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Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas Weekend Broadcast Dates

Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas
broadcasts nationwide on PBS
during Hispanic Heritage Month 
(September 12 – October 15, 2020)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2020
AIR DATES


(Cities listed in alphabetical order) 

Albany, GA
GPB / WABW & WACS – 8:30am, Limón Episode

Atlanta, GA
GPB / WGTV – 8:30am, Limón Episode

Augusta / Allendale, SC
GPB / WCES – 8:30am, Limón Episode
SCETV / WEBA ETV WORLD – 4:00pm, San José Episode

Charleston, SC
SCETV / WITV ETV WORLD – 4:00pm, San José Episode

Charlotte NC / Rock Hill, SC
SCETV / WNSC – 4:00pm, San José Episode
SCETV / WNSC ETV World – 4:00pm, San José Episode

Chattanooga, TN
GPB / WNGH – 8:30am, Limón Episode

Columbia, MO
KMOS-3 – 10:30pm, Limón Episode

Columbia / Sumter, SC
SCETV / WRJA & WRLK ETV WORLD – 4:00pm, San José Episode

Columbus, GA
GPB / WJSP – 8:30am, Limón Episode

Dayton, OH
WPTD / Think TV16 – 5:30pm, Limón Episode

Jacksonville, GA
GPB / WXGA – 8:30am, Limón Episode

Las Vegas, NV
KLVX Jackpot! – 4:00am, Limón Episode

Macon, GA 
GPB / WMUM – 8:30am, Limón Episode

Myrtle Beach / Florence / Conway, SC 
SCETV / WHMC &  WJPM ETV WORLD, 4:00pm, San José Episode

Orlando, FL
WEFS – 12:00pm, Limón Episode

Rochester, NY
WXXI – 1:00pm, Limón Episode

Savannah / Beaufort, SC
SCETV / WJWJ ETV WORLD – 4:00pm, San José Episode
GPB / WVAN – 8:30am, Limón Episode

Seattle / Tacoma, WA
KBTC – 3:00am, Limón Episode
KCKA – 3:00am, Limón Episode

Spartanburg / Greenville, SC
SCETV / WNEH ETV WORLD – 4:00pm, San José Episode
SCETV / WNTV ETV WORLD- 4:00pm, San José Episode
SCETV / WRET ETV WORLD- 4:00pm, San José Episode

Kim with Yethsira Wilson and Dance Group

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2020
AIR DATES

 (Cities listed in alphabetical order)

Chicago, IL
WTTW Prime – 11:30am, San José Episode

New York / Long Island City, NY
WNYE – 11:00am, San José Episode
WLIW – 11:30am, Limón Episode

Salt Lake City, UT
KUEN – 8:30pm Limón Episode

Tucson, AZ
AZPM / KUAS-3 & KUAT-3 – 12:00pm, Limón Episode
AZPM / KUAS-3 & KUAT-3 – 4:30pm, Limón Episode

Kim with Chef, Selvin Brown

Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas, a new PBS travel series, premieres with a two-part special featuring Afro-Costa Rican culture this September 2020 on public television stations nationwide in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. This series celebrates and honors the historical and cultural contributions of Latin America’s African descendants, hosted by trilingual, Black female traveler and Executive Producer, Kim Haas.

“We are introducing public television viewers to Afro-Latinos and their profound legacy in the Americas through history, culture, cuisine, art, dance, music, environmental conservation, literature, sports, and festivals,” says Haas.

Afro-Latino Travels is about Black joy, pride and resilience despite centuries of oppression and under-representation. The series features Afro-Latinos who will inspire viewers with hope and optimism.”

No other travel TV series showcases solely the Afro-Latino communities throughout Latin America and their rich and diverse legacy of creating vibrant cultures in the Americas.  African descendants have and continue to leave an indelible imprint on mainstream Latino culture from countries as diverse as Andean Peru to tropical Cuba, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.  

The Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas two-part special featuring Costa Rica will be available on public television stations across the United States starting September 12, 2020 – check local listings for broadcast dates and times. Underwriting for the program has been provided in part by the Ford Foundation and in-kind support provided by the Costa Rica Tourism Board. 

Haas Media LLC
For more information about Haas Media and
“Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas,”
please call (862) 368-8462 or info@haas-media.com

Message from the former president of Costa Rica: Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera

The former president of Costa RicaLuis Guillermo Solis Rivera was kind enough to share these videos in support of Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas. We hope you enjoy them! Thank you again President Solis.

Spanish Version of Video below.

“AFRO-LATINO TRAVELS WITH KIM HAAS,” a new PBS travel series, premieres with a two-part special featuring Afro-Costa Rican culture this September 2020 on public television stations nationwide in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. This series celebrates and honors the historical and cultural contributions of Latin America’s African descendants, hosted by trilingual, Black female traveler and Executive Producer, Kim Haas.

