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Exploring African History in Mexico

Located in the state of Veracruz, Yanga is known today as one of the first self-liberated and independent towns in the Americas. It is named in honor of Gasper Yanga— a man of African descent. Historians believe he’s from Angola. Veracruz became an important harbor for slavery in Mexico. Many Africans and Indigenous people were captured and sold into slavery. Today, Yanga has been recognized as a UNESCO Slave Route project-designated city where you will find the Vásquez Lendechy statue of Gaspar Yanga in the town square. The statue depicts a large, muscular man of African descent with a machete in his hands, symbolizing breaking from the chains of slavery.