Garifuna village in honduras

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Flag of Honduras  ,
Sunday, May 1, 2011

I went to Honduras on a school Spanish service trip. while there i worked at bilingual schools, built ovens for poor people, stayed with a family for 2 weeks and enjoyed my self. the following story is from our time on the coast of Honduras at the end of the trip.




 There is a village just outside of Puerto Cortez, Honduras that is composed of
a different race of people than the rest of the country. These people
are called the Garifuna people. They are a Black race in the country
that has kept themselves separate from the rest of the country,
preserving there culture.

I visited one of their villages when I was in Honduras on a school
trip. We were staying in the city of Omoa, Which was about 30 minutes
outside Puerto Cortez. A group of five of us decided to go to the
Garifuna village and learn a little more about some the indigenous
population. So we got on a bus to go there. We were about 15 minutes
into the bus ride when we noticed a security check point. They
stopped the bus and started checking for everyone's I.D.. When they
got to us, they wanted to see our passports. Our School group leader,
was holding them for us but it turned out that he left them back at
the hotel not thinking that we would need them. We were taken off of
the bus, when they found out that we didn't have the passports, and
held in a little wooden shed next to the highway while they tried to
figure out our identity. They decided to drive our Group leader back
to the hotel and have him pick up our passports. This left us sitting
there kind of freaked out surrounded by National security officers in
a foreign country.

Some of the Officers Tried to talk to us, they seemed nice but I took notice
to the fact that in some ways they were living a better life than
there fellow country men. They had Red Bull cans and fast food in
the Garbage and looked like they were living it up. After about a
half hour our group leader showed up with the pass ports and they
helped us get on another bus that was going by. We were off again and
felt that we just all had been through a cool experience together.
When we
arrived a the Garifuna village, it was like stepping back in time for
me. There was a dirt road going through town and all the houses
looked hand built. We stood way out among these people, but they
didn’t seem to care. Most people just went along about there day
when they saw us. When we talked to them though they were all very
friendly.

The village was built on about forty feet off the coast leaving them a
very long beach. It had a lot of trash thrown all over it but this
was common in Honduras, littering wasn’t a big deal. We decided to
go swimming, seeing as it was super hot, humid, and sunny. We changed
and got in the water. About a half mile away from us there was a
giant group of birds fishing in the water. They would do a circle and
then nose dive into the water grabbing the fish in their beaks. It
was a sight to see. A guy that was swimming with us takes his pants
off under the water and talks about how freeing it feels to do so.
He talks me into doing the same. And to tell the truth it did feel
really amazing. I felt like it was just me and the ocean together as
one, or some hippie thing like that.
I went back in towards shore and started looking at the see shells. I
noticed that after the wave washed them up onto the shore, some of
the alive ones would let there body ooze out of the shell and dig
themselves into the sand quickly so that they didn’t get washed
back into the water. It amazed me seeing how these little Shells were
actually alive. I walked slowly back into the water admiring the life
of the ocean. I hit a point about ten feet out into the water where
the sand went away and there was a bunch of prickly things under my
feet. They were sand dollars. I looked at them and noticed how the
moved. Then I started throwing them because that is a lot more fun.
They glided and cut through the air spinning in circles, then
splashed down into the ocean water.

It as if the birds were slowly moving our way. Still diving into
the water, fishing. We found a star fish and noticed how alien it
looked. We played Frisbee with it for a little. This didn’t work
out so well seeing as the starfish was kinda freaky flying through
the air and quit saying that it was kinda mean to be doing this. The
day wore on, and we were all having a great time. Fish started
jumping out of the water around us, it seemed as the the bird were
driving them our way. One would jump, then more would follow it was
really cool, but in some ways scary because fish creep me out. A
school of little fish skipped past us. The birds were diving into the
water right next to is. Then suddenly, the ocean waves calmed down it
seemed and a 1 kg, or so fish jumped out of the water and hit me in
the side of the head. It splattered and recoiled of back in to the
water. We were all in awe and started laughing. I was kinda freaking
out but as soon as I calmed down. I was kind of glad it happened, how
many people have actually been hit in the head by a jumping fish
fleeing diving bird in the ocean. It was pretty awesome.
Not long after that we called it a day and got out of the water. Everyone was
in a great mood and glad they came,but we were all pretty hungry. We
put back on our clothes and decided to try to find some food as we
waited for a bus going back. We talked to some people asking us if
there was anybody selling food in the area, nobody really knew where
we should go. Until a guy with really awesome dreads walked us to a
ladies house who made us some fried chicken and rice. As we waited
for our food Garifuna man wearing a Florida Marlins baseball cap
talked to us and gave us some of his ethnic bread and some fish he
had caught and cooked that day. He told us of his travels in latin
America and the U.S.. You wouldn’t guess it but many of the
Garifuna people spoke good English.

We got our food and caught the last bus Back to Omoa. I started eating the
chicken and I got to say it was some of the best I have had in my
whole life, that nice lady who cooked us up food knew what she was
doing. Overall it was an amazing day, and one that really stands out
in my life. The village was one of the most relaxing places I have
been in my whole life, it had nice people, good food and huge coast
line. What more could a person want in life. It would be an amazing
place to live and I hope to go back someday.  
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