This webpage encompasses the culture, tradition, history, religion and the life on a whole for the Garinagu community of Yugadan Hopkins, Belize. Hopkins is know to be the heart of the Garifuna culture where it is preserved and celebrated all the time, it is also a touristic area for many tourist. It is amazing to see how eager both locals and tourist are to learn about the culture. Like they say, “Don’t be a tourist, be a traveller.” A true traveller is someone who goes into a specific community and interact with the people, learn their culture, practice their traditions and embrace them.
THIS IS HOW IT ALL BEGAN . . . . . . . . .
An African woman, Sirrian, and her two daughters were the first people to set foot on Hopkins. However, they disappeared unaccountably. The woman had resided in Uganda, Africa which is believe to be the origin of Hopkins first name, Yugadan. In the year 1937, a group of Black Caribs, Garinagu, escaped from the republic of Honduras leaving their homes, relatives and possessions. They settled on the north side of Hopkins where they began cutting acres of land to build their homes. In the year of 1941, over 200 people migrated from Newtown after the area was devastated by a hurricane. They were welcomed by the Honduran immigrants who offered them food, clothing and temporary shelter. In 1941, an American priest who travelled to the village, renamed it Janesville because he had trouble pronouncing Yugadan. This name was disregarded by the residents. In 1942, the village was officially named Hopkins after Bishop Frederick Hopkins who drowned in an overloaded cargo boat with 3 nuns on their way to Corozal.
Hopkins Village has gone from one long road in the past to four roads with thirty to thirty-three inside streets. The Northside, known as Beila, stretches from Holy Family RC to the Burial Ground near Hopkins Bay Resort. The Southside, known as False Sittee, extends from Holy Family RC to little pass Hamanasi Resort just before the shortcut to Sittee River. Hopkins is home to many popular resorts such as Belizean Dreams, Hamanasi, Hopkins Bay, Palmento Grove, Coconut Row and much more. Hopkins is home to 1200-1500 residents which includes a mixture of Mestizo, Maya, Creole and predominantly Garinagu people. Hopkins is located 8 miles south of Dangriga and is voted Belize’s most Friendly Village. Hopkins is considered to be home away from home!