A language of Honduras

Alternate Names
Black Carib, Caribe, Central American Carib, Island Carib, Karif
User Population

98,000 in Honduras (Rivas 1993). 100 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 43,100 (2013 census). Total users in all countries: 174,300.


Atlántida and Colón departments; Cortes department: north coast between Masca and Plaplaya in Gracias a Dios department; Islas de la Bahía (Roatan island) department; cities: La Ceiba, Puerto Cortés, San Pedro Sula, and Tegucigalpa; 37 villages.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Western Garifuna, Eastern Garifuna. Related to Island Carib [car], with Spanish [spa], English [eng], and French [fra] borrowings. Eastern Garifuna dialect is spoken in Honduras (leaves out, r, and tends to shorten words), Western Garifuna in Guatemala and Belize.



Language Use

Shifting to Spanish [spa] in some villages. All domains. Some of all ages. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng]. Also use Spanish [spa].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 5%–15%. Radio. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. Bible: 2002.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Ancestors taken from Saint Vincent Island in 1796–1797, and taken to Roatan Island. Most went to Trujillo, Honduras in 1937. About 35 years later political troubles threatened their existence, and they fled further east into Honduras and Belize. Later they emigrated to other countries. Christian, traditional religion.

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