Home Headlines Merida’s Afrotour will take place on July 15th

Merida’s Afrotour will take place on July 15th

by Yucatan Times
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Africans arrived in Yucatan with the Spanish at the times of the conquest, as slaves, and servants, but also as soldiers featured in battle, and they are an important part of the founding and historical events of Mérida.

However, they have been erased from history, despite the fact that, since 1567, there have been records of people from this social group who married Mayan women, highlighted the researcher Jorge Victoria Ojeda, a specialist in the subject and who promotes a tour of the capital of the state called Afrotur.

The researcher of the Regional Research Center Dr. Hideyo Noguchi will carry out this so-called Afrotour on July 15th, to take a tour of different sites in the center of Mérida that are important to narrate the presence and life of the black population in what is now the state capital.

“The importance of taking this tour is because this is a story that is not told in the history books; part of the past of the city that is still invisible ”, he explained.

He mentioned, for example, that there were not only black slaves, but that black soldiers also arrived with the Spanish troops and some of them were freed because of their outstanding participation in the conquest.

“Not all the Africans who came to America were slaves or servants,” Victoria Ojeda said.

“The idea is to contribute to see if in some way the history books can also include black people because it is of little use that they were recognized in the Constitution in 2019 if nothing about their history is reported,” the researcher continued.

According to INEGI, 69,599 people who recognize themselves as Afro-descendants live in Yucatán, with a greater presence in municipalities such as Mérida, Kanasín, Tizimín, Valladolid, Chemax, Espita, and Progreso.

Talking about the tour, the expert explained that it starts visiting important points of the Historic Center, for this social group in the city of Merida.

“Proof that the African population arrived in Yucatán with the Spanish, is the fact that, in the 16th century, Montejo asked the King of Spain for slaves to be at his service; and they were accommodated in La Casa de los Ladrillos. Since early times there have been slaves in the city of Mérida and it is so true that since 1582 there has been knowledge of a Brotherhood of Blacks in the Cathedral”, he explained.

In 1567, according to the marriage records of the Cathedral Tabernacle, blacks were marrying Mayan women. The product between the African people and the local Mayans is what would be called “Pardos” in colonial society and would be automatically freed from slavery.

“In addition, right in the Mérida Cathedral, more precisely, inside the chapel of the Holy Name of Jesus, there was a baptistery dedicated to blacks”, the expert added.

“Slaves used to be sold right in the Government Palace, we make the mention, although this building, which is new from the 19th century, was the House of the Governors and in that building the slaves were sold, there was a sale, slave auction and these are data that are not known because it is thought that there was not, but it was practiced”, the researcher of the Regional Research Center Dr. Hideyo Noguchi concluded.

Click on the following image to contact Jorge Victoria via Facebook and make a reservation:

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