Juncal (Valle de Chota), Ecuador
Retired Afro-Ecuadorian World Cup soccer star
Afro-Ecuadorian Cultural Center
That got the attention of other Afro-Ecuadorians riding the bus as they looked at me astonished that a black American was riding among them. A mestizo woman who also overheard me asked me a question in English. When I answered her in English, there was a roar of laughter so loud and hard that I thought my eardrums were going to pop.
My dear, late friend Gloria Chalá who showed me
the ropes while visiting her country (RIP)
What was so funny? These young Afro-Ecuadorians never heard a black man speak any other language than Spanish, let alone English. For me this was just another indication that we members of the African diaspora throughout the western hemisphere have a lot to learn from and about each other.
My place of residence in Ecuador's capital, Quito
In Oakland, CA where I have been living for many years, I received similar reactions from African Americans (and Mexican Americans) who are not used to hearing a black man speak Spanish. People would look me right in the face and ask me if I am black. Duhhhhhh! What else could I be? A Mexican woman told one of my black co-workers that I was not black.
Freddy Cevallos, a university Afro-Ecuadorian Studies Consultant who met with me on my second trip to Ecuador
We black folks in the western world, from Canada all the way down to Argentina speak English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Creole, Patois, Geechee/Gullah, and Garífuna. We have a lot to learn about how our African roots evolved in our respective environments since the slave trade.
The soccer field where young black youth train to become Ecuadorian superstars.