Warasa Garifuna Drum School

Warasa Garifuna Drum School

Warasa Garifuna Drum School
5
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
About
Warasa Garifuna Drum School is a cultural and educational attraction situated in the historic Saint Vincent Garifuna land on the edge of Punta Gorda town. Our traditional thatch was created from traditional materials in the local style, and is decorated with Garifuna cultural artefacts from the past 100yrs and also modern paintings and handicrafts. Guests can choose a hands-on way to experience the rich history and heritage of the Garifuna through an interactive lesson or performance in traditional drumming, dancing or drum-making for individuals or groups of 2-25 people of all ages and experience levels . Warasa also welcomes local Belizean school groups to this authentic educational site.
Punta Gorda, Belize

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
90 reviews
Excellent
82
Very good
7
Average
0
Poor
1
Terrible
0

peanutmilk
San Francisco, CA113 contributions
Feb 2017 • Friends
Warasa Garifuna Drum School is the one place that really surprised me in many ways. My friend and I had trouble getting there by bus and, therefore, arrived about an hour late. I couldn't believe it at first when Pip (of PG Tours), who came to our rescue and gave us a quick taxi ride to the school from PG town, told us the teacher was waiting for us. When we arrived there, we were indeed greeted warmly by the teacher, Ronald, and the students! I felt deeply grateful for everyone's kindness. With much enthusiasm, Ronald talked about the interesting history and culture of the Garifuna, including drumming, before giving a series of lively drumming performances with his family, which some of the students couldn't resist joining! The drumming then gathered enough momentum to get everyone excited about dancing. We all stood up and enjoyed learning some really fun dancing in a comfortable and friendly setting! Great workout with great music! By the way, look out for some impressive Garifuna twerking! This whole enjoyable experience ended with a very nice Hudut dinner. I'm still amazed at how that evening turned out so well!
Written March 23, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Sherrie - thanks so much for the lovely review! We have a great relationship with PG tours and didn't want the hudut we had cooked for you to go to waste :-). Glad you made it and enjoyed your night.
Written March 24, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Shark_Girl_Anna
Coldbrook, Canada69 contributions
Mar 2012 • Friends
While staying at Hickatee Cottages our group was fortunate enough to be treated to a night with Ray. In a previous visit to Belize we had purchased the Frombackabush album and fell in love with Garifuna music, so we were thrilled at the chance to hear it live. We were completely blown away by Ray's raw talent and passion. Not only is he a brilliant drummer but he is an incredibly talented vocalist as well.

When I heard that there would be drumming lessons I was afraid that it would be too difficult and immediately decided that I would watch only. However, five minutes into it and I quickly changed my mind. Each individual got to sit with Ray, learn how to keep the beat, and then play along side him. It was amazing how the focus was not on learning but on playing. Then he would ask us how we felt. Surprisingly we found it emotional and thrilling all at once.

When his show was over he stayed and talked to us for another hour about the Garifuna culture and language. Because the folks at Hickatee Cottages are so educated in local music he was able to go through their CD collection and help us select our next albums to purchase. He went over the songs we already knew, taught us some of the Garifuna lyrics, and explained the context and stories behind the songs.

