The Restaurant Las Tres Garifunas, Black Activism through food in Guatemala


Welcome back to season two of Labyrinth of the First Gen! In this season, we delve into the diverse experiences of first-generation individuals who are paving their own paths and making a significant impact within their communities. Today, we are excited to introduce you to Diana Martinez, the owner of Las Tres Garifunas, a renowned restaurant in Livingston, Guatemala. Join us as we explore Diana’s journey, her commitment to preserving Garifuna cuisine, and her inspiring activism.

Diana’s Journey:

Diana’s family restaurant, Las Tres Garifunas, is not simply a place to share delicious meals, but also a symbol of cultural preservation. Diana’s passion for her Garifuna heritage prompted her to open the restaurant 15 years ago, alongside her mother. While initially focused on serving traditional Garifuna food, Diana soon realized that Las Tres Garifunas had become more than just a local eatery.

Breaking Barriers:

Las Tres Garifunas has gained national and international recognition for its Caribbean flavors and vibrant cultural displays. Diana’s dedication to showcasing the richness of Garifuna cuisine and culture has allowed her restaurant to transcend boundaries. Las Tres Garifunas has been featured on various television shows, including a notable appearance on Marx Wayne’s YouTube channel. Through these platforms, Diana has introduced the world to Garifuna cuisine and the unique flavors of the Guatemalan coast.

Culinary Delights and Cultural Preservations:

The essence of Las Tres Garifunas lies in its commitment to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Diana’s restaurant stands out for its connection to nature and the community it serves. With a botanical garden that supplies many of the restaurant’s ingredients, Las Tres Garifunas not only delivers delicious food but also preserves traditional Garifuna farming practices.

Diana’s Culinary Classes:
In addition to operating Las Tres Garifunas, Diana also conducts cooking classes where she shares her expertise in Garifuna cuisine. These classes provide participants with the opportunity to learn about the cultural significance of each dish and even how to make coconut milk from scratch. Through these classes, Diana ensures that the art of Garifuna cooking is passed down to future generations.

Empowering Women:

Diana’s commitment to community extends beyond her restaurant. She actively participates in various women empowerment initiatives and cooperatives. Through a savings club and an entrepreneurial committee, Diana helps women formalize their businesses and create economic independence. By sharing her knowledge and experiences, Diana empowers fellow Garifuna women to pursue their dreams and create positive change within their communities.

Activism and Advocacy:
As an activist, Diana works tirelessly to address the challenges faced by Afro-descendant communities, particularly Garifuna women. She participates in movements and conferences that highlight the rights and contributions of Afro-descendants in Guatemala and beyond. Diana firmly believes that activism and raising awareness are essential to challenging discrimination and preserving cultural heritage.

Looking Ahead:
Diana envisions a future where Garifuna cuisine and culture thrive. Alongside her restaurant, she plans to establish a culinary school for children and youth, fostering a love for cooking and preserving traditional Garifuna recipes. Diana aims to continue promoting the Garifuna identity and facilitating a deeper understanding of Afro-descendant cultures within Guatemala and across the world.

Diana Martinez’s journey is a testament to the power of cultural preservation and the impact of breaking barriers. Through Las Tres Garifunas, Diana is not only tantalizing taste buds but also preserving the rich flavors, stories, and traditions of the Garifuna community. Her commitment to empowering women and her activism further underscore the importance of raising awareness about Afro-descendant cultures in Guatemala and beyond. Join us in celebrating Diana’s remarkable contributions and stay tuned for the next episode of Labyrinth of the First Gen, where we continue to explore the inspiring stories of first-generation individuals.

This episode is perfect for anyone who is interested in learning more about Black Garifuna culture and activism in Central America.  Learn more about Diana’s Restaurant Las Tres Garifunas on her facebook page here

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