by Kim Haas
Seeking to unite the diverse Afro-Latino populations, Tania Molina, a proud Garifuna, reached out to her friend Mai-Elka Prado, an Afro-Panamanian. Together, the two Afro-Latinas created the 1st Afro-Latino Festival of New York held Saturday, June 29 at Brooklyn’s Parkside Train Station Plaza.
In the United States, there are an estimated four million Afro-Latinos – the great majority of whom reside in the New York City area. From countries as different as Andean Peru and tropical Cuba, to the Garifuna population of Central America and to the innumerable descendents of Afro-Latinos who may have never set foot in their parents or grandparents homeland, this mega city of eight million is home to Latin America’s African Diaspora.
Despite the diversity of Afro-Latinos in New York City, when there are gatherings and events, the focus is often on one particular group, nationality or concern like an Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba Performance or an Afro Colombian Land Rights Symposium. Rarely are there events focusing on Afro-Latinos as an entire group. Read more