ABOUT KIM HAAS

[www.TRAVELSWITHKIMHAAS.com]

Kim Haas, Executive Producer, Host & Creator of Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas, has been active in Afro-Latino issues for more than a decade and is founder of losafrolatinos.com, a blog celebrating Afro-Latino culture. Kim speaks fluent Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. She served as Director of Marketing for WWSI TV Telemundo, and she also served as an on-camera pledge host in English, Spanish and Italian for WYBE TV in Philadelphia. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  Kim is passionate about her work with “Afro-Latino Travels,” and she is extremely proud to be one of the upcoming few Black, female travel hosts on public television, leading the path for more to follow!

Kim Haas, Executive Producer and Host

https://www Facebook.com/KimHaasTravels

https://www.instagram.com/kimhaastravels/

Welcome to Costa Rica

Celebrating Costa Rica’s Independence Day –

September 15, 2020

In honor of Costa Rica’s independence, we are pleased to share with you a brief overview of the country’s history with key dates and photos of its spectacular natural beauty.

Photo Courtesy of Kim Haas

Costa Rica (rich coast), is an isthmus connecting North and South America.  It is one of seven independent countries, forming “Central America” (Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama).

Photo Courtesy of Spencer Lewis (Kim’s dad)

Boundaries
The mighty Pacific Ocean, the earth’s largest waterway, on the north; the calm tranquil Caribbean Sea, flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, on the east; in the north, Nicaragua, and on the south is Panama.

Photo Courtesy of Kim Haas

Climate   
Tropical weather with temperatures from 18C (64F) to 27C (81F); it is frost free, with 2 distinct seasons:

            1. Rainy: May-November, drenching tropical rain downpours

            2. Dry: April-November

Plus    
Costa Rica is less than 700 miles (@1100 km) from the Equator, earth’s imaginary center.

At the Summit of Irazu Volcano, on a clear day, one can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. At the Summit, seventy-six miles separate the 2 bodies of water.

Costa Rica is one of the most densely bio-diverse countries in the world.  Its stunning panoramas present picturesque visual feasts. With this distinction come magnificent, breathtaking views of: national parks, waterways, jungles, volcanoes, mountains, cloud forests, coral reefs, mangroves, rain forest, wetlands, swamps, lagoons, islands and beaches, with sands ranging in color from white to black. 

Photo Courtesy of Kim Haas

Also, the country has an extensive array of 500,000 species of fauna, including varieties of insects, reptiles, mammals, and marine life.  There are more than 1,500 types of butterflies and 50 of the worlds 340 species of humming birds. The country’s flora is plentiful, with more than 1,300 varieties of orchids.      

Photo Courtesy of Spencer Lewis (Kim’s dad)

Noteworthy Dates
1502   
Christopher Columbus arrived, Isla Uvita (near Port of Limón) First enslaved Africans brought to Costa Rica

1821   
Independence from Spain

1824   
Enslavement (slavery) abolished

1871/72
Construction began on 100 mile San José to Limón railroad; took 20 years to complete

1872
Jamaicans, in the thousands, came to Limón; worked as contract workers (were not enslaved) on the railroad, banana and cocoa plantations

1882   
Death penalty abolished

1948   
African descendants become Afro-Costa Rican citizens

1949   
Abolished military/armed forces. 
Military budget used for security, education and culture

Costa Rica
-Former Spanish colony
-Spanish speaking nation
-Religion Roman Catholic
-Population 5.5 million 
-San José, capital and largest city, population of 335,000 

Photo Courtesy of Spencer Lewis (Kim’s dad)

Today, September 15, begins the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and its roots extend as far back as 1968. Each year, a celebration takes place on this day.  It is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries who declared their independence in 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.  In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period.

Photo Courtesy of Kim Haas

To learn more about Costa Rica, please visit: https://www.visitcostarica.com/en

Photo Courtesy of Kim Haas

Groundbreaking New Public Television Series Features Afro-Latino Cultures Through the Lens of Travel

Black Female Travel Host, Kim Haas, Takes Public Television Viewers On A Journey To Discover Afro-Latino Cultures With Two-Part Special on Costa Rica, Premiering During Hispanic Heritage Month

Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas premieres nationwide on PBS during Hispanic Heritage Month (September 12 – October 15, 2020)

In the New York City area, the series debuts on:

  • WNET TV NY on September 12, 2020 at 6:30am
  • WNYE TV NY on September, 13, 2020, at 12:00am

(Check your local PBS listings for additional locations, dates and times.)

Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas, a new travel series on public television, premieres with a two-part special featuring Afro-Costa Rican culture this September 2020 on Public Television Stations nationwide in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.  This series celebrates and honors the historical and cultural contributions of Latin America’s African descendants, hosted by tri-lingual, Black female traveler and Executive Producer, Kim Haas.

“We are introducing public television viewers to Afro-Latinos and their profound legacy in the Americas through history, culture, cuisine, art, dance, music, environmental conservation, literature, sports, and festivals,” says Haas. “Afro-Latino Travels is about Black joy, pride and resilience despite centuries of oppression and under-representation. The series features Afro-Latinos who will inspire viewers with hope and optimism.”

