San Andres, Colombia - We stay with nothing

Transcript of an interview with Ras Rolando, an artisan and tourist guide on the Colombian administered Caribbean island of San Andres. 

The Colombian controlled Caribbean islands of San Andres and Providence are located some 500 miles from the South American coastline. In contrast, they are just 80 miles from the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua in Central America.

After some 120 years of semi isolation and official neglect, in the 1980s the Colombian government as well as national and international investors and bankers began regarding San Andres as a potentially great holiday resort location and tourist destination.
Investment and construction boomed, however with little benefit to the English speaking Afro-Caribbean native islanders who after centuries of virtual autonomy began to find themselves  being overwhelmed with migrants from mainland Colombia with a different language, culture and social values.

The interview examines the systemic process of exclusion, marginalization, segregation and threat of elimination claimed by the native African descendant population.

It includes an exploration of how the increasing institutional presence, influence and control by mainland Colombians is having a direct and markedly adverse affect on the rights of the island's native African descendant population; especially with respect to income generation, health, education, property rights, personal security and political participation.

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Date: 02/05/2011




Culture and Tradition
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