By: Randy Salgado – Seattle Globalist

July 20, 2015

Milvia Pacheco was always told she looked too black to be Latino.

Growing up in Venezuela, many Latinos maligned her for looking different.

“They would make fun of my nose, lips, and big ass,” said Pacheco with tears filling up in her eyes.

According to Monica Rojas, a Seattle-based sociocultural anthropologist and artist, Pacheco’s story is quite common among Afro-Latinos—a term that describes a Latin American or Spanish Caribbean person of black African ancestry.

Rojas says there is a constant battle for visibility of Afro-Latinos in Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela. To battle that invisibility, Rojas founded Movimiento Afrolatino Seattle, known as MÁS, in 2013.

“It is interesting how institutionalized racism has set things in place that erased them from our societies,” said Rojas. “It became a goal of mine to help with that visibility.”

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