Kim Haas, Host and Executive Producer

No other travel TV series showcases solely the Afro-Latino communities throughout Latin America and their rich and diverse legacy of creating vibrant cultures in the Americas.  African descendants have and continue to leave an indelible imprint on mainstream Latino culture from countries as diverse as Andean Peru to tropical Cuba, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.  

Beginning in the 1500s and throughout The Middle Passage, millions of enslaved Africans were brought to Latin America through the 18th century.  Researchers estimate at least 1 in 3 Latin Americans have African ancestry, and Africans and their descendants were involved in every aspect of Latin American society: colonialism, the fight for independence, the building of transportation and infrastructure (forts, railroads, etc.), and more.

Selvin Brown, Restauranteur

“I’ve wanted to produce a series featuring the impact that the five centuries of African presence in Latin America has had for so long, and this two-part special is just the start of that journey,” shares Haas.  “This project has been in the works for years. With the lack of diversity in travel media and the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement, more recently, celebrating this heritage is essential to recognizing and acknowledging African descendants and their legacy.”

Highlights from the two-part Afro-Latino Travels Costa Rica episodes include interviews with:

  • Quince Duncan, celebrated author, whose 50 year career in literature is credited with introducing the Afro-Costa Rican in Costa Rican literature
  • Tarik Soto, gymnast and 2020 Olympic hopeful.
  • Doris & Sasha Campbell, dancer and singer, respectively (sisters of Ms. Epsy Campbell, Latin America’s first black vice president)
Quince Duncan, Author

The Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas two-part special featuring Costa Rica will be available on public television stations across the United States starting September 12, 2020 – check local listings for broadcast dates and times. Underwriting for the program has been provided in part by the Ford Foundation and in-kind support provided by the Costa Rica Tourism Board.

Sharifa Crawford Clarke, Dancer

ABOUT KIM HAAS
www.TRAVELSWITHKIMHAAS.com 

Kim Haas, Executive Producer, Host & Creator of Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas, has been active in Afro-Latino issues for more than a decade and is founder of losafrolatinos.com, a blog celebrating Afro-Latino culture. Kim speaks fluent Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. She served as Director of Marketing for WWSI TV Telemundo, and she also served as an on-camera pledge host in English, Spanish and Italian for WYBE TV in Philadelphia. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Kim attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish. She earned her graduate degree in Bilingual/Bicultural Studies (Spanish) from LaSalle University in Philadelphia.  Kim is passionate about her work with “Afro-Latino Travels,” and she is extremely proud to be one of the upcoming few Black, female travel hosts on public television, leading the path for more to follow!


Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas
For more information about “Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas,” please call (862) 368-8462 or info@haas-media.com.

https://Facebook.com/KimHaasTravels

https://www.instagram.com/kimhaastravels/

Un sortilegio llamado Nuquí

By: Mariela Palacios
Consultora para Desarrollo Socioeconómico

Hola amigos lectores, a pesar de haber acordado con Kim escribir sobre Quibdó, ella, al enterarse que me tomaría un city break en un pedacito del paraíso en  el Pacífico chocoano, me pidió que escribiera un post sobre este maravilloso lugar; entonces sin dejar de lado a Quibdó, en esta ocasión les hablaré de su ciudad hermana, Nuquí.

Nuqui, Colombia

Después de declinar varias invitaciones de mí amiga Josefina Klínger a disfrutar del Festival de la Migración, que se realiza en este municipio costero, este año tomé la decisión de hacer un alto en mi rutina y recrearme con esta maravillosa experiencia, en un lugar turísticamente atractivo a solo veinte minutos de vuelo desde Quibdó. Nuquí, un sitio creado para enamorarse, ¡si, para enamorase!

Related image

Josefina Klinger  (Foto: http://www.eltiempo.com)

Con Josefina Klinger and Mariela Palacioas

Josefina Klinger y Mariela Palacios (Foto: Mariela Palacios)

Sucumbes ante sus seductoras playas que cuando las miras desde el aire quieres fundirte en un vibrante abrazo con ellas;  avivas sensaciones adormecidas por el día a día cuando sus cálidas aguas limpias y cristalinas rítmicamente toquetean tu piel; te enamora su gente llena de magia, de hospitalidad, impetuosa como su mar.

Turismo en Nuquí

Foto: www.semena.com

 

Image result for people of nuqui, colombia

Photo: www.elcantil.com

Pero indiscutiblemente, el más estremecedor arrebato de amor, la pasión más sublime que puedes experimentar, es ver las ballenas pariendo sus críos y enseñándoles a nadar, cuando las tortugas desovan  en la tranquilidad de la ensenada y cuando las aves despliegan su arsenal de colorido, movimientos y sonidos destilando sensualidad, deslumbrando su elegido y conduciéndolo al vital apareamiento que permite perpetuar las especies. Esto es magia,  y  solo sientes que exhalas tu último aliento agotas las fuerzas del alma y del cuerpo al estar justo aquí, en uno de los úteros del mundo, Nuquí.

