Living in Valle de Chota

Amma Thomas - Ecuador


December 23, 2016




I spent the first half of my year in an Afro Ecuadorian community. A community that much like the African American community at home is also a product of the African diaspora like my ancestors they were also brought to their current land by slave ships. I went to a museum and learned how Cotten for rich colorful fabrics was picked by African descendants in Valle de Chota much like my grandfather who was a a sharecropper in Waycross Georgio. Valle de Chota has produced not only some of the best soccer players in the Ecuador but some of the best soccer players in the world but when they go to clubs they a denied entry because of their skin, because like at home black bodies are only valued when they a creating profit for someone but no matter how rich or famous you are at the end of the day they will treat you like any other black person. Here there is a restaurant here called Menestre del negro which the caricature of a black head with big lips and a bone through the hair because like the minstrel shows black people are just a joke. Things remind me of home sometimes this makes me smile but other times it hurts to see that no matter how far you go racism is inescapable but the Valle de Chota culture is so much than the stereotypes that are imposed upon them. 

Amma Thomas