A ‘free town’ formed by Africans who escaped slavery in Colombia

Americas Now

About an hour outside Cartagena, Colombia is a little town with a big history.

San Basilio de Palenque has about 3,500 inhabitants and was formed by African slaves who escaped Spanish rulers 400 years ago.

A hip hop group from the community is preserving that history with their music.

Our Urban Voice is Kombilesa Mi.

The Palenquero language is influenced by the Kikongo language of Angola and Congo where many of the slaves who settled in this region originated. The language is also mixed with Portuguese which was spoken by the slave traders who first brought Africans to the Americas.