The Vice President of Costa Rica, Mrs Epsy Campbell Barr, said the warm nature of Ghanaians made her “feel at home”, during her five-day visit to Ghana.
She was in Ghana with the UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Natalia Kanem.
The trip was to reciprocate a visit the Paramount Chief of the Akwamu Traditional Area, Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, and a government delegation paid to Coast Rica in August, last year, to observe the first ever International Day of people of African Descent.
Mrs Barr, who arrived in the country last Tuesday, has been to the Assin Manso Slave River Site, in the Central Region, and the Elmina Castle, the final holding place of thousands of slaves before they were taken to the Americas.
The team has also been to the Bogyawe Palace at Akwamufie, the traditional capital of the Akwamus, in the Eastern Region, where a queen title was conferred on Mrs Barr and Dr Kanem. They also visited the Nkyinkyim Museum in the Dangme West District of the Greater Accra Region.
Mrs Barr, a person of African descendant, who took her symbolic ‘first bath of return’ at the Assin Manso facility, during her stay, learnt how her fore fathers and mothers were treated at the Elmina Castle before they were shipped out of the then Gold Coast.
Speaking at the privately owned Nkyinkyim Museum, Mrs Barr said “I’ve met here the loveliest people and I feel at home. Anytime we the people of African Descent visit the continent, we feel at home and a really feel it”.
The Vice President of Costa Rica said she discussed with Vice President Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia the deepening of relationship between Ghana and Costa Rica in the area of tourism.
Sharing her experience concerning the Nkyinkyim Museum, where she saw the sculpted full-size heads of about 1,700 African ancestors, Mrs Barr said the facility and its artistic works reinforced the story of the slave trade.
“Thank you for your commitment, artistic excellence and culture. Because of your accounts, we further know the history of our people, our ancestors and the enslaved,” she told Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, the Founder, Curative Director and Lead Artist of the Nkyinkyim Museum.
Mr Akoto-Bamfo said his museum, established some five years ago, was to preserve tangible and intangible Ghanaian and African cultural heritage.
“I am giving a holistic view of the African history through arts. So it is our story to every person of African descent no matter where you come from to contribute to the healing that is needed from the enslavement and colonialism,” he said.
FROM JULIUS YAO PETETSI, HWAKPO