The spirit of the fathers. Education and loss in the Garífuna population of Livingston, Guatemala


  • Artemis Torres Valenzuela
  • Yolanda Estrada Ramos
  • Anita Gramigna


The article presents the report about the investigation that took place during four months. We interviewed 5 people among the most representative, by age, and social role from the Livingston town, Guatemala. The survey used structured and semi-structured interviews in the field and the compilation of free narrations, as well as a bibliographical recognition about the theme. The study objective is to investigate the significance of the education in the Afro-American-
Indian Garifuna community. The Garifunas, native descendants from the Caribbean and black people who are the cultural inheritors of ancient African traditions, but at the same time keep some legacy from indigenous civilizations of Mayan origin with whom they mix. In this context of cultural syncretism, the ancestral wisdom has assumed an identity and educative function of great pedagogical and anthropological interest. This rich heritage, due to the globalization introduced by new forms of economical exploitation of the territory and tourism, is experiencing changes and erosions which threaten the own community identity. The epistemological background is hermeneutic and posts an interpretative pedagogy. The methodology, which has an ethnographic frame and fosters a qualitative approach, pretends to be a normative epistemology. Expected results: We pretend to call the attention over the social, formative
and existentialist consequences that the loss of cultural identities exerts in the present.



How to Cite

Torres Valenzuela, A., Estrada Ramos, Y., & Gramigna, A. (2018). The spirit of the fathers. Education and loss in the Garífuna population of Livingston, Guatemala. Formazione & Insegnamento, 16(1), 359–372. Retrieved from

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