Susan Meiselas spends time with women of the Garífuna, one of eight recognized indigenous groups in Honduras. The Garífuna are the descendants of indigenous Caribbean tribes and African slaves, whose traditional language, music, and dance have been declared by UNESCO to be an "intangible cultural heritage" worthy of protection. For decades, the Garifuna have fought for their communal land rights on the pristine Caribbean coast of Honduras. Now the tourism industry, marketing white-sand beaches and tropical temperatures, is amplifying the threat to Garífuna land. The demand for valuable beachfront property has led to land invasions, intimidation, bribery, and outright violence against the Garífuna community.
This project is part of "Contested Lands," a collaboration between Pacific Standard, Magnum Photos, and the Pulitzer Center that sent six Magnum photographers to report on land rights issues from six countries around the globe. Visit our online curriculum for a lesson plan and full PDF of the magazine.