The first Garífuna settlement is located in Punta Gorda, a small village in the Bay Islands, Honduras, on the Island of Roatán. Its inhabitants are descendants of African populations and Arawak Indians.
The Garífuna population is distributed in Belize, the Caribbean coast of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua and form a population of more than 600 thousand inhabitants.
The official language of this population is Garífuna, which has a mixture of African, British and indigenous Caribbean idioms. However, after the independence of the Central American countries, the use of the Spanish language was standardized as an official language, without taking into account the mother tongue of the Garífuna population, which was the Garifuna language.
The Garífuna culture has its own historical and social characteristics, which make this population a unique ethnic group, thanks to the mixture of the Indian, Caribbean, British and African culture that shaped its way of life. The Garífunas have artistic, gastronomic and cultural characteristics very different from the rest of the mestizo population of Honduras.
The preservation of its historical and cultural legacy, as well as the strengthening of its own social development, is the pillars to preserve this culture, which is threatened by massive and unsustainable tourism with the local environment.
In 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared Garifuna language, dance and music to be the oral and intangible heritage of humanity in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. In this declaration, the Garifuna people are referred to as one of the most unique people groups in the world.