UAGro – Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero, Unidad Académica Turismo – Zihuatanejo’s tourism university, joins the Celebration of Peace in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, México by presenting a cultural event entitled, “Pathways to Freedom: the Culture and History of Afro-Mexicans in Guerrero” at the meeting of Club Rotario (Rotary) of Zihuatanejo on February 7, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. at Catalina Beach Resort in Zihuatanejo.
Everyone is invited to attend! The United Nations Representative attending the Celebration of Peace will be our special guest. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are on sale at Catalina Beach Resort in Zihuatanejo and at the Zihuatanejo Sailfest events. The cost is $200 Pesos including lunch.
This wonderful cultural event will consist of a presentation by UAGro of Zihuatanejo and Wayne State University of Detroit, Michigan, USA, along with an art exposition by Aydee Rodríguez from the Costa Chica Region of Guerrero, a photo exhibition by Grace Relfe of Zihuatanejo and a fashion show of traditional dresses from the “Black towns” of our state.
“Black towns” in México? Many people do not know about the significance of the African presence in México. The Spanish enslaved Africans and brought them to “New Spain.” During colonial times, Africans outnumbered the Spanish by 3 to 1 in México. Many Mexican foods and cultural traditions have been influenced by the African culture.
The State of Guerrero has one of the highest concentrations of Afro-Mexicans in the country, with many “black towns” in the Costa Chica Region of the state. The state was named after México’s second president, Vicente Guerrero, who was of African heritage. Vicente Guerrero was significant in the history of México. He was a general in the revolutionary war against Spain, he helped write the Constitution of México, and immediately upon taking office in 1829, he liberated Afro-Mexicans who were enslaved – before slavery was abolished in Canada in 1833 and in the United States in 1865.
In addition to the many Africans that were brought to México by the Spanish as slaves, many Americans of African descent from the USA escaped from slavery to find “liberty and freedom” in México by simply crossing the Rio Grande.
This presentation about the diversity of México is a result of a two-year, international research project between universities, museums, civic organizations, photographers, librarians and other professional in the states of Guerrero, México and Michigan, USA. The project, consisting of a traveling exhibit and website, was funded by the Michigan Humanities Council.
The presentation will be made by Professor Candaleria Donají Mendez Tello, an expert from the Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero in Zihuatanejo, and by Dr. Talia Weltman-Cisneros of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, who conducted her doctorate research in the “Black towns” of Guerrero.
The Afro-Mexican exhibit premiered in Michigan at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in Detroit, the largest of its kind in the world. Most recently, the exhibit was on display at the Chrysler World Headquarters in Auburn Hills. Over 30,000 people have visited the exhibit and website in Michigan since its opening in 2012. See: www.FreedomPathways.org.
Now, for the first time, the professors and professionals who collaborated on this wonderful international project will meet to present this event to the people of Guerrero! Everyone is invited.
For more information about the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area, see: