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Afro-Latinos Among Most Underprivileged in Region

Only 64 percent of Afro-descendants finish primary school. | Photo: EFE Only 64 percent of Afro-descendants finish primary school. | Photo: EFE
For centuries, Afro-descended peoples have faced discrimination, hardship, and social exclusion around the world. In Latin America, despite efforts to close the gap, the ethnic group continues to struggle for equal opportunity.
Around 111 million Afro-Latinos struggle against discrimination and poverty, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said in a report.

Afro-Latinos represent a quarter of the Latin American population and 90 percent of them reside in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Ecuador — formerly important ports in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

In these communities, around 111 million people struggle with unemployment and poverty, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said in a report.

Other statistics show that Afro-Latinos are two and a half times more likely to struggle with chronic poverty, receive less education, and face violence than their white or mestizo counterparts.

The World Bank reported that access to and ensuring the completion of a good, primary education could reduce the risk of poverty by over nine percent. This statistic was increased to 16 and 23 percent for secondary and university levels, respectively.

However, only 64 percent of African descended people finish primary school. In 2017, only 12 percent of adults with African ancestry throughout the Americas received some form of higher education. The World Bank attributed these low figures to poor teacher preparation and training on stereotypes, discrimination, or insensitive behavior and teaching materials.

Fighting centuries of colonialist social structures will not be easy for African descended peoples. Their countless contributions to art, music and culture have long been disregarded. However, through awareness campaigns, this minority group is determined to win its rights in government, the labor market and in educational institutions.

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  • Countries: Latin America
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