The Green Moon Festival in the Archipelago of San Andrés and Providencia

green moon festival
"A fraternal hug in the form of race and culture." With this positive motto began its journey in 1987 the Green Moon Festival, Green Moon Festival that since then is celebrated every year in the Island of San Andres, In full Colombian Caribbean.

This festival aims to preserve and pay tribute to the Afro-Caribbean cultural legacy through various artistic expressions. And although music is the great and indisputable protagonist, other manifestations such as gastronomy, religion, cinema or sports are not left out.

The Raizal people

Inside the huge cultural diversity of Colombia, there is an Anglophone people with Afro-Caribbean roots that occupy a specific geographical space: the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, located more than 750 kilometers north of the Colombian Atlantic coast. It's the village Root.

In an island territory of just 52 square kilometers, there are about 78.000 inhabitants, of which around 30.000 belong to the Raizal ethnic group.

beaches of San Andrés Colombia

The island of San Andrés is a prominent tourist destination in the Colombian Caribbean

The Raizales do not have Spanish as their mother tongue, but rather a Creole language with English roots known as Creole sanandresano. This link, the Creole, is the one that connects the Raizales with the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean Afro-American peoples. Since 1987, all of them have come together every year at the Green Moon Festival to celebrate this common identity.

History of the Green Moon Festival

The embryo of Green Moon Festival as we know it today is a previous event called Language fair (language fair), which began to be organized in San Andrés in the 80s to promote culture and the Creole language among the island's youth.

The idea of ​​a larger festival with an international vocation finally crystallized on May 21, 1987, thanks to the efforts of a group of cultural managers who had the support of the then mayor. Simon Gonzalez Restrepo. The first edition of the Green Moon Festival had a modest display, although its impact was enormous.

Thus, subsequent editions had many more participants. The small archipelago was filled with visitors and the event attracted the attention of many media outlets, which contributed to spreading the word about the project in Colombia and the Caribbean countries. The Green Moon Foundation to manage the entire organization of this festival.

Between 1996 and 2011 the Green Moon Festival stopped being organized due to a lack of means, not followers. This temporary parenthesis matches the years in which Nicaragua and Colombia had a serious diplomatic conflict over the sovereignty of this territory. The dispute was resolved by the International Tribunal in The Hague in 2012 in favor of the Colombian side.

Fortunately, the project was able to be recovered in 2012. Since then, the festival has been held without interruption, reaping more and more success.

Music and culture

The annual Green Moon Festival event includes numerous academic and creative activities organized with the idea of ​​motivating children and adolescents to learn about the roots of Afro-American culture and the tradition of the natives of the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. There is also room for sports competitions o domino championships, a very popular game throughout the Caribbean. These activities occupy the hours of the day, while the night is reserved for music.

Musical groups from various countries (bands from the United Kingdom often attend as well as artists from African countries) fill the squares and beaches of the island with rhythm and color. The Caribbean night is flooded with reggae, dancehall, Haitian konpa, zouk, soca, calypso, salsa and meringue, as well as Cuban and African rhythms.

In this video it reflects very well how the Green Moon Festival is lived and developed. At this time of year the island of San Andrés becomes the capital of the Caribbean and of Afro-American music:

Among the most famous artists who have passed through this festival include the Jamaicans Inner Circle and the Panamanian Rubén Blades, among many others.

Beyond concerts and parties, since 2018 a parallel event called Back Stage for the Future Caribbean. It is actually a program that brings together young musicians and apprentices from Jamaica, Cuba, San Andrés and other places in the Caribbean. All of them are given the opportunity to receive continuous training on the production of artistic and cultural events.

To conclude, it is fair to say that, as much as it is an event dedicated to culture Creole, Green Moon Festival it is open to everyone. In fact, it receives visitors of all races and from very different places.


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  1.   sareth mariana rodriguez ochoa said

    why was it done