A "free city" founded by Africans who had escaped slavery in Colombia 2

A “free city” founded by Africans who had escaped slavery in Colombia

A "free city" founded by Africans who had escaped slavery in Colombia 3


A "free city" founded by Africans who had escaped slavery in Colombia 4



About an hour outside of Cartagena, Colombia is a small city with a great history.

San Basilio de Palenque has about 3500 inhabitants and was founded by African slaves who fled the Spanish rulers 400 years ago.

A hip-hop group from the community preserves this story with their music.

Our urban voice is Kombilesa Mi.

The Palenquero language is influenced by the Kikongo language of Angola and the Congo, from which many of the slaves who have settled in this region come. The language is also mixed with Portuguese spoken by the slave traders who first brought the Africans to America.

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