The Creole People of Belize
The Creoles, also known as “Kriols,” are descended from English loggers and African slaves, most of whom came to Belize by way of Jamaica. Many settlers engaged in activity with these dark-skinned African women, resulting in the Creole people. Within Belize, “Creoles” means any black, non-“Garinagu;” Garinagu is a term for anyone whose primary language is something other than Creole. The newly independent Belize of 1981 was 70% Creole. Today, that percentage has dwindled down to just 25%; this shift in dominance is largely due to refugee from Central America and emigration.
Belize’s National Kriol Council (NKC) states that black slaves had been established along Central America’s coast since the 1500s and that 1724 saw the British beginning to use slaves in Jamaica and other countries. Despite great hardships and abuse, these slaves defended British Honduras in skirmishes like the Battle of St. George’s Caye.
The Creoles mostly settled into modern day Belize City, spreading out into all of its districts during the 1800s. This growing sense of cultural pride led to multiple clashes. By the 1900s, the Creoles had led the way in developing British Honduras but after multiple riots and even a massive hurricane in 1931, the first trade unions and even the People’s United Party (PUP) were established. While the Creoles continued to dominate politics, the country suffered when another hurricane hit in 1961. This disaster caused many Creoles to emigrate to the United States, sending money home to help friends and family.
See Also: The People of Belize
Creole is a hybridization of the languages of its culture’s slave ancestors and English. The NKC affirms Creole is distinct from English and believes it should be given the same level of attention that English receives in school.
Food and Drink
While Creole eat many of the same things most other Westerners recognize, there are a few notable mentions. Wangla, powder bun and potato pudding are all unique desserts and johnny-cakes are a common breakfast treat.
If you would like to learn about the many cultures within Belize in person, you will need somewhere to stay, and Black Orchid Resort is one of the best places you could choose. Not only is it 15 minutes away from Philip Goldson International Airport but guests can enjoy shuttle service to and from the airport.
If there is something in particular you would like to see or do or maybe you are just feeling adventurous, consider hiring ‘Belize R Us” for all your touring needs.
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