History of Hopkins village, Belize
An african woman, Sirrian, and her two daughters were the first people to set foot on Hopkins, Belize. However, they disappeared unaccountably. The woman had resided in Uganda, Africa, which is believe to be the origin of Hopkins first name, Ugadan. In the year 1937, a group of Black Caribs, Garinagu (plural for “Garifuna”), escaped from the republic of Honduras leaving their homes, relatives and possessions. They settled on the north side of Hopkins village where they began cutting acres of land to build their homes. In the year of 1941, over 200 people migrated from Newtown after the area was devastated by a hurricane. They were welcomed by the Honduran immigrants who offered them food, clothing and temporary shelter. In 1941, an American priest who travelled to the village, renamed it Janesville because he had trouble pronouncing Ugadan. This name was disregarded by the residents. In 1942, the village was officially named Hopkins after Bishop Frederick Hopkins who drowned in an overloaded cargo boat with 3 nuns on their way to Corozal.
Hopkins Village has gone from one long road in the past to four roads with thirty, to thirty-three inside streets. The Northside, known as Beila, stretches from Holy Family RC to the Burial Ground near Hopkins Bay Resort. The Southside, known as False Sittee, extends from Holy Family RC to little pass Hamanasi Resort just before the shortcut to Sittee River. Hopkins is home to many popular resorts such as Belizean Dreams, Hamanasi, Hopkins Bay, Palmento Grove, Coconut Row Guest House (Beachfront rooms and cabins in Hopkins, Belize) and much more. Hopkins is home to 1200-1500 residents which includes a mixture of Mestizo, Maya, Creole and predominantly Garinagu people. Hopkins is located 8 miles south of Dangriga and is voted Belize’s most Friendly Village.
Dabuyaba (Garifuna Temple)
The ‘Dabuyaba’ which is temple in Garifuna, is the venue for the most sacred Garifuna thanksgiving ceremony, the Dugu. This ceremony is performed to appease the souls of the ancestors and can only be performed by a Buyei (Garifuna Priest). The Temple is constructed of bush sticks and cohune leaves. The temple in Hopkins village was built in the year 2012 by the Ariola and Augustine families after the old and larger temple had rotten away earlier.
Mr.Francis Lewis, 73, was born on October 10, 1941 in Seine Bight Village. At the age of one month old, he moved to Ugadan, now Hopkins, fleeing the Hurricane of 1941 that brought harm to Seine Bight. Mr.Lewis attended Holy Family RC in Hopkins Village but due to lack of finance, he was unable to further his education at the secondary level. His first job was in agriculture where he planted and reaped citrus until June 17 of 1963 where he entered the teaching profession earning $17.50 per month. He was also the treasurer at the Holy Family Credit Union for some time. In July of 1973, Mr.Lewis became a cooperative officer until October 10, 1996 when he retired. Lewis also served as Chairman of Hopkins Village from 2007 to 2010 under the United Democratic Party. Mr. Francis Lewis is a father of eleven children and in his spare time, he enjoys planting peanuts and ginger.