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Humanities 2019, 8(1), 22;

Hidden in Plain Sight: Tourism Planning, Afro-Colombian Society and Community in Barú, Colombia

Department of History, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 16 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 30 January 2019
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This article builds upon the scholarship of Alina Helg and other historians working on questions of racial identity in Colombia, and the Caribbean section of that country more specifically. Colombia is unique in that its identity is indigenous, African, as well as European. Its Afro-Colombian elements are often overlooked by virtue of the mestizo identity that has dominated settlement of its Andean highlands around the capital, Bogota. Using technical and social reports from tourism development on Barù Island, near Cartagena, this article explores the Afro-Colombian communities that established themselves on the island in the wake of emancipation in the mid-19th century, as well as the efforts of these communities to protect their rights. I also examine recent Constitutional Court decisions supporting the rights of Afro-Colombian communities like those on Barù against the developmental ambitions of governmental and private tourism developers who were intent on transforming the island into a mass tourism destination. The article concludes that recent legal shifts towards protecting Afro-Colombian rights secured a recent victory in favor of the islanders vis-à-vis designs of the state to impose its vision of global tourism development there. View Full-Text
Keywords: tourism; Colombia; Afro-Colombian tourism; Colombia; Afro-Colombian
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ward, E. Hidden in Plain Sight: Tourism Planning, Afro-Colombian Society and Community in Barú, Colombia. Humanities 2019, 8, 22.

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