A detailed social history of an ethnic minority's adaptation to life in Central America during the first half of the twentieth century.
The Jamaicans, Barbadians, and other West Indians who migrated to Costa Rica at the turn of the twentieth century found themselves in a country that prides itself on its Spanish and "white settler" origins. In The West Indians of Costa Rica Ronald Harpelle examines the ways in which people of African descent reacted to key issues of community and cultural survival from 1900 to 1950. He shows that the men and women who ventured to Costa Rica in search of opportunities in the banana industry arrived as West Indian sojourners but became Afro-Costa Ricans. The West Indians of Costa Rica is a story about choices: who made them, when, how, and what the consequences were.