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“The Best Part of My Trip to San Pedro! A MUST See!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Black & White Cultural Entertainment Center

Black & White Cultural Entertainment Center
Ranked #24 of 48 things to do in San Pedro
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Attraction details
Owner description: At our cultural center we invite families, guests, visitors and tourists to come in to see local Belizean culture. In our country there are many ethnic groups yet we are all Belizeans. One of the most dynamic and interesting ethnic groups is the Garifuna culture. We offer a full presentation of our culture on request. Live Drumming Displays Food Dances Videos Information Clothing Language and lifestyle. This restaurant has a very unique atmosphere. There is an indoor space as well as outdoor space. It is cultural decorated in traditional Garifuna style, demonstrating our unique artifact, and with the instruments we use, when playing music. This restaurant is locally owned by a Belizean Garifuna family. We serve traditional food and local Belizean food. We specialize in food prepared using coconut milk. This gives our food an authentic flavor which is enjoyed by many. Fish is our main diet so fish is served in many forms, and is always available. Some of our main food serving: Hudut or fish serre and plantains Coconut white rice Coconut luxury rice Rice an beans Stew chicken Fish balls, pork chops, pork ribs and more Our tradition menu is available as You walk into the restaurant. If You are a vegetarian there is a wide variety to choose from. Lunch is great with us. Dinner is even better, as that is the time when the drummers are in and Belizean Garifuna music and dance takes place. Friendly people, Friendly drummers, Atmosphere local Belizean style!
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
57 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“The Best Part of My Trip to San Pedro! A MUST See!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2013

Hands down the best part of my trip to San Pedro was Black&White Cultural Entertainment Center! The food was amazing! I tried hudut for the first time and really was happy to be learning about Garifuna culture. The owner and her daughter were delightful and very knowledgeable about the Garinagu people. I learned some different Garifuna dances with them including how to Punta which is actually really hard and very good exercise. There were also drummers and other musicians who accompanied the dancers. Such a wonderful experience! Your trip to San Pedro is not complete without Black&White--a MUST for any visitor to San Pedro.

Visited August 2013
3 Thank Semuteh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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55 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
70 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Great way to find out more about Garifuna heritage”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2013 via mobile

A VERY unique experience, for sure! Kudos to Julia Martinez for putting her belief in preserving her Garifuna culture into action on Ambergris Caye, Belize. She and her family opened the "Black and White Garifuna Cultural Center" in San Pedro a few months ago. Word has been slow to spread, but a large poster on a dive shop door caught my attention. My husband was a bit skeptical as we walked in one night, read a few of the hand lettered school like posters, peeked into the black lights bar (the sixties in Belize?) and Julia said "Come back tomorrow night when we have music with dinner."  

We learned that Garifuna are the descendants of Carib tribes and African slaves in Belize, a mix of West African and Carib-Arawak Indian people who originated on the island of St. Vincent in the 17th Century, and are considered indigenous to the Americas.  They were exiled from St. Vincent in 1797 by the British and now live in the coastal regions of Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the United States.

There is a small Garifuna Museum in Dangriga, but we had only puddle jumped through their small airport on our way to San Pedro.  Retired teacher Julia has created a unique experience for those interested in her culture. First she and her daughter Tisane and three drummers present a short drum and dance number. Then a 30 minute video tribute to Andy Palacio, the best known Garifuna Punta musician (now deceased). He is a hero to the Garifuno for putting their punta music on the international stage and the video is interesting, but could be shorter for tourists who have a short attention span. 

Then Julia and her family present an extensive buffet dinner with both traditional Garifuna dishes, like hudut, as well as Belizean dishes like ribs, rice & beans, potato salad, watermelon, etc. I had looked forward to hudut, a grated plantain cake cooked in coconut milk with fish, because I thought it might be like Mofungo, a Puerto Rican specialty I like. But the fish was served on the side and quite bony that night.

Then a thirty minute drum and dance presentation (participatory if you choose) follows dinner. All visitors/diners got into the action even though our hips could not move like Tisane's!

Julia allows 2 1/2 hours for the complete cultural evening for $25/adult. We shortened the evening a bit because a six year old was falling asleep--in spite of the drums. I guess a drumbeat can be a lullaby!

Visited June 2013
5 Thank VAtripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
1 review
“Cultural Center Garifuna Black and White”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2013

The food and the family are wonderful and there is sometimes drumming and dancing.
I saw the cook Julia on Belize TV for the 2012 Garifuna program and recognized her at the restaraunt. Her daughter Tristan is the waitress and father Francis works the bar.

Visited May 2013
Thank danielvenzon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abbotsford, BC
Level Contributor
56 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Excellent music!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2013

The drums, singing and dancing were amazing. They take you back to their roots and can join in. The ladies will teach you their steps and gets your body moving. The building has been done with heart and soul. The walls tell a story of the history of the people. Warm and friendly. They serve authentic dishes for a very reasonable price. The music will get your hips moving! They do provide private drum lessons for a nominal fee. Looking forward to purchasing drums made locally. I hope to see them playing in local hotels as they are very entertaining.

Visited March 2013
Thank LizAbbotsford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
78 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Black and White and Julia Martinez - Not to be missed!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2013

Belize was settled originally by the Mayans, but after their decline (some of it due to invading Spanish), history brought several different peoples to this Caribbean paradise beginning in the 1700’s, including citizens of the British Empire, Spanish, Mestizos, and people of African/Caribbean Island origin such as Kriols and Garinagu (known as the Garifuna people). As a result, with immigrants of Asian, Middle Eastern, European, North and South American origins, the small country of Belize is now one of the most diverse countries in the world. This cultural richness is one of the strengths and attractions of the former British colony, and the Black and White Cultural Center Restaurant is making sure that one the smaller groups, the Garifuna, is not forgotten.

The Garifuna people are descendents of Carib, Arawak and West African people, mostly former slaves, and can be found today in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. They have well-established traditions of food, dress and music, examples of which can be found at the Black and White Restaurant and Cultural Center, thanks to its founder, Julia Martinez, and her husband Frank and daughter Tisane. This hidden jewel of Garifuna culture can be found at the end of a short unpaved street off of Seagrape Drive, across from the hardware store.

Julia is also a jewel, as is her daughter, the two mainstays who can usually be found doing most of the work that makes the Black and White a must-see/must-do experience. Garifuna cooking is wonderful, involving plantain dishes, fish dishes (like the traditional “Hudut”), potatoes, cassava bread, and incredibly flavorful sauces to soak the cassava in. If you can put together a group of 10 or more people, chances are good that Julia can arrange a culture night where you can learn about Garifuna history and culture, followed by a wonderful buffet of Garifuna dishes, and drumming and dancing where you can join in if the spirit moves you (and how wouldn’t it?). The night we were there, a group of Cornell University students were there, and it was clear that they’ll enjoy the memories of that evening for the rest of their lives.

Don't go here expecting "fancy," go here expecting a wonderful experience - you won't be disappointed.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank Seafood_Eatsame
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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