Afro-Latinos In the Andes: Afro-Latinos in the Andes

An Afro-Peruvian man, with a casket resting on his shoulder, answers his cellphone during a funeral procession.
Afro-Latinos in the Andes, Lima, Peru

Eduardo Castillo answers his cellphone as his brother Victor Castillo struggles under the weight of a heavy coffin. While race is used to exclude it is also used to symbolize servitude: Afro-Peruvian men are highly sought to work as pallbearers (a vocational identity known as Camalenque) - clad in tuxedos and white gloves at the most upscale funerals - under the belief that their skin-color lends an aura of elegance to the job. On May 18, 2010 Peru's Ministry of Culture denounced the practice of the Camalenque as racist and requested - to no avail - that the mortuary business end the service.