Dangriga Tourist Attractions
Dangriga is the largest town in the Stann Creek District as well as all of Southern Belize. Originally called Stann Creek Town, in 1975 its name was changed to Dangriga by the Garifuna cultural majority. The name is taken from a phrase in the local Garifuna language meaning "here, the sweet water is close at hand". Dangriga lies along the banks of the North Stann Creek Rivera and offers the atmosphere of a quiet seaside fishing town.Dangriga began as an English trading station but was settled by a large group of Garifuna in the early 19th C. Also known as Black Caribs or Garinagu, the Garifuna are of mixed African and Caribbean Indian heritage originating on St Vincent in the 17th C. Today, many Garifuna reside throughout Belize, representing 6.2% of the nation's population. Dangriga is the center of Garifuna culture in Belize, and a jumping off-point to visit several offshore cayes.
Austin Rodriguez' Workshop
The Garifuna of Dangriga are noted for their crafts, and for several years Belizean native Austin Rodriguez has hollowed logs of mahogany and cedar and cured his own deer and cow hides to make Garifuna drums. The hides are cured with lime, salt and then dried in the sun before stretched over the head of the drums, which can reach up to 2ft/.6m in diameter. The workshop can also arrange drum performances and lessons.
Marie Sharp's Factory
Marie Sharp's Factory is the source of Belize's famous hot sauces, created by Dangrigan native Marie Sharp. Casual tours of the factory reveal how the hot sauces are made from ingredients including habanero peppers and carrots, lime juice and onions. Other products produced by Marie Sharp's company are several jams and chutneys made from fruits such as mangoes and papayas. The full line of products is on sale at the factory.
Benjamin Nicholas' Studio
Benjamin Nicholas is Belize's most famous painter and a native of Dangriga. Nicholas welcomes visitors to his studio to look at his work and progress and is often available for discussion. Working with oil paints, many of Nicholas' paintings are representations of Garifuna culture. His paintings are displayed in public buildings throughout Belize.
GB Novelties sells the crafts and artwork of Belizean artists and is especially known for its selection of Garifuna drums and art. Owner Isabel Hernandez' late husband Gilbert wrote a book on Garifuna culture titled "The Garinagu in the Caribbean Basin Black Caribs", and the shop is a good place for visitors interested in learning more about the Garifuna.
Garifuna Settlement Day
Celebrated annually November 19, Garifuna Settlement Day commemorates the arrival of the Garifuna in Belize. Dangriga comes alive with various forms of entertainment, including Garifuna drumming performances.
Dangriga's daily open-air market offers fresh produce and fish and other non-food items.
The 6ft/1.3m Tropical Aquarium in Dangriga displays a tropical reef comprised of live coral and anemones, and surrounded by brightly colored fish.