If you follow Francesca of One Girl One World, then you know that the blogger-influencer proudly identifies as Black and Afro Latina. Her mother’s parents were from Central America.
In our continuation of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, we chatted with Francesca to learn more about her culture, and the things she wants the world to know and see.
“I never met by Grandfather, but he was from the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica,” Francesca told Travel Noire. “My grandma was from Honduras and we still have family there. She was very proud of her roots and taught me about our culture from a very young age.”
Her mother took her to visit her family in Central America when she was 18.
“Our heritage is Garifuna, and the Garifuna people reside along the coast of Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize. So we visited family in all three countries.”
That trip taught her even more about her culture, and opened her eyes to her family’s humble beginnings. Seeing children happily playing barefoot outside, the dirt roads, and the native people gathering their resources from a river— allowed her to really appreciate where her family came from and how far they’ve come.
She’s learned that Garifuna people were able to resist slavery, and were strong fighters. That’s important history because it doesn’t fit the typical colonial narrative.
“Afro Latinx history is rich, and our contributions to the culture are prominent. I would love for people to be more educated on both.”
Unfortunately, the nation is currently experiencing civil unrest over wrongdoings of the Garifuna and their land.
“Five Garifuna leaders were kidnapped by men in police uniforms, and are still missing almost two months later without explanation,” she said. “It is said that the government wants to sell the land to foreign interests, and Rep. Ilhan Omar recently penned a letter to oppose the Trump Administration’s plan to invest $1 billion in controversial projects in Honduras. t’s a budding crisis that isn’t getting enough attention.”
It is because of stories like these, that Francesca wants to see more light brought to Afro-Latinx culture. Not just in her family’s homeland of Honduras, but all over.
“It’s so important to me that our stories are shared because there is so much erasure happening in history books and mainstream media. Let pop culture tell it, most Latinos look like Jennifer Lopez or Ricky Martin. I can’t remember the last Afro Latinx person I’ve seen in mainstream cinema or music. I want to see that change.”
To catch more from Francesca, you can follow her on Instagram at: @onegrloneworld.