The first Garifuna to arrive on the coast of Belize were brought there as woodcutters by the Spanish in 1802. They were put ashore in the area near Stann Creek and what is now Punta Gorda. At the time, Belize was held by the British and was called British Honduras. The Garifuna continued to serve the Spanish army with distinction, earning medals of valor. At one point, the fortress at San Felipe was commanded by a Garifuna. Gradually more Garifuna moved to the Stann Creek area in British Honduras.
“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned – well, everywhere there’s war. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race – it’s a war. And until there’s no longer first-class or second-class citizens of any nation… Until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes – it’s a war. Until that day the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, and a rule of international morality will remain in but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained.”
Emperor Haile Selassie