The story that has been passed down among increasingly smaller generations of Afro-Mexicans in Costa Chica is that their ancestors arrived on a boat that sank off the Pacific coast. But it was only recently that the community realized the mythical boat may have been from Africa, as opposed to the Caribbean. Mexico’s independence drove Afro-Mexicans into exile and invisibility, as the African part of Mexican history was buried.
So I had to go find them. I had seen a few Afro-Mexicans in Mexico City, but was curious about these whole populations of slave descendants living isolated and neglected on both coasts of the country.
What I discover is an incredibly warm town on the island of Chacahua and I also soon find out that one story is nowhere near enough to delve into the stories of these people.
For more information about Afro-Mexicans, check out the website of anthropologist Bobby Vaughn, one of the few people studying their history in English.