"Quirky Dangriga" Top 5 Page for this destination Placencia / Stann Creek District Tip by Bwana_Brown
Placencia / Stann Creek District, Belize: 7 reviews and 9 photos
Dangriga is centred around North Stann Creek, which flows out of the Maya Mountains and enters the Caribbean Sea. This area of Belize was first settled by both European traders and Puritan farmers in the late 1600s and it was the Puritan custom of calling trading posts "stands" (later corrupted into "stann") that led to both this town and area being called 'Stann Creek'. However, the arrival of the many Garifuna immigrants in the 1820s eventually led to the town being renamed to Dangriga (which means 'sweet, still waters' in their language).
The Garifuna, are an interesting group of people, of African descent, who had managed to escape from intended slavery. Starting in the early 1600s, over 4 million Africans were transported to various parts of the West Indies to work as sugar plantation slaves. In 1635, one of these human cargos from Nigeria washed up on the remote island of St. Vincent, following the sinking of two Spanish ships. These Africans eventually mixed with the local Carib natives, forming the Garinagu culture over the next 100+ years. However, in the British-French wars for control of St. Vincent, the Garinagu paid a heavy price for their alliance with the French losers. At the end of the war, in 1796, the British rulers of St. Vincent forceably evicted them almost 1700 miles to the west, onto the small island of Roatan not far off the coast of Nicaragua. It was from there, over the next few decades, that the Garinagu finally reached this back-water of Belize.
We parked our SUV at the Bus Terminal, located in the centre of Dangriga beside the main bridge across North Stann Creek. This was a busy spot with busses coming and going, along with small stands set up by the locals to hawk their various wares - including a vile-looking yellowish bottled drink made from seaweed! At home, I eat seaweed called 'dulse' from the Bay of Fundy, but I don't usually drink the stuff!
Other than these nice views up and down the Creek, there is not a lot for a tourist to do in the middle of this commercial town.
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