About the Garifunas

In the 17th century, two ships carrying African slaves were shipwrecked near St. Vincent Island in the Eastern Caribbean. Africans who escaped to shore were integrated into the the Carib and Arawak inhabitants' society. In order to avoid mutiny, slave traders had selected Africans with no common language; as a result, those on the island learned Garifuna, the Carib/Arawak language spoken by the islanders, and a new culture was born.

After an unsuccessful attempt to enslave Garifuna inhabits, British colonizers captured 5,000 people to send to Honduras. Fewer than 2,500 survived, reaching Honduras on April 12, 1797. Their descendants settled along the Caribbean coast in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The majority live in Honduras. Each April, Garifuna Christians celebrate God's protection of their ancestors and His love for the Garifuna people.

Since the 1980s, the Garifuna church has grown considerably. In 2000, the Garifuna Bible translation was completed, and the Mua Buiti Garifuna Seminary was founded in 2009.

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