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Afro-Latin Culture’s Approach to Healthcare

African culture has contributed much to Latin America and the Caribbean. Its heritage is manifested in folklore, music, dance, and religious art (De la Fuente & Andrews, 2018). Various African religious traditions have affected the culture’s approach to health as well. By analyzing Afro-Latin culture, I want to learn and disseminate the attitude of Black Hispanic people towards healthcare under the influence of religious beliefs.

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The impact of Afro-Latin spiritual practices, especially those of the Caribbean, such as Haitian Vodou, Macumba, and Cuban Santería, can be felt in various aspects of culture, from music to healing (Luquis & Castillo, 2016). The curing practices of the Afro-Latin culture have developed under the influence of African healing systems that include spiritual and physical treatment. The herbal medicine and folk therapeutic practices, brought by African slaves, have significantly affected the attitude of the Black Hispanic people towards medicine.

The Afro-Latin population is least likely to refer to official medicine in comparison with other ethnic group members. According to the studies, they rarely visit medical professionals and delay healthcare for an illness (Rodríguez-Lainz et al., 2016). The reason lies not only in the fact that Black Hispanic people face economic barriers that influence their attitude toward healthcare (Domínguez, 2018). Folk healing is an important element of Afro-Latin traditional culture. Healers can be found throughout Latin American countries, especially in remote areas, where access to professional medical care is limited.

Even with the current development of medicine, many people continue to seek help from healers. No matter how old this practice is, folk healing is still popular. This cultural tradition was widespread during the slave trade, and its further development was promoted by the general precariousness of material life, the lack of doctors and medicines. Now it is a significant part of Afro-Latin culture and it demonstrates the attitude of this ethnic group towards healthcare.


De la Fuente, A., & Andrews, G. R. (2018). Afro-Latin American studies: An introduction. Cambridge University Press.

Domínguez, J. I. (2018). Race and ethnicity in Latin America. Routledge.

Luquis, R. R., & Castillo, J. A. (2016). Complementary, alternative, and integrative health approaches among Hispanics/Latinos. Complementary, alternative, and integrative health: A multicultural perspective, 207-234.

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Rodríguez-Lainz, A., McDonald, M., Penman-Aguilar, A., & Barrett, D. H. (2016). Getting data right—and righteous to improve Hispanic or Latino health. Journal of Healthcare, Science and the Humanities, 6(3), 60-83.

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