Embracing African Culture in Cartagena, Colombia

"In the small neighborhood of Getsemani, in Cartagena, Colombia I was able to experience the true beauty of the diaspora."

Divine colonial architecture, impressive culinary prowess, and breathtaking displays of Afro-Latin culture, we saw it all in Colombia. Being black is such a beautiful thing. I say that because being that I’m a first-generation Nigerian American that struggled all four years of Spanish class, you wouldn’t expect that I’d find any connection to a Spanish-speaking South American country. However, in the small neighborhood of Getsemani, in Cartagena, Colombia I was able to experience the true beauty of the diaspora.

In a foreign land, I found home through the traces of African culture present in the neighborhood that was once home to the many African slaves that found themselves in South America. From the rhythmic beats of champeta music to the love of the yucca, or as we call it in Nigeria: cassava, it was refreshing to see a part of me in Getsemani.

Hopefully, next time I go I’ll avoid the beautiful hotels and run into a distant relative willing to let me crash on their couch, like “Hey Aunty!”.

All images are shot by Alexander on the iPhone 8+

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Alexander is a Brooklyn, New York based black excellence aficionado, world traveler, and the Associate Manager of Social at GQ.

Read more on Alexander’s journey by clicking here.

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Alexander Gibbson .

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