In 1533, the first African slaves reached Ecuador when a slave ship heading to Peru was stranded off the Ecuadorian coast. The slaves revolted and overpowered their captors, and started a maroon colony in what is now known as of Esmeraldas (Emerald City), which became a safe haven for runaway slaves.
Marimba is a traditional African art form from Esmeraldas and the Colombian Pacific coast. It consists of music, dance, and theatrical expressions. Marimba was once a declining art but is now enjoy a revival due to Afro-Ecuadorian pride and resurgence movements. Catholic worship is distinctive in Esmeraldas, and sometimes done with marimba music.
Famous Blacks from Esmeraldas, Ecuador
- Monica Chala: the first Afro-Ecuadorian to win the Miss Ecuador beauty pageant
- Nelson Estupiñán Bass: famous writer/poet expressing great concern for Afro-Ecuadorians
- Alex Quiñónez: Ecuadorian Olympic sprinter; finalist in 200-meter dash at 2012 Summer Olympics
- Segundo Mercado: former world middleweight and super-middleweight boxing contender