Warasa Garifuna Drum School
PRODUCT: Copper Drum Keychain
ARTIST: Ronald Raymond McDonald
The Warasa Garifuna Drum School is a family-owned cultural and educational site located in the peaceful coastal town of Punta Gorda, Belize. Visitors from all over the world and locals are welcome to learn about the culture, and experience authentic, interactive lessons in traditional Garifuna drumming, dancing, drum-making, and more. Although the school was forced to close during the pandemic, they are looking forward to welcoming more visitors as tourism picks up again. Warasa Garifuna Drum School is the dream of its founder, master drummer, and teacher, Ronald Raymond McDonald. Ronald, or Ray, learned drums by watching his family group from childhood. He is a former drummer, dancer, and singer for the Belize National Dance Company. He has performed all over Belize and much of Central America. Ray is passionate about his culture, and for many years his dream was to start a drumming school and teach others about his culture. With the help of his wife Ruth, Warasa (which means “our culture”), the school began in 2010. The School has grown from borrowed drums and a rented house to more than 20 of their own drums at their beautiful thatch palapa.
PRODUCT: Mini Garifuna Drum
ARTIST: Winston "Wing Wing" Fransisco
“Wing Wing’s” carefully hand-crafts small decorative drums for Belizeans and tourists. Drums are the heartbeat of the Garifuna culture. The Garifuna drum is a connection to the people’s African ancestry. There are two types of drums used, Primero (tenor drum) and Segunda (bass drum). The (full-size) drum itself is unique in design made of hollowed-out hardwood such as mahogany or mayflower. This percussion instrument has one drumhead of skin at the top made from peccary pig, deer, or sheep.
PRODUCT: Mortar and Pestle - "Hana & Ourua"
ARTIST: Tyron Lewis
This art was handcrafted by Tyron Lewis of Stann Creek.
Hana – Garifuna word for pestle.
Ourua – Garifuna word for mortar.
This Hana and Ourua is carved out of mayflower wood (originally mahogany, oftentimes pine). This mortar and pestle is a tiny version of what the Garifuna people use to make Hudutu. Hudutu (meaning “it has been pounded”) is an iconic Belizean side dish consisting of mashed, green, and ripe, boiled plantains. This side dish is usually accompanied by a fish and coconut stew known as sere. Using this, you too can make your own Hudutu, grind spices, and make other foods like guacamole.
Cotton Tree Chocolate
PRODUCT: Dark Chocolate
Cotton Tree Chocolate is a unique small-batch bean to bar chocolate company located in Putna Gorda, Belize. More than just single origin, each batch of Cotton Tree Chocolate starts with cocoa beans from a single day’s harvest from a single farmer. We work with local farmers towards environmental, economic, and social sustainability. We exclusively use cocoa beans grown by our location in Punta Gorda Town in the Toledo District of southern Belize.
PRODUCT: Dark Chocolate
OWNER: Kerry Goss & Linn Wilson Goss
We are a small family owned and operated enterprise in Seine Bight Village, in beautiful southern Belize. GOSS CHOCOLATE is 100% natural, made from Fair Trade certified 100% organically grown Belizean cacao beans, Belizean cane sugar, whole milk powder (only in milk chocolate and white chocolate bars), and natural whole vanilla bean. We source most of our beans from TCGA, Toledo Cacao Growers Association. There are no artificial ingredients, flavours, fillers or colours. Our chocolate is full of vitamins and minerals, essential oils, and packed with heart-healthy antioxidant power, flavanoids.
PRODUCT: Cacao Bar & Coffee
OWNER: Zoila and Roger Hale
In 2013 Zoila and Roger Hale had a dream of starting a chocolate company. They were unsure of the concept or even where to start but began doing research in the beautiful country of Belize. They visited the beautiful cacao farms in the rainforest and were so mesmerized at the sight, which pulled them deeper into the dream of having a 100% organic all-natural chocolate and cacao product company. They started developing relationships with the local cocoa farmers who graciously opened their homes. They decided to use exclusively Maya workers and process as much as possible by hand. After all, it’s the Mayas who are known for chocolate and have passed down the art of chocolate making over thousands of years. Their goal is to teach people how to make their own high quality chocolate from the hand roasted organic fair trade cacao nibs.
