Mission and History
AfriCaribe is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, research, promotion and development of the Puerto Rican and Caribbean cultures through music, dance, theatre and other artistic mediums. Founded in 2000 by Evaristo “Tito” Rodriguez in an effort to create an organization in Chicago that would have the unique intent of celebrating the African influence in Puerto Rico and other countries of the Caribbean. His vision came to fruition in the form of an umbrella organization that provides cultural education through four main programs.
Within this academy, professional dancers and musicians begain teaching traditional dances and drumming of several Puerto Rican Bomba rythyms. A performance ensemble is then prepared and presented using different styles of folk music from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean through song, dance, and various percussive instruments. Working together with the education departmant, this production company became responsible for annual events including folklore conferences and work in unisen to provide workshops and lectures by members of the organization and other invited professionals.
Culture is the soul of a group of people. Characteristics such as traditions, language, literature, theatre, music, dance and art help define a cultural group. These are developed over time through the experience of adaptation, creation and survival. Thus, culture becomes both that which is past and that which is practiced. In this process, culture evolves using the past as a foundation.
AfriCaribe is a group whose main goal is to acknowledge the offerings of the past by fusing them with original ideas, thereby contributing to an evolving culture. By exploring the past, AfriCaribe uses history to develop a space in which people in struggle for cultural survival can preserve, create and develop traditions. This philosophy is carried out with respect to the contributions of our ancestors while adhering to the integrity of tradition and committed to creativity and self-expression.
AfriCaribe is dedicated to the preservation, research, promotion and development of the Puerto Rican and Caribbean cultures through music, dance, theatre, and other artistic mediums. Although it will reflect the influence of other ethnic and cultural groups, AfriCaribe’s primary focus will be on the presence of African cultures in the Caribbean. We hope to complete our mission as "a not-for-profit organization through performances that celebrate cultural traditions.