Image result for whales in columbia

Foto: Harvey Chatfield/Half Blind Photography http://www.chinookobserver.com

Toda esta fantasía que se vive en Nuquí se conserva para las generaciones venideras a través del Festival de la Migración, una fiesta ambiental y cultural que en un principio, de 1999 a 2002 estuvo a cargo de las fundaciones Calidris y Yubarta dedicadas a la investigación y protección de aves y ballenas respectivamente, acompañado por la Fundación Ambientalista Natura, financiada por  WWF.  En  2010 la Mesa de Ordenamiento Territorial y la Corporación Mano Cambiada, retoman el liderazgo del Festival, cuya principal particularidad es que sus protagonistas son los niños y jóvenes,  quienes  mediante diferentes expresiones artísticas y culturales  sensibilizan a locales y visitantes sobre la importancia de fortalecer la cultura como expresión del pueblo y el compromiso con el cuidado del medio ambiente, usando como pretexto la llegada de ballenas, tortugas y aves.

Kids Turtles

Festival de la Migración

Nuqui graphic

Cada año desde agosto hasta finales de septiembre, turistas de diferentes partes del mundo convergen en este punto para presenciar el espectáculo de la naturaleza y además disfrutar de su exótica gastronomía basada en frutos del mar, coco, plátano y demás frutos tropicales.

Mucho más sobre Nuquí…

Hay muchas cosas más que pueden sorprenderte de este lugar como lo es encontrar en el corregimiento de Termales, un club de surf de niños y jóvenes nativos quienes a través de la Fundación Buen Punto, perfeccionaron su técnica y representaron al país en competencias internacionales, hoy día atienden a turistas que quieran practicar este deporte; aquí también puedes disfrutar de las terapéuticas aguas termales.  En otros lugares en área rural como Arusí, Joví, Coquí puedes disfrutar de sus playas, practicar pesca, experimentar las bondades del turismo comunitario que permiten interactuar con los locales, ser uno más de ellos y vivenciar su cotidianidad.

Beauty Scene Nuqui
Parque Nacional Natural Utría

 

Jóvenes de la Fundación Buen Punto. Foto
https://www.facebook.com/fundacionbuenpunto/photos/a.188355391497677.1073741827.188347918165091/188354054831144/?type=1&theater
Pozo de aguas Termales, Foto: Parques Nacionales
Espectáculo de Ballenas. Foto cortesía www.awake.travel

 

La fuerza creadora no dejó escapar detalle alguno en la creación de esta pieza de arte, pues aquí también encontramos el Parque Nacional Natural Ensenada de Utría, un área protegida de 53.380 hectáreas marítimas y terrestres, donde se disfruta de actividades ecoturísticas y también se realizan eventos empresariales y académicos. No encuentro las palabras adecuadas que describan Utría, cuando se está allí, se tiene la sensación de estar dentro de un sueño permanente, tanta belleza natural parece irreal, sus sonidos de aves, del agua, de la brisa; la salinidad del ambiente, el verde intenso de su vegetación, la inmensidad del mar, la evidente mezcla de cultura indígena y afro reflejada en artesanías, comidas y colores del entorno, es simplemente avasallador. Se observa en las miradas extasiadas de los visitantes y nativos quienes sencillamente están entregados al juego seductor de la naturaleza.

Ecoturismo en los Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia

Utria National Park (Parque Nacional Natural Utría Chocó)

Y para despedirme sólo les digo que vale la pena dejarse tentar y disfrutar los placeres de este travieso pecadillo chocoano: ¡el sortilegio llamado Nuquí!

 

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15 – October 15

Hispanic Heritage Month

¡Hablemos de Quibdó! (Let’s talk about Quibdó!)

 

For English (Let’s talk about Quibdó), Click here.

By: Mariela Palacios, Consultora para Desarrollo Socioeconómico

Estamos orgullosos de presentarles el primer post del blog en español “Hablemos de Quibdó”; escrito por mi amiga Mariela Palacios quien aceptó mi invitación a dar conocer a los lectores de este blog Quibdó su tierra natal en Colombia; es más, me place decirles que “Hablemos de Quibdó”, es el primero de muchos post que escribirá Mariela.

Si usted leyó la versión en inglés (“Let’s talk about Quibdó”) el viernes pasado por favor déjenos saber su opinión. Y si es nuevo en losafrolatinos, bienvenido! Que este sea el comienzo de un viaje maravilloso.

Un abrazo y muchas gracias!!

IMG_1987

Foto cortesía de Maruja Uribe

Cuando mi amiga Kim Haas me invitó a participar de este blog me sentí feliz por tener un espacio donde hablar con el mundo sobre Quibdó, mi pintoresca Villa de Asís, nombre que se le da por su devoción a su Santo Patrón San Francisco de Asís.

