Afro-Latinos In the Andes
'Afro-Latinos in the Andes,' seeks to increase awareness of the existence and uniqueness of Afro-Latinos in the Andean region.
From colorfully dressed Afro-Bolivian women in bowler hats working in coca fields to Afro-Peruvians hired to carry caskets at the funerals of the wealthy, Afro-Latinos exist actively, if not always visibly, in the Andean region. Their history in South America has been cloaked by a legacy of invisibility as governments often fail to acknowledge their contributions to the region.
The issue of invisibility was best symbolized in Bolivia where the government had always denied the existence of Afro-Bolivians. This changed in 2009 when Bolivian president Evo Morales formally acknowledged Afro-Bolivians. It was also in 2009 that the Peruvian government held a public ceremony to apologize to Afro-Peruvians: "We extend a historical apology to Afro-Peruvian people for the abuse, exclusion and discrimination perpetrated against them since the colonial era until the present." During that time span Africans and their descendants richly contributed to the fabric of Latin American society.
Importantly, it must be noted that despite the marginalized status of many Afro-Latinos in the Andean region, they exist in harmony with fellow Latinos.