Great Garifuna Party in Sambo Creek!

Would you like to attend a Garifuna Party?

Garifuna Party
Garifuna Ceremony. Photo courtesy of Visit Atlantida

Sambo Creek, one of the two Garifuna communities in La Ceiba is celebrating its yearly Garifuna party. The event honors of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the patron of Sambo Creek. This party is full of traditions, and is a true sample of the rich Garifuna Heritage in Honduras. The event takes place between the 10th and the 26th of June. The main event starts on Saturday June 18 with the crowning of the local queen. Following is a dancing party at the Sea Wash Restaurant and Bar.

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Sunday is always an important day, and you will not want to miss the events. Watch out for the “Barbaric Indian”! This fellow is after you! He is full of tar and his mission is to catch you and fill you with tar! Make sure you bring good shoes and are ready to run, and fast! Just in case he does catch you, have some cash at hand! You see the man likes cash, so buy your way out and keep your clothes clean!   A few 20 lemp bills will do! The activity generates many laughs from all the spectators, until the Indian turns after them!

Another traditional activity is the “maipol” or May Pole Ceremony. This colorful ceremony has its origins in England many centuries ago, and was a celebration to welcome Spring. The Ceremony made its way to the Caribbean and many African and Caribbean additions were made. Today, the Maypole is an important part of the Garifuna Tradition, and is part of the World Cultural Heritage status of the Garifuna People. The ceremony, or dance, takes place around a central pole. Usually 10 dancers walk and dance around the pole. Each dancer has a ribbon that is attached to the top of the pole. As they dance and circle the pole, dancers actually knit the ribbons around the pole.

Garifuna Party means food and booze!

In addition to the above ceremonies, the Garifuna Party will offer a variety of Garifuna dishes and beverages. This is the perfect chance to try “Guifity”, a concoction of roots and herbs. Guifity of course has alcohol; Locals drink it for medicinal purposes. Garifunas believe Guifity has medicinal and aphrodisiac properties. One thing is for sure, it is truly bitter!

Garifuna gastronomy is rich and consists mainly of seafood. Some of the most outstanding dishes are tapado and machuca. Their dishes always have coconut, casaba or yucca, and plantains. Rice and beans are also an important part of their food. Typical of the Garifuna is the delicious “Pan de Coco” or coconut bread.

I don’t know about you, but I will be in Sambo Creek on Sunday to enjoy the food, watch the different activities and have fun seeing the barbaric Indian chase people! I need a volunteer to film as he is chased by this dirty old man. Anyone willing to help out?