Kim and Mariela

Foto cortesía de Kim Haas

Quibdó ciudad de contrastes, de risas, de desilusiones, de encontradas pasiones, de impetuosas lluvias con sofocantes calores, con innumerables problemáticas sociales, pero con gente feliz y optimista, perseguidores de sueños; de mujeres desparpajadas, coquetas, vanidosas pero guerreras, capaces de entregar su vida por la felicidad de sus hijos. Quibdó, lugar que exacerba todos los sentidos con los arreboles de sus atardeceres a orillas del río Atrato, con sus embriagantes olores a selva, a madera fresca; con la cadencia de su música y la picardía de las historias contadas por los mayores; con los suculentos platillos amorosamente preparados por las matronas a base de hierbas frescas cultivadas en el patio de la casa; con las sensuales e indiscretas caricias hechas por el recorrido de las gotas de sudor que expele nuestra piel para contrarrestar las altas temperaturas que siempre nos acompañan.

¡Así se siente Quibdó!

¿Y dónde está Quibdó?

Image result for Quibdó  in south americaQuibdó es la capital de departamento del Chocó en Colombia, está situado en la margen derecha del río Atrato; el Chocó se encuentra ubicado en el Noroccidente de país, siendo la verdadera esquina, la entrada a Sur América, ya que el territorio tiene costas tanto en el mar Caribe como en el océano Pacífico haciendo frontera con Panamá. Quibdó, voz indígena que significa “lugar entre ríos”, tiene una temperatura promedio de 28°C (82°F). y una altitud de 43 metros sobre el nivel del mar; además de una precipitación promedio de 8.000 milímetros por año, que la convierte en una de las zonas con más alta pluviosidad del mundo.

Sus características geográficas y su ubicación en las postrimerías de la cordillera occidental proporcionan a Quibdó una abundancia en recursos hídricos, minerales, una inmensa riqueza de flora y fauna que brinda a sus habitantes un entorno biodiverso que puede ser disfrutado desde dimensiones ambientales, económica, de interacción social, y principalmente desde la dimensión económica.

Actualmente, se puede llegar a Quibdó por vía aérea desde Bogotá, Medellín, Cali y Pereira. También cuenta con vías de penetración terrestre desde el departamento de Antioquia (123 km) y desde departamento de Risaralda, vía de 251 km.

¿Quién es la gente de Quibdó?

3ra Cumbre mundial de alcaldes y mandatarios afrodescendientes Cartagena 2013

Foto cortesía de Mariela Palacios

Desde el punto de vista étnico y cultural Quibdó es un territorio muy rico, pues su población está conformada por comunidades negras, indígenas y mestizas: los afrodescendientes constituyen el 91,63% de la población, el 1,38% es indígena y el resto de la población es mestiza. Como producto de la presencia de estas etnias, la ciudad es una amalgama sociocultural en todas sus perspectivas, la comida, la música, los bailes, las creencias religiosas, el cuidado de la salud, la forma como se administra, etc.

San Pacho

Foto cortesía de Mariela Palacios

Indiscutiblemente, recorrer las calles de Quibdó es toda una aventura, fácilmente puede encontrarse hombres y mujeres educados con modales finos, muy a la usanza española, igualmente se consigue el escandaloso, dicharachero, feliz de ser el centro de atención independientemente del motivo. En general son personas que cuidan mucho su imagen, tanto para hombres como mujeres la visita a las peluquerías y centros estéticos son de mucha relevancia en el diario vivir, cada quien, de acuerdo a su percepción de belleza, se mantiene impecable y agradable a la vista de los demás.

IMG_1987

Foto cortesía de Maruja Uribe

Académicamente los quibdoseños y los chocoanos en general, son personas preparadas con un gran porcentaje de universitarios con especializaciones, maestrías y doctorados; muchos de ellos egresados del Alma Mater: Universidad Tecnológica del Chocó “Diego Luis Córdoba”. La juventud que constituye cerca del 38% de su población, es ávida de conocimiento que abren sus caminos de acuerdo con sus capacidades y talentos, como es el caso de reconocidos deportistas y artistas que han cambiado sus realidades y han brindado satisfacciones al territorio.

 

Foto cortesía de Mariela Palacios

¿Y qué más se puede saber de Quibdó?

Hay muchas cosas por saber de la Villa de Asís, si están de acuerdo para mí sería un gran placer contarles sobre sus diferentes dinámicas, su cultura, su gastronomía, su religiosidad, sobre su gente, la oralidad, su economía, su riqueza natural, en fin todo lo que sepa, huela, suene, luzca y se sienta como Quibdó.

 

Foto a la izquierda, cortesía de Mariela Palacios
Foto a la derecha, cortesía de Maruja Uribe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk about Quibdo!

By Mariela Palacio, Economic Development Consultant

IMG_1987

Photo Courtesy of Maruja Uribe

When my friend Kim Haas invited me to participate in this blog I was very happy for the opportunity to talk about Quibdó, my pintoresque Villa de Asis, named after the town’s devotion Patron Saint Francis of Assisi.

