The Afro House in Piñones, installed in this centennial community of valuable matriarchs, pays honor to our maroon ancestors. On a hill in the El Terraplén sector, in one of the highest points of this neighborhood mountain range, the image of the Father of Black History, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, stands powerful. From every corner of the Afro House, new ideas sprout dressed in art and traversed by the ancestral African legacy. These ideas are nurtured with the legendary knowledge learned in the stoves and “burenes” in the mangroves and lagoons, from fishing, from the healer, from the midwife, from the coal-producing bonfire.
The route of blackness is traced, from the institution of the Afro Corridor, studying and learning from the ancestral cultural practices that are kept alive in the memories and traditions of the Afro-descendant communities in Piñones, Loíza, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and the African diaspora, from Alaska to Patagonia, in a diverse group that makes up our Afro-America. Unlearning, with these new ideas, to undress from Eurocentrism and articulate Afrocentric epistemologies and methodologies. Studying Afro-descendant men and women’s thought and work from a black neighborhood takes on a powerful dimension.
At a time when the only school (Emiliano Figueroa Torres) existing in the community closed its classrooms to hundreds of students, El Corredor Afro, it’s Casa Afro opened the doors to the collective production of Afrocentric critical thinking leading to their own styles of education with references that reflect aesthetics, narrative, and symbols honoring our identity. This is a sacred connection with nature. As organisms of a complex ecosystem, the Piñones community is recognized and valued with its precious mangrove forest, lagoons, beaches, and the exuberant flora and rich fauna make it a precious ecological jewel. Understanding that as living beings in harmonious connection with Mother Earth, we have the duty to protect our mother house, our island house, our community house, our Afro House.
Maricruz Rivera Clemente
CoFounder Afro Runner