Uwahnie Melanie Martinez was born in Southern Belize in the Garifuna Town of Punta Gorda. Her name “Uwahnie” meaning “Soul” inspired her from a young age to work on answering the call from her ancestors to help preserve Garifuna Culture through progressive action.
She’s a eco-cultural entrepreneur, owner/manager of Palmento Grove Eco-Cultural & Fishing Institute and offers Belize Cultural Adventure Travel Services focused on sharing the beauty of the country through the lens of the natives in the most empowering ways. Operating out of the coastal Garifuna Village of Hopkins, where she is supported by her dad and two children, they place family pride in being a 100% indigenous-owned tourism business in Belize utilizing modern technology and marketing platforms to expose their cultural products to the world.
Her signature Garifuna Cultural & Culinary Tour is highly regarded for its authenticity, innovation, quality, consistency and value. Her primary focus has been placed on implementing a sustainable master plan which revolves around profits for preservation and conservation along with progressive non-profit project initiatives. Uwahnie has become renowned for hosting the following two pivotal events for over 5 years: the Belize International Parranda Folkart & Music Festival and the Belize Cultural Adventure summer camp at Palmento Grove bringing in an array of international artist, attendees, and patrons annually.