In recent years, Costa Rican researchers have discovered the historical, cultural and social wealth of black people in Guanacaste. Words, names of places and musical characteristics that have been hidden throughout history are some of their discoveries.
“It’s an intentional invisibility. Blacks were always a despised, enslaved population. No one wanted to look like blacks,” explains Guanacastecan singer-songwriter Guadalupe Urbina, whose music has incorporated African heritage.
That’s why, when we think about the contributions of the Afro-Costa Rican, we shouldn’t think only about the province of Limon, but also Guanacaste, which was the first place in the country where blacks arrived during the 16th century.
History reveals that in this period, the Spanish that conquered Guanacaste sent the indigenous in our territory to work in the mines of Peru, although some were able to escape the mountains of Matambú and other places.
At the same time, the Spaniards brought African labor to the country and the rest of Central America. The majority were brought as slaves from Congo and Angola, according to University of Costa Rica researcher Rina Cáceres.
In honor of the day of the black person and Afro-Costa Rican culture, we commemorate our Guanacastecan roots that have an African element that gave us a lot of what we are today. According to researchers, there is a lot left to explore and discover.