On the same peninsula and only about 5 miles north from Placencia is the village of Seine Bight (pronounced Sane Bite). So close by, yet so so different, Bight is a Garifuna village to Placencia’s tiny Creole and Gringo population. (Like how I use “Gringo” as a ethnic term for my people?)
At my hotel, I mentioned to a tourist couple that I was planning on walking over to Seine Bight in the morning. They looked a bit surprised and told me “there isn’t much to see”.
After visiting twice the next day, I beg to differ.
Let me back up for a moment to define these three (of many) ethnicities in Belize. (I defined the ethic group “coolie” in my last post)
Garifuna: People of mainly West African but also Carib and Arawak descent. In the late 1700s, they arrived in Roatan, Honduras in St. Vincent (after being exiled) and now reside in Guatemala, Belize and Honduras, mainly along the coast. Their culture is very cool – language, art, religion, food, and my favorite, music.
Creole: Any mix of Black and white. Originally the black African slaves brought to Belize and the British Baymen. Now the term has widened to include many blends. Belize City is mostly Creole…
Gringo: My definition: Any English speaking expat living in Belize male or female. Includes Brits though many think they shouldn’t be lumped in with Americans.
Back to the post: A walk through Seine Bight is a totally different experience than your look around Placencia. I ran into a local guy named BJ who was doing some work on the road and he explained it to me. Growing up, he said, the road between the two village was almost impassable for at least a few months of the year. Most of the travel was by boat and there was no real need to visit Placencia – it was actually just a military base.
Just about a 5 minute walk up the road from the fabulous Inn at Robert’s Grove, you first pass an Austrian restaurant/casino. Odd to say the least.
Hmmmm…schnitzel and penny slots? Maybe later. I kept walking…
I passed the football field and ran into EXACTLY what I was looking for – signs for Lola’s Art. The work I’d seen all over Placencia village and in my room at Robert’s Grove.
Here is the cute Art & Soul Gallery in Placencia where I first saw Lola’s paintings.
Here is the main sign on the road in Seine Bight.
Turn and walk down the dirt road towards the lagoon. There are plenty of signs…some newer and some WAY old…
My favorite. Isn’t it gorgeous? You really can’t beat the charm of painted wooden signs.
I passed a 4 year old walking with a dog who asked me where I was going. Lola’s I told him. Pursing his lips and sucking his teeth (translation: Belizean distain), he told me he’d been there a year ago and kept walking. I wish I got a picture but it’s hard when you are getting told “what’s what” by a toddler.
And then I met Lola and her latest work…and of course had 1000 questions for her. Growing up…the area…the cruise ships…the government.
I LOVE THIS ARTWORK.
BUT I need to tell you about that tomorrow.
****Please note: I got a message with a correction. The Austrian joint has closed and this establishment is now just a bar and casino***