Dating for ravers
Acon is talking about Costa Rica’s Afro-Caribbean population, the descendents of Jamaican laborers who came to Costa Rica beginning in 1871 to construct a railroad connecting the Caribbean coast to the Pacific.
After the railroad was finished, they stayed on to work banana plantations, while more Jamaicans immigrated until the late 1940s, also to work in this industry.
Recently, I had the opportunity to go back and politic with some of the country’s top DJs and performers and document aspects of reggae culture in Costa Rica.
One of my meetings was with DJ Acon of Reggae Night Crew who broke down to me just how the whole reggae scene started.
As we pulled up to Playa Piuta, a beach in Puerto Limón, Acon told me: “Ahhh this is like Jamaica.” When I ask what he means, he says on Sundays the beach is packed with black folk, chillin’, grillin’, and speaking English patois.
To make things worse, Puerto Limón is dead center of a drug trafficking matrix that extends from Colombia to the U. Reggae provides a positive outlet to change those interpretations and make something of oneself.
Tyrone, a dancer in Slam Jam, a nationally famous reggae dance crew that performs at concerts, clubs and on TV shows, explains the importance of reggae: “I’m Tico and I represent Limón to the maximum.
Far from most tourists’ radars, the Caribbean coastal province Limón is home to a deep-rooted Jamaican culture, the fruits of which continue to thrive today.