBQ on Bread and Butter Caye for lunch before snorkelling again at Wee Wee Caye. It was my favourite experience so far on the trip.


On our last day, we all took a drumming lesson. Jabbar taught us different punta rhythms and beats. We still need a lot of practice.


Before we left we were each given a Horse-eye seed. In some cultures they believe the seeds are lucky. I think we were lucky to be in Hopkins.

Posted by Salsa Sojourns 06:03 Archived in Belize

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Oliver's favorite part was hearing about your drum lessons, he wants you to teach him when you get back.

Keep up the awesome blog!

by William and Oliver

I am really enjoying your blog. It is great to see you having so much fun and learning so many different things. Keep up the good job.

by kathy bridgeman

Happy b-day. It looks like fun I wish I could go.
Have fun

by Keira

Hi thanks for writing about us on your travel blog. We enjoyed reading about how you liked your experience with Happy Go Luckie Tours. Sounds like you had a good time in Hopkins and we hope to see your family again someday. Cheers! Luckie, Cheryl and Beaver.

by MrsLuckie

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