Barranco is Belize’s southernmost coastal village. Looking southeast, the hills of Honduras are very visible. Just southwest of Barranco is the Sarstoon-Temash National Park. The drive to Barranco from the Southern Highway is pleasant through several small Mayan villages. Be on the lookout for birds.
Barranco is a traditional Garifuna village, with a population of about 200 people. Also known as “Black Caribs”, they are a mixture of Arawak Indians, Caribs and Africans. The Garinagu came to Belize in 1832, originally from the island of St. Vincent. They had moved to the island of Roatan in Honduras, followed by the migration to then British Honduras. Their first arrival in Toledo on November 19, 1832 is celebrated as an annual holiday in Belize. Barranco is one of the earliest Garifuna settlements in Belize. In fact, the people there speak Spanish as a second language to Garifuna. Most of the older residents speak no English at all.
The residents of Barranco participate in the Toledo Ecotourism Association (TEA) Guesthouse program. Visitors can experience village life, and learn more about the Garifuna culture. Activity seems to surround the family, and deep religious traditions abound.