Every year, for over a decade now, the Republic of Peru celebrates the Afro-Peruvian Culture month all through the month of June.
Under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru, the Afro-Peruvian Culture Month abroad seeks to raise awareness and promote internationally, the history and great cultural, social and academic contributions of the Afro-descendant population in Peru through cultural activities and conferences.
The South American country has a large Afro-Peruvian population, with people of African descent making up approximately 10 percent of the country’s total population. They brought along their skills and culture which significantly contributed to the Peruvian culture.
In the area of cuisine, tacu tacu, Carapulca, Sopa seca (dry soup) and frijol are examples of Afro-Peruvian dishes which are commonly eaten in Peruvian households. Landó music is a genre of music fused with African and Spanish music played with the cajón (Peru’s signature drum), a musical instrument invented by Africans. The popular Afro-Peruvian Dance, Zapateo, is inspired by African dances and consists of rhythmic movements that go along with the guitar and thecajón.
Some personalities are worth mentioning when it come to the contribution of the Afro-Peruvians. The likes of the Afro-Peruvian wise man, Martin de Porres, who is the first ever Black saint of the Catholic Church, the legendary Afro-Peruvian boxer Mauro Mina, the legendary Afro-Peruvian Jazz singer and former Minister of Culture Susana Baca, as well as the heroine Micaela Bastidas who helped fight for the independence of Peru, cannot be exempted from the limelight whenever there is the discussion on the Afro-Peruvian contribution to Peru.
In view of this year’s celebration, the Embassy of Peru in Ghana has announced its partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency – Ghana (UNHCR) to host events during the month of June 2019. These activities which are carved within the framework of the “Peruvian-Andean Reciprocity: Social Cooperation Program” are aimed at celebrating the Afro-Peruvian Culture Month in Ghana and also to support the “Luquluqu” campaign of the UNHCR.
Also, in the framework of the Bicentenary commemoration of the independence of Peru, the social cooperation program with the UNHCR which features the Ghanaian coordinated adaptation of Afro-Peruvian women especially the Afro-Peruvian heroine, Micaela Bastidas by the local artist “Becké”, in a joint work with “Heroinas Peruanas”, will comprise of a presentation of educational materials (textbooks and notebooks – with a special design that promotes Peru, the Afro-Peruvian, Ghana and Ivory Coast) and various items to schools and students living in the refugee camps in Ghana. This presentation is being organized in collaboration with the Honorary Consulate of Peru in Tema, GoldFields Ghana Limited, BelAqua, Brompton Portfolio, Ybaya Dried Fruits, among others. Also supporting are local publishers, specifically DigiBooks Publications, Sedco Publishing Co., Kwadwoan Publications, Aki-Ola Publications, Step Publishers and Fish and Plankton books.
In support of the LuQuLuQu Campaign, the abovementioned presentation will be followed by a Photo Exhibition titled “Afroperú” which is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 27th June 2019 at the Pacific Alliance Exhibition Hall in Cantonments, Accra.
The Afro–Peruvian celebration will end with a Peruvian gastronomic promotion, with special focus on the national drink “Pisco”, and “Causa” which is a dish linked to the development process of Peruvian history, including the National Independence.