Beyond the Rhetoric
By Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow
In our quest to unite Black entrepreneurs throughout the world we have found many surprises. We, descendants of Africa, are in every corner of this earth.
One of our first excursions was the gigantic nation of Brazil. That was the “jackpot” on the first try. Brazil is over 53 percent Black and only Nigeria has a greater Black population than this nation. Since then we have journeyed throughout the Motherland of Africa and the other continents, connecting entrepreneurs of color and matchmaking our talents and markets.
From here on out we will be traveling to at least five nations per year establishing new chapters and meeting potential business partners for our stateside membership.
Our first trip for this year has been set for Costa Rica (Rich Coast in English). We will be going during the last week in February. Why Costa Rica? That’s simple! We were invited by the vice president of the nation. She happens to be Black and is the second Black to reach the height of vice president considering all the nations of the Western Hemisphere. This sister, Epsy Campbell Barr, is off to a very brilliant career. The following is a Wikipedia rundown on her background: “Epsy Campbell has been the head of the Center for Women of African Descent, the Alliance of Leaders of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Black Parliament of the Americas.
“She has participated in several conferences and meetings around the world, as the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China; the III World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa; the World Conference on the Environment, Eco 92, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and the First Encounter of Black Women of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
“She was Coordinator of the Women’s Forum for Central American Integration of the Network of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Women, and organizer of the Second Meeting of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Women in San Jose, Costa Rica. Campbell is also a member of the Washington, D.C. based think tank, The Inter-American Dialogue.
“She has written books and articles on topics such as democracy, inclusion, political and economic participation of women, people of African descent, sexism and racism, among others. She is an expert on issues of social development, equity, political participation of women and African descent.”
As you can see, this sister is quite accomplished, and we expect greater things for her in the future. We want to keep her on our “team.” Her staff is working with our office to make our itinerary productive and on the cutting edge.
Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. Costa Rica is a very beautiful country.
How did Blacks get there? The pattern of Central American Blacks is unique. Unlike North America and South America Blacks did not arrive through the Holocaust of Black Slavery. Most of the original Blacks arrived as immigrant labor from Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean working on the basic infrastructures such as railways and vast farms (mainly bananas and pineapples).
Caribbean pirates contributed some- what. When they would capture slave ships, they would drop off the destined slaves along the shorelines and they would fend for themselves and begin a new future. They were commonly known as Maroons.
Language does not seem to be a barrier when we travel to Central America. Most of the native Blacks in Central America speak very fluent English and have much experience in traveling throughout the United States. We have had very successful “Matchmaking” events in the past and expect this trip to be no different.
The easiest and the best possible method to find out more about the investment opportunities in Costs Rica is to travel there and feel the economic and business climate in person. We travel February 24 – 27, 2020, flying into San Jose, then traveling to San Carlos for meetings at the Arsenal Volcano National Park. Our next stop will be Puerto Limon, for business meetings, touring the South Caribbean, then traveling to Cahuita to enjoy the beaches.
And in between meetings we will sample the delicious food: rice, beans, salad, tortillas, fried plantain, and meat (beef, pork, chicken or fish) and exotic fruit.
The National Black Chamber of Commerce Trade Mission is an opportunity to do business, explore opportunities and enjoy the tropical environment. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/NBCCCostaRica.
Mr. Alford is the Co-Founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Ms. DeBow is the Co-Founder, Executive Vice President of the chamber. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Emails: [email protected]; [email protected]