Proud to Be Belizean

WOMEN + CULTURE + STORIES

 

 

This project will shed light on the Belizean culture and unfold stories of women who descend from this beautiful melting pot. It will dive into learning more about the language, tradition, food, culture and the people.

The end goal of this project will answer questions often misunderstood about Belize and will engage in conversation on who they are. The best way to learn about something is to just ask questions. And who better to tell it then those who descend from Belize.

This series will help you dive into the Belizean community and get a better understanding of the cultural identity. Sit back each week and live vicariously through these women’s stories.

 


 

CHRISTA RHABURN

 

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What does being Belizean mean to you?

Being proud of your heritage and culture (from the African slaves, to Mayan, Arawak/ Black Carib Garifuna and East Indians.)

Being able to represent all these different as one.

 

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How important is embracing your Belizean roots in the states ? How do you do so?

It’s very important to carry on my Belizean Roots, here in New York. It was easier living in Los Angeles were we had a large well known community, but moving to New York were we are very far and few I had to try harder.  So I cook meals that my family would traditional cook on Sunday,  As well as keep in contact with all of the Belizean’s I know here in NY.

How do you culturally identify? Have you ever struggled with explaining your cultural identity?

I culturally identify myself as just Belizean, even though I was born here in America. Growing up in Belize made more of and impact on who I am as a person. Maybe once or twice, but for the most part people usually don’t ask.

Do you align Belizean’s with the Latino population?

Yes I do, even though Spanish is not our first language, a lot of our tradition and dishes are the same we just have different names for them.

Tell me something interesting people don’t know about the Belizean culture.

Belize has the 2nd longest barrier reef in the world. Belize also has access to some of the world’s most interesting Maya Ruins,also Belize is the melting pot to many different races of people.Our main language is English,although we are boarded by Mexico in the North and Guatemala in the East and South.

 

Do you believe Belizean’s are often underrepresented ? If so how can we go about modifying this matter?

I do feel we are underrepresented, the best way to include us would be to include us in the conversation.

Do you identify with the term Afro-Latinx? If so how did that term play an avid role in your life?

I do identify as Afro-Latinx, the term impact my life by having to explain how I fit into that category when Spanish isn’t my native language.

What is your families primary Belizean language?
Creole

Tell me what makes you most proud to be Belizean.

I am proud to be a Belizean because of our rich culture, our music, food and our diverse heritage.

@badgyalcriri

 


SHOMARA GARCIA 

Blogger + Brand Owner + Social Media Influencer

https://www.blatinawiththegoodhair.com

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What does being Belizean mean to you? 
Being Belizean means being proud. It means strength with a little bit of crazy.
Belize is known as the world’s Best Kept Secret. It means being different. 

How important is embracing your Belizean roots in the states ? How do you do so?
 
Its so important for me to embrace my Belizean roots in the states because Belize is a small island where there isn’t many of us here. Its such a pleasure when I do meet another Belizean, I get very excited.
Belize is so rich in culture and pride, I’m super proud. My father is straight from Belize and I worship the ground he walks on., you know what they say, ” You are your father’s child.” I embrace my Belizean roots by sharing stories from my father and family about being in Belize through my platform and personal social media pages. I also have the flag hanging everywhere!
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How do you culturally identify? Have you ever struggled with explaining your cultural identity?
 
When asked, I always say my race is black, nationality is American and my ethnicity are: Belizean and Puerto Rican. I struggled with explaining my cultural identity growing up a lot. Every now and then when asked, I feel a little hesitant because I still have those memories from when I was little of no one believing me. No one believe I was Latina/Hispanic. They were always questioning me and or confused because of my Spanish last name. However, if they knew their geography, they would know Belize is right next to Mexico, which is how my father’s family got the last name Garcia. There are a lot of Garcia’s in Mexico. 

Do you align Belizean’s with the Latino population? 
 
Yes of course! I align Belize with the Latino population because to be Latino means your from a Latin country, have family/cultural ties to Latin America Latin regardless of race. Belize is located in Central America. Currently, Latinos comprise around 52.9% of Belize’s population.

 

Tell me something interesting people don’t know about the Belizean culture. 

 
Something interesting majority of people may not know about Belize is that Belizeans are very friendly, kind, no filter-sociable people, but you do one wrong and its game over. As said before, Belize is a small island where everyone knows everyone. Crime and murder is high, and majority of people “get off” free. The punishment for theft is crazy. I went to Belize back in 2010 and when leaving the store, I saw a sign on majority of the stores that read, “Shoplifters will be beaten stabbed and mutilated. Survivors will be prosecuted. Seeing those signs posed made me understand why my father is legit crazy!
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Do you believe Belizean’s are often underrepresented ? If so how can we go about modifying this matter.
 

Belize is definitely often underrepresented. Latinos and Caribbeans don’t like to include us in things. I force my way into being represented. We can modify this matter by allowing to showcase / feature Belizeans everywhere and anywhere. Just like answering these responses will help represent Belizeans. 

Do you identify with the term Afro-Latinx? If so how did that term play an avid role in your life? 

I do identify with the term Afro-Latinx. I didn’t discover this term until around 2016.

I was so excited and found a new sense of pride when I learned a new way to identify myself where I didn’t feel uncomfortable. This term made me feel really proud. Before I would just identify as black. 

What is your families primary Belizean language?
 
My Belizean side of the family language is primarily English, but its broken and they have a heavy accent. They sound like their singing when they speak. My paternal Grandmother spoke both Spanish and English. 

Tell me what makes you most proud to be Belizean?
 

What makes me most proud to be a Belizean is the exclusiveness of it. Due to Belize being a small island and not many here overall in the United States, it makes people really intrigued when they meet me. I know there is a small population in: New York, Florida and huge population in California, but overall, its rare to meet us here. Belize has great food, amazing blue waters, great music and better yet, beautiful people. I have no choice, but to be proud. 

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@iamshomara   +  @blatinawiththegoodhair


 

 

 

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