Belize Festival

Hopkins Mango ("Mangu") Fest 2018

By Angela Wu 6/6/2018 5 minutes

Let the festivities continue! Last weekend there was no better place to be than the 2018 Hopkins Mango Fest. The Belizing Team was excited for the mango-filled extravaganza! I mean, who wouldn’t be excited for this festival filled with mangos? If you don’t already know, unlike the U.S.A., Belize does not have four seasons, just three – wet season, dry season, and mango season. From these three, the mango season is everyone’s favorite.

Before we arrived at the Holy Family Catholic Church grounds and beach, We decided to meet up with Nico and get some breakfast at Hopkins Bay Resort. The staff at the resort was very friendly with us; and the food was delicious. We had a Belizean breakfast, which included fluffy scrambled eggs, savory fried potatoes, soft fry jacks and wholesome beans that were freshly fried in coconut oil. After the long car ride that we had from San Ignacio, that plate of food definitely hit the spot.

Upon arriving at the location where the Mango Fest was being held, the weather looked a bit weary; it had started to drizzle a little bit. Thinking that the dark clouds would fly over us soon, we got our filming equipment and climbed out of the car. We approached the main area where most of the tents were by the seaside.

Immediately after reaching the grounds, it started pouring! Derrick, Gustavo, and I rushed to seek shelter at the nearest palapa. It was too early to get wet! Although it wasn’t the best way to start the festival, the rain definitely cooled down the place.

After the showers, we decided to get started on the mango celebrations. It was only logical that we started at the beginning of the fair, so we walked to the corner of the street where tents were also set up. Walking down to the corner, we met with Evan and Darwin from the Southern Emergency Services Belize. They were there to show everyone their well-equipped ambulance. Darwin was very excited and enthusiastic for Derrick and me to climb up into the ambulance and look at the neat space.

The Southern Emergency Services Belize ambulance is fully equipped with everything needed for any accident or emergencies. Taking a little tour of the ambulance was a great way to start off the Mango Fest. Always remember, safety first!

After thanking Darwin and Evan for the tour, we made our way to Bahay Fiesta’s food and mango stall. Everyone was keen to look over here because of the HUGE mangos that were on display and the whole pig that was being roasted on site! Mangos and roast pig? Say no more! We had the privilege of meeting Ms. Emma and Mae from Bahay Fiesta. They are a family-owned Filipino restaurant and mango farm in Southern Belize.

Ms. Emma and Mae showed us their golden mangos, a gigantic, fleshly oval of juicy deliciousness! The flesh of their golden mangos was so sweet and buttery that I had to buy two and stuff them into my bag! Those suckers were heavy! But it was worth the weight because my oh my, they were delicious!

There, I also met Erin, who told me about the whole pig that was being roasted. He said that it was a part of the Filipino tradition of doing a whole roasted pig. While one was on the roaster, they brought in one that was already cooked. The pig was just as mouthwatering and tasty as their mangos. The skin of the pig was crispy and appetizing and the meat was so tender and flavorful. Yum! Just thinking of it has me salivating.

After buying over a dozen mangos at Bahay Fiesta from Ms. Emma and Mae, we continued off to the rest of the festival. By this time, the music system was up and blasting music to everyone’s ears. Some people started to dance in the middle of the festival, while others nodded their heads as they made their way to the different tents.

The sun was starting to peak out from the clouds and the heat started to kick in. And there was no better way to quench the thirst than with some fresh coconut water. We got the entire coconut chilled, cut and served on the spot! Talk about natural! What was great about drinking fresh coconut water, were the handmade bamboo straws that were on sale at DML Bamboo Straw.

Just yesterday was World Environment Day, and these bamboo straws are the perfect example of Eco-friendly products that will play as substitute for plastics, Styrofoam, and other non-biodegradable objects in Belize. Slowly, but surely, Belize intends to limit its use of these materials that play a harm to our environment.

The bamboo straw that I got complemented my coconut perfectly. I was able to drink the entire content of the coconut in quick sips. Nothing beats the heat than an ol’ coconut!