Kim and Mariela

Photo Courtesy of Kim Haas

Quibdó is a city of contrasts, a place of laughter and sorrows; of intense passions, of impetuous rainstorms along with sweltering heats; with endless social challenges, but with happy and positive people in the pursuit of a dream. It’s a city of flamboyant and flirtatious women capable of sacrificing their lives for the happiness of their children. Quibdó is a place that exacerbates the senses by its beautiful flushed sunsets along the Atrato river banks; by the stimulating smell of rain forest and fresh wood; by the cadency of music and mischievous stories told by the elders; by the luscious dishes made with love by matrons using fresh herbs from their patios; by the sensual caressing of incautious sweat drops running through the skin to compensate the high temperatures throughout the year.

This is how Quibdó feels!

Where is Quibdó?

Image result for Quibdó  in south americaQuibdó is the capital of the Department of Choco in Colombia; it is located on the East bank of the Atrato River. Choco is situated Northwest of Colombia and, since the territory has both the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts bordering Panama, it is considered the “real corner” and the gate to South America. Quibdó means “the place between rivers” In the local indigenous language. Its annual average temperature is 28°C (82°F). Its altitude is 43 meters above sea level and its annual rainfall index is 8.000 millimeters, one of the highest in the world

Its geographical features and its location, towards the end of the western mountains of South America, provide an abundance of water and geological resources, as well as an immense wealth of flora and fauna. This offers its population a bio diverse environment that can be enjoyed from an ecological, economic and social interaction perspective, primarily from the economic dimension.

Currently Quibdó is accessible by plane from Bogota, Medellin, Cali and Pereira. It is also reachable by terrestrial transportation from the Department of Antioquia (123 km) and from the Department of Risaralda (251 km).

Who are the people of Quibdó?

3ra Cumbre mundial de alcaldes y mandatarios afrodescendientes Cartagena 2013

Photo Courtesy of Mariela Palacios

From an ethnic and cultural perspective Quibdó is a territory full of wealth. Its population is made up of African, indigenous and mestizo communities. Its afro-descendants constitute 91.63% of the population; meanwhile indigenous make up 1.38% and the rest of the population is mestizo. As a result of this melting pot, the city is a sociocultural amalgam from all cultural perspectives including food, music, dance, religious beliefs, health care and city administration.

Paseo en familia

Photo Courtesy of Mariela Palacios

San Pacho

Photo Courtesy of Mariela Palacios

Certainly walking around the streets of Quibdó has its own adventure, where you can easily spot men and women educated in fine old fashion Spanish manners, as well as scandalous and loud people, who enjoy being the center of attention regardless of the subject at hand. Generally self-image is very important for these people. Both, men and women visit the hairdresser and beauty spas that are very relevant to daily life activity. Everyone, based on their own perception of beauty, must always look impeccable and pleasant to the view of others.

Church

Photo Courtesy of Maruja Uribe

Generally the people from Quibdó and Choco are individuals well prepared academically. A large percentage of them have achieved studies with technical specialties, master and doctorate degrees; many of those accreditations are received from the Universidad Tecnologica del Choco “Luis Diego Cordoba”. About 38% of the population is made up of youngsters eager to learn and explore new knowledge and opportunities in order to develop their own skills, while looking up to local renowned professional athletes and artists who have achieved success and brought pride to this land.

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Photo Courtesy of Mariela Palacios

Is there anything else that can be learned about Quibdó?

There are still plenty of things to be learned about the Villa de Asis. Therefore, if you are interested I would be happy to tell you more about topics such as its dynamics, culture, cuisine, religiosity, population, orality and economy. In a few words, I would be delighted to share with you everything that tastes, smells, sounds, looks and feels like Quibdó.

Photo Courtesy of Maruja Uribe

A Night of Afro-Venezuelan Music: Featuring Betsayda Machado & La Parranda El Clavo

By Kim Haas
Edited by Tina Machele Brown

Thursday evening, July 20, was a magical night. My parents and I had the good fortune of hosting an amazing group of musicians in a home concert. Joined by our friends and family, we welcomed Afro-Venezuelan singer Betsayda Machado and La Parranda El Clavo, a soulful group of performers who sing the histories of their Venezuelan town, its culture and the joy and pain of everyday life.

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Juntos! (Means “Together” in English)  (Photo credit: Conrad Louis-Charles)

Without any electrical amplification, Betsayda Machado and La Parranda El Clavo, icons of Afro-Venezuelan music, gave a pure, warm, emotional and inspiring performance. From the heartache of losing a friend to gun violence to the glory of a Christmas Parranda (serenading neighbors house to house), the concert provided an intimate setting for sharing the rhythms and dances of Venezuela’s African descendant communities. (Click here to see Betsayda Machado in action.)

