The majority if not all the inhabitants of Hopkins are Garifuna. Garifuna are a race that started when African slaves (west/central African slaves) Mixed with Indigenous Caribs to form the Garinagu. The Garifuna came to Belize after their people were being prosecuted in Honduras forcing them to migrate to Belize in canoes this was in the mid to late 1800’s. The Garinagu are a strong sea fearing people which depended on farming and fishing in the beginning which is what they did when they came to Hopkins. The Garinagu in Hopkins was a combination of families that traveled from Honduras and according to the current day residents after the persecution many still returned to Honduras.
The people of Hopkins try to stay as traditional as possible however, many things have changed from when they first arrived to the current day. Much of the food and music stayed the same from the time they arrived. Hopkins is nicknamed the Garifuna capital of Belize for good reason as majority of the residence are very traditional, however the changing times caused many of the new generation to become less traditional, it began when they stopped the bargaining system and began using regular currency in the late to mid 1900`s, this caused them to have more influence with other areas and people, thus changing them. Many of the residence in Hopkins have changed including some such as Pastor Herdy who is a pastor, although he is quite traditional, some don`t like how he isn`t following the traditional Garifuna religion. Many also have tourist based jobs which make them very heavily influenced by western culture to the point where many elders argue that the newer generation is lazier and not as disciplined. Many of the residence of Hopkins however have still stayed to their roots cooking traditional foods, weaving baskets, playing traditional music on drums, and even speaking the Garifuna language.
In Hopkins Village, much has changed over generations, a notable one may have been structures, from thatch houses they have sturdier and more modern structures. The village also utilizes technology very much and modern jobs showing how it can still be traditional with technology. Many of the residence in the village are descendants of the original migrants from Honduras however many from the New Port village that was destroyed and even some from other areas as far as Honduras live in the village now, most still follow the Garifuna way of life.
Facts about the First Garinagu in Hopkins
- Used small canoes with sails.
- Only fished and farmed.
- Small number of them arrived with their families.
- Were survivors of many dangers.
- Excellent with traditional medicine and traversing through the sea.
The Village of Hopkins has one of the largest Garifuna communities and stays strong to its roots. Although they had to adapt to the modern age they have very well kept their tradition and culture in their hearts and they show it.