Happy Independence Day to the Central American Countries Of…

 

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Central America — Happy Independence Day To the countries of Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica!   

On September 15th 1821, The countries of Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Costa Rica were granted independence from Spain.

Belize was granted independence from England on September 21st and Panama is another matter altogether.  Is Panama even considered Central America or is it considered South America?

While the Central American countries won independence from Spain in 1821, it’s worth thinking about what independence really means.  As far as Garifuna people are concerned, being that Garifuna people were IN Honduras before Honduras was officially a country, this is why some Garifuna people consider themselves indigenous to Central America, even though that’s not quite correct since the Garifuna people were exiled to Roatan, Honduras from St. Vincent Island.

ABOUT The Garifuna People


The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.  From this fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.  They are noted for being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men, 1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.   1

In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

Finding much of Roatan unliveable, the Garifuna people petitioned officials representing Spain and it’s government (which controlled much of Central America at the time) to be allowed to move to the Honduran mainland.  Upon being allowed to move to the Honduran mainland, the Garifunas settled many towns and villages along the Caribean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE. Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted through the PAYPAL website, so potential donations are SAFE and SECURE. 


 

Happy Independence Day To the Central American Countries of...

Happy Independence Day To the Central American Countries of…

Notes:

  1. Nancie L. Gonzalez, “Sojourners of the Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pg. 21

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