Venezuela

Venezuela located in on the Northern Coast of South America

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José Gregorio Gómez / Dance – Percussion, Adrián ‘OTE’ Gomez / Singer, Betsayda Machado,     Kim Haas, losafrolations/Nereida Machado / Dance – chorus, Oscar Ruiz / Singer, Youse Cardozo / Head of percussion, Missing: Blanca Castillo/Percussion (Photo credit: Conrad Louis-Charles)

In between songs, during an informal “Question and Answer” period, Betsayda and the musicians provided additional historical and cultural context to the music.

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Tasty treats, good music and conversation

When one of the guests asked how the drums were made, the group explained, through Juan Souki, their manager and translator, that one of the drums was made only on a full moon.

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Manager, Juan Souki and Members; Photo Credit: Conrad Louis-Charles

Another fascinating insight was that the tight, close movements made by the dancers with their feet is attributable to the steps of the enslaved Venezuelans, forebearers of the musicians.

Women Talking and Smiling

The women connecting

Hailing from El Clavo in the Venezuelan region of Barlovento, Betsayda and the group’s roots run deeper than music, there are familial ties as well. Betsayda’s sister, Nereida Machado, sings in the chorus and Blanca Castillo, furruca player, is the mother of Youse Cardozo, songwriter and head percussionist.

Barlovento

Barlovento, Venezuela

The group of musicians have been performing together for more than 30 years. In Barlovento, music and performing is an integral part of the community. It binds and connects, strengthening the Afro-Venezuelan traditions from one generation to the next.

Men at home

Percussionists: Adrián ‘OTE’ Gomez/José Gregorio Gómez/Youse Cardozo / Head of percussion

Afro Venezulan Conversations

Sharing Stories

Often referred to as “The Voice of Venezuela”, Betsayda is charming and personable. She sings with joy and conviction. And, Betsayda has big goals for growing the group’s audience and sound beyond the borders of Venezuela. She cites musicians like Latin Grammy award winning singer Susana Baca, as a performer she admires. As an Afro-Peruvian, Susana Baca has elevated Afro-Peruvian music to international acclaim.

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A Moment with Betsayda

Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo began their United States tour in Montana in July 2017 and continue through August 2017. The musicians will return to the United States this fall for an additional tour. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing them in concert, please do so. They are kind, gracious, charming and hospitable.

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Dancing the night away (Photo credit: Conrad Louis-Charles)

A special thanks to Juan Souki, the group’s manager extraordinaire who makes everything seems so easy and photographer Conrad Louis-Charles whose photos and video marvelously captured the spirit of the evening. http://www.conradlouischarles.com

This unforgettable night would not have been possible without the support and love of my parents, Rosa and Spencer Lewis. My gratitude to them for opening their hearts and home for a memorable summer evening.

For more information about Betsayda Machado and La Parranda El Clavo, please visit: Betsayda Machado’s Website and check out Betsayda Machado on FaceBook.

Sepia Memories – Part II

By Dahlma Llanos Figueroa

Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa is an Afro-Puerto Rican writer and author of the book Daughters of the Stone. Sepia Memories is a short story.  Check out Sepia Memories – Part I).

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Bronx picsThat night, I awoke to the sounds of my parents’ voices being thrown back and forth in the darkness.

“Pedro, we can’t wait anymore. The neighborhood is getting worse and worse.”

“You’re overreacting,” Pop tried to calm her down.

“Carisa found him in the hall…”

“It won’t happen again. This is the first time…”

“And it’s going to be the last,” Mom shot back.

“You sound like you’re giving me an order. Who’s the man around here?” Pop was wounded and dangerously close to ending the conversation.

“Pedro, I’m not trying to take your place but…” Mom modulated her voice.

“But nothing. I can see where you’re headed. The answer is no. I’ve been saving for that car for years and…”

“It’s my money too…” she pointed out, beginning to lose her temper.

“Oh, now you’re going to throw that in my face…”

“Pedro, listen to me…” still trying to reason with him.

“If we don’t have the credit to buy a car, how we going to buy a house. Besides, I’ve made plans…commitments. What do I tell my panitas…”

That did it. “Tus panitas! Que se jodan tus panitas! I don’t give a good Goddamn about your guys. Where are they when we need help? My children come first. I’m getting her out of here one way or the other and if that means you can’t buy your car right now, then you can’t buy your car right now.”

“Elena, don’t you take that tone with me…”

“What’s more important, our daughter or el jodío carro.”

SLAM! That did end the conversation on her part.

I remember my mother on the phone yelling at the landlord. The body was removed that first evening but, Harry the Super, had been drunk and useless all week and the blood had turned into a black pond at the foot of the stairs. There were countless, smudged, now-caked, footprints making a trail to the stair. After countless complaints to him and the landlord, Mom called the Health Department. When Harry finally sobered up, he was MAD and then he would spit every time one of us walked by and Mom and Pop’s fight got louder and longer.

The arguments must have gone on for weeks because I remember my mother turning away from Pop mid-sentence and slamming the double doors of the living room so hard that the glass panes rattled. I remember heavy silences and knife-edged glares. I remember Pop’s dinner plate crusty and abandoned on the plastic tablecloth with the roosters on it. There were more fights and more slammed doors and Pop’s favorite shirt hung on the closet door, the black mark of the iron burned onto it. There was Mom walking out of the room when he walked in and me getting up to go to school and finding Pop sleeping on the couch.

