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Photo: Afro-latino Travels.
Photo: Afro-Latino Travels.

Hispanic Heritage Month: A journey with Kim Haas through Afro-Latino cultures

The new series of the public television Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas opens this Saturday. Be proud of your legacy!

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A tireless traveler, Black Female Travel Host Kim Haas has a mission: to showcase the enormous historical contributions of the Afro-Latino community through its protagonists in a journey that will take Haas to places like Costa Rica by following the dual roots of her community to celebrate and honor Hispanic Heritage Month.

It's an adventure that begins this Saturday with a special double feature on Costa Rican heritage, where the star will chat with magnetic characters (with little media visibility) such as writer Quince Duncan, aspiring gymnast Tarik Soto, and the dancer and singer Doris and Sasha Campbell, sisters of the first Black vice president of Latin America, Epsy Campbell.

"We are introducing public television viewers to Afro-Latinos and their profound legacy in the Americas through history, culture, cuisine, art, dance, music, environmental conservation, literature, sports and festivals," Haas said. 

"Afro-Latino Travels is about the joy, pride and resilience of Black people despite centuries of oppression and under-representation. The series features Afro-Latinos who will inspire viewers with hope and optimism," she continued.

An unprecedented television travel series that fills a much-needed space for Latinos of African descent and other Latinos and non-Latinos to learn about the rich and diverse legacy of the Black community, taking them from Brazil to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Costa Rica and Honduras. 

"I wanted to produce a series that reflects the impact that five centuries of African presence in Latin America have had for so long, and this two-part special is just the beginning of that journey," Haas said. 

"This project has been underway for years, but with the lack of diversity in the travel media and the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement more recently, now is the time to celebrate this heritage even more!"

A Dual Heritage

Do you know that key figures in the fight for Mexican Independence, such as Generals José María Morelos or Vicente Ramón Guerrero, were of African descent? Or that Africans brought to the colonies of Latin America in the 14th century to work as slave laborers played a major role in the fight against the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch or English colonizers and were later despised by the Creole governments? 

The population of African ancestors has played an essential role in the formation of Latin American culture and even today has it throughout the continent and beyond, yet it continues to be weighed down by racism and ignorance of its legacy and the profound mestizaje in the DNA of one out of every three Latinos. 

In a year when racist violence and incivility against minorities in the U.S. has been put in check, shows like Afro-Latino Travels are needed to bring value to BIPOC communities. Change began in the streets and will continue in your homes!

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