This year's trip to Belize was spectacular in terms of what we saw and did, and our night with Ray is still, hands down, the highlight of our trip. And that's saying something.
Written April 7, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jacobjackson
Palm Springs, CA5 contributions
Jul 2018 • Friends
Ray was a great guy - really friendly, and incredibly talented at both drumming and teaching. I loved the traditional thatch and surroundings and was lucky enough to see a toucan while we were there! Its worth stopping by even if you're just passing through the town for a day before heading elsewhere.
Written August 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rachael P
Punta Gorda, Belize10 contributions
Aug 2017 • Friends
We participated in this drum school and dinner through Hillside International. Such a great experience for all. The beats kept us moving all night.
Written July 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks so much for the great review Rachael, we're glad you had fun! Please do encourage all your Hillside companions to leave one too as we get most of our guests through our great TripAdvisor reviews and as a small family business every guests helps support our community and culture :-)
Written July 10, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hannah E
2 contributions
Apr 2018 • Solo
I did a one-on-one session at the drumming school and had an amazing time! My lesson started off with Ivan who taught me about the Garifuna culture and some basic Garifuna rhythms. Then, Ronald taught me some challenging lead rhythms, per my request. Both of the guys were patient, genuine, and fun! I was able to learn some drumming rhythms while also joking around and having an amazing time. The guys also invited me to a performance that they were having that evening and I got to watch them play traditional Garifuna music with their whole crew. If you're coming to Punta Gorda, visit the Warasa Garifuna Drum School. You won't be disappointed!
Written April 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for the great review Hannah - we're happy you enjoyed your lessons and the evening entertainment!
Written April 21, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mark_Dremmel
Menlo Park, CA9 contributions
Dec 2017 • Family
We spent the morning with Ray and his family learning Garifuna dancing and drumming. We even had a chance to help carve, sand and string a traditional drum. Even for the rhythm-challenged, this was an outstanding experience. Ray is talented and a very patient teacher. We also loved learning about how drumming is connected to the history of the Garifuna people. Don’t miss it!
Written December 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks so much for the brilliant review Stacey, Martin & family! We're delighted you enjoyed the experience - we've had family groups of up to 4 generations enjoying themselves under our lovely thatch! We hope you had a Belizean Boxing Day to remember.
Written December 27, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Brenda C
Wolfeboro, NH19 contributions
Feb 2017 • Friends
Every traveler to Belize must experience the rich culture of the Garifuna. The best way to embrace this opportunity is in Punta Gorda, Toledo District. Simply make arrangements on-line for an evening of drumming, dinner & dancing at Ray McDonald's Warasa Garifuna Drum School. It is a cultural family affair! Ray's dad performs with him while his mom prepares the traditional Garifuna dish called "hudut" served to their guests. Meanwhile, Ray eloquently shares the remarkable history of the Garifuna in preparation for the most amazing drumming exhibition one might ever experience in Belize. Definitely a "must do" if your travels take you to Punta Gorda!
Written March 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Brenda - thanks so much for coming to us - next time remember to try a group drumming lesson with your hudut dinner!
Written March 24, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Elena L
Sacramento, CA42 contributions
Jan 2017 • Couples
My husband and I reserved our spots for a drumming class with Ronald, the owner, through the local Visitor’s Center in Punta Gorda. We took a taxi (they are plentiful and we only paid BZ $6, one way) to his home and outdoor hut, where his drumming school comes alive, just outside of town. We received a private lesson for BZ $50. Ronald shared an overview of Garifuna history, language, and how the culture has evolved over time. He described how he made his drums and his process, showing us visuals that adorned his classroom. He taught us how to play three different rhythms and once we had it, he joined in with his own drumming and singing. He was a patient, easy-going, and fun teacher. Before we knew it, two hours had passed (apparently the class was supposed to last one hour), but he had a laid-back attitude about it and was glad to have spent the extra time jammin’ out. Afterwards, he offered to give us a ride back to town, where he was headed anyway to grab a bite to eat for lunch, for a bit less than our taxi charged us. He recommended a reasonably-priced, local spot for lunch and joined us. Overall, Ronald seems like a really nice guy whose heart is in the right place for what he’s trying to do: Teach others about the Garifuna, whether people themselves are Garifuna and want to play an active part in preserving their culture, or people are merely interested in learning about it!
Written February 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Elena - I'm so happy you enjoyed yourself. I love drumming and teaching others so I often lose track of time and end up giving guests some free extra time :-).
Written March 24, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Karin D
1 contribution
Dec 2016 • Family
Wow, I'm back in snowy Colorado and still thinking about this experience. I went with 7 family members in a multi-generational group - we had grandparents down to my 4 year old daughter. We did the full-day experience that included drum-making, lunch (hudut, a traditional Garifuna meal), a drum lesson, dancing lesson, and a performance by Ray and his drum group. We loved all of it! This is my favorite memory from our week-long trip to Belize.
Written January 4, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Karin - It was wonderful sharing Garifuna culture with your family and so much fun having so a big range of ages!
Written March 24, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CyndieZik
Woodside, CA18 contributions
Jul 2016 • Couples
One of the highlights of our trip to Punta Gorda was learning about Garifuna culture and learning to play Garifuna drums from Ray McDonald at the Warasa Drum School. Ray is a wonderful and patient teacher in addition to being a superb drummer and singer. We enjoyed our evening of drumming in a relaxed and fun environment. We even got to see structurally amazing nests made by Weaver Birds. If you're ever in PG, you won't want to miss this experience. Be sure to bring mosquito dope!
Written July 31, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Warasa Garifuna Drum School (Punta Gorda) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go