I’m super pleased to share — especially for those not on my Facebook page — my latest article for CNN Travel, “The hidden beauty of Garifuna Belize,” with my advice on ways to experience the vibrant Garifuna culture, and encouraging travelers to venture south of Belize. The majority of businesses and activities cited in the article are locally-owned and operated and I am grateful to each of them for sharing their culture with me during my many visits to Belize, which started long before Moon Belize.
As a side note – I’m also glad to see this piece published at this moment in time, in light of all the very recent news and upset about Norwegian Cruise Lines purchasing an island off the southern coast, and announcing, in a recent meeting, future plans to offer up the most sacred Garifuna ritual — the dugu ceremony — as entertainment for cruise ship passengers. I feel compelled to share, given my >> passion for this topic, that I hope this proposed “Disney-esque” use of a ritual is a misunderstanding, and that it was mentioned out of ignorance or lack of knowledge about the culture (which, in itself, is worrisome).
In any case, if there’s one message I’d love future travelers to Belize to take away, it’s this: please overnight when visiting Belize, and when experiencing Garifuna or any other culture. It’s always the better, responsible, and respectful way to travel — not to mention, Belize is an amazing destination, home to some of the most ancient cultures in the world and bearing incredible natural wealth. I hope that my article helps to shed light on the latter.