Africa in the Americas

In the 21 st century, where can you find An African-American community that speaks its own dialect, has its own social structure, follows its own medical and spiritual practices-and receives international recognition for doing so? Are you surprised to learn that it's in Colombia ? Maybe it's time you learned about the astonishing community of San Basilio Refuge, near Cartagena , Colombia .

Established as a walled community in the 1600s, today San Basilio Refuge is home to some 3,500 residents. When it was first established, San Basilio was not so different from the dozens of isolated communities founded by slaves escaping forced labor on Colombia 's ranches, sugar plantations, and gold mines. What is unusual, though, is that the San Basilio Refuge community has entered the 21 st century with so much of its cultural and linguistic heritage intact.

Find out how this community has maintained its identity, how Afro-Colombian music and cultural traditions have permeated Colombian society, and how UNESCO's special recognition hopes to help the residents of San Basilio Refuge resist the erosion of their unique cultural identity.

Length: 80 minutes
Shot with HDW F900 CineAlta Sony 24p