I especially remember heavy silences on Sunday mornings, instead of Recuerdos del Ayer, the music of World War II that usually sent my parents down Spanish Memory Lane. Sometimes they would even dance, right there in the living room, all by themselves. But that was before THE MAN.

When I got my report card and I took it to Mom and she said, “Give it to your father to sign.” And then Pop got mad and said, “Take it to your mother.” I felt like a spinning top going back and forth and not wanting to make either one of them mad at me. It was real bad for a while.

Finally, Mom found a way. A special program, a co-signing relative. One night she came home with papers that she put at Pop’s place on the table. I was doing my homework in the living room when he came home. He went to the table and sat down heavily. He read the papers while she stood in the doorway. The lines in her face were chiseled in. It took a long time before he finally looked up.

“You did it without me, didn’t you?” The words came out dangerously red.

“No, Pedro. I want to do it with you. I want us to do this thing together. I want you to sign.”

I could hear the stiffness in her words. She was ready for a fight and ready to win. Pop must have heard it too because the color of his voice changed. The red turned dark, heavy, tired, the danger subsided to pain.

“Don’t you think I want what’s best for her too?” His voice was thick with emotion.

Surprised at his tone, the lines in Mom’s face shifted, smoothed out a little. “Then I don’t understand.”

“Do I have to say it? Can’t you see? I am the man. I should be the one.”

“You are the one. You and me together.” Her voice was rounder, less sharp, warmer than I had heard it in a long time.

“If I can’t get the car, how can I get you a house? How can I watch them stamp my dignity away with their red ink on an application?   How can I face you, a failure once again? I thought the car—that, I can do. It would take a long time, years maybe, but I could save the money and buy our dreams. But a house? How can I buy you a house? My mind can’t stretch that far. I don’t want to go, hat in hand asking your family for help. I am the man. It should be me.”

The last words were squeezed out, as though he had run out of breath and could say no more. Mom took his face in her hands and kissed away the tear on his right cheek. She hugged him as she stood before his chair, his face resting on her chest.

“We are a family. It never has to be just you. It should always be us.”

Pop took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“All right.” So tired. “You win.” He swallowed hard. “I’ll sign the papers…for Carisa.”

I left the room. This was not my place to be.

In my memory, it seems only days, but it actually must have been many months later that the moving vans pulled up out front and four men in blue overalls packed up every piece of furniture in our apartment onto the longest trucks I had ever seen. Mom must have packed all our other stuff because I remember clothes and kitchen stuff and curtains and everything in boxes. They put all our belongings in those big trucks and deposited them in our new home–a tiny single family attached house that smelled like a new car.

I remember my father complaining and grumbling the whole time. He told the men how to move the couch, how to drive and swore they’d steal our stuff and we’d never see them again. He complained about the weather and the time it took to get everything over there. He grumbled about how far away it was from ‘everything’. Finally, he disappeared from the apartment before the last piece went into the truck. I jumped into the front seat with the driver and stared out the window as we left our old neighborhood behind. Mrs. Jackson stood on the corner in her Sunday best. Mrs. Goldberg stood by her, cane in hand. They waved until I couldn’t see them anymore. As we turned onto Southern Boulevard, I thought I caught sight of Pop standing in front of the Chevy dealership, shoulders slumped, forehead resting on the glass.

Pop carried on the whole time Mom unpacked boxes and made the beds. When I finally fell asleep, exhausted from the move, the last words I heard after he snapped off the hall light, was Pop complaining about the huge ConEd bills we would now have to pay.

I walked into the kitchen the next morning and caught him running his hands over the sleek counters. When he saw me, he cleared his throat, put on his hat and left for work, closing the door quietly.

The following day was Pop’s day off. Mom and I left early, while he was still in bed. He had been home alone all day. When Mom and I walked in the door that evening, every light in the house was on. The warmth of the kitchen greeted us as we walked in. The utensils, dishes, crockery, everything, had been unpacked, washed and now sat gleaming in the open kitchen cabinets.

We looked at each other in amazement. Mom called out for Pop and got no answer. We walked through the living room and around to the dining room. The china closet stood empty. The table was set with our holiday-only linen and Mom’s good china. In the middle of the table stood a huge vase full of yellow flowers. The smell of pernil and the sounds of old Spanish love songs filled the air.

Next to the laden table stood Pop, struggling to remove Mom’s apron from his waist and finally, ripping it off and stashing it away as we walked in. There he was, his face sweaty, shifting his weight from foot to foot, pride shining on his face as he prepared to serve his family their first fancy meal in his new home.

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Photo courtesy of Llanos-Figueroa

Dahlma Llanos -Figueroa, Afro-Puerto Rican author. Her books include Daughters of the Stone and Woman of Endurance (Woman of Endurance Chapter 1).