Afro-Colombian Dances at Semana Santa Celebration

Alexandra is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in La Guajira, Colombia.


Girls between the ages of 6 and 12 performed with Afro-Colombian pride during this past spring break celebration in Dibulla, La Guajira. The older girls performed a remix of three songs they chose: a song by Nigerian artist Yemi Alade called “Johnny,” followed by Santuplex’s “La Batea” (from the mostly Afro-Colombian region of El Chocó), and finishing with Beyoncé’s “End of Time.” The brave little ones chose the traditional Afro-Colombian Mapalé–just the two of them!

It’s common to hear statements around the pueblo like “don’t stand in the sun too long, or else you’ll become negro” (as if that’s a bad thing), or “her hair is beautiful because she has pelo bueno” (a.k.a. “good hair”). Considering this, it was important to me for the girls to be able to express themselves with pride for their Afro-Colombian roots through dance.

Major thanks to Delia Barros and Griselda Guerra for their help with the costumes.

Yemi Alade – Johnny
Santuplex – La Batea
Beyoncé – End of Time



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