The main culture on Caye Caulker is Mestizo, but several others are also represented.
Mestizos are a Spanish-speaking people descended from Yucatec Maya and Spanish. The first Mestizos migrated from the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico during the Caste Wars of the mid 19th century. Mestizos were the founders and are still the majority population of Caye Caulker.
The Maya are the indigenous culture of much of Central America, including Belize. It is estimated that around a million of the Maya at one time populated Belize, but today there are only about thirty thousand. The arrival of the Spanish, through violence and disease, decimated a large portion of the Maya population. Throughout the Belize mainland are numerous Mayan ruins, the most accessible of which is Altun Ha. Look for a tour from Caye Caulker by boat to Altun Ha on the mainland.
The Garifuna are descended from Carib and Arawak Indians that intermarried with escaped Africans from two slave ships that sunk in the eastern Caribbean in the 17th century. They were exiled to the islands and shores of Central America in 1797 and made their way to Caye Caulker by the 1970's. Their unique music, drumming and dancing can often be seen on Caye Caulker.
Creoles are a mixture of European, African and other races. The Creole language is widely spoken here. It is derived from English, spoken rapidly, uses Spanish vowel sounds and has its own unique grammar.
The Mennonites, originally from Russia and Germany, immigrated to Belize from Mexico in the late 1950's. Mennonites have formed productive agricultural communities in Belize and their excellent vegetables, dairy and poultry are sold in all the stores on Caye Caulker. Most of the wooden furniture here was made by the skilled Mennonite carpenters.
A growing number of tourists, especially on Caye Caulker, decide never to leave!!!