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ATTRACTIONS > Dangriga 

Dangriga> from 10000 feet with barrier reef on horizon "Mabuiga" reads the welcome sign greeting visitors who come by bus while those traveling by plane are greeted by expanses of citrus orchards. Both of these announce your arrival to the seaside town of Dangriga.

Once called Stann Creek town, Dangriga is the district capital and the cultural center of the Garifuna people (of Amerindian and African ancestry) who are the majority of a population of about 9,000. Wooden houses perched on stilts to catch the Caribbean breeze sit alongside coconut palms and mango trees giving the place a dreamy, tranquil air about it. With rainforests and the Maya Mountains to its west, cayes and the reef in the Caribbean east, Dangriga is a marvelous spot to spend a few days of discovery.

The commercial center of town, which includes 3 major banks, runs along St. Vincent and Commerce Streets, the same street with different names on either side of a bridge that spans the North Stann Creek River. The south bank is busy with boats that shuttle passengers to and from the surrounding cayes while a bustling market occupies the north bank where you can buy fruit, vegetables and fish fresh out of the ocean.

Drums of my Father's Monument, Dangriga Town, Stann Creek Dangriga is full of things to do and see for the culture hungry. The Gulisi Garifuna Museum houses permanent displays that highlight the culture and history of the Garifuna people while the Pen Cayetano Gallery, which opens in November of every year, showcases the artwork of musician and painter Pen Cayetano. Other stops of cultural interest include the Drums of my Father Monument, the National Garifuna Council headquarters, Thomas Vincent Ramos Monument. Several artists and craftsmen who live and work in Dangriga, including painter Benjamin Nicholas and drum maker Austin Rodriguez, welcome visits to their studios.

For the plain hungry, there are restaurants in town catering to tastes that range from local fare to Chinese, to cheeseburgers and fries. Big barrel barbecues appear on the street side in the evenings offering the most delicious fresh grilled chicken served with flour tortillas, beans and coleslaw, all for about US$2.50. For an authentic experience, grab a seat on a rock or a wall near the river and watch Dangriga go by while you refill.

Settlement day re-enactment, November 19 on the North Stann Creek River memorializes the arrival of the Garinagu to the shores of Dangriga in 1832 A handful of nightclubs and bars are worth a visit for the intrepid culture vultures among you. Karaoke with a distinctly country music flavor is popular in the bars while the nightclubs tend toward Punta rock. Upbeat rhythmic Caribbean music dominated by the drums and the keyboards. A modern interpretation of the Garifuna courting dance, punta dancers shake their hips with unhinged dexterity and sometimes at incredible speeds.

Semi-Pro football (soccer) in DangrigaThe town explodes in color and pomp on November 19th, Garifuna Settlement Day. Belizeans from around the country and around the world arrive in Dangriga for the festivities that include a reenactment of the historic Garifuna landing. The party actually begins the evening before with traditional drumming, punta dancing and a good bit of drinking going on throughout the night. Christmas and New Year are also celebrated in similar fashion with masked and costumed dancers parading the streets performing the Charikanari and the Wanaragu or Jonkunu (John Canoe) dance. Sporting events include cycling, basketball matches, semi-pro and other football (soccer) tournaments.



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