Region's History (Roatan)
The Garifuna speaking people were brought from St. Vincent and marooned to the island of Roatan by the british army. It is believed that they landed at the village known today as Camp Bay. This area is located to the north east of the community of Punta Gorda.
It is reported that in the early 1600s shipwrecked slaves were integrated to the population of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. By 1763, there was a group of Black or Negroid people who spoke the Carib language (Garifuna) and practiced Carib ritual (such as Couvades or Gubida) called the Black Caribs. Another of their spiritual service is called the "Dugu", in which a high priest (Buyei) contacts ancestors for help in resolving problems. Their spiritual contact is called an Owehani. Their singers are called Gayusa.
The French settled on Saint Vincent and bonded with the Garinagu in the min 1600s. Later on war broke out between the French and the English. The Black Caribs sided with the French but unfortunately the British won that war. The Black Caribs were not contented with the English. They rebelled against them over and over again and war followed this continued for over 150 years. By the end of last English-Carib war which lasted from 1795 to 1796 the Garinagu population was estimated to be about 5,000 in numbers.
English farmers on Saint Vincent were outnumbered by the Caribs and were unable to live peacefully among them. In 1796, The Black Carib leader Joseph Satuye was killed in a fight (duel) with Sir Ralph Abercromby a British military commander early in the month of March. The following year (1797), approximately 5,000 Garinagu people were packed aboard the HMS Experiment (military ship) and taken to the island of Roatan, Honduras.
Punta Gorda (Garifuna Community in Roatan, Bay Islands)
Punta Gorda community was founded in 1797 by Garifuna a micture of Africans and the yellow Caribs of Saint Vincent in the western caribbean. The Garifuna began aiding the French in the war against the British won the war and punished the Garifuna by mourning them on the island of Roatan. The Garifuna is the only group of natives that have conserved and preserved their customs, traditions and culture. They have created the famous music called Punta.
The community was declared National Monument, for being the First Garifuna Community in Central America. At Punta Gorda, you can visit the monument or statue of the first leader of the Garifuna people Joseph Satuye. This community has many small restaurant and bars where you can enjoy a variety of dishes, the most popular the Machuca.