Sunday, May 31st 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: HOPKINS, STANN CREEK DISTRICT – It was “mango everything” on display on a sunny Saturday by the seaside in the budding tourism destination and Garifuna stronghold of Hopkins Village.
The Annual Mango Festival was well and truly revived, not only as an economic boon to the community of 1, 500 residents, but also an opportunity to showcase the versatile mango, of which more is eaten daily in the world than any other fruit.
Originally introduced to the West from India, there are 400 varieties of the mango, of which Hopkins and Belize claim about 20.
Most families and businesses have at least one tree in their yards, although most of the bounty is not ripe at this stage.
However, that did not stop participants from showcasing their mango-related wares: jams and jellies, sauces, pastries, juices, and in many varied dishes.
The mango when young is rich in Vitamin C and is a good source of Vitamin A when riper. Its leaves, according to noted healer abd student of the late Don Elijio Panti, Aurora Saqui of Maya Center, are a good tea source and form part of her natural soaps and cough medicine.
But whatever it is used for, most agree that a fresh mango is an excellent refresher on a hot day, perhaps a little salt added.
Saturday’s entertainment included a Maya traditional dance group, parandero Godfrey Sho, Bredda David and the Tribal Vibes and headliners the Garifuna Collective who are leaving for a U.S. and European tour.
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