PRODUCT: Hot Pepper Sauce
OWNER: Mrs. Hortence Young
As with so many fine Entrepreneurship Ventures, the story of Fibber’s Fast Food is an interesting journey. I was a struggling single parent who realized that the care for myself and my daughter was paramount. I thought to myself, if I could provide three or four plates of food for sale, that would allow me to feed myself and Ashley. I soon decided to go into a fast-food business. Soon after, I realized that the chicken/wings needed a sauce to go along with it. With limited equipment, I experimented with what was to become the now famed Fibber’s dipping and dressing sauce. The gourmet multipurpose dipping sauces quickly captured Belizean hearts. Thanks to Fibber’s Food, Belizeans can now boast of another quality national product. Belize has a product that replaces ketchup, BBQ sauces, and salad dressings all in one bottle. Some of the things about Fibber’s Sauces that quickly won over Belizean hearts are: its multipurpose usage, the availability in different flavors, it is a product that gives consumers value for their money, the sauces are 100% Belizean, and they are made from all-natural ingredients.
Silk Grass Farms
PRODUCT: Coconut Oil
OWNER: Mandy Cabot, Peter Kjellerup, Henry Canton
Silk Grass Farms is a vertically integrated agribusiness located just outside of Silk Grass Village in the Stann Creek District of Belize, that is committed to positive social and environmental impact. At Silk Grass Farms, we believe we can innovate and model sustainable, compassionate agribusiness at scale. We are stewards of the land we manage, acting as caretakers rather than owners.
Our cold Pressed coconut oil is sold all over the country and is just as good in the kitchen as it is in the bathroom or spa. Coconut oil can be used for sautéing veggies, browning meat, and flavoring beans. It’s great for baking pastries as well. But what you may not know is that coconut oil is a natural healing agent for skin and hair due to its moisturizing and anti-microbial properties. Try our coconut oil in these creative, chemical-free, non-food applications.
Granny Ivy's Herbal Soaps
PRODUCT: Eucalyptus Soap
OWNER: Rose Parks
At Granny Ivy’s Herbal Soaps they are committed to making and supplying 100% Handmade, All Natural, Plant-based cold process soaps that are known to have many benefits for skin. They produce many different types of natural soaps that all have their own caring properties to help your skin flourish, such as hibiscus, neem, charcoal, and cinnamon, just to name a few. Being inspired by her mom, Rose started making soaps for family and friends in 2018 and then started her small business in 2020 from the knowledge she had gained about herbs and how they can be used for healing and skincare. This business is located in Dangriga, Belize, where she makes and markets her handmade and nicely crafted soaps.
Purple Passion Studio & Spa
PRODUCT: Copal Lotion Bar
FOUNDERS: Stacy and Gina Badillo
Purple Passion Studio & Spa is a labor of love and a dream come true for sisters Stacy and Gina Badillo.
A full-service salon and spa based in Caye Caulker. We have proudly been operating for 16 years.
Our handcrafted products were created to enhance our in salon and spa services for our clients. Our line includes copal lotion bars, body scrubs, cuticle oils, facial oils, massage oils, sanitizer sprays and gels.
I struggled with eczema on my hands and I have been looking for a solution for myself. Through research I came across the healing benefits of copal. Product testing began and this copal lotion bar is now part of our signature pedicure.
Indigenous people from all over the world have traditionally used copal for healing, worship and purification. Our copal lotion bars are great for cracked heels, dry elbows and over all dry skin.
Purple Passion offers a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience
Pen Cayetano Art
PRODUCT: Art Postcard
ARTIST: Pen Cayetano
Pen Cayetano is mostly inspired by his Garifuna heritage and his surroundings. His task is to conserve the culture and give consciousness to the people and the youth. Oil on canvas is his medium. The paintings are colorful, recreating the rich tapestry of Belize life and faithfully capturing the Garinagu culture.
Perhaps the strongest representative of a peoples culture is the artist, his role is to educate. Pen Cayetano focuses also on historical events and places from Belize. The paintings manifest melancholy, shelter, tranquility and tradition. Such an art becomes to be the opposite of our modern time, where so many people just vanish away in the masses without any roots. Pen Cayetano did many international exhibitions and is represented in several museums and public and private collections.
Pen Cayetano is passionate in art and music and loves what he does. Sharing his love and knowledge is part of his life. Roots & culture, art and music must go on for the generations to come.
Sabal Food Products
PRODUCT: Cassava Biscuit
OWNER: Sabal Family
Located at mile three on the Hummingbird Highway, right outside Dangriga Town, this family-owned business, Sabal Food Products, has been operating since 1987 and produces cassava bread, starch, juice, and other deliciousness. The farm’s premier product – the cassava – is an essential part of Garifuna culinary culture, and the Sabals take it from the root to the dinner table. The best part is that they open that process to visitors who can tour the farm and observe the processing of the root vegetable, and the actual making of cassava bread, “Ereba” in the Garifuna language.
PRODUCT: Plantain Chips
ARTISTS: Emanuel & Vivianna Salazar