Costa Rica Proposes to the UN Declaring August 31st as the “International Day of Afro-descendants”

“I am the heir to generations of brave men and women, fighters, capable of turning pain into hope. My ancestors are women like my grandmother who never got tired of working to inherit a good life for their sons, daughters, grandsons, and granddaughters”.

With those words, the first vice president, Epsy Campbell Barr, began her message on the occasion of the “Day of the Black Person and Afro-Costa Rican Culture”, which is celebrated every August 31st and culminates with the commemorations of the “Historical Month of  Afro-descendants in Costa Rica, according to Law 9526, in force since 2018.

“I have received the legacy, like all Afro-descendant people, of cultures that contributed to the development of this country, of this continent and all humanity. I recognize that the tireless strength of Afro-descendant women and girls has been inherited from those men and women who defied history, laws, and injustice, for their freedom, “Campbell continued.

Worthwhile commemoration

“Celebrating Afro-Costa Rican Culture Month is a tribute to those who came first, and celebrating it this 2020 has the greatest historical significance because we also commemorate the 100 years of the First International Convention on the Situation of Blacks, led by Marcus Garvey and held in New York at the Madison Square Garden”, she added.

In this sense, Vice President Campbell announced that Costa Rica will promote at the international level the commemoration of the hundred years of the Convention on the Rights of Black people and for the United Nations to declare August 31st as the International Day of  Afro-descendants.

“My name, my history, and my skin color permanently remind me of my roots and make me fight decisively for the advancement of the rights of our population,” continued Campbell, who organized the Forum and the High-Level Meeting: “Advancing in the fulfillment for the rights of the Afro-descendant population”, with the presence of the Executive Director of the Population Fund of the United Nations, Natalia Kanem; and the Seminar for Afro-descendant Women of Latin America, which was attended by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.

During her message, Campbell recalled that this 2020, the Government of the Republic decided to dedicate the commemoration of the Historical Month of Afro-descendants to the father of the Costa Rican calypso Walter Ferguson and the political and social leader Marcelle Taylor.

Mr. Walter Ferguson and Mrs. Marcelle Taylor are a pride of the Afro-descendant culture and we dedicate this celebration to them, as a symbolic recognition of their immense work and their extraordinary contributions to the country, ” said Campbell.

About the Historical Month of Afro-descendants

With more than 80 virtual activities organized by public institutions, civil society, and academia, Costa Rica celebrates in August the Historical Month of Afro-descendants in Costa Rica, to enhance the cultural values of this population.

The agenda, which ends this Monday, has included documentaries, talks, photographic exhibitions, concerts, and gastronomic festivals broadcast through digital platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, among others.

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