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Photography featured in VICE News Article about Garifuna Migration in Honduras

Garifuna People are Risking Everything to Flee Their Ancestral Honduran Homelands

Article by Tim Smyth, photography by Nathaniel Janowitz. READ MORE

Garifuna's are leaving home



A horse grazes in the Travesía town cemetery, on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. Some of the tombs shine in the sun with new tiles, while others are marked by little more than rusted crosses. On one such grave — a stark box of bare concrete — lies a white wreath, which is turning brown in the sun. This is Catrín Bernárdez’s grave, the final resting place of his American dream.

Bernárdez, 43, was Garifuna. This Afro-Caribbean ethnic community, of mixed Amerindian and African descent, is scattered across Central America, but is centered in Honduras, where an estimated 200,000 Garifuna live. With a massive wave of migration to the US currently underway, the Garifuna people are being severely depleted in their ancestral homelands.

Over the past year, US government agencies have been overwhelmed by the recent influx of migrants from Central America, many of whom travel on top of a train known as “La Bestia” [The Beast]. Migrants jump the dangerous freight train, often embarking on a grueling 1,500-mile journey from the Mexico-Guatemala border to the US. The trip is marked by extortion, violence, and sexual assault. Human traffickers who control the route charge an impuesto de guerra [a war tax] to ride the train. Migrants who fail to pay are shot or thrown from La Bestia’s roof…. READ MORE

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