Successful opening of the IV International Colloquium of Afro-descendants
This space has become a reference in the struggle for ancestral reivnidications.
Neylin Calderon

Weaving our actions and thoughts from Afro diversity

On the morning of this Friday, September 25, the Fourth Afro-Descendant International Colloquium began, under the slogan "Weaving our actions and thoughts from Afro diversity," where leaders from various countries gathered to exchange experiences on their main challenges and how far Afro-descendant peoples have advanced. The inauguration activity began with a spiritual ceremony from Colombia, with the words of welcome from URACCAN and the opening ones by Avocenic.

At the initiation ceremony there was an openness to black spirituality and worldview, as a way of publicize that this activity is accompanied by the spirits of its ancestors, the ancestral experiences demonstrated from joining hands, the symbology of water, herbs as a form of spiritual healing.

This IV colloquium is organized from the city of Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas, Northern Caribbean of Nicaragua, by afro's Voices Center of Nicaragua (Avocenic), together with URACCAN, as host organizations. It should be noted that the Third Colloquium was coordinated by the international commission and was held in Colombia.

URACCAN present at the IV Afro International Colloquium

Enrique Cordón, PhD, vice-chancellor of URACCAN Bilwi enclosure, he was in charge of giving the words of welcome to this magnificent event, who emphasized that, "Afro-descendants make up a heterogeneous people with various stories, experiences and identities", that is why from this space will be given "critical processes for Afro-descendant communities and organizations, governments, NGOs, academic institutions and international cooperation agencies to prioritize the Afro theme" Highlighted.

Cordón appreciated the participation of more than 400 delegates from 24 countries, from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, San Andrés, USA, Mexico, Spain, French Guyana, Rwanda, Suriname, South Africa, and Equatorial Guinea.

Avocenic recognizes the Colloquium as a historic landmark

Teacher Debora Bush, coordinator and moderator general of the Iv Afro-descendant Colloquium and co-chair of Avocenic, gave the opening reeds of this momentous activity and began by thanking each of the participants. Among the cultures and peoples found are Creoles, Garifuna, Afro-Brazilians, raizals, maroons, Cape Verdeans, Afro-Mexicans, Afro-Colombians, Afro-African-Americans, among others, Bush mentioned.

The coordinator exalted the struggle that has been generated since the Avocenic Organization in conjunction with URACCAN since 2013 in Brazil. "The International Colloquium of Afro-descendants in all editions has been marking a milestone in history, and has become a benchmark in the struggle for ancestral claims," he said.

Teacher Deborah recalled the difficult years of slavery, as well as how the struggles of Afro-descendant peoples have hardened over the years. "We show them that even in the midst of so many misfortunes that imposed on our ancestors, the Afro-descendants have given great contributions to humanity, but of that heritage we do not speak, it is almost taboo, we are a people that we resisted yesterday and we will continue to resist today, because we are more than just a people marked by a history of slavery," he said.

Agenda changes on the Colloquium

It is important to mention that this IV Colloquium was intended to be held since last year, but some socio-political events changed the entire agenda for 2019. Then, from URACCAN and Avocenic, there were many sessions to reschedule the dates, stayed to do so in the city of Bluefields in May 2020, now with the Covid-19 pandemic everything changed and the plans were postponed, fortunately now with the new technological tools could be made in September, through Zoom, Bush explained.