August 21, 2015

Colombia Cartagena: San Basilio de Palenque

An hour drive brought us to San Basilio de Palenque, a UNESCO "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity." These were the earliest "Free Africans in America" per a Spanish decree in 1691. This was probably a concession to discourage this community from helping slaves arriving in Cartagena to escape. The 3500 inhabitants have preserved their language, music and traditions. Our local guide introduced us to an 81 year old musician who regaled us with tales of he and his band being invited to play in DC, Havana and Venezuela. Of course, he had to play and sing for us. 

 Lunch was on the way back to Cartagena at the lovely Villa Martha resort. An enterprising young man brought up two water buffalo who sat and laid down on command.   

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