Idea #704 – Visiting the city of Livingston in Guatemala
Livingston is a city in the far east of Guatemala, located on the edge of the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Rio Dulce, on the Gulf of Honduras. Its peculiarity is that it does not have a land route that links it to the rest of the country, the communications with the rest of the world being mainly by sea with the banana port of Puerto Barrios, which is in the south-east a little more an hour of sailing, or with neighboring Belize. The majority of the population consists of Garifunas (“manioc eater” in Arawak), a Caribbean people born of miscegenation between escaped African slaves called “brown niggers” and natives of the Caribbean and Arawak. Their culture mixes some African traditions with Caribbean culture.
During the eighteenth century, the Garifunas lived under the tutelage of France and Great Britain. In 1795, influenced by French republican ideals and under the influence of Victor Hugues and Corsairs of Guadeloupe, the Garifunas attacked the British, then masters of Saint Vincent. The war lasted eighteen months, and in 1796 the “Black Caribbean” was defeated. In retaliation, the British authorities decided to deport 5000 Garifunas to Baliceaux in the Grenadines. In April 1797, the 2,026 men, women and children, who had survived on this inhospitable island, were displaced on the island of Roatán, opposite the coast of Honduras. Later, they left the island, become too small, to settle on the continent. They founded several villages, including Livingston in 1806 on the Atlantic coast of Guatemala.
Where is it ?