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Afro-Central America

About this Guide

Welcome to the Afro-Central America Library Guide, a collection of select resources to support research and learning about the Black African diaspora in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Black Africans and Afro-descendants have been present in Central America since the beginning of the sixteenth century. The diaspora has left a significant mark on the region's economies and cultures ever since. From the maroon communities of Panama to afro-indigenous Caribbean migrations, from Black laborers on Honduran banana plantations to the origins of reggaetón in the Canal Zone, Black Central American history is rich, complex, and often overlooked. This Library Guide highlights resources at Tulane University's Latin American Library and beyond to promote the study of Afro-Central America.

Spotlight: Pathbreakers

Epsy Alejandra Campbell Barr

Epsy Alejandra Campbell Barr

Epsy Alejandra Campbell Barr (b. 1963, San José, Costa Rica), is the Vice-President of Costa Rica. She is the first woman of color to hold the office.

Walter Ferguson

Walter Ferguson

Walter Ferguson (b. 1919), a Panamanian-born Costa Rican, is a renowned calypso singer-songwriter.

Saraciea J. Fennell

Saraciea J. Fennell

Saraciea J. Fennell is a Honduran-American writer and the founder of The Bronx is Reading. Her anthology, Wild tongues Can't be Tamed: 15 voices from the Latinx Diasporawas published by Flatiron Books in 2021.

Quince Duncan

Quince Duncan

Quince Duncan (b. 1940, San José, Costa Rica) is an award-winning author whose novels and short stories center the Afro-Caribbean population of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast.

Ariana Curtis

Ariana Curtis

Ariana Curtis, of African-American and Afro-Panamanian descent, is Curator of Latinx Studies at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.

David Suazo

David Suazo

David Suazo, from San Pedro de Sula, Honduras, is a retired international soccer player, now the head coach of Carbonia (Italy)

Janel Martínez

Janel Martínez

Honduran-American Janel Martinez is the founder of "'Ain't I Latina," an online destination dedicated to amplifying the stories of Afro-Latinas. 

Edgardo Armando Franco, El General

Edgardo Armando Franco ("El General")

Edgardo Armando Franco (b. 1969, Panama City, Panama), best known by his artistic name, "El General," is considered to be one of the fathers of "Reggae Español," a precursor of reggaetón.

Brian Flores

Brian Flores

Brian Flores (b. 1981, Brooklyn, NY), of Honduran descent, is a National Football League coach. In early 2022, he made headlines for suing the NFL, alleging racism in hiring practices.

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