Right in time for the African Heritage Month of Peru in June, the colonial town of Zaña in the department of Lambayeque in Northern Peru has been named a “Memorial site and African cultural inheritance” by the Ministry of Culture and UNESCO.
Zaña is a lesser known site in Peru, but nevertheless an important testament of Peruvian history.
Zaña is the oldest town founded by the Spanish in the department of Lambayeque in Northern Peru with a current population of 1800 Peruvians of African descent. Zaña features ruins of churches and colonial architecture that have now been recognized as historic buildings. The cultural inheritance in Zaña embraces important Afro-Peruvian heritage but also reembraces the obscure time of enslavement in Peru´s history.
Historically, the question of ethnic or racial demographics in Peru has not been given much attention.
Lately, approaches have been made by the National Statistics Office (INEI) to identify more precisely the country´s indigenous and African groups. The goal is to raise more awareness in the population for self-identification of various minority groups and close gaps between the different ethnic and cultural identities.