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Afro-Colombian Day


The Embassy of Colombia in South Africa celebrates today with the Afro-descendant people in Colombia, the “Afro-Clombian Day” (Dia de la Afrocolombianidad). 

Afro-Colombian Day is celebrated every May 21 after its establishment in 2002 commemorating the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Colombia, decreed by Law 21 of May 21, 1851 by President José Hilario López.

It should be noted that Colombia is the third country with the largest population of African descent in the Americas after Brazil and the United States, reaching approximately 20% of the Colombian population. That is why the celebration of Afro-Colombian Day is a well-deserved recognition of the presence, history and important contributions of Afro-descendant peoples to the construction of the nation at the economic, intellectual, environmental, cultural, social and spiritual levels.

What is more, Colombia contains 10% of the world's natural and biogenetic wealth. Much of this wealth is located in the Pacific region, which stretches from the borders with Panama to the southern border with Ecuador, a region mostly inhabited by Afro-descendant peoples who have taken care of nature and resources, and have protected ancestral territories today safeguard by collective titling.

Colombia is home to the first free settlement of African maroons in the Americas, organized after arduous struggles for freedom from slavery in Cartagena, which lasted between 1570 and 1694, until its legal recognition in 1714. This settlement known as Palenque de San Basilio, with its founder Benkos Biojó of Mandinka origin, was declared by UNESCO as Cultural and Intangible Heritage of Humanity for the conservation of linguistic and cultural traditions of African roots. In addition to these recognitions, there are other cultural realities such as the preservation of a creole language with linguistic roots of African origin in the Archipelago Department of San Andres and Providencia.

Furthermore, scientists, athletes, writers, artists, political figures, legislators, statesmen have brought Afro-descendant greatness to many stages around the world, elevating the name of Colombia.

Coinciding with South Africa's celebration of Africa Month, which embraces Freedom Day on May 26, to remember the liberation struggles that led South Africa to defeat the apartheid regime, African Heritage Day in Colombia honors the memory of the ancestors of the continent for whom the Afro-descendant Diaspora exists, and the memory of Africans who have fought for the liberation of Africa and their descendants. 

The African heritage and its Afro-descendant diaspora ennoble Colombia as a nation. Congratulations Afro-Colombian people.


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