Flamingo Cultural Center used to be known as Flamingo Bar & Restaurant. It was a family business that opened in 2003 by Mauricio Flores, a Garifuna native of the Punta Gorda community. Since the Flores family resides in New York City, the business was administered by several people until 2011. In 2011, Audrey and Nora Flores, daughters of Mauricio and Zeda Flores, decided to move to Roatan with the purpose of finally taking over the family business. They wanted to see their vision come to life and felt like it could only be done if the owners were actually present.
With the support of their parents, they continued to operate as a bar & restaurant for two and a half years. By the end of 2013 their passion for the business was gone and they decided to close for a couple of months until they decided on which direction to take Flamingo. During this period of reflection, the sisters realized that their passion was gone because by living on Roatan and seeing firsthand the effects of daily life, they had a larger purpose than just being another place to drink and dance on Roatan.
First, there was a huge concern about the lack of policies and programs for the conservation and development of the Garifuna culture. Second, they recognized that the only way to create jobs and sustainable tourism on the island is through educational, occupational, cultural and environmental training. After this realization, they decided to reopen as a cultural center in mid 2014. Unfortunately the name change did not reflect any changes on the daily operations of the business. The concept was poorly received by the community and in order to pay the bills, they continued operating as their prior identity.
In September 2016, the Flores family decided to officially end the night life environment and instead focus on the social and cultural programs that were put on the back burner. With the support of a group of professionals and local leaders, they decided to create Flamingo Cultural Center for the sustainable development of Roatan, through three programmatic areas: preservation of Garifuna cultural identity, sustainable tourism and social development.
Today, Flamingo Cultural Center is a space for social, cultural and environmental development of the island. In alliance with the public sector, such as hotels and other touristic entities, as well as with schools, churches and ONG’s, the center has implemented activities and training for children, young adults and adults to learn, value and preserve the cultural identity and ecosystem of the island.