One of our favorite moments in Cartagena was the tour with Alex of @experiencerealcartagena to San Basilio de Palenque. It was amazing to learn about the afro-latino experience in Colombia. Alex took his time to explain the smallest details and incorporated local members of the community to show us around the town & invite us into their homes. I was blown away to see in person how similar my Dominican heritage was to the people of this town. I gasped when I saw a beautiful old lady mixing over the fire the same coconut candy my own grandmother used to make for our family!! She passed in 2002 and here I was thinking all this time I’d never eat it again! Needless to say it tasted just the same Alex thank you for organizing a tour that has a real respect for the people of this town & shout out to @vaingloriousbrides for insisting we take the trip there!! ?
“San Basilio de Palenque is a small village nestled in the foothills of the Montes de Maria that doesn’t appear in many guidebooks. This small settlement of some 4,000 people is one of the most important historical villages in the Americas. Palenque was founded in the 16th century by Benkos Biohó, a former African king who was sold into slavery and escaped the slave port of Cartagena in 1599. He fled his captors and went on to form an army of escaped slaves who conquered the area around the Montes de Maria. In 1691 the Spanish Crown issued a Royal Decree officially freeing the Africans in San Basilio de Palenque from slavery. This made them the first free Africans in the Americas and it made Palenque the first free settlement. These former slaves maintained many of their African oral and musical traditions, including the only Spanish-Bantú spoken on earth, known as Palenquero.” – @culturetrip ?????????
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