Garinagu HounGua


Garinagu HounGua, a Washington nonprofit corporation, was formed by a group of Garifuna immigrants in Seattle in response to the desire to preserve the unique cultural and religious practices of the Garifuna people, and to combat the challenges that many low income immigrants must face living in the United States.

Because of numerous life changing events, such as death, loss of job, deportation, etc, that are continually affecting the Garifuna families, surfaces the need for an organization that will look out for the socialeconomic development and empowerment of the members of the Garifuna community and those associated here in Seattle, WA.




The Garifuna people (a.k.a. "Black Caribs") are people of mixed ancestry (Carib Indian, Arawak Indian and West African) from the island St. Vincent, where that fusion of ethnicities initially took place. After losing to the British in war, the Garifuna people were forcibly removed from St. Vincent and sent to live in forced internment on Baliceaux, a rock off the coast of St. Vincent in 1796. Months later, the British decided to send the Garifuna people to Roatan, Honduras in 1797. Roatan is a small island off the coast of Honduras.


After finding much of Roatan unlivable, the Garifuna people petitioned the Spanish government to be allowed to move to mainland Honduras. From There, some Garifuna people migrated to the neighboring countries Guatemala, Belize (a.k.a. British Honduras) and Nicaragua-establishing and settling many towns in many communities on the caribbean coasts of those nations. The majority of Garinagu (plural for Garifuna) can be found in those very towns/villages today.


Some Garinagu migrated to other countries in the world, notably the United States of America and some can be found there-especially in the cities like New York City, Boston, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Seattle.


Garinagu still maintain their own religious system that is a mixture of African and Amerindian traditions into which they have incorporated Catholic elements. Of great importance is 8the garifuna religious system called Gubida that is the conception of the dreams and possession rituals as altered states of conscience considered, by the participants and believers, to be caused by the possession of a spiritual entity. In Garifuna religion, when someone dies, a funeral is held in the home of the decedent. Instead or the usual or traditional funeral, a Garifuna funeral is more of a celebration. There is singing, dancing, and the cooking of traditional food for the entire village and other villages are invited. This creates a hardship for many Garifuna immigrants as the family of decedent must celebrate the decedent both within their community in the United States and then the body must be returned to Central America for a traditional burial in the decedent's home land. This religious custom of the Garifuna people ensures the spiritual well-being of the decedent in death and allows them to rejoin their ancestors.



The mission of Garinagu Houngua is to contribute to the social, economic and cultural development of the Garifuna Community here in the great city of Seattle. By working with other non-profits and the government, Garinagu Houngua will advocate for the human rights and provide political awareness to the Garinagus and those associated in the region.

Garifuna Houngua is a transnational nonprofit organization formed and integrated by hardworking men and women of the Garifuna community in this great North West with a mission of an integral community and to provide social, cultural, political and economic awareness and support to Garifunas and others associated members of the organization.

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Contribute to the social, economic, and cultural development of the Garifunas living in the Seattle area. We strive to secure the social welfare of the Garifuna community, and to strengthen the cultural bonds within the group.


We are a transnational non-governmental, non-profit organization conformed by Garifuna men and women dedicated to the integral development of our community. We are committed to defend our socioeconomic, political, and cultural rights, while improving the accessibility to the basic financing needs.

Board of Directors

Wilbor Guerrero, President.
President of Garinagu HounGua. Originally from San Juan Durubuguti Bey Bey Honduras and currently residing in Seattle, WA.

Ginsy Connor, Secretary.
Secretary of Garinagu Houngua. Born and raised in Seattle, WA with parents from Honduras

Martha David, Treasurer.
Treasurer of Garinagu Houngua. Originally from Triunfo De la Cruz, Tela Honduras and currently residing in Seattle, WA.

Yoelin Connor, Vice President.
Vice President of Garinagu HounGua from Agua, Santa Rosa de Aguan, Honduras. Currently resides in Seattle, WA.

Paulina Valerio-Guerrero, Fiscal.
Fiscal of Garinagu Houngua. Originally from Tela, Atlantida Honduras. Currently residing in Seattle, WA.


Prospective Cultural Projects:

Cultural Awareness

With workshops and activities aimed towards the general public, we are out to bring to the society and understanding of who the Garifuna people are and what type of cultural values, beliefs and our background. With this awareness, we could also help the newly migrated Garifunas to the northwest area, of the opportunities and challenges that they might face as part of their cultural shock and the awareness of other cultures. As a cultural tradition, Garifuna communities around the world celebrate the arrival of our ancestor to the Atlantic coast of Central America back in 1797 after being exiled from St. Vincent. Garinagu Houngua will host this event each April to give the public a chance to learn about the Garifuna people and experiences their traditional music, dances, and cuisine.

Teach the Language (Garifuna)

As a culture with it is own structure and language, Garifunas around the world tend to speak at least two to three languages. Garifunas primary language is call the same; "The Garifuna Language". Because of migration to different lands, mainly to the United States, the Garifuna people are now becoming Americanized and are assimilating other customs and languages and forgetting about their forefather's tongue, the Garifuna Language. Garinagus are no longer teaching their offspring's their native language and some just don’t have the time to do so because of their busy life. This program will remind Garifunas about the importance of teaching their children the Garifuna Language. This program will also provide teaching sessions to children of the Garifuna decent. This sessions will be thought by a fluent Garifuna, who will be able to translate words from Garifuna to English and Spanish and vice versa.


This program will in tell in teaching the youth how to cook Garifunas most popular meals and snacks. The Garifunas have a very extensive menu. As part of understanding and learning about their culture, these youth grasp and enjoy cooking traditional meals like Machuca; which is a Garifunas delicacy made with fish and mashed plantain.

HIV/AIDs Awareness and prevention

Teaching about HIV/AIDS and the prevention measures is a very important task. This program will bring speaks/teachers and instruct the community about getting tested and about how to prevent being infected with HIV. this will also present programs available in the community to those infected with this virus.


Wikipedia contributors. "Garifuna people." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Jul. 2015. Web. 31 Jul. 2015.

Girma, Lebawit Lily. "The Hidden Beauty of Garifuna Belize." CNN. Cable News Network, 20 Aug. 2013. Web. 31 July 2015.

Post Rust, Susie. "Fishing Villages along Central America’s Coast Pulse with the Joyous Rhythms of This Afro-Caribbean People." National Geographic: Images of Animals, Nature, and Cultures. 2001. Web. 31 July 2015.

Griffin, Wendy. "Garifunas in Seattle and How to Find Out About Their Culture." Internet Para Hondureños. 24 Mar. 5014. Web. 31 July 2015.