Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Uruguay - House of Afro-Uruguayan Culture

The House of Afro-Uruguayan Culture is a non-profit civil association, made up y a social and cultural organization of volunteers who work to promote and achieve its objectives.

It is located in the traditional Isla de Flores Street that unites the neighbourhoods called South and Palermo, in which historically the black community of African descent has concentrated in the country and with which it is identified. Furthermore, it is located in front of the site where the mythical “conventillo* de Ansina” stood once. 


* (Conventillo: tenement house)

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Other data of interest




Founding Date

- The project emerged in 2007 - The formal inauguration took place on December 3, 2011, in the framework of the National Day of the Candombe, Afro-Uruguayan Culture and Racial Equality


Social and cultural, struggle against racism and development of the population of African descent, research and archive, education and training, promotion of human rights.


Isla de Flores 1645 esquina Minas, Barrio Palermo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay  

Telephone Numbers


Fax number

(+598) 24111514

Person in charge

Prof. Edgardo Ortuño - President

Other members of the Executive

Isabel “Chabela” Ramírez, Alicia Esquivel, Jorge Bustamante, Rita Uriarte, Alicia Ortuño and Juanita Silva.

Objectives of the institution

- To promote knowledge, appraisal and dissemination of the contribution of the people of African descent and their historic legacy.

- To create and recreate the various artistic, cultural and social expressions of the afro-Uruguayan community.

- To contribute to the upgrading, affirmation of individual and collective identity in the community.

- To promote unity and cooperation within the organization.

Heritage documents under its protection

Complete historical collection of the magazine “Nuestra Raza” (Our Race), main publication of the community of African descent of Uruguay, published in 1917 and between the years 1933-1948. Available for consultation and research, through previous coordination with the institution, because of its historical and patrimonial value.

They have been preserved in good condition in digital format.

Use given to this documentation: Consultation and reference material for research and other works.

Periodicals published by the institution

Newsletter of the House of Afro-Uruguayan Culture (every six months). Publication devoted to disseminate and re-valuate the cultural legacy of the people of African descent.

Other publications by the institution

- Mediomundo, Sur, conventillo and afterwards. This book tells us the story of a neighbourhood and its people, of a community and its culture through the stories that made one of the most emblematic buildings in the city of Montevideo come to life: the conventillo Mediomundo. Its history is closely linked to the history of afro Uruguayans and is the symbol of the riches of their culture and of candombe as one of the main examples. On December 3rd, 1978, after the order of eviction and transfer of the residents by the dictatorship had been given, the drums in the Mediomundo were heard for the last time. Years later (2006) that date was chosen to commemorate the National Day of Candombe, Afro Uruguayan Culture and Racial Equality established by law 18.059.

- Afro Uruguayan Culture and Literature. An entertaining and factual book, both significant and enjoyable, the result of a deep investigation of a widely recognized author such as Martin A. Lewis. It offers a panoramic view of creations, authors and anecdotes. In its pages he broaches magazines and the so called black journalism and its consequent impact on literary culture and the social advancement of the afro Uruguayan population; resistance and identity in poetry and the dramatic tradition forged by black authors; the culture of the drum, comparsas (choreographed street dances), carnivals and the candombe, among other topics.

- Somos Candombe. This book by Leonardo Méndez explains the enormous creative wealth and fecundity of afro Uruguayan music. An immensely valuable work that allows us to have a large number of Candombe compositions that were never available with their scores and lyrics, accompanied by biographical notes of the main composers together with texts on the history of the highest expression of afro Uruguayan music.