Triunfo de la Cruz is one of the more popular Garifuna villages on the Bay of Tela. As such, it has been on my radar. Thus, I planned a visit to this traditional Garifuna community to find out what it has to offer. Each Garifuna community has its own, special atmosphere and traditions. Triunfo de la Cruz is no exception. The good news is that getting to Triunfo de la Cruz is very easy. Take the CA13 highway in direction of La Ceiba. A few kilometers past Tela you will see a clearly marked sign indicating the turnoff. This is located around km 97.
Take note that the detour is just after a curve. This means you should be on the lookout for the sign, and then take caution when turning off the main road. If you are on a public bus, let the driver know that you want to get off at the detour to Triunfo de la Cruz. From there, you will usually find taxis that will drive you into town.
The detour has a paved road that will lead you to the village. Soon after you start your drive you will come to a junction. Take the option to the right, as this will lead you into the village itself. The other option will take you towards La Ensenada, another Garifuna Village. This option is also good if you are heading towards the “hotel zone” at Triunfo de la Cruz. As I continued into town, I came across the workshop that belongs to don Ceferino Norales. Every town has some interesting people to meet and talk to. Don Ceferino is certainly one of them at Triunfo de la Cruz. He is an accomplished musician, artisan and entrepreneur. He is also the winner of the Premio Nacional de Herencia Africana en Honduras. This is an award that recognizes the efforts and achievements of Honduran citizens of African descent.
Meeting this interesting fellow was a highlight of my trip. I recommend that you make it a point to meet don Ceferino if you are interested in Garifuna traditions or are looking to buy a souvenir. He makes Garifuna drums. That was how I found him; he was sitting outside his workshop working on a new drum! Don Ceferino proudly mentioned that he used to make drums for Guillermo Anderson, one of the most successful musicians in Honduras! He allowed me into his workshop, where he showed me handicrafts that his wife and himself create. I was instantly attracted to the coconut grating boards that his wife creates. However, Don Ceferino does not only make handicrafts!
It happens that Don Ceferino Norales also has a small business that brews guifity, a traditional Garifuna beverage. His brand, Guifity Walagante is made right here in Triunfo de la Cruz. He offers two different brews, the regular bitter taste and another that is a bit sweet. You can buy his special brew right here or order it over the phone at 504 3327 0514 and 504 9970 2351. It is important to mention that his product has all the necessary sanitary permits and his sanitary registry is in order. Don Ceferino is a native of La Ceiba, but grew up in Triunfo de la Cruz. Over the years he has managed diverse musical groups in Honduras.
After tasting a sampling of his very own guifity, I continued my way towards the beach at Triunfo de La Cruz. Along the way, I came across a small bakery that was elaborating “pan de coco” or coconut bread. This is a very traditional and tasty bread elaborated by the Garifuna people. The bakery “panaderia La Lucha” is right on the main road into town. In addition to chatting with the owners, who were in the process of baking, I bought and tasted some freshly baked bread that was delightful! It is common to see Garifuna women walking along the beach with a basket of bread on their head selling this bread. Visiting this small Garifuna entrepreneurship was a treat! After this brief stop, I was on my way to the Caribbean Coral Inn, where I had booked a room for the night.
This small hotel has a pleasant rustic atmosphere. It promotes a back to nature philosophy but offers all the comforts you expect. In addition to the comfortable rooms and nice beach, Carolina, the owner offers some excellent food. But that will be the theme of another post. In addition to this property there are other lodging alternatives at Triunfo de la Cruz.
As I walked through town the next morning, it was evident that the community was working hard in anticipation for the upcoming “summer 2020” season. The peak season for them are the hot sunny days that lead to Easter Week. Hondurans love to visit the beach during this season. As such, locals were rebuilding the thatched roof champas on the beach. These are always popular because the provide a nice shade to cool off in. Over the weekends, it is always good to arrive early to make sure you get your own champa, which are of course, available for rent during the day. The main event in Triunfo de la Cruz takes place during the traditional fair in honor of St. Joseph, their patron saint. This takes place in and around March 19. It is an excellent opportunity to experience some of the Garifuna Traditions.