Derrick and I continued to walk along and see what was happening at the other tents. We saw Nicco at the Marie Sharp’s tent and decided to see what he was doing. He was testing out Marie Sharp’s new wine. We watched him test out the little shot glasses of wines, which they were also selling. On the table, were jars of their sweet jams and chutney. Lucas, Belizing’s new intern, got a taste of Marie Sharp’s coconut jam, and he said it was really good.

We also had the honor of meeting Ms. Marie Sharp, herself! Growing up in Belize, Marie Sharp is a household staple. From since we were little kids, we were aware of the white and gold labeled bottles of hot sauce that burned our tongues at each taste. Getting the opportunity of meeting the lady behind these long-loved pepper sauces was my pleasure. I was ecstatic and somewhat shocked that I got to meet Ms. Marie!

Her tent was close to the sea; and we got a glimpse of the shore where waves were crashing in. Albeit it was a bit warm, the sea breeze blew strong that morning and cooled us down really quick.

The next tent that we visited was the Buy Made in Belize Products Belize Shop from BMDC (Belize Marketing & Development Corporation). I met with Emil, who introduced their Belize Jewels Premium Honey. He explained to us that honey requires 18% humidity for it to be premium honey. There were jars of honey on display that were at $7.50 BZD each and larger bottles that cost around $12.50 BZD (if I’m not mistaken). There were also other Belizean products such as coconut oil, hot sauces and jarred jalapenos. Emil was very informative of the products that he was promoting and encouraged all of us to buy Belize, promote Belize and to go Belizing!

After meeting up with Emil, we also got the chance to do a short interview with Love FM! This was exciting. Just like Emil, we encouraged all the Love FM listeners to go Belizing!

By this time, it was already minutes pass 2:00 p.m. and we were getting a bit hungry. We decided to walk around and see what there was to eat. There were many options that had mangos incorporated into it. From gravies to salsa, each dish was bursting with mangoes! Unfortunately, our stomachs couldn’t fit all those delicious, mouthwatering foods.

After lunch, we continued exploring the rest of the Mango Fest before relaxing by the beach. After an exciting day of eating mangos and exploring the festival, we were ready to head back to San Ignacio. The 2018 Mango Fest was a fun and interesting event that the Belizing Team got to experience. Eating those delicious golden mangoes was the highlight of my trip! There’s the Lobster Fest coming up soon! So pack your bags and get ready to go Belizing!

Learn More
Hopkins is a fascinating Garifuna village located in the eastern coast of Belize in the Stann Creek District. Surrounded by the Maya Mountains and the Cockscomb Range inland and the ... moreCaribbean Sea, Hopkins stands as a vibrant community. It is the cultural Center of the Garifuna population in Belize.
Type of Destination:
Phone Service, Restaurants, ATM services, Sports Bars
Stann Creek
Located at the southern tip of the Placencia Peninsula of the Stann Creek District, Placencia is a seacoast village where you can enjoy the best beaches in Belize. Visit the Placencia ... moreLagoon where it is home to the manatees and saltwater crocodiles. You can relax on the seashore or travel a short distance to nearby archaeological sites, nature reserves and marine life.
Type of Destination:
Phone Service, Restaurants, Camping, Parking, Car Rentals, ATM services, Banks, Sports Bars, Night Clubs, Public Parks
Stann Creek
Hopkins Mangu (Mango) Fest In Garifuna, "mango" is known as "mangu." In the village of Hopkins, the soil of the area is rich in nutrients and allows for local farmers to grow a variety ... moreof different mangos. Started in 2013, the Hopkins BTIA Chapter hosts the Hopkins Mangu Fest with the goal of promoting Hopkins Village as an attractive tourist destination that displays a unique and enjoyable cultural and culinary experience. In addition to this, the festival also contributes to an economic boost for local businesses in the area as slow season, or "maga" season, is in effect.

The Hopkins Mangu Fest is an exciting, family-friendly, two day event that celebrates everything mango, ranging from mango-inspired dishes, jams and jellies, candies, and drinks. Usually, there are plenty of competitions and games by the different booths. Although this festival is surrounded on the delicious mango fruits, the Garifuna culture is also greatly promoted through clothing, music, dance and food.
2019 Hopkins Mango Festival The 2019 Hopkins Mango Fest will be a fun festival for the entire family. There will be lots of musical performances, games and prizes! The theme is, of course, mangoes, in which all stalls will feature mango in their food, drinks and arts. Come out and celebrate!
Why you should attend the 2019 Hopkins Mango Festival Not only would you get to taste the sweet nectar of ripe, mature mangoes, you will be able to experience the Garifuna Culture and enjoy quality family time with all the exciting games and activities. Attending this festival will be feasible if you are staying in nearby villages and town. Hopkins is just a short thirty-minute drive from Dangriga and an hour away from Placencia.
Start Date:
Monday, 8 Jun, 2020Annually
Entrance Fee:
Holy Family Catholic Church Beach and Grounds
South Road, Hopkins Village, Stann Creek, Belize
Stann Creek
/ Person
Departs From:
Come visit Kalipuna Island located at the north-end of Hopkins Village Belize where you get to be immersed in our rich Garifuna Culture, parts of which has been proclaimed an oral ... moreand intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO. The historic island is home to Palmento Grove Garifuna Eco Cultural & Fishing Institute where the Martinez Family welcomes you to learn and have fun all in an effort to serve to preserve a rich indigenous cultural heritage. Join us on our authentic Garifuna Cultural & Culinary Adventure Journey offering an enriching vacation experience to all our guests. This tour is ideal for families, honeymooners, couples, solo travelers, students and mixed groups as it is very interactive and hands on. As our Cultural Guests, you get the beautiful opportunity to:

Dress in our Garifuna Traditional handmade & uniquely designed clothing that is best for the subtropical climate for the duration of your Garifuna Experience.

Explore the rich legacy of the Garifuna People via our Cultural Display Centers furnished with historical art pieces some of which are over 100 years old.

Get to uplift your spirit with the enchanting paintings of Isiah Nicholas as you explore our Spiritual Centre. We are blessed to house his largest art collection depicting a varying aspect of the Garifuna Cultural inclusive of the historical journey of our Garifuna People, our spirituality, music, and many of our indigenous art forms, all displayed in their rich & vibrant colors.

Learn about the many magical & beneficial properties of coconut trees & coconuts and the art of traditional coconut harvesting, husking, grating & milk extraction.

Walk with us through our herbal garden and cassava patch harvesting fresh food and herbs for our fresh, organic, healthy and deliciously made meal that is just awesome medicine to uplift your soul.

Master the heat in our traditional kitchen preparing a Garifuna meal over an open fire-heart. Your great reward will be the labor of your culinary love - Delicious HUDUT which is our coconut base chowder/ broth flavored with fresh herbs & sea fish of the day with pounded plantains & well flavorful seasoned fried fish; or any other Garifuna Dish of choice based on dietary preference!

Culminate your Garifuna Cultural & Culinary experience with sensational drum rolls learning the basic techniques of Garifuna drumming & Music & revitalizing your souls ultimately earning your delicious cultural dessert by way of participating in 45 minutes mesmerizing drum session.

Come enjoy a day full of learning, laughter and fun.. One worth sharing with the world!!!
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize Garifuna Cultural Tour The Garifuna make up just 8% of Belize’s population, but their unique culture has been recognized by the United Nation for its language, music, ... moreand dance. Originally from the island of St. Vincent, the Garifuna are a mixture of enslaved Africans who intermarried with indigenous islanders. After a failed uprising against the British, the Garifuna fled to the shores of Belize.

This tour takes participants to the village of Hopkins situated on the beautiful Caribbean coast of southeastern Belize. Participants will don traditional Garifuna clothing while learning about life in this traditional village and the history of the Garifuna people.

Participants will also work together to gather the ingredients and then cook a traditional Garifuna dish known as hudut. Hudut is the Garifuna variant of a coconut fish stew, cooking local fish in a creamy coconut milk mixture and then served with a side of delicious boiled plantains.

Following the meal, participants will enjoy a performance of Garifuna drumming and then learn to play several traditional Garifuna rhythms.

Angela Wu

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