Travel

AfroLatin@ Travel Blazes a New Trail Curating Trips to Explore Latin America’s African Roots

Collective AfroLatin@ Travel strives to help travelers explore hidden African gems in Latin America and the Caribbean.

If you’ve ever ventured to Latin America and found yourself at a loss for how to discover African history while there, there’s now a travel collective ready to guide you.


AfroLatin@ Travel isn’t a conventional travel agency—there’s no booking of flights and Airbnb pads or promoting of travel glitches. Instead, the group curates trips to Latin America, which has 150 million Afro-Latin@s comprising more than one-third of its population, according to its site, and the Caribbean. It bills itself as, “the premier travel and culture resource of the African diaspora in the Americas.”

For Memorial Day weekend, the globetrotting club—founded by travel junkies Dash Harris, Lamar Bailey, Javier Wallace, Mark Armand Promax, and Gabriela Watson Arauz—led a group of tourists on a six-day adventure trip in Cuba.

“Cuba is not African-influenced. Its core root is Africa,” Harris, who is Panamanian-American and has traveled there four times already, told USA TODAY. “I was absolutely floored by how the African and Afro-descendant connections have held so strongly in day-to-day life.”

And that’s exactly the understanding AfroLatin@ Travel seeks to impart to fellow explorers with recommendations such as Callejo de Hamel, Havana’s Afro-Cuban center, or museum Asociación Cultural Yoruba de Cuba  where visitors can learn about the Santería religion, which has ties to Yoruba mythology.

Partnering with travel groups like Miss Rizos in the Dominican Republic, Proyecto Iwa Pele in Peru and DIAFAR in Argentina, AfroLatin@ Travel can suggest African-rooted sightseeing in locales: Mexico, Brazil, Panama and Colombia.

The collective has a busy summer ahead with trips planned to Veracruz and Guerrero, Mexico as well as Panama and Colombia’s Black Coast and then to Cuba, again.

Visit AfroLatin@ Travel’s site, and check out colorful photos from the travel collective's Cuba trip:

?La pollera Congo?? @frenchieglobal #panama #afropanama #afrolatinotravel

A photo posted by @afrolatinotravel on

Cuba #AfroCuba #Tobaco #AfroLatinoTravel

A photo posted by @afrolatinotravel on

Reinas! ? @afropanama #panama #afropanama #afrolatinotravel

A photo posted by @afrolatinotravel on

Cruising in El Vedado #cuba #havana #afrocuba #afrolatinotravel

A photo posted by @afrolatinotravel on

h/t Remezcla

Interview

Amadou & Mariam Forever

We talk to the legendary Malian duo about their rich past, songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities.

Amadou & Mariam don't require an introduction.

The couple has been making Afro-blues music for over 35 years, drawing inspiration from their home of Mali, for over 35 years.

Their 1999 albumSou Ni Tilé sold 100,000 copies. In 2005, their album Dimanche à Bamako won the French Victoire de la Musique prize for Best World Music Album of the year and the BBC Radio 3 Award for Africa. It also went platinum in France after selling over 300,000 copies. The duo have performed with U2, Coldplay, Blur and many others.

We caught up with them below for a conversation about their rich past, their songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities, ahead of the duo's performance at the upcoming London Jazz